There have been 51 Super Bowls, yet the Cincinnati Bengals have still yet to win a single one. The Bengals have had opportunities to get the job done in the past, but it has never happened. Obviously, their two best opportunities were in Super Bowl XVI and XXIII, both of which the Bengals lost to the San Francisco 49ers. There were a couple of years (such as 2005 and 2015) when the team appeared poised for a Super Bowl run, but, due to major injuries at quarterback, and some chemistry problems, the momentum fell apart.
For this reason and many others, the Bengals are still part of a list of 13 current NFL teams who have never tasted victory in the biggest game of them all.
Here are the 13 NFL teams who have not won a Super Bowl as of 2017:
The Bengals aren’t much further away from a Super Bowl win than most of the teams on this list. The Bengals had a down year in 2016, but so did the majority of teams on this list. Only the Falcons, Lions and Texans even made the playoffs. However, before 2016, the Bengals were in the playoffs every year for five straight years. In both 2013 and 2015, the Bengals won their division and really started to make a name for themselves.
Granted, the Falcons and Panthers have both made it to Super Bowls in the past few years, while the Cardinals, Eagles, Bills, Titans, and Chargers have been not-so-recently. The Vikings have too, but the last time they went was Super Bowl IX in 1975 when they lost to the Steelers.
Other than that, the Browns, Lions, and Jaguars have never even been to a Super Bowl. The Lions have been competitive while inconsistent in recent years, but the Browns and Jaguars both seem as though they are years away from any sort of significant challenge to even make the playoffs, let alone the Super Bowl.
Among this list of teams, the only major contender in 2016 was the Atlanta Falcons. You could also throw the Houston Texans in there, who are probably one solid quarterback away from being a legitimate contender. But, in their current situation, they didn’t seem very contender-like in their divisional round matchup with the Patriots, which they lost 34-16.
The Falcons do have a solid quarterback and even made it to Super Bowl LI with the Patriots. They managed to jump out to a 25-point lead at one point during the game, but collapsed late and allowed the Patriots to come back for the first ever overtime Super Bowl win.
Right now, the Falcons have to be considered the top team on the verge of winning their first Super Bowl. They are the reigning NFC Champions and possess an extremely potent offense. A bit more experience and some better decisions from the coaching staff, and they should be able to capitalize next time they start a Super Bowl 28-3. However, the Falcons are losing offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to the 49ers, as he’ll become their head coach. And, more coaches could follow him, too. After a loss as bad as Sunday’s, it wouldn’t be surprising if they had a hangover in 2017 and don’t get back into the conversation all that quickly.
For the Bengals, there is plenty of work that needs to be done to become the next team removed from the list. The pass rush needs major work, the linebackers need to get more athletic, the offensive line needs to block better for both the passing and running games, and the offense needs to stay on the field longer. But, the Bengals have a solid core mixed with young talent and experienced veterans, which is more than most of the other teams on this list can say. The Falcons and Texans are both arguably closer to winning a Super Bowl than the Bengals right now, but, as we saw from 2015 to 2016 with the Falcons, turnarounds can happen fast in the NFL.