The NFL is the king of American sports, and much of that popularity can be attributed to the parity that exists in the NFL, while remaining largely absent from other major sports leagues.
In the NFL, during any given year, we can watch a “worst to first” story play out. The Minnesota Vikings could knock the New England Patriots out in a Super Bowl, or the Detroit Lions could rise to prominence in the NFC North while the Green Bay Packers fall to the division cellar.
It’s something we take for granted as NFL fans, but in other sports that type of competition just doesn’t exist. Sure, the Yankees may fall behind for a season, but their deep pockets will ensure long-term success, and when was the last time the Golden State Warriors were on top of the basketball world?
Still, even in the NFL, there are just some teams that can’t seem to get it right. Whether the cause is an over-involved owner or the decision makers just being cheap, there are a few teams in the league that no one goes to expecting to walk out with a Super Bowl ring. Those teams appear below:
St. Louis Rams
The Rams’ history has been very similar to other teams on this list, with the exception of a handful of great seasons with Kurt Warner at quarterback. Without Warner, the Rams would be viewed in the same way the Cardinals were before making their own Super Bowl run with, you guessed it, Kurt Warner at the helm.
Even with a new regime leading the way in St. Louis, the Rams still can’t get their act together. Their franchise quarterback is out for the year, and even when he’s healthy, Sam Bradford hardly plays like a first overall pick. Jeff Fisher was hired to be the team’s savior as their new-era head coach, but Fisher’s career mark is very mediocre. To this point, results haven’t matched expectations, and the Rams continue to be near the bottom of the league year after year.
It’s easy to forget how quickly the Jaguars made a splash after entering the NFL in the 1995 season. In just their second year, the Jaguars ran clear to the AFC championship game before being knocked off by the New England Patriots, and during the 1999 season, the Jags ripped off a 14-2 record, losing to the Titans just a game shy of the Super Bowl.
Those days are long behind the Jaguars, however. The team hasn’t appeared in the postseason since January of 2008, and the roster is in shambles. The Jaguars are being managed by a new owner, new GM and a new coach, meaning there is some hope for the future, but help is not on the way in the near future. Right now, the team is hoping to win just one game to avoid the fate of the 2008 Lions’ 0-16 run.
The Browns are the best at being the worst. Since 1990, the Browns have won just one playoff game in their two trips to the postseason, beating the Patriots 20 to 13 in the wild card round of the 1994 playoffs. Worse yet, the Browns have posted just three winning seasons since 1990, granted, the team didn’t exist for three season either.
The most baffling aspect to the Browns’ ill fortunes is the fact that the current Browns are a completely different organization than the pre-1995 Browns. As you probably recall, the pre-1995 franchise moved to Baltimore, becoming the Ravens, but the history of the team was left in Cleveland and resumed by the new Browns in the 1999 season. Strangely enough, the Ravens have won a pair of Super Bowls since leaving Cleveland, while the Browns’ most impressive achievement came against the Jaguars in a game where hundreds, if not thousands, of bottles were tossed on the field following a game-ending controversial call in an incident still known as “Bottlegate.”
Other notable lovable losers: Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings