Which NFL Teams Have Never Played In A Super Bowl?
For a football fan, seeing their team play in a Super Bowl is the biggest dream of all. However, not every fanbase in the league has experienced this feeling since the Super Bowl was created in 1966. Let’s find out which NFL franchises have never played in a Super Bowl!
Which NFL Teams Have Never Played In A Super Bowl Before?
- Cleveland Browns
- Detroit Lions
- Houston Texans
- Jacksonville Jaguars
Despite having won four NFL Championships before the league’s merger with the AFL in 1966, the Browns have never been able to make it to the Super Bowl. Since the start of the Super Bowl Era, the Browns have qualified for the playoffs only 14 times, and only twice since they resumed operations in 1998, after three years of inactivity.
The Browns played their best football in the late 1980s, when they earned five consecutive playoff berths from 1985 to 1989. During this run, Cleveland advanced to the AFC Championship Game three times, in 1986, 1987, and 1989, losing all three of them to the Denver Broncos.
The Detroit Lions share a similar history with the Cleveland Browns, as they won the NFL Championship four times, but they have never been able to reach the Super Bowl since it was created.
Since the start of the Super Bowl era, the Lions have had all-time great players such as Barry Sanders, Calvin Johnson, and Joe Schmidt on their squad, but they have only played in the postseason 12 times, with just one trip to the NFC Championship Game in 1991. Led by running back Barry Sanders, the second-seeded Lions crushed the Cowboys in the divisional round before suffering a 41-10 loss in the NFC Championship, missing out on what could have been their first-ever trip to the Super Bowl.
With only 21 seasons in the NFL, the Houston Texans are the youngest franchise in the league. Since they started operations in 2002, the Texans have never made it to the Super Bowl. They clinched six playoff berths, winning four out of 10 postseason games and advancing to the divisional round four times.
The Texans finished their first nine seasons with a losing record, missing out on the playoffs. However, once they drafted defensive end J.J. Watt in 2011, they became one of the toughest teams to face thanks to their defense, making it to the second round of the playoffs in 2011, 2012, and 2016, where they lost, respectively, to the Ravens and the Patriots. Houston went back to the divisional round in 2019, led by quarterback Deshaun Watson, but experienced a familiar heartbreak when they lost 51-31 to Kansas City.
The Houston Texans’ divisional rivals, the Jacksonville Jaguars, close off the list of NFL teams to have never played in the Super Bowl. Just like the Texans, the Jaguars are a young franchise, as they only started playing in the NFL in 1995.
After finishing their inaugural season with a losing record, the Jaguars reached the AFC Championship game in their second season, losing 20-6 to the Patriots. The team reached a second AFC Championship just three seasons later, in 1999, but lost to another of their division rivals, the Tennessee Titans. Following an unlikely run where they upset the Steelers in the divisional round, the Jaguars, led by six Pro Bowlers on their defense, reached another AFC Championship game in 2017, losing once again to the Patriots.
Which NFL teams have never appeared in the Super Bowl?
The Cleveland Browns, the Detroit Lions, the Houston Texans, and the Jacksonville Jaguars are the only four franchises in NFL history to have never made it to the Super Bowl. While the Browns, the Lions, and the Jaguars have all played in at least one conference championship game, the Texans have never even advanced to the AFC Championship game.