So far, 56 Super Bowl trophies have been won by the NFL teams. About one-third of these teams are yet to win this trophy, not because they are incompetent or lack skills but because of some unexpected circumstances.
The Superbowl trophy, popularly known as the “Vince Lombardi Trophy,” is awarded every year to the winning team of the NFL Championship game known as the Superbowl. Vince Lombardi, an NFL coach who guided the Green Bay Packers to their first and second Super Bowl appearances, was honored with the award’s naming. The first trophy was awarded to the Green Bay Packers in 1967 after they beat Kansas City in the first Super Bowl.
A new trophy is cast every year, and the winners get to keep it. The winning team takes the trophy home and has permanent possession of it.
Twelve teams have never won the Super Bowl, and four of them have never even made an appearance in the event. That includes the Bengals, who are eager to end this year’s postseason failure. Many of them have come close to winning but have not been successful. For a team to win the trophy, they must compete in the Super Bowl and win the game. Although there has not been any team to win the Super Bowl three times in a row, individually, Tom Brady has won seven trophies in his time as an NFL player.
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Which teams have never won the Vince Lombardi Trophy?
- Cleveland Brown
When the team played as the Baltimore Ravens in Cleveland, they won the Super Bowl a couple of times. But the Browns were never successful in getting to play in the Super Bowl, as they did not get qualified to play in the finals. The franchise has been noted to lack stability when it comes to maintaining a coach, and it has affected them in many games. From the year 2003 to 2019, they had a 17-season playoff drought.
- Detroit Lions
Before the Super Bowl competition came into existence, the team won four NFL Championship Games between the years 1935 and 1957. Since the existence of the Super Bowl, the team has become less and less active, and it has had the longest season drought in the history of NFL franchises. They are the only team operating throughout the length of the Super Bowl era to have never made it and the only NFC team. They share the distinction of never having made it with the Cleveland Browns and others.
- Houston Texans
The Texans have not been able to make an appearance in the Super Bowl competition, let alone win the trophy. Along with being the only club to have never participated in a conference title game, they are the only ones to have never won a postseason game on the road. It’s been 20 years now that the team has been able to prove its strength after it began playing as an expansion team in 2002.
- Jacksonville Jaguars
Although the team has been close to playing in Super Bowl games a couple of times, it has not been successful. They are the youngest NFL expansion team to play in the conference championship. They came close to winning the AFL championship in 2017 but couldn’t succeed.
Now, here are the teams that have played in the Super Bowl but have never won the Vince Lombardi Cup:
- Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings had their chance to win the Super Bowl in 1988-1989 but lost in the playoffs. They have not been able to play in the Super Bowl since then. Just last year, they were the best team in the NFC but couldn’t make enough shots to get into the finals.
- Buffalo Bills
The Bills had four attempts to win the Super Bowl but lost it. They made it to the Super Bowl in 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1993 but still could not win the trophy.
- Cincinnati Bengals
The team had their chances in 1981, 1988, and recently last year, 2021, when they lost to the Los Angeles Rams.
- Los Angeles Chargers
They had their chances in the 1994 season but were defeated by the 49ers in the Super Bowl.
- Tennessee Titans
The Tennessee Titans came within a yard, possibly less, if you want to talk about the teams that have come the closest to erasing their name from this list. In the 1999 season, the team would have had a tie in the game but unfortunately lost the game.
- Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals played in the 2008-2009 season game – one of the most unforgettable games of all time but lost to the Steelers.
- Carolina Panthers
With league MVP Cam Newton and a high-octane offense, the Carolina Panthers were a big favorite against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 but unfortunately lost the game. We expect to see changes with the current team owner and the coach. In his first two seasons as coach, Matt Rhule had just five victories in each of those seasons. To return to the Super Bowl, they will need to make significant upgrades, and he might not be the one who accomplishes this.
- Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons have participated in two Super Bowls; the first was in 1998, which they lost to the Denver Broncos, and the second was in 2016, which they lost to the New England Patriots.
Since the Vince Lombardi Trophy is the highest reward an NFL team can achieve, it’s no surprise that players put their lives into preparing for the matches. Fans of these teams still have faith in their teams to get to the Super Bowl finals and win the trophy. While it might seem impossible for some teams because of the long drought they have experienced through the years, we still hope for the best for them and expect the trophies to be taken home by these teams.