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    Ranking All 55 Teams That Lost In The Super Bowl

    You won't believe how good some of these teams were.

    The agony of defeat. It's what helps people grow. However, these NFL teams should not be tossed aside because they lost the Super Bowl. They are part of the legacy of the biggest game in sports, and they had fought hard an entire winning season. Here they are ranked:

    IMPORTANT NOTE: I used my own mathematical point system involving team records, offensive production, and defensive production to determine the order.

    55. 2008 Arizona Cardinals

    Larry Fitzgerald running with football.

    First place on this list scored 140 points in my grading system. This 9–7 Cardinals team scored 78. They were the 3rd best scoring offense in the league, but 28th on defense.

    Keep in mind, the Larry Fitzgerald touchdown catch (pictured above) was to go ahead with 2:37 left in the game. Even the worst of the second-place teams showed they could have won it all.

    54. 1979 Los Angeles Rams

    Jack Youngblood on the sidelines.

    A 9–7 team that wasn't top 10 in anything really. But hey, they did something right, they were in the Super Bowl.

    53. 1982 Miami Dolphins

    David Woodley's back turned in Dolphins uniform.

    Maybe the most controversial one on the list. The NFL didn't have a full season due to a strike, so it is hard to put a 7–2 team ahead of others.

    52. 2016 Atlanta Falcons

    Grady Jarrett celebrating sack.

    Well, they blew their lead in the big game, but they also weren't a great defensive team. Matt Ryan was an MVP and led the best offense, but the defense surrendered 25.4 points per game.

    51. 2003 Carolina Panthers

    Jake Delhomme covering mouth.

    An 11-win team with only 20.3 points per game.

    50. 1975 Dallas Cowboys

    Roger Staubach playing quarterback.

    10 wins in a 14-game season, and this was easily the least impressive of Tom Landry's Dallas Cowboys to reach the Super Bowl.

    49. 1967 Kansas City Chiefs

    Mike Garrett running with the football.

    The O.G. losers.

    The AFL just wasn't ready yet, but they were still very good for AFL standards with an 11-2-1 record.

    48. 1986 Denver Broncos

    John Elway in Broncos uniform.

    An 11–5 team that didn't exceed in anything, but had John Elway.

    47. 1967 Oakland Raiders

    Ben Davidson in Raiders uniform.

    With a 13–1 record, this Oakland Raiders team would be higher, but not as good as some of the other late '60s losing teams. So their overall grade suffered.

    46. 1971 Dallas Cowboys

    Craig Morton walking off the field.

    A really strong offense, but their defense hurt their overall grade since there were less teams in the league.

    45. 1992 Buffalo Bills

    Jim Kelly walking off the field.

    The worst of the Bills Super Bowl teams at 11–5, but Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas still elevated them offensively.

    44. 1996 New England Patriots

    Drew Bledsoe on the phone on the sideline.

    This team just wasn't ready yet. Give them five years to become a dynasty.

    43. 1987 Denver Broncos

    John Elway celebrating.

    At 10-4-1, this Broncos team was better balanced than the '86 team. Although they have one less win, there stats still propel them ahead of the '86 team.

    42. 1985 New England Patriots

    Andre Tippett celebrating.

    A very good defense led by Andre Tippett and Steve Nelson. Unfortunately, they had to go head-to-head with arguably the greatest defense of all-time in the '85 Bears.

    They were also had to win all their road playoff games, which during the time, was unheard of.

    41. 1994 San Diego Chargers

    Chargers coach Bobby Ross watching game.

    A solid team all around, but more importantly, proficient on offense and defense.

    40. 1995 Pittsburgh Steelers

    Neil O'Donnell dropping back in pocket.

    Head coach Bill Cowher would get Super Bowl redemption the next decade, but this 11–5 team was pretty great all around.

    39. 1974 Minnesota Vikings

    Oscar Reed hurdling opponent.

    Top 5 in both points for and against, the Vikings 10-win record kept them from being higher on this list.

    38. 1971 Miami Dolphins

    Dolphins huddle.

    A year before perfection. This team just wasn't ready to win it all yet, but still a very good all-around team with a sneaky productive defense.

    37. 2013 Denver Broncos


    Peyton Manning was on another level this season, leading his offense to score a jarring 37.9 points per game, but the team around him was lacking.

    Defensively, they were 22nd in points scored against, and it showed in the Super Bowl.

    36. 2012 San Francisco 49ers

    Colin Kaepernick entering huddle.

    Colin Kaepernick came in on a hot streak, but unfortunately, this team's attrition failed them as the team consisted of older players. Which is a shame, because this 11-4-1 team had a defense that was really impressive throughout the year.

    35. 1988 Cincinnati Bengals

    Boomer Esiason in Bengals uniform.

    Boomer Esiason and the Bengals were the most productive offense in 1988. But a lot of credit needs to be given to running backs Ickey Woods and James Brooks, who both combined for 1,997 yards and 29 touchdowns.

    34. 1999 Tennessee Titans


    One yard away from not even being on this list, the 13–3 Titans were solid. They played in plenty of close games, and Steve McNair and Eddie George were superb.

    33. 2018 Los Angeles Rams


    Finishing 13–3 and a high-energy offense by Sean McVay, the Rams were a force to be reckoned with. Plenty of star power like Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks, Aaron Donald, and Ndamukong Suh.

    32. 1976 Minnesota Vikings

    Fran Tarkenton in Vikings uniform.

    With an 11-2-1 record, this group was one of many Vikings teams that should have won the big game. Their defense back in the day was shutting teams down and they had great leadership in Fran Tarkenton.

    31. 1981 Cincinnati Bengals

    Ken Anderson looking at sideline.

    Ken Anderson led his team to 12–4. Poor Bengal fans will never watch a 49ers game with a smile (unless they're losing).

    30. 1972 Washington Football Team

    Washington defense stepping on the field.

    They faced perfection, so how can you be harsh when talking about them? They had one of the league's best defenses that year.

    29. 2000 New York Giants

    Kerry Collins after interception.

    People think of Kerry Collins when they think of this 12–4 Giants squad, but this defense was the real story.

    Michael Strahan and Keith Hamilton combined for 19.5 sacks, and the team had 44 total.

    28. 2002 Oakland Raiders

    Charles Woodson smiling after interception.

    They had an unimpressive 11–5 record, but the 2002 Raiders were a well-balanced, finely tuned machine. They had a four-game losing streak, two in overtime, they were actually really good on both offense and defense.

    27. 2011 New England Patriots


    At 13–3, this New England Patriots offense was extraordinary, but their defense was lacking and kept them out of the top 20.

    26. 1977 Denver Broncos

    Craig Morton after interception.

    In a 12–2 season, this team only surrendered more than 20 points once during the regular season. ONCE.

    Unfortunately for them, that stopped in the playoffs and in the Super Bowl.

    25. 1989 Denver Broncos

    John Elway calling the play.

    An 11-win season leaning on the talent of John Elway and the defense's ability to hold teams to under three touchdowns.

    They lost the Super Bowl 10–55 against the San Francisco 49ers.

    24. 2010 Pittsburgh Steelers

    Ben Roethlisberger approaching offensive line.

    Defense wins championships...or at least they should.

    With the best defense in the game, this 12–4 Steelers team could not stop a hot road team in the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers.

    23. 1993 Buffalo Bills

    Don Beebe with his mouth open.

    The Bills could not close the deal in this four-year span, and most frustrating of all, all these teams were pretty well-balanced.

    22. 1973 Minnesota Vikings

    Fran Tarkenton under center.

    A great passing defense helped elevate this Vikings team to a 12–2 record.

    Fran Tarkenton is one of many players on this list that deserved a Super Bowl ring.

    21. 2014 Seattle Seahawks


    Oh, if they only handed the ball off the Marshawn Lynch.

    Another dynasty toppled by Tom Brady, but the "Legion of Boom" should not be undersold.

    20. 1980 Philadelphia Eagles

    Dick Vermeil close up.

    Ron Jaworski, Harold Carmichael, and Wilbert Montgomery all had a part in this offense. A 12–4 record and a solid defense? Dick Vermeil's boys just missed out on the Lombardi Trophy with one bad day.

    19. 2009 Indianapolis Colts

    Peyton Manning reading the defense.

    Peyton Manning needed the Saints and Tracy Porter to not come marching in.

    A 14-win team with a top 10 offense and defense.

    18. 2004 Philadelphia Eagles

    Derrick Burgess celebrating sack.

    At 13–3, this defense was nasty by forcing 31 turnovers.

    Oh, and they had Terrell Owens, who was a superstar.

    17. 2019 San Francisco 49ers

    49ers defense celebrating.

    A great defense and front seven, but their running game hit on all cylinders with 2.305 total team rushing yards.

    16. 1978 Dallas Cowboys

    Roger Staubach leaving the field.

    If they had finished better than 12–4, this team would have been a top 5 Super Bowl runner-up.

    15. 2005 Seattle Seahawks

    Seahawks offensive huddle.

    Shaun Alexander had 1,880 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns.
    Shaun Alexander had 1,880 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns!

    Seriously, I get the Super Bowl is one of the worst in history, but this team was really great with an underappreciated defense.

    14. 1997 Green Bay Packers

    Brett Favre annoyed on sideline.

    A 13–3 record, and a top 5 offense and defense, this was the derailing of a potential dynasty. Brett Favre had 35 passing touchdowns and Dorsey Levens ran for 1,435 yards. Not to mention, Reggie White wrecking people on defense.

    13. 1991 Buffalo Bills

    Jim Kelly holding injured wrist.

    This might be controversial among Bills fans, but this team was just as good as the year before.

    I'd argue their offense was a little more productive, but that being said, the 1990 team still beat them out.

    12. 2020 Kansas City Chiefs

    Patrick Mahomes running from a sack.

    In a season without a normal offseason due to the pandemic, the 14–2 defending champs looked like easy Super Bowl favorites.

    Unfortunately, they lost both starting tackles for the Super Bowl and could not stop the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beast-mode pass rush. The Chiefs defense also surrendered 31 points.

    11. 1983 Washington Football Team

    Joe Theismann walking off the field.

    A very underrated team in history.

    The team had a 14–2 record and the best offense in the league averaging about 34 points per game, Joe Theismann and Jon Riggins were stars.

    10. 1990 Buffalo Bills


    The best chance they had and they were wide right.

    This Bills team should have won a Super Bowl and it is hard to believe looking back.

    9. 2006 Chicago Bears


    Everyone's mind goes to Rex Grossman, but people forget this overall team was more than their quarterback.

    From Devin Hester to an elite defense led by Brian Urlacher, this team earned their spot on the biggest stage.

    8. 1969 Minnesota Vikings

    Vikings quarterback avoiding sack.

    The forgotten upset.

    This 1969 Minnesota Vikings team was elite and ranked first for both points scored and points against. Their defense only gave up 9.5 points per game in a 14-game season. That's ridiculous.

    7. 1998 Atlanta Falcons

    Dan Reeves looking at the field.

    Plenty of fans were made because the 1998 Minnesota Vikings are the best team of all time to never make a Super Bowl.

    BUT this 14-2 Atlanta Falcons team was no slouch. They had a top 5 offense and defense.

    6. 2017 New England Patriots


    This defense really let the team down in the biggest game, but they were phenomenal and a top defense throughout the season.

    Tom Brady also led a top offense in his MVP season, finishing with a 13–3 regular-season record.

    5. 1984 Miami Dolphins

    Dan Marino walking away.

    Dan Marino's lone Super Bowl and this team was his best shot.

    A 14–2 record with the seventh best defense in points scored against in the league. Oh yeah, Marino's offense averaged 32.1 points per game, too.

    4. 1968 Baltimore Colts

    Earl Morrall in the huddle.

    Maybe the biggest forgotten gem in sports history. This Baltimore Colts was coached by Don Shula and averaged 28.7 points per game in the '60s.

    Along with quarterback Earl Morrall, the Colts defense was the best in the league, only giving up 10.3 points per game. I'm sure fans in Baltimore still curse Joe Namath's Super Bowl guarantee.

    3. 2001 St. Louis Rams

    Kurt Warner looking unhappy.

    The "Greatest Show On Turf" was the potential dynasty derailed by New England Patriots.

    A 14–2 season, and the best offense in the league led by Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Torry Holt, and Isaac Bruce.

    2. 2015 Carolina Panthers


    A 15-1 team, losing to the Atlanta Falcons by a single touchdown, the 2015 Carolina Panthers were a dominant offensive force with an underrated defense.

    Cam Newton had an MVP season to remember and ran an offense that produced 31.3 points per game.

    1. 2007 New England Patriots

    Randy Moss licking lips

    It was the biggest upset in football history for a reason. The 2007 New England Patriots won every game (16–0) and did so in tremendous fashion.

    Tom Brady led the offense with Randy Moss and Wes Welker to score 36.8 points per game. Unsung, their defense only allowed 17.1 points per game.

    It was a lot of fun to research these teams to remember just how good they were their respective seasons. Who do you think was the best team to not win a Super Bowl?