Looks like a case of the same old teams winning the same old championships.
Truth be told that even in this age of parity -- and we're keeping this discussion to the Super Bowl era --of the 32 current franchises in the National Football League, only slightly more than half (18) have won at least one Super Bowl.
That means there's still 14 clubs that haven't prevailed in the big game to date.
Of course, you have to be in it to win it and in the case of the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars, we're still waiting for these franchises to make their first Super Bowl appearance.
But there's the Arizona Cardinals (0-1), Atlanta Falcons (0-1), Buffalo Bills (0-4), Carolina Panthers (0-1), Cincinnati Bengals (0-2), Minnesota Vikings (0-4), Philadelphia Eagles (0-2), San Diego Chargers (0-1), Seattle Seahawks (0-1) and Tennessee Titans (0-1). Those clubs have combined for 18 Super Bowl appearances without a single win.
Starting in 1997 we saw a run of teams without Lombardi Trophies finally get theirs. That was the front end of the back-to-back Super Bowl wins by the Denver Broncos, who had been 0-4 on Super Sunday before capturing XXXII and XXXIII. Those titles were followed the next four seasons by first-time Super Bowl winners in the Rams (XXIV), Ravens (XXXV), Patriots (XXXVI) and Buccaneers (XXXVII).
But since Tampa Bay's win over the Raiders in San Diego, the only first-time winner in the last 10 Super Bowls has been the New Orleans Saints (XLIV). Meanwhile the Patriots, Steelers and Giants have all added two more championships, the Colts, Packers and Ravens one.
So who are the most likely candidates these days to win that first Super Bowl title? Well, the Falcons were in the NFC title game last year and have been the conference's top seed two of the last three seasons. The Bengals have been in the playoffs three of the last four years and the Texans have won two straight AFC South titles. The Seahawks look like a team on the rise and they and the Vikings were both in the postseason in 2012. As for other nine clubs, getting back to the playoffs is the first step.
Who will be the first of those 14 franchises to win that first Super Bowl title? To the surprise of some, there are more candidates for the job than expected.
Russell S. Baxter has spent the last 40-plus years watching football. A former NFL research coordinator for ESPN, he is the founder of ProFootballGuru.com, writes for numerous websites and publications across the country and was blessed with an encyclopedic memory. Follow him on Twitter at @BaxFootballGuru.
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