NFL Rankings: The 50 Best Teams Not To Win a Super Bowl
Through NFL history, we've had some of the greatest teams in history either not make it to the big game or lose in the Super Bowl.
Who are the teams, that you can think of, that had a great year but couldn't finish it off? Or were there any that didn't even make it to the playoffs that you think should be on this list?
That's what's great about having a debate on the subject. You can put a list of teams out there and you find out just how much the fans really know about the game. They teach you so many things that you didn't know before.
That's exactly the reason we're going to put a list of the best 50 teams to not win a Super Bowl. This isn't teams that have never won a Super Bowl in history because there aren't 50 teams in the NFL.
These are a list of teams that, during what looked to be a good year, just couldn't get it done, couldn't finish the job.
So, without further ado, here are my top 50 teams to not have won a Super Bowl during any respective year.
Ready to have a little fun? Let's get it..
Honorable Mention: 2003 Carolina Panthers
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Finished the season at 11-5 and advanced to the Super Bowl to take on the New England Patriots.
The Panthers stuck with them most of the way but the Patriots were too much, picking up their second Super Bowl championship in three years with a 32-29 win.
No. 50: 1982 Los Angeles Raiders
The 1982 season became a strike-shortened season which forced the NFL to bring in a 16-team playoff.
They had tremendous talent in guys like Marcus Allen and Howie Long.
The Los Angeles Raiders finished that season with an 8-1 record but were sent home in the second round of the playoffs thanks to a 17-14 defeat at the hands of the New York Jets.
No. 49: 1973 Los Angeles Rams
The Rams finished the 1973 regular season with a 12-2 record, with their only two losses coming at a combined three points against the Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons.
They wouldn't make it any further than the divisional round before getting knocked out by the Dallas Cowboys, 27-16.
No. 48: 1967 Dallas Cowboys
The 1967 Dallas Cowboys got all the way to the NFC title game before falling to the Green Bay Packers.
Some wonder, had the Cowboys won that game, if the name of the Super Bowl trophy might have been the Tom Landry trophy instead of the Vince Lombardi trophy.
No. 47: 2004 Philadelphia Eagles
After starting the season with just two wins in their first five games, the Eagles ran off nine straight wins and 10 of their last 11 games to finish the year at 12-4.
They would get through the divisional round with a 20-17 win over the Green Bay Packers but would fall short to the Carolina Panthers in the NFC title game.
No. 46: 1994 San Diego Chargers
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After a 6-0 start to the season, it looked like the San Diego Chargers were going to be a sinch to win the Super Bowl.
But, thanks to a 5-6 finish to the season, it might have taken a lot of their momentum away.
They would sneak away from the Dolphins in the divisional around with a one-point win and just get past the Steelers with a 21-17 win, becoming the 1994 AFC Champions.
The team they would face in the Super Bowl were the juggernaut San Francisco 49ers, a team that had already thumped the Chargers earlier in the year.
That thumping would take place one more time as the game wouldn't be close the entire way through, a 49-26 win for the 49ers.
No. 45: 2002 Oakland Raiders
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The Oakland Raiders' first Super Bowl appearance since 1983.
After an 11-5 finish to the year, the Raiders seem to breeze through the divisional round with a 30-10 win over the Jets as well as a 41-24 win over the Tennessee Titans to win the AFC championship.
But, come Super Bowl time, the Raiders found out that although they were blowing out teams, they were the ones getting blown out.
A 48-21 win by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was a game that was never that close.
No. 44: 1998 Atlanta Falcons
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The Atlanta Falcons were perhaps the most feared team in the NFL during the 1998 season. They had a running back who made the "dirty bird" famous after touchdowns and nearly lost their head coach, Dan Reeves, who had to undergo necessitating quadruple bypass surgery after multiple blockages were found in his arteries.
Despite all that, the Falcons finished the season with a 14-2 record, ranked fourth in the league in points (442), and points allowed (289).
They won a hard fought divisional playoff game against the San Francisco 49ers, 20-18, before knocking off the Minnesota Vikings, 30-27, in overtime to win the NFC Championship.
Despite how well they had played all season, the Falcons were overmatched by the Denver Broncos who handed Atlanta a 34-19 loss in the Super Bowl.
No. 43: 2006 Chicago Bears
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In 2006, the city of Chicago finally had something to cheer for. After suffering for a long time with the Chicago Cubs, the Bears were having a dream season and it looked like they may just pull of a run to the Super Bowl.
After a 13-3 finish to the season, they would earn a hard fought win over the Seattle Seahawks before blowing out the New Orleans Saints, 39-14.
Unfortunately for Chicago, that's where their dream season would end as they would get upended by the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl, 29-17.
No. 42: 1979 San Diego Chargers
For the first time in 14 years, the San Diego Chargers had made it to the playoffs after a 12-4 finish to the regular season.
This was the best Chargers' team in the franchise's history, but the team that looked about as good as it should be, met the Houston Oilers and didn't survive it, 27-14.
No. 41: 1999 Tennessee Titans
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1999 was the first season the Tennessee Titans were going under a new name, having been moved from Houston during the offseason.
But who would have thought their first season in their new city would go so well?
The Titans finished the regular season with a 13-3 record, winning seven of their last eight games going into the playoffs, where the nickname "The Music City Miracle." would take place.
The Bills had taken a one point lead and it looked like it would stick unless the Titans returned the ensuing kickoff four a touchdown.
What happened next was something that would be debated for months and years to come. The kickoff was fielded and what looked to be a forward pass was made but the review was inconclusive. The kickoff was returned all the way for a touchdown to give the Titans one of the most amazing wins in NFL history.
They would go on to defeat the Indianapolis Colts in the divisional round before taking down the Jacksonville Jaguars in convincing fashion, 33-14.
The Titans would again be a part of another famous play called "The Tackle." It was the moment the Titans were stopped a yard short by the St. Louis Rams on what would have been the game-winning play. But the game ended and the Rams were victorious.
No. 40: 1980 Philadelphia Eagles
Despite losing three of their final four games of the season, the Philadelphia Eagles didn't let that stop their momentum, and the fact that they were a good football team, and went into the playoffs ready to take on all comers.
They got through the divisional round with ease, a 31-16 win over the Minnesota Vikings before winning the NFC title game 20-7 over the Dallas Cowboys.
It was on to the Super Bowl to face an Oakland Raiders team they had beaten, 10-7, earlier in the season.
However, the Raiders were not to be denied on this day and walked over the Eagles with a 27-10 win in the Super Bowl.
No. 39: 1988 Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills were one of the hottest teams in the NFL heading toward the end of the regular season, winning 11 of their first 12 games.
However, that hot streak would stop as they would lose three of their final four games of the season.
They got through the divisional round with a 17-10 win over the Houston Oilers. However, they ran into a hot Cincinnati Bengals team and dropped a 21-10 decision in the AFC title game.
No. 38: 2004 Pittsburgh Steelers
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A 15-1 finish to the regular season would make anyone stand up and take notice and that's exactly what the 2004 Pittsburgh Steelers did, winning 14 straight to close out the regular season.
They had to fight hard to pick up a 20-17 win over the New York Jets but, though they thought they were the best team around, met an even better team in the AFC title game.
The New England Patriots handed the Steelers a 41-27 lopsided loss and headed off to the Super Bowl.
A 15-win season goes all for not.
No. 37: 2009 Indianapolis Colts
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The Colts were unbeaten and, like the media tends to do, they started calling the Miami Dolphins team that finished undefeated and won the Super Bowl to see how this team stacks up to their team.
However, the Colts season didn't finish the way they wanted as they would go all the way to the Super Bowl just to lose to the New Orleans Saints.
No. 36: 1984 Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins came out of the chute as the hottest team in the NFL, winning their first 11 games of the season under quarterback Dan Marino who threw for 5,084 yards and 48 touchdowns that season
They would finish the regular season with a 14-2 record and would make the divisional and AFC championships look easy with a 31-10 win over the Seattle Seahawks and a 45-28 win over the Steelers.
However, Marino and the Dolphins would run into Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers and found out that they were the better team, losing 38-16 in the Super Bowl.
No. 35: 1978 Dallas Cowboys
The 1978 Dallas Cowboys were led by arguably the best quarterback in team history in Roger Staubach as well as running back Tony Dorsett.
The two would lead the Cowboys to a 12-4 finish to the regular season and would take down the Atlanta Falcons 27-20 in the divisional round.
It was prior to the NFC title game against the Los Angeles Rams that the Cowboys' arrogance began. Linebacker Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson told the media that the Rams "had no class" and predicted his team would "shut them out."
They did just that, jumping all over Los Angeles by a final to 28-0, advancing to the Super Bowl to face the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The two teams combined to have some of the best talent on one field that the NFL had ever seen, and the Cowboys had believed their hype. Henderson again started talking before the game and said Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw "couldn't spell cat if you spotted him the a and the c."
The Steelers, however, would have the last laugh, taking down the Cowboys 35-31 to win the Super Bowl.
No. 34: 2008 New York Giants
The 2008 New York Giants began the season winning 11 of their first 12 games but seem to lose a ton of momentum after losing three of their final four games of the regular season.
Still, the Giants were the defending champions and were still a dangerous team heading into the playoffs, especially facing the Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional round, a team that finished the season 9-6 and a team they had split the season series with.
The game was back and forth through three quarters with the Eagles leading 13-11. However, the Eagles put the Giants away thanks to a touchdown pass from Donovan McNabb and a David Akers field goal, sending the Giants home and assuring there would be no repeat.
No. 33: 2005 Denver Broncos
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The 2005 season for the Denver Broncos was a season of firsts for the team.
It was the first time the team had won that many games (13) in quite some time and their divisional playoff win over the New England Patriots, 27-13, was their first playoff win since their Super Bowl victory in 1998.
However, that's where things came crashing down.
Four turnovers doomed the Broncos against the Steelers in the AFC title game. They fell behind 24-3 at the half and were never able to recover, suffering a 34-17 loss to the eventual Super Bowl Champions.
No. 32: 1991 Buffalo Bills
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The late 1980s and early 1990s were years the Buffalo Bills would rather forget. It's why, when I think of the phrase, "just happy to be here," I think of the Bills.
The 1991 team had a colletion of talent like quarterback Jimy Kelly, running back Thurman Thomas, and wide receivers Andre Reed, James Lofton, and Don Beebe.
The Bills would finish the regular season with a 13-3 record, their offense dominating the NFL with their no-huddle offense putting up an NFL leading 6,525 yards and scoring 458 points.
They took a 17-0 first half lead over the Kansas City Chiefs and rode that to an eventual 37-14 win in the divisional round of the playoffs.
The AFC title game would be an even bigger challenge against the Denver Broncos, a game that would stay scoreless through the first half before the Bills did just enough to pull out a 10-7 win.
After celebrating the AFC Championship, they were set the face the Washington Redskins in the Super Bowl. Their high octane offense had gone dormant in the AFC title game and would remain that way in this one.
The Redskins took a 24-0 lead over the shell shocked Bills and left them wondering what happened. They would eventually fight their way back but five turnovers, including four interceptions, by Kelly would doom the team and would eventually fall 37-24 to the Super Bowl champion Redskins.
No. 31: 2000 Oakland Raiders
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The Oakland Raiders returned to the playoffs for the first time since the 1993 season, back when the Raiders will still in Los Angeles.
They got off to a good start to the season, winning 10 of their first 12 games before splitting the final four games going in to the playoffs.
The Raiders would dominate the Miami Dolphins in the divisional around, coming up with a 27-0 blowout win.
However, they met up with a defensive minded Baltimore Ravens squad that held the Raiders to just three points, taking the AFC title 16-3 over Oakland.
No. 30: 1987 Chicago Bears
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The 1987 season was one that was known more for the four-week long strike that took place in the NFL that year.
That strike not only divided fans and players alike, but it also tore apart the Chicago Bears at the seems.
When the strike occured, the "scabs" were brought in and Mike Ditka, head coach at the time, called these players his "real players," angering the players that were out on strike.
After four weeks, the strike came to an end and the players returned to their respective teams.
The Bears didn't get off to a good start in their first game back to work, falling behind 20-0 but would come up with a 27-6 run to pull off a come from behind 27-26 win over Tampa Bay.
However, the Bears ended up limping into the playoffs after losing two of their last three regular season games including a 41-0 drubbing at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers.
That limp turned out to be worse than they realized as they would be knocked out of the playoffs in the divisional round thanks to a 21-17 loss to the Washington Redskins.
No. 29: 2002 Philadelphia Eagles
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After an 11-5 season in 2001, the Eagles improved upon that record and finished the 2002 regular season with a 12-4 record, making the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
They didn't have a problem with the Atlanta Falcons in the divisional round, a 20-6 win that sent them to the NFC title game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
After a quick touchdown, the Eagles look like they were set to cruise to an easy win. The crowd was into it and the touchdown came way too easy.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, they would score just three more points the rest of the way and would suffer a 27-10 loss in the NFC title game, sending them home to watch the Super Bowl. A game the Bucs went on to win easily over the Oakland Raiders.
No. 28: 1974 Los Angeles Rams
After coming up short during the 1973 season, losing in the divisional round of the playoffs after a 12-2 finish to their regular season, the Rams wanted another shot.
They finished with two fewer wins (10) than they had the previous season but were back in the playoffs for another shot at going to the Super Bowl.
The Washington Redskins were first to be crossed off their list, a 19-10 win in the divisional round sent them one round further than the previous season.
But, that's as far as this Rams' squad would go, getting knocked off 14-10 by the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC title game.
No. 27: 1981 Cincinnati Bengals
The 1981 season was the 12th season as a member of the National Football League and the very first season in the brand new uniforms.
They would finish the regular season with a 12-4 record led by quarterback Ken Anderson who would lead the NFL with a 98.5 passer rating.
They won a hard fought divisional round playoff game against Buffalo Bills, 28-21, sending them to the AFC title game against the San Diego Chargers.
The game would be played in conditions that I'm surprised any human would play in. The two teams played at Riverfront Stadium at temperatures that had dropped to nine below zero with a wind chill that dropped the temperature even further, minus 59.
Despite the temparatures, the Bengals would defeat San Diego 27-7 for the right to take on the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl.
The Bengals were outmatched, falling behind 20-0 at the half and despite a 21-point second half, would fall to the 49ers 26-21.
No. 26: 1986 Cleveland Browns
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The 1986 Cleveland Browns were coming off the biggest playoff collapse and a loss to the Miami Dolphins in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Needless to say, they wanted another shot to prove that it was nothing but a fluke.
After a 12-4 finish to the regular season and another playoff birth, the Browns took care of the New York Jets in the divisional round, 23-20.
Howevever, they ran into the Denver Broncos in the AFC title game and came up short for the second straight season, a 23-20 loss.
No. 25: 2004 San Diego Chargers
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The only direction the San Diego Chargers could go is up after a 4-12 finish to their 2003 season.
They did make a huge turnaround behind running back LaDainian Tomlinson and quarterback Drew Brees, finishing the regular season with 12-4 record and a birth into the playoffs.
The Chargers were supposed to be that up and coming team with talent that could get them deep into the playoffs. Unfortunately, that up and coming team suffered a disappointing 20-17 overtime loss to the New York Jets
No. 24: 1999 Jacksonville Jaguars
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Normally, you don't expect a franchise to succeed after just five years in the league, especially not the way the Jacksonville Jaguars did in 1999.
The Jaguars hired former Carolina Panthers head coach Dom Capers as their defensive coordinator. Under Capers, the Jags went from 25th to fourth defensively, giving up an average of just 13.6 points per game. A big reason for their success.
They finished the regular season with a 14-2 record, both of those losses coming at the hands of the Tennessee Titans, the same team that would eventually knock the Jags out of the playoffs in the AFC title game.
The team's 14 wins that season still stands as the most wins in franchise history.
No. 23: 1993 San Francisco 49ers
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The 1993 San Francisco 49ers were perhaps the best 10-6 team in NFL history. With Steve Young at the helm and Jerry Rice at wide receiver, they were dangerous no matter what the record.
They proved their point in the divisional round against the New York Giants, handing them a 44-3 beatdown before moving on to the NFC title game for the second straight year and third time in four years.
They would face their rival, the Dallas Cowboys. These two had epic showdowns both in the playoffs and during the regular season during the 1990s.
The 49ers would win a few, as would the Cowboys. The 1993 NFC title game, however, would go to the Cowboys, 38-21.
No. 22: 1997 Green Bay Packers
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The 1997 Green Bay Packers were coming off a Super Bowl championship the previous year and looked prime to repeat with a young Brett Favre at the helm.
After a 13-3 finish to the season, the Packers headed into the playoffs with every intention of repeating as champions.
They would defeat Tampa Bay, 21-7, in the divisional round before knocking off the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game, 23-10.
The Super Bowl would come down to Favre and the Packers against John Elway and the Denver Broncos. A championship game for the ages.
On this night, it was Elway who would prevail, taking a 31-24 win over the Packers.
No. 21: 2009 Minnesota Vikings
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Coming off a 10-6 season in 2008, the Minnesota Vikings improved up on that, finishing the 2009 regular season with a 12-4 record. It could have been better than that if they hadn't lost three of their final five games.
They went in to the divisional round of the playoffs with a home game against the Dallas Cowboys. It wasn't expected to go the way it did, but the Vikings handed the Cowboys a 34-3 throttling. A good sign heading to the NFC title game against the New Orleans Saints.
The game went back and forth for most of the way. The two teams were tied at 14-14 after one half of play and were tied late in the fourth quarter as Minnesota was driving for what looked like the potential game-winning field goal.
After being flagged for too many men on the field, Brett Favre took the very next snap, rolled right, and threw the ugliest pass you'll ever see him throw. It was intercepted by the Saints and the game went into overtime.
New Orleans would eventually kick the game-winning field goal in overtime, sending the Vikings home to ponder, what might have been.
No. 20: 1981 Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys, coming off a loss in the NFC title game, wanted another shot at it.
They finished with exactly the same regular season record as the year before, 12-4, and once again advanced to the NFC title game after a 38-0 whipping of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
What they hoped would be a different season, ended exactly the way the previous season did. With a loss in the conference championship game, this time to the San Francisco 49ers, 28-27.
No. 19: 2007 Green Bay Packers
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The 2007 season for the Green Bay Packers might as well be called, "the season of losses."
While they did finish with an impressive 13-3 regular season record and dispatched of the Seattle Seahawks, 42-20 in the division round of the playoffs, the NFC title would allude them.
The Packers would end up on the wrong side of a 23-20 overtime loss to the New York Giants.
To add insult to injury, the 2007 season marked the last for Brett Favre as a Green Bay Packer.
No. 18: 1996 Denver Broncos
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Quarterback John Elway, running back Terrell Davis, tight end Shannon Sharpe, and linebacker Bill Romanowski.
Those names along would make you wonder how the Broncos ever finished their 1996 season the way they did.
After a 13-3 regular season, the Denver Broncos would head into the divisional round of the playoffs against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Unfortunately, it was not meant to be for Elway and company, dropping a 30-27 decision to the Jaguars.
No. 17: 1981 Miami Dolphins
Head coach Don Shula and quarterback David Woodley led the 1981 Miami Dolphins to an 11-4-1 regular season record. Yes, that's right, there was actually a tie, which came in Week 5 against the New York Jets.
They would go into the divisional round of the playoffs against the San Diego Chargers but would suffer a 41-38 defeat, sending them home for the remainder of the season.
No. 16: 1987 San Francisco 49ers
The 1987 season looked like a promising one for the San Francisco 49ers. They had all the talent in the world and they had just made a trade to bring in a backup quarterback by the name of Steve Young back in April.
The 49ers finished the regular season with a 13-2 record and looked like a shoe-in to not only get to the Super Bowl, but win it.
Unfortunately for them, the Minnesota Vikings had other plans as they bounced the Bay Area kids 36-24 at Candlestick Park.
No. 15: 2005 Indianapolis Colts
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After a 12-4 season, the Indianapolis Colts came out of the gate in 2005 firing on all cylinders.
They would win their first 13 straight and looked like the team to beat in the NFL. But, we always talk about momentum and the Colts seem to take their foot off the gas at the end of the season, losing two of their last three games of the season to finish the regular season, 14-2.
But, the season wasn't without tragedy. The son of head coach, Tony Dungy, was found unresponsive in his apartment by his girlfriend. The paramedics took him to University Community Hospital wheer he was pronounced dead of what the medical examiner called an apparent suicide.
With heavy hearts, the Colts headed into their divisional round of the playoffs against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Unfortunately, the Colts were beaten by the eventual Super Bowl Champion Steelers, 21-18.
No. 14: 2006 San Diego Chargers
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The 2006 San Diego Chargers, once again, had the talent and the ability to go deep into the playoffs. In fact, the city of San Diego was buzzing about what this team could possibly be capable of.
With Philip Rivers under center and running back LaDainian Tomlinson a threat to do whatever he wanted to do with the ball, there was no question the Chargers had what it took to do some damage come playoff time.
They proved how good they were during the regular season, finishing at 14-2 and ready for whatever came their way in the playoffs.
However, the Chargers began to believe their own hype and paid the price for it as they were bounced from the playoffs in the divisional round against the New England Patriots.
Another disappointing season from an all too talented team.
No. 13: 1974 Oakland Raiders
This was one of the best Oakland Raiders team in quite some time and after a 12-2 finish to the regular season, head coach John Madden, yes that John Madden, looked prime to take this team all the way to the Super Bowl.
They were playing host to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were 10-3 in the regular season, at Oakland Coliseum, a matchup for the ages.
Unfortunately for Oakland, what it didn't realize is it was meeting up with the eventual Super Bowl champions.
The Steelers bounced Oakland from the playoffs in the divisional round with a 24-13 win.
No. 12: 2006 Baltimore Ravens
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Anything had to be better than the Baltimore Ravens finishing the 2005 season with a 6-10 record.
They Ravens were much improved the following season by a large margin, finishing the 2006 regular season with a 13-3 record and a first round playoff bye before they would meet up with the Indianapolis Colts in the divisional round.
The Colts knew what it felt like to get bounced out of the divisional round of the playoffs, exiting exactly that way the previous year.
The two teams met in Baltimore but the Colts were the better team on this day, sending the Ravens home with a 15-6 win.
No. 11: 1986 Chicago Bears
The 1986 season was the first season that the NFL adopted a limited use of instant replay. Something that has gone from limited to just about every play.
The Chicago Bears finished the regular season tied with the New York Giants for the best record in the NFL (14-2) and they wrapped up their third consecutive NFC Central title.
After losing Jim McMahon for the season, the Bears really didn't have a quarterback who really made an impact on the field so running back Walter Payton had to be their lone threat.
Aside for Payton, the Bears' defense was the majority of the reason the team was playing so well.
In the divisional round of the playoffs, trailing 14-13 late in the fourth quarter, Walter Payton would cough up what would turn out to be the decising turnover. It allowed the Redskins to go on an 83-yard scoring drive that put the game on ice.
No. 10: 1967 Oakland Raiders
This was a season of firsts for the Oakland Raiders.
They would win their first Western Division Championship following a 13-1 season and followed that up by taking the AFL title with a 40-7 win over the Houston Oilers.
Unfortunately, their luck would run out against the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl II, losing 33-14.
No. 9: 1983 Washington Redskins
The 1983 Washington Redskins, under head coach Joe Gibbs, were trying to win back-to-back Super Bowl Championships and were well on their way to doing just that.
The Redskins finished the regular season with a 14-2 record and won their last nine straight games leading into the playoffs.
In the divisional round, the Redskins put a beat down on the Los Angeles Rams 51-7, their offense doing everything it wanted to do with little to no resistance.
Up next, in the conference championship game, it was Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers. The Redskins would come out on top in this one as well, 24-21, sending them back to the Super Bowl to go for their second straight championship.
Unfortunately for the Redskins, they ran into a buzzsaw of a team in the Los Angeles Raiders, who pushed the Redskins around to the tune of a 38-9 blowout win.
No. 8: 1992 San Francisco 49ers
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The 1992 season for the San Francisco 49ers not only ended with disappointment, but it would mark the final season for quarterback Joe Montana and the beginning of the Steve Young era.
After finishing the regular season with a 14-2 record, including wins in their final eight games, the 49ers headed into their divisional playoff round against the Washington Redskins without their long time quarterback.
Montana's final game would be their Monday night game against the Detroit Lions on December 28, 1992.
Steve Young would lead the team past the Redskins 20-13, but they would fall in the NFC title game to the Dallas Cowboys, 30-20.
No. 7: 1990 Buffalo Bills
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After a 9-7 finish to the 1989 season and a loss in the divisional round of the playoffs, the 1990 team wanted to improve upon that record.
They do so in a big way, finishing the regular season with a 13-3 record including being unbeaten at home (8-0).
The Bills would take down the Miami Dolphins 44-34 in the divisional round of the playoffs before putting a beat down on the Oakland Raiders, 51-3, to win the AFC Championship and earn the right to face the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl that year never got out of hand but the Giants set a Super Bowl record for time of possession of 40 minutes and 33 seconds, winding the Bills' defense.
Buffalo had a chance to win their first Super Bowl in franchise history on their final drive. Trailing 20-19, quarterback Jim Kelly drove the offense to within field goal range, giving Scott Norwood a shot at the game winner.
His field goal sailed just wide to the right, giving the game, and the Super Bowl, to the New York Giants.
No. 6: 2001 St. Louis Rams
The 2001 St. Louis Rams were led by a guy who had already won an NFL MVP award, quarterback Kurt Warner.
The Rams were starting to become known as "the best show on turf."
They would finish the regular season with a 14-2 record including eight wins in their final nine games.
The Rams would head to the divisional round of the playoffs against the Green Bay Packers. They would force quarterback Brett Favre into a record six interceptions, forcing the Packers into eight total turnovers, knocking them out of the playoffs with a lopsided 45-17 win.
Their NFC title game, however, would be a little more interesting.
The Rams trailed the Philadelphia Eagles 17-13 at the half. They would take that lead back with a nine-point third quarter and eventually put the game away thanks to a Marshall Faulk touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Though the Eagles had their own comeback attempt, it was squandered with less than two minutes to go, giving the Rams the NFC Championship and a birth in the Super Bowl.
While it had been Super Bowl tradition to introduce each player by name, the New England Patriots decided to be introduced as a team, setting the tone right off the bat.
Although the Rams were putting up yards in chunks and eventually outgained the Patriots by a large margin by the time the game was over, it was New England who held a 17-3 lead after three quarters.
The Rams would come firing back in the fourth quarter, eventually tying the game up at 17-17 with one minute and 41 seconds to go in the game.
While most thought the Patriots should run out the clock and go into overtime, quarterback Tom Brady had other ideas, driving his team down the field and setting up kicker Adam Vinatieri for a shot at the game winning field goal.
His kick was true and right down the middle. Giving New England a 20-17 win and the Super Bowl trophy.
No. 5: 1969 Minnesota Vikings
The 1969 season marked the last season of the NFL/AFL before the two leagues would merge to become one.
The Minnesota Vikings would win the Central Division title and finished the regular season with a 12-2 record.
They would sneak away from the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round, 23-20, before dominating the Cleveland Browns 27-7 to win what was the final NFL Championship.
However, the Super Bowl would be a different story. The Vikings would take on AFL Champion Kansas City Chiefs but were beaten by the better team, 23-7.
No. 4: 1968 Baltimore Colts
The 1968 Baltimore Colts, led by quarterback Johnny Unitas, finished the season with a 13-1 record, their lone loss coming against the Cleveland Browns in a 30-20 defeat.
They would get through the first two rounds of the playoffs with wins over the Minnesota Vikings, as well as the same Browns team that had beaten them earlier in the season.
They were the favorites to win the Super Bowl over the heavy underdog New York Jets led by quarterback Joe Namath.
However, the underdogs became the wonderdogs as the Jets beat the Colts 16-7 to win Super Bowl III.
It should be noted that the Colts played without Unitas due to injury, instead having backup Earl Morral for Super Bowl III.
No. 3: 1998 Minnesota Vikings
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The 1998 Minnesota Vikings had some of the best talent in the league.
Quarterback Randall Cunningham, running back Robert Smith, veteran wide receiver Cris Carter, and incoming rookie Randy Moss. They were explosive to say the least.
They proved as much with a 15-1 regular season including eight straight wins to close things out. Their only loss came in week eight against Tampa Bay, a three-point 27-24 loss.
They took down the Arizona Cardinals in the divisional round of the playoffs, 41-21, but ran into the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC title game. A Falcons team that boasted running back Jamal Anderson and quarterback Chris Chandler.
The Vikings had the talent, but couldn't get past the Falcons, falling 30-27 in overtime.
No. 2: 1990 San Francisco 49ers
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The San Francisco 49ers had just finished back-to-back Super Bowl titles and were favored to win their third straight during the 1990 season.
Having Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Roger Craig on the offense side, and hard-hitting linebacker Ronnie Lott on the defensive side, the 49ers were a team to be reckoned with but they had the New York Giants to deal with.
They had 14 wins during the regular season and a fairly easy win over the Washington Redskins in the divisional round, but had one last hurdle to jump through, the New York Giants.
The two best teams in the league were matching up for the NFC title game, but the 49ers' big for a third straight Super Bowl title came to an end thanks to a 15-13 defeat at the hands of the Giants.
No. 1: 2007 New England Patriots
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After losing to the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC title game the year before, the New England Patriots wanted something more. They got this close, but couldn't get the job done.
They proved to the entire league that they were a better team than the year before, finishing the regular season unbeaten, 16-0.
They were the favorites to win the Super Bowl, they were the team to beat.
They got past the divisional round against the Jacksonville Jaguars and followed that with a win in the AFC title game over the San Diego Chargers.
The Patriots and the New York Gaints went back and fourth in the Super Bowl with the Patriots leading the game late in the fourth quarter. But, New York came battling back and would take the lead thanks to a pass from Eli Manning that needed an amazing catch from Plaxico Burress to get the touchdown.
The Patriots season came to disappointing end and it was capped off by head coach Bill Belichick walking off the field and into the locker room with one second left in the game.
A move that was heavily criticized in the media for weeks to come.