NFL Predictions: When the Ringless Will Finally Win Their First Super Bowls

Jeffrey Schmidt@JeffSchmidt9Correspondent IIISeptember 9, 2011

NFL Predictions: When the Ringless Will Finally Win Their First Super Bowls

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    There are 14 ringless teams in the NFL, of which four (Cleveland, Detroit, Jacksonville and Houston) have never even made it to the grandest stage.

    Ten teams have been a play or even a yard short from capturing their first title, and it makes one wonder when these teams will eventually get over the hump.

    Buffalo and Minnesota lead the pack with four Super Bowl appearances each, but neither team has anything to show for it. The New Orleans Saints were the latest ringless team to upend their curse if one wants to call it that, meaning any one of the next 14 teams has a reasonable chance.

    We can all agree to disagree, but here are my predictions of when each of the 14 "ringless" NFL teams will have a chance at their first Super Bowl victory.

So You're Saying There's a Chance!

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    These next four teams should have a chance at winning the Super Bowl in the next three years. 

Philadelphia Eagles

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    Two Super Bowl Appearances: 1981, 2005

    The Philadelphia Eagles have appeared in two Super Bowls during their history, with the latest in 2005 against the New England Patriots. The Eagles have labeled themselves as the "Dream Team" for the 2011 season, which means that expectations have risen to the next level. The Eagles seem to have their best team on paper in some time, which makes them a compelling favorite in the NFC.

    If the Michael Vick of 2010 shows up for the next six years, then the City of Brotherly Love should expect a title in the near future.

    Expect a Super Bowl trip in the next two years.

San Diego Chargers

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    One Super Bowl Appearance: 1995

    The San Diego Chargers play just well enough to get everyone in Southern California excited, then disappear when it counts. The 2009 campaign looked like the Chargers' best chance to head to the Super Bowl since their Super Bowl XXIX appearance, but they lost at home to the New York Jets.

    The Chargers enter the 2011 season on a high horse after yet another successful finish to the regular season and will look to start strongly. San Diego does have to travel to New York and Foxborough early in the 2011 season, but they stand a chance against the rest of the schedule. Look for San Diego to continue to make some noise as long as Philip Rivers is leading the charge.

    Expect a Super Bowl trip in the next three years.

Atlanta Falcons

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    One Super Bowl Appearance: 1998

    The Atlanta Falcons will try to build on their remarkable 2010 season, but the task will not be an easy one. The NFC South returns three 10-win teams from a year ago, which means the competition will be fierce once again.

    The Falcons offense added Julio Jones in the offseason which makes them much more dangerous, but the defense is still the weakness of this team. The Birds will be determined once again in 2011, but the city of Atlanta will have to wait a few more years for a beloved championship.

    Expect a Super Bowl trip in the next three years.

Houston Texans

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    No Super Bowl appearances

    The Houston Texans are close to becoming the kings of the AFC South. Peyton Manning and the Colts are old and brittle, and with improved defense the sky's the limit for this Houston franchise.

    The Texans are beginning to build a strong core, and their big three on offense are in the prime of their careers. Matt Schaub is my dark horse for the MVP this season, and he will have to sling it around more early in the season with Arian Foster being out. 

    Houston will win the South this season, but they are still a few years removed from making a Super Bowl run.

    Expect a Super Bowl trip in the next three years.

Yes? No? Maybe So?

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    These next six teams are a few players away from greatness, so a Super Bowl run is still four to seven years in the making.   

Detroit Lions

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    No Super Bowl appearances

    Yes, that is right, the lowly Detroit Lions will be competing for a Super Bowl in the next four years. The Lions are finally starting to piece the puzzle together, and they have put together one of the best young cores in the game.

    Detroit is still a year away from being playoff bound, but when this team is healthy, they are extremely dangerous.

    Matthew Stafford could be a top five quarterback in two years, especially if he still has Calvin Johnson catching passes. 

    Expect a Super Bowl trip in the next four years.

Minnesota Vikings

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    Four Super Bowl Appearances: 1970, 1974, 1975, 1977

    The Vikings have been one of the two lucky teams to lose four Super Bowls. Minnesota has not tasted the sweetness of a Super Bowl since 1977, and it appears they will not in the near future either.

    The Vikings have a solid core group of players, but they lost some key talent on the defensive line with Ray Edwards and run-stopping consigliere, Pat Williams.

    The Vikings possess the best running back in the game with Adrian Peterson, which gives them a chance to win week-in and week-out. Christian Ponder's development is the key to the fate of the Minnesota Vikings. Ponder has looked solid so far this preseason, but the Vikings know that it is too early to tell if he has the potential to be their franchise quarterback.

    Expect a Super Bowl trip in the next five years.

Tennessee Titans

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    One Super Bowl appearance: 1999

    The Tennessee Titans were one infamous yard away from winning their first Super Bowl back in 2000. Titans fans still have not gotten over it, but with this new group of core players, there is once again hope of a possible title for the Music City.

    The Titans believe they have their quarterback of the future in Jake Locker but do not expect him to take the field for another two years. The Titans locked up Chris Johnson long-term which was enormous for this franchise, but with the absence of other playmakers on offense, it is hard to see this team making a legitimate run anytime soon.

    Expect a Super Bowl trip in the next six years.



Cleveland Browns

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    No Super Bowl appearances

    The Browns and their fans have suffered through some of the most miserable years in NFL history. Cleveland was an excellent team before the Super Bowl era, but since that time they have never pieced together that magical season.

    The Browns look impressive so far this preseason, and it appears that they have their quarterback of the future in Colt McCoy. The Browns are still a long way away from even whispering about a Super Bowl, but with the additions of more weapons on offense, this team could be dangerous in the future.

    Expect a Super bowl run in the next six years.

Arizona Cardinals

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    One Super bowl appearance: 2009

    The Cardinals made one of the most unlikely Super Bowl runs we have ever seen, and they were only a few plays away from capturing their first title back in 2009. Arizona had some serious quarterback problems last season, but with the addition of Kevin Kolb, they're hoping that all changes.

    The main concern going into the future is the play of Kevin Kolb and the production that they receive from their running backs. The defense has a collection of veterans and up-and-coming stars, which means there's a bright future for this franchise.

    Expect a Super Bowl trip in the next six years.

Seattle Seahawks

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    One Super Bowl appearance: 2006

    The Seattle Seahawks were one of the best teams in the NFL from 2003-2007 and in 2006 appeared in their first Super Bowl.

    Mike Holmgren took the franchise to new heights over his tenure, but the Hawks are now past their glory days and have entered a phase of rebuilding for the future.

    The team is uncertain of who their starting quarterback will be in the near future because it seems that neither Tarvaris Jackson or Charlie Whitehurst have proven anything. Seattle has made some moves this offseason, but they play in a division where every other team is improving.

    The defense is led by second-year Pro Earl Thomas and linebacker Aaron Curry, and with this foundation, the future could be promising for the franchise. The Seahawks should be picking anywhere from five to 15th in next year's draft, so a franchise quarterback like Landry Jones could become available for them.

    Expect a Super Bowl trip in the next seven years.

Don't Hold Your Breath

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    The next four teams on the list have some glaring issues all over the field. The teams have had various coaching changes, questionable quarterback situations and poor track records, making it difficult to see any of them winning a Super Bowl during this decade.

Buffalo Bills

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    Four Super Bowl appearances: 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994

    The Buffalo Bills appeared in four straight Super Bowls in the early '90s and somehow lost them all. Buffalo had one of the NFL's best offenses during that time, led by franchise quarterback Jim Kelly.

    The Bills of today have a strong cast, but they are nowhere near the top teams in the AFC. The Bills need a ton of help on the offensive line, and they know that Ryan Fitzpatrick is not the long-term solution at quarterback. Buffalo hopes that C.J. Spiller will be their feature back, but he failed to prove anything during his rookie season. The Bills need a ton of help, which makes it difficult to see the franchise winning a Super Bowl anytime soon.

    Expect a Super Bowl trip in the next 8+ years.

Cincinnati Bengals

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    Two Super Bowl appearances: 1982, 1989

    The Bengals have appeared in two Super Bowls, but they were extremely unlucky to play against Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers in both contests.

    The 2011 Cincinnati Bengals had a rough offseason to say the least, and it was mostly in part due to Carson Palmer staying retired. The Bengals will now start rookie Andy Dalton at quarterback, a move they had not planned on doing.

    There is no doubt that the Bengals are going to struggle this season, and with a rookie quarterback, their future depends on where he takes them.

    Expect a Super Bowl trip in the next 8+ years.

Jacksonville Jaguars

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    No Super Bowl appearances

    The Jacksonville Jaguars made it to the AFC Championship in just their second year of existence, and it is still the closest they have gotten to tasting a Super Bowl.

    Jacksonville cut ties with their franchise quarterback David Garrard just a few days ago, meaning they will look to implement rookie Blaine Gabbert at some point during the season. The Jaguars failed to make any substantial offseason moves on offense, so expect Gabbert to struggle early with the lack of playmakers.

    It seems as if the Jaguars will cut ties with head coach Jack Del Rio after this season, making it difficult to believe that this franchise will return to promise anytime soon. 

    Expect a Super Bowl trip in the next 8+ years.

Carolina Panthers

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    One Super Bowl appearance: 2004

    The Carolina Panthers were a few minutes short of upsetting the New England Patriots in their first-ever Super Bowl. Carolina has had some notable seasons since then, but the team has failed to get back to the promised land.

    The 2011 Panthers drafted Cam Newton with the first overall pick, making him an enormous investment. The Panthers also brought in a new head coach in Ron Rivera during the offseason. Even with all the support that has been brought into Carolina, it is difficult to imagine this team upending any of the current NFC South teams anytime soon. All three of the teams in the NFC South are prominent and support young cores to assist them.

    The fate of the franchise will depend on how well and how quickly Cam Newton can make the transition from college to the pros.

    Expect a Super Bowl trip in the next 8+ years.