When it comes down to the Super Bowl, every team in the current playoff race has achieved that prestigious title at least once, except for two.
The NFL has had 50 legendary and memorable Super Bowl matchups. We’ve seen Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers dominate the 1960’s with championship wins in 1966 and 1967. Joe Namath did the unthinkable and guaranteed a New York Jets victory over the Baltimore Colts in 1969 and followed through.
We’ve seen dominance in the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970’s who achieved Super Bowl titles in 1975, 1976, and 1979. The Chicago Bears and their near perfect defense led them to their first and only title back in 1986. The 90’s takeover from the Dallas Cowboys in which they secured three titles in 1993, 1994, and 1996. And let’s not forget, the emergence of Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the 2000’s. New England has won four titles in six Super Bowl appearances since 2002.
However, not every NFL team has won a Super Bowl. The Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings are tied for the most Super Bowl appearances without an actual victory (4). Currently, in the today’s playoff race, every single team has made and won at least one Super Bowl title except for two. The Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons have never won a Super Bowl.
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The Falcons have made one Super Bowl appearance in franchise history and fell to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII to the final tune of 34-19. The Houston Texans, however, have not only never won a Super Bowl, but are one of four teams that have never appeared in one which includes franchise relocation and renaming (Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions).
The Texans have advanced to the second round of the NFL Playoffs after defeating the Derek Carr-less Oakland Raiders 27-14. The Atlanta Falcons entered the post season 11-5 and secured a first-round bye. Atlanta will host the Seattle Seahawks while the Texans will travel to New England.
It’s fairly safe to say the Texans will not see a Super Bowl title, let alone an appearance this year. Houston has a rollercoaster of a quarterback situation in Brock Osweiler who was benched later in the season in favor of Tom Savage. If Savage did not suffer a concussion late in the season, he could have been the starter last week, not Osweiler. The Texans will also be without J.J. Watt and Kevin Johnson.
The Patriots have won 15 playoff games at home since the Brady era in 2001. With the Patriots high-powered offense and their top 12 defense hosting Houston, I don’t see their porous offense putting up enough points to upset the 14-2 Patriots.
The Falcons, compared to the Texans, have the best chance to potentially end their Super Bowl winless drought. The fact that Atlanta will have home-field advantage this week is already a major plus. However, defeating the Seattle Seahawks is easier said than done, especially in the playoffs.
Seattle enters Atlanta with an average offense, but stellar defense which ranks anywhere between the third to eighth best. Atlanta, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. A mediocre defense ranked between the 17th-28th best but a superb offense ranked as the best to the fifth best in all categories.
I have this game being a high scoring one. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Devonta Freeman will definitely do much more damage to Seattle than Matt Stafford was able to do last week. Overall, I have Houston falling to the Patriots and Atlanta topping off the Seahawks, advancing to the championship round of the playoffs.
Could this be the year the list of teams without a Super Bowl win trims down one? The Falcons will look to achieve just that starting with a win over Seattle this Saturday afternoon.