FAQ: The Super Bowl Droughts

J.J. Hardy tapped a grounder to first base and the Kansas City Royals became champions of the American League. The Royals will host game one of the World Series on October 21 and end a nearly 30 year World Series drought. The excitement in Kauffman Stadium got me thinking about the scene inside Arrowhead Stadium if the Kansas City Chiefs could end their own championship drought. The Chiefs haven’t appeared in the Super Bowl since SBIV when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings, 23-7. Do the Chiefs have the longest Super Bowl drought? Will it end soon? We have the answers to the frequently asked questions about Super Bowl droughts.


Q: Who has the longest Super Bowl drought?

A: The Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, and Detroit Lions have never appeared in the Super Bowl. The Lions won their last championship in 1957 and the Browns last championship was in 1952. The New York Jets haven’t appeared in a Super Bowl since they won SBIII in 1969 and have the longest active drought. The Chiefs are next followed by the Minnesota Vikings who haven’t appeared in the Super Bowl since losing SBXI to the Raiders in 1977.

Q: Do any other teams have a drought longer than 20 years?

A: Yes. The Miami Dolphins haven’t appeared in the Super Bowl since they lost SBXIX to the San Francisco 49ers 29 years ago. The Cincinnati Bengals haven’t appeared since losing SBXXIII to the San Francisco 49ers in 1989. The Washington Redskins have a 22 year drought, last appearing in SBXXVI when they defeated the Buffalo Bills.

Q: Forget appearances for a second. What three teams have the longest active Super Bowl/Championship droughts?

A: The Arizona Cardinals have the longest active championship drought. The Cardinals haven’t raised a trophy in 66 years. Their last championship was won in 1947 when the franchise was based in Chicago. The Lions haven’t won a championship in 56 years followed by the Philadelphia Eagles who are the proud owners of a 53 year drought.

Q: Forget the teams for a second. What active NFL player has played in the most games without appearing in a Super Bowl?

A: Phil Dawson. Dawson has played in 237 games and has never had the pleasure of kicking in a Super Bowl. Peyton Manning (245) and Adam Vinatieri (280) are the only active players that have played in more games than Dawson. Manning has appeared in two Super Bowls and Vinatieri has appeared in six. Tony Gonzalez played in 270 NFL games before retiring at the end of last season without ever making a Super Bowl appearance.

Q: What team mentioned in this column for having a long drought without a championship or Super Bowl appearance do you think has the best chance of ending their drought this season?

A: I think the team with the best chance to end a drought this season is the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have never appeared in a Super Bowl and haven’t won a championship since 1952. The Browns probably won’t win a championship this year, but they could end their Super Bowl drought. The Browns are 3-2 and their next three games are against the Jaguars, Raiders, and Buccaneers. The Browns could head into their week 10 matchup against the Bengals with a 6-2 record. The Browns will be positioned well to win the AFC North or at least a wild card. The AFC is wide open this year and any team that makes the playoffs will have a shot at the Super Bowl. If it doesn’t work out for Browns the Eagles would be a good answer to this question. The Eagles are 5-1 and haven’t played their best football yet. They will have a look at the Super Bowl but it will be much more difficult to get there in a loaded NFC.

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