The Longest NFL Championship Droughts
What's worse — your NFL team winning a championship before you were born or never winning one at all?
The Philadelphia Eagles celebrated their first Super Bowl win after beating the New England Patriots in a thrilling finish to the 2017 season.
So you won’t find the Eagles on this list of futility.
You also won't find the Patriots, Broncos, Seahawks, Ravens, Giants, Packers, Saints or Steelers. Like the Eagles, they have won a Super Bowl in the last decade.
But after 53 years of the big game, 12 teams have never won it all. Others have not won a championship since their AFL days.
These are the NFL teams with the longest title droughts.
12 Seasons: Indy Jonesing
The Indianapolis Colts got off on the wrong foot in Super XLI when Chicago Bears return man Devin Hester ran back the opening kick for a touchdown.
But fortunately for Indianapolis fans, it's the final score that matters, and the Colts won 29-17 — their second championship and first since 1971, when they played in Baltimore.
Unfortunately, the Colts have had mixed results in 12 playoff appearances since that win at the end of the 2006 season, going 5-7, including losing Super Bowl XLIV to the Saints after the 2009 season.
Andrew Luck led Indy to victory over the Broncos and Peyton Manning (the man Luck replaced at quarterback) in the divisional round following the 2014 season. The Patriots then crushed the Colts 45-7 to bounce them from the AFC championship game.
16 Seasons: The Bucs Don’t Stop Here
Defense wins championships, but it's always good to have your offense lend a helping hand. Look no further than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII. The 4-point underdogs won their first championship with a 48-21 romp over the Oakland Raiders.
The game marked the first time the NFL's top offense (Raiders) and best defense (Bucs) met in a Super Bowl.
It also didn't hurt Tampa Bay to have former Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, who may have had a little inside info as he led his new team to victory against his old team.
The Bucs only have been back to the playoffs twice since the 2002 season, losing wild-card games to the Redskins in 2006 and the Giants in 2008.
17 Seasons: Texans-Sized Thirst
The Houston Texans have never won a Super Bowl in their 17-year existence.
In fact, they have only made the playoffs five times, winning three wild-card games (twice against the Cincinnati Bengals and once against the Oakland Raiders) but never making it past the divisional round.
Their most recent playoff push, after the 2018 season, ended with a 21-7 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
19 Seasons: Silence of the Rams
The Rams are the only NFL franchise to win three championships while calling three different cities home: Cleveland (1945), Los Angeles (1951) and St. Louis (1999).
The Rams missed a golden opportunity to win their fourth title in the 2001 postseason, when the "Greatest Show on Turf" lost Super Bowl XXXVI to the Patriots 20-17 on Adam Vinatieri's 48-yard field goal as time expired.
In 2017 — a year after relocating to Los Angeles — the Rams ended a 13-season playoff drought but came up short in the 2018 NFC wild-card game, losing to the Falcons 26-13.
The next year, they lost to the Patriots 13-3 in Super LIII.
23 Seasons: How 'Bout Them Cowboys?
The Dallas Cowboys have won five Super Bowls, including three with Jerry Jones as owner of the team. But "America's Team" has not won a championship since Super Bowl XXX after the 1995 season.
The Cowboys are just 3-10in playoff appearances since that Super Bowl win more than 20 years ago.
That's not the kind of on-field success Jones envisioned when he bought the team for $140 million in 1989.
24 Seasons: Inaction Jacksonville
The Jacksonville Jaguars were formed in 1995. Though they became quick contenders, the Jaguars have never won a Super Bowl.
They lost the AFC championship game in their second year, to the Patriots. Then, the Broncos, Jets and Titans bounced Tom Coughlin's team out of the playoffs over the next three years. Adding insult to injury, Coughlin left Jacksonville after the 2002 season and went on to win two Super Bowls coaching the New York Giants.
The Jaguars looked like they might become contenders again under Doug Marrone. They even made a 2017 postseason run, before losing a heartbreaking AFC championship game to the Patriots.
Then, they went 5-11 in the 2018 season.
24 Seasons: Carolina Cold Sauce
The Carolina Panthers have never won a Super Bowl since they began playing in 1995. After nine seasons, the Panthers made it to the NFL's biggest stage for the first time in Super Bowl XXXVIII, a 32-29 loss to the Patriots.
Almost 20 years later, the Panthers rode a 14-2 season in 2015 to the Super Bowl with quarterback Cam Newton and company. Carolina lost again, this time to Peyton Manning's Broncos 24-10 in Super Bowl 50.
The Panthers dropped a 31-26 wild-card game to the Saints after the 2017 season and now are 9-8 in 17 playoff games.
24 Seasons: No Gold for 'The City'
The five-time Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers last won the big game after the 1994 season.
Super Bowl XXIX, a 49-26 blowout of the San Diego Chargers, capped a dominant 14-year run that included all five 49ers title seasons and a 19-7 record in the playoffs that began in the Joe Montana era and ended with Steve Young at quarterback.
After the 2012 season, the Niners made it back to Super Bowl XLVII, widely known as the Harbaugh Bowl, where John Harbaugh coached Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens past younger brother Jim Harbaugh's 49ers and quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The Niners haven't had a winning season since 2013, but they did win the last five games of their 2017 season behind new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Garoppolo missed most of the 2018 season with a knee injury, and the 49ers only won four games.
27 Seasons: Capital Deficit
The Washington Redskins were established in 1932 and have a proud tradition of football excellence. They won two NFL championships in 1937 and 1942 and three Super Bowls in 1982 (XVII), 1987 (XXII) and 1991 (XXVI).
All of that glory seems like ancient history in the not-for-long NFL.
The Redskins only have made the playoffs six times since their last title and haven't won a playoff game in more than a decade.
33 Seasons: Bear Market
What happened to the Monsters of the Midway?
The Chicago Bears dominated football in 1985 with a 15-1 regular season record and coasted to an easy win in Super Bowl XX over the New England Patriots.
The Bears then went 3-8 in the postseason before order was restored for a moment in 2006. Chicago advanced to Super Bowl XLI, but lost to Peyton Manning's Colts.
Since 1986, the Bears have only six playoff wins — and just one in the last decade, in 2011.
35 Seasons: Raiders of the Lost Art
Commitment to excellence? Not lately.
The Oakland Raiders have been to five Super Bowls, won three Lombardi Trophies and are 25-19 in 44 playoff games. However, the Silver and Black have not tasted glory since the 1983 season, when the then-Los Angeles Raiders won Super Bowl XVIII in a 38-9 blowout of the Redskins.
The three-time Super Bowl champs returned to the big game after the 2002 season and lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Raiders have made one playoff appearance since, a wild-card loss to the Texans after the 2016 season.
Maybe the return of Chucky, aka Jon Gruden, will help the Raiders' rediscover their great — and intimidating — tradition. Maybe not. Time will tell.
45 Seasons: Miami Blues
The Miami Dolphins capped a perfect season in 1972 with a win over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII. They won the second of their back-to-back titles in Super Bowl VIII in January 1974. They haven't won one since.
The Dolphins made it into Super Bowl XVII after the strike-shortened 1982 season and lost to the Redskins.
Two years later, with a young Dan Marino at quarterback, the Fish made it to Super Bowl XIX. But Joe Montana outgunned the young star.
Since a wild-card win over the Indianapolis Colts in 2000, the Dolphins are 0-3 in the playoffs, last losing to the Steelers after the 2016 season.
49 Seasons: Chief Concerns
The Kansas City Chiefs had their first chance at a Super Bowl title in Super Bowl I. They lost 35-10 to the Green Bay Packers.
The Chiefs bounced back to win Super Bowl IV, beating the Minnesota Vikings 23-7 after the 1969 season.
The Chiefs haven't been back to the Super Bowl in 48 years and have just two playoff wins since 1994 — a 30-0 spanking of the Houston Texans in the wild-card round after the 2015 season and a 31-13 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the divisional round after the 2018 season.
Kansas City's last three playoff losses have come by a total of nine points — a freak 18-16 loss to Pittsburgh in a divisional game after the 2016 season, a 22-21 loss to the Tennessee Titans after the 2017 season and a 37-31 overtime loss to the New England Patriots in the 2019 AFC championship game
50 Seasons: Not Jet
Joe Namath guaranteed it, and the New York Jets delivered, winning their only Super Bowl title by beating the heavily favored Baltimore Colts 16-7 in Super Bowl III after the 1968 season.
While the Jets have made it to the AFC championship game four times since, they've never made it back to the Super Bowl. They were shut out by the Dolphins after the 1982 season and beaten 23-10 by the Broncos after the 1998 season.
The Jets' last playoff appearances ended in back-to-back AFC championship losses, first to the Colts after the 2009 season, then to the Steelers after the 2010 season.
Gang Green has had just one winning season since, a 10-6 campaign in 2015 that ended with the Jets missing the playoffs.
51 Seasons: Bengals Futility
The Cincinnati Bengals, enfranchised in 1968, have never won a Super Bowl.
They've been to the title game twice, losing both times to the 49ers: in Super Bowl XVI, after the 1981 season, and in Super Bowl XXIII, after the 1988 season.
The Bengals haven't won a playoff game since they beat the then-Houston Oilers in the wild-card round following the 1990 season.
They've lost eight straight playoff games since, the last time falling to Pittsburgh 18-16 after the 2015 season.
53 Seasons: Close, But Falcons Aren't Closers
The Atlanta Falcons' first season was in 1966, and they have never won a Super Bowl.
They've made two trips to the big game. Their first loss came in Super Bowl XXXIII, as they fell 34-19 to John Elway's Broncos.
Their second loss, to the New England Patriots, was a nightmare — a 34-28 overtime loss, after being ahead 28-3 in the third quarter — that summed up 50 seasons of futility.
After the 2017 season, the Falcons beat the Rams in the wild-card round, but lost to the eventual champion Eagles 15-10 in the divisional round.
One day, fortune might smile on Atlanta. Fans can dream, right?
53 Seasons: Purple Haze
The Minnesota Vikings have never won a Super Bowl, going 0-4 in the title game.
They lost Super Bowl IV to the Kansas City Chiefs 23-7 and fell again in Super Bowl VIII to the Dolphins by an almost identical score, 24-7.
One season later, the Steelers stopped Bud Grant's Vikings 16-6.
And after the 1976 season, John Madden and the Oakland Raiders beat the Vikes 32-14 for a fourth Super Bowl loss in eight seasons.
They haven't been back in 40 years, losing NFC championship games in the 1977, 1987, 1998, 2000 and 2009 playoffs.
53 Seasons: Overdue Bills
The Buffalo Bills know suffering. They went to four consecutive Super Bowls from 1990 to 1993 and lost them all.
The most painful of the Bills' Super Bowl losses was the first, in Super Bowl XXV, as Marv Levy's squad fell to the New York Giants by a single point, 20-19, when kicker Scott Norwood missed a 47-yard field goal "wide right" as time ran out.
The Bills last won an AFL championship in 1965, beating the San Diego Chargers for a second straight season. That was the last year before the Super Bowl era.
Buffalo returned to the playoffs after a 17-year playoff drought following the 2017 season, but the Jaguars bounced the Bills out of the playoffs in the wild-card round.
Maybe some day.
54 Seasons: Believe-land?
The Cleveland Browns have never won a Super Bowl. They put their fans through the emotional wringer every week. But once upon a time, an NFL season was not a ritual existential crisis for Clevelanders.
The Browns won five NFL championship titles before the Super Bowl existed, and the former franchise-turned-Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII in 2012.
Although there was no Browns team for three seasons — 1996, 1997 and 1998 — the Browns' team name and history belong to Cleveland, where they last won an NFL championship in 1964.
The Browns' last playoff win came in the wild-card round against the Patriots after the 1994 season. Their last playoff appearance was a wild-card loss to the Steelers after the 2002 season.
The Browns have not had a winning record since they went 10-6 in 2007. They set the NFL's mark for ineptitude in 2017, when they failed to win a game and went 0-16.
But things are looking up with Baker Mayfield, who led the Browns to a 7-8-1 record in 2018.
55 Seasons: Low-Charged System
The Los Angeles Chargers have never won a Super Bowl.
They last won an AFL championship in 1963 as the San Diego Chargers and have only been to the big game once, losing Super Bowl XXIX in a 23-point blowout to the 49ers as Steve Young threw a record six touchdown passes.
The Bolts' best chance since then ended with a 21-12 loss to the Patriots in the AFC championship game following the 2007 season.
The Chargers went 1-1 in their last playoff appearance after the 2018 season, beating the Baltimore Ravens 23-17 in a wild-card game before losing to the New England Patriots 41-28 in the divisional round.
57 Seasons: Nothing to 'See Here
The Tennessee Titans have never won a Super Bowl.
The franchise last won an AFL championship as the Houston Oilers on Christmas Eve 1961, when quarterback and kicker George Blanda led the Oilers past the Chargers 10-3.
The Earl Campbell-era Oilers appeared in back-to-back AFC championship games after the 1978 and 1979 seasons, losing both times to the Steelers.
After moving to Tennessee and becoming the Titans, the franchise has been to one Super Bowl. The Titans were right in Super Bowl XXXIV but lost 23-16 to the St. Louis Rams.
After a decade of playoff inactivity, the tide may be turning. The Titans won a 2017 playoff game. They now are 15-20 in the postseason.
If that doesn't excite you, find some old Oilers highlights.
61 Seasons: Welcome to Woe-town
The Detroit Lions have never won a Super Bowl.
They've never been to a Super Bowl.
And they last won an NFL championship 60 years ago, in 1957, beating the Browns in a 59-14 romp.
The tragic Lions only have won a single playoff game in the Super Bowl era, beating the Cowboys 38-6 in a divisional game after the 1991 season. They were blown out the following weekend, 41-10, by the Redskins, who went on to win Super Bowl XXVI.
Detroit has lost eight straight playoff games, including its last appearance against the Seattle Seahawks in the wild-card game following the 2016 season.
And you think your team has it rough.
71 Seasons: Cardinal Deprivation
The Arizona Cardinals have never won a Super Bowl. They last won an NFL championship a staggering 70 seasons ago, as the Chicago Cardinals, in 1947.
They have just six playoff wins in 14 games during the 52-season Super Bowl era, with half of them coming in their lone Super Bowl year, when they beat the Falcons, Panthers and Eagles to get to Super Bowl XLIII after the 2008 season.
The Cards have two playoff wins since then, both overtime wins against the Green Bay Packers, but their last playoff appearance ended with a 49-15 drubbing by the Panthers in the NFC championship game following the 2015 season.
Next time the NFL season has you down, don't worry. There's only one place to go from rock bottom: up.