As you get deluged with story after story regarding the Super Bowl this week in Indianapolis, you would think that every possible topic related to the big game would be exhausted. There was a list about the best 25 teams that never won the Super Bowl. Interestingly enough, three teams from this season made the list -- the San Francisco 49ers, the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints. There are some other great teams like the 2001 Rams, but the list had me thinking. Who were the worst teams to make it to the Super Bowl?
Arizona Cardinals fans remember the 2008 season when their team hobbled into the playoffs thanks to a very weak NFC West. They had suffered losses of 48-20, 35-14 and 47-7 in the last five weeks of the season. Cris Collinsworth famously put his foot in his mouth, calling them the worst playoff team in NFL history. Arizona was 9-7, but got hot at the right time and came within a few moments of a Super Bowl victory. Looking at the body of work in the regular season the Cardinals have to rank up there near the top of the worst teams to play in a Super Bowl.
There is another 9-7 team in the Super Bowl this year in the New York Giants, but it is a little different. Looking only at the wins and losses, you might be tempted to call the Giants one of the worst teams to play in the big game.
They are a little different than the Cardinals.
New York played in a very weak division in the NFC East. They also had some bad losses and close call wins.
They lost to the Washington Redskins twice. They lost to the Seattle Seahawks. They were annihilated by the New Orleans Saints. They squeaked out wins against the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills. They were lucky to beat the Arizona Cardinals when they were playing terrible defense.
But the other losses they had showed their character. They lost by a touchdown to the 49ers. They lost to the Packers in the regular season in the final minute. Those were quality losses, if you had to call them that.
Despite losing four straight at one point, the talent on both sides of the ball was never in doubt. They just finally got healthy.
So, while 9-7 is not good for a Super Bowl team, the Giants were a much different 9-7 team than the Cardinals were. New York would not and should not make any such list of being one of the worst Super Bowl teams ever.