When it comes to winning championship titles, the winds of change are in the air. In 2016, the Chicago Cubs broke an unprecedented 107-year dry spell. The Cleveland Cavaliers broke through that same year, in an unlikely blow-up of the Golden State Warriors. Not long after that, the Philadelphia Eagles captured their first Super Bowl victory, to the delight of their die-hard fans.
In 2019 alone, the St. Louis Blues brought home their very first Stanley Cup. The Toronto Raptors also took on their first NBA Finals title in franchise history, which may prove to be the definitive blow against years of Warriors’ dominance.
In the NFL, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots aren’t done contending just yet, but no dynasty lasts forever. There are several NFL franchises with fans wishing for them to bring the Lombardi Trophy to their city. Let’s take a look at five title-free NFL teams from least to most likely end the 2019-20 season with a Super Bowl victory.
The slow-building buzz surrounding the Titans is finally coming to a crescendo. While 2019-20 is unlikely to be the season where they finally make it happen, the pieces set in motion over the last few years are locking into place.
Head coach Mike Vrabel brings Super Bowl-winning DNA to the squad. Defensively, the 2018-19 team was already at elite levels that were unfortunately dragged down by a limp offense. And if Marcus Mariota comes back from his injury season strong, as is expected, the Titans could perform well beyond expectations.
Before continuing, let’s all take a quick moment of silence for the team that blew a 28-3 lead in the third quarter of the previous Super Bowl.
Done? Good, let’s get back to business.
The Falcons are undeniably watching their window rapidly close as Matt Ryan ages and multiple years of contention were largely wasted due to an injury-plagued roster of defensive starters. That doesn’t take them out of contention for the upcoming season, where a healthier version of this team could shine just a little bit longer and potentially return to the biggest stage in American sports.
With the scariest wide receiver duo in the NFL on their side, maybe it’s not time to write them off just yet.
The Vikings are basically the Chicago Cubs of football: a team with a long history of great players, memorable moments, and a lot of failures.
Their fifth chance at the Super Bowl will be the one that finally breaks the narrative. Will it happen this year?
Swapping Case Keenum for Kirk Cousins at quarterback didn’t pay off particularly well last season; there is simply no way around the decline from 13 wins to a dismal 8. Longtime football fans know that the learning curve for this position is shaped something like a cliff, though. This is the season where Vikings fans get to see if their new QB learned anything from the previous disaster.
Like the Vikings, the Browns are marked by failure. The main difference is, they don’t have nearly as much success. Unlike the other teams on our list, Cleveland has never played in a Super Bowl.
Last year’s major shot in the arm that goes by the name of Baker Mayfield could change that. The quarterback brought a renewed energy to a team desperate for just a single win, leading to one of the best ongoing narratives in sports right now. They have already developed into a strong team so quickly that they’re a common pick for winning the AFC North.
GM John Dorsey is making the moves to give Mayfield the offensive support he needs to truly transform the Browns, including WR Odell Beckham, Jr. This is a team looking to utterly transform itself from losing seasons to playoff contention.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers under veteran QB Philip Rivers have that abstract “it” factor that allows them to take opponents off-guard and create opportunities where there shouldn’t be any.
The key issue to cope with is time. Rivers’ elite skills can only hold out so long before age becomes a factor.
With Joey Bosa looking to return healthy alongside first-round pick Jerry Tillery, their defensive woes may finally be shored up just enough to get the former San Diego squad in fighting shape for a deep postseason run. Of all the teams mentioned here, the Chargers have the perfect balance of experience and raw athleticism from younger players that could potentially be the recipe for taking home the Lombardi Trophy.