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Are the Buffalo Bills most-deserving of a Super Bowl win?

Buffalo Rumblings’ take on those teams most-deserving of victory in the Super Bowl

Super Bowl XXV - Buffalo Bills v New York Giants

Ask anyone within Bills Mafia if their favorite NFL team deserves a Super Bowl title and, without hesitation, their response will be that no team deserves a victory more than the Buffalo Bills. Twelve teams (almost 40% of the league) have yet to win the Super Bowl. Some haven’t sniffed a chance in decades. Furthermore, are four teams that have yet to appear in the Super Bowl.

Buffalo’s proud NFL franchise is the only team to make and play in four consecutive Super Bowls (XXV-XXVIII), yet also the only team to lose four Super Bowls in a row. Heartache after heartache has followed Bills fans and the players they support like no others. It’s unnecessary re-hashing the lengthy list of disappointment saddled by the Bills as a franchise. Most fans are very well-aware of the team’s history, including what became their infamous 17-year playoff drought.

But those days are over. The Bills have been perennial playoff favorites and participants since head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane took over. Eschewing a 17-year playoff drought for a playoff streak on the arm and legs of QB17, Josh Allen.

But the NFL’s most elusive and prestigious team trophies remains nothing more than a bucket-list wish, and something to pine over as a fan base denied one single victory in four tries. With each passing year where Buffalo’s season ends without hoisting the NFL’s most sought-after trophy, the further most pundits believe the team’s championship window closes. Buffalo’s roster is one of the league’s oldest, with 17 players currently 30 years older or more. Many will say the team’s window of opportunity is open as long as Allen’s in town, but for a fair number of players the window is closing much quicker.

Can head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane work the NFL Draft and free agency well enough compensate for roster attrition in the coming seasons? There will be huge shoes to fill when players such as Von Miller, Jordan Poyer, Micah Hyde, Mitch Morse, and DaQuan Jones eventually retire. Even Stefon Diggs has begun to find a home in this conversation, given he’ll turn 30 years old this coming season.

So are the Bills the NFL’s most-deserving team to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy? Writers and contributors at decided to weigh in with their opinions on the most-deserving teams. Among those tasked with this exercise, only Nick Shook picked the Bills. While it’s fair to point out that directives may have stated that a team could be picked only once, there is at least one very curious pick by former NFL quarterback David Carr. How the Dallas Cowboys can make this list over the Minnesota Vikings, themselves losers of four Super Bowls, is beyond comprehension.

If looking at things with an impartial eye, It would be nearly impossible to argue that the Detroit Lions aren’t the most-deserving team at this point in time. The Lions last won a (pre-1970 AFL-NFL merger) championship in 1957, and have only made 12 playoff appearances since that day. They last made the NFC Championship game in 1991. The Lions did taste ultimate success three other times prior to 1957, when they won the NFL Championship during the 1935, 1952, and 1953 pre-merger seasons. That gives them four championships in franchise history since entering the league in 1930. But, again, no Super Bowl trophies and no Super Bowl appearances.

Certainly, the New York Jets have suffered similarly in misery, with Broadway Joe the last Jets QB to help guide the team to victory in Super Bowl III. But the Jets at least have that one Super Bowl trophy, and their fans will forever remind others of that fact. The Jets were also winners of the AFL Championship during that 1968 seasons. So in total, the Jets have two championships: one AFL and one Super Bowl — both in the same season. It’s not easy being Green.

The Minnesota Vikings did win the last pre-merger NFL championship for the 1969 season, defeating the Cleveland Browns 27-7. They also fielded an absolutely dominant team in the 1970s, but one that never could find victory on the biggest stage, as age began taking a toll on the roster. Their history, dating back to 1961, includes just that lone pre-merger championship and four Super Bowl losses (IV, VIII, IX, and XI) during the 1970s.

The Cincinnati Bengals have played in three Super Bowls (XVI, XXIII, LVI), losing each one. Additionally, the Bengals have never won a league championship, dating back to the year they entered the AFL in 1968.

The Arizona Cardinals are one of the NFL’s oldest franchises, dating back to 1920. Their inception actually began as an independent team in the 19th century, as the Morgan Athletic Club. The Cardinals won a pair of pre-merger championships during the 1925 and 1947 seasons. They’ve never won a Super Bowl, having made just one appearance during the 2008-2009 season (XLIII) — a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. All told, the Cardinals have two very old league championships and just one shot at a Super Bowl trophy.

If we’re going to consider other franchises’ pre-merger victories, then it’s important to also lay out those won by the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo fielded one of the AFL’s most dominant teams during the late 60s, and won the AFL Championship during the 1964 and 1965 seasons. That gives the Bills as a franchise two pre-merger league championships.

While we often think the Bills have the worst luck and longest droughts, there’s plenty of room at the table to consider others’ misfortune. The Bengals may boast the least amount of success, while the Lions are the only team mentioned in this space without even a Super Bowl appearance. The Vikings haven’t appeared in a Super Bowl in 46 years, while the Jets last won it 55 years ago. The Cardinals’ flirted with Super Bowl victory in January of 2009, but it’s been mostly downhill since. The Bills last had a chance to win a Super Bowl 30 years ago.

Ultimately, what matters most in this exercise is Super Bowl opportunity, and considering when teams last had a chance at winning the big game. The pre-merger championships are significant, but speak to a long-gone era of professional football. Things are often subjective when talking sports.

What do you think — are the Bills the NFL’s most-deserving of a Super Bowl win?