Long Super Bowl drought not unique to Miami Dolphins
It has been 40 years since the Dolphins were Super Bowl champions.
It has been 29 years since the Dolphins last played on Super Sunday.
But as hard as that might be for Dolphins fans to digest, their favorite team is not alone when it comes to Super Bowl droughts.
1. NEW YORK JETS (45 seasons since last Super Bowl win)
Why the drought will end in 2014: Rex Ryan will return in 2014 after working to avoid getting fired by new general manager John Idzik. That should be welcomed new to the Jets players. Former defensive coordinator Ryan usually has a unit that makes opposing offenses earn what they get. QB Geno Smith could mature in a way to complement his athleticism.
Why the drought will continue: The Patriots factor remains, this putting the Jets into the same situation as AFC East rival Miami. New York’s offense was ranked 25th (318.1 ypg.) this past season and threw into question Smith’s status as the team’s QB of the future. Nobody can guarantee the Jets’ next Super Bowl win. Not even Joe Namath.
2. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (44 seasons since last Super Bowl win)
Why the drought will end in 2014: Coach Andy Reid knows how to get a team to the Super Bowl, taking the Philadelphia Eagles to Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005. The Chiefs have a quarterback in Alex Smith who thrived this season under Reid; he threw for 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions in leading Kansas City to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth.
Why the drought will continue: The Chiefs were 2-14 in 2012, so it wouldn’t be strange to see them take a step back before moving forward. Kansas City’s defense finished 24th in the league allowing 367.8 yards per game.
3. MIAMI DOLPHINS (40 seasons since last Super Bowl win)
Why the drought will end in 2014: With young QB Ryan Tannehill making progress and talented receivers in Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline, the Dolphins offense has big-play capability. Miami’s defensive line and secondary are the strongsuits of a pretty good unit. The AFC East’s dominance by Tom Brady and New England has to end.
Why the drought will continue: The Patriots continue to be the class of the division, and the AFC wild-card berth will be hotly contested by a bunch of teams. The offensive line has holes — and not the type that could help a weak rushing attack.
4. OAKLAND RAIDERS (30 seasons since last Super Bowl win)
Why the drought will end in 2014: Drastic one-year turnaround are not unheard of in the NFL. Kansas City was a great example of that this year. Oakland’s 22nd-ranked defense could improve enough to help its offense.
Why the drought will continue: Apparently, many of the Raiders aren’t familiar with their former longtime owner’s demand: "Just win, baby." Would Al Davis have kept coach Dennis Allen after a second consecutive 4-12 season? The Raiders aren’t sure who their quarterback is: Terrelle Pryor, Matt McGloin or someone else.
5. CHICAGO BEARS (28 seasons since last Super Bowl win)
Why the drought will end in 2014: A solid team and perennial NFC North contender under previous coach Lovie Smith, the Bears went 8-8 under first-year coach Marc Trestman. Jay Cutler likely has the talent to lead a team to the Super Bowl, especially former QB guru Trestman.
Why the drought will continue: As talented as he is, Cutler has been inconsistent and injury prone. Besides that, the once Monsters of the Midway ranked 30th (394.6 ypg.) defensively in 2013. Plus, division rivals Green Bay and Detroit should contend for the crown the next several years.
6. WASHINGTON REDSKINS (22 seasons since last Super Bowl win)
Why the drought will end in 2014: With Robert Griffin III, the Redkins have a franchise quarterback — assuming he can remain healthy. New coach Jay Gruden could get the offense going to the point it gives Washington’s NFC East rivals migraines twice a year.
Why the drought will continue: Griffin likes to run, which makes him susceptible to injury. The Redskins play in a competitive division with Dallas, the New York Giants and Philadelphia. Just getting to he postseason will be tough enough.