There are 12 teams who are yet to win a Superbowl. They are the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, LA Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans and the Minnesota Vikings.
Of the 12, the Browns, Jaguars, Lions and Texans have never even been to a Superbowl.
As we approach week 1 of the NFL season, we look at who has the best chance of lifting the Lombardi Trophy; out of the teams that have never done it before.
WHO COULD WIN THEIR FIRST SUPERBOWL?
Insert joke about blowing a Superbowl lead here. Falcons fans are sick of hearing them and cringe every time, but the scars from that Superbowl loss to the Patriots in overtime live long in their memories.
Following back to back losing seasons, head coach Dan Quinn is in the hot seat. There is nowhere else to turn after firing all three of his coordinators. The Falcons simply have to improve and it is win at all costs if Dan Quinn is to keep his job.
The Falcons have also improved on the offensive side of the ball. Last season they only averaged 2.5 touchdowns per game, a far cry away from the 30 points per game they were averaging in 2016. This season the offensive line should be better and, if Todd Gurley can be kept fit, a much improved running game.
Atlanta will have to navigate one of the toughest schedules in football if they are to mount a challenge. They play 5 playoff teams from last year on the road and face the Kansas City Chiefs. All on top of having to face divisional rivals the Saints and Buccaneers twice!
If the Falcons can make the playoffs having negotiated the tricky schedule, they will be confident they can go all the way.
Despite the buzz surrounding the Browns last season, they failed to live up to the promise. Quarterback Baker Mayfield had an average season and star receivers Odell Beckham JR and Jarvis Landry failed to live up to expectation due to injuries.
Cleveland is competing in arguably the best division in football, in the AFC North. Both the Ravens and Steelers are expected to be in contention and the Bengals are an unknown with Joe Burrow under center. But, the expanded playoff format gives Cleveland a better chance of getting a wildcard spot.
We can expect Cleveland to be better this coming season with the unit having another full season of working together. The Browns have also hired a more established head coach in Kevin Stefanski. Stefanski has proven as a coordinator in Minnesota that he can get the most out of his players. We should expect the offense to be good enough to get the job done.
Browns fans can be optimistic that they now have the skilled players and the right coach to have their first winning season in 12 years.
If the Bills are to make a push, there has never been a better time to do it. The Patriots have dominated the division, winning the AFC East every year since the 2009 season. The Bills have not won it since 1995 which was the last time they won a playoff game. The Patriots are in a transition year and Tom Brady isn’t there. Maybe there has never been a better time for a divisional rival to step up.
The Bills have added brilliantly this off season. They have signed Josh Norman, Mario Addision and Vernon Butler to a defence that already ranked third in total defence in 2019. Buffalo also added Stefon Diggs providing Josh Allen with more weapons
The Bills did make the playoffs in 2019 but eventually lost in overtime to the Texans. That experience will only provide motivation to head coach Sean McDermott and there is no reason they cannot come back stronger.
The Titans were 3 quarters away from making the Superbowl last season, yet they still aren’t being talked about as a Superbowl team.
Mike Vrabel is a head coach who will thrive as an underdog. They were underdogs throughout the postseason in 2019. Vrabel led Tennessee to the AFC Championship game in just his second season and there is no reason his third can’t be better. Going into the 2020 season, he now has a settled quarterback room, a bell cow back in Derrick Henry and another playmaker on defence in Jadeveon Clowney.
Tennessee has had a low turnover of players and although they have remained quiet over the offseason they have added leaders on both sides of the ball. There is no reason to think the Titans have regressed since last season.
Despite having the 11th highest amount of playoff wins, the Vikings have never won a Superbowl. As stated in our 2020 bold predictions, there are plenty of reasons why Minnesota could be a Superbowl Team.
The draft was extremely successful for the Vikings. They gained an extra 1st rounder in the Stefon Diggs trade. They used it to add youth to the receiver room in Justin Jefferson. Minnesota also used draft picks to get younger at defensive back. Drafting Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler, and reports from the Vikings camp tell us they have been exceeding expectation and are ready for week 1.
The Vikings don’t appear to have a weak link. They have plenty of playmakers on offence and a defensively minded head coach to develop the defence. Things are looking up in Minnesota.
They also have a favourable schedule and always perform well in home games. Since moving indoors to play in US Bank Stadium, they have a home record of 23-9. With the favourable schedule they should build upon their 10-6 season in 2019.
The Vikings have an abundance of talent and with the kind schedule, Vikings fans will be expecting big things this coming season.
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