One of the things that makes the NFL such a popular sport is, in part, at the beginning fans of essentially every team believes their team has a chance to at least make the playoffs. And with good reason. In the past 10 years the only team that hasn't made the playoffs is the Buffalo Bills and about two-thirds of the league have made the playoffs at least 3 times.
This makes rooting for a team not seem like a hopeless exercise. With some good management, hard work and a break or two, most teams have a legitimate shot at the post season. Winning a Super Bowl, however requires more than a little luck. It requires an elite Quarterback.
Consider this; Of the last 20 super bowl winners, only the Baltimore Ravens (2001) and Tampa Bay Bucs (2003) won the Super Bowl without an elite level quarterback. Really punches holes in the whole defense wins championships mantra. No, solid defense and elite QB play wins championships.
So knowing that, does every NFL fanbase have a reason to think their team should win the Super Bowl? The answer is a resounding now. In fact, there aren't very many teams that have an elite level QB capable of leading their team to a Super Bowl. Below, I break down the teams that legitimately have reason to believe, and those that will still be outside looking in when the season ends:
Teams with a Super Bowl Winning QB: Denver (Peyton Manning), New England (Tom Brady), New York Giants (Eli Manning), Pittsburgh Steelers (Ben Roethlisberger), Green Bay Packers (Aaron Rogers), New Orleans Saints (Drew Brees), Baltimore Ravens (Joe Flacco)
Teams with Elite Level QB's Ready To Take the Step: Atlanta Falcons (Matt Ryan) , Dallas Cowboys (Tony Romo)
Teams With (Supposed) Elite QB's on Really Good Teams: Chicago Bears (Jay Cutler), Houston Texans (Matt Schaub), Tampa Bay (Josh Freeman), Philadelphia Eagles (Michael Vick)
Teams with Young Gun QBs: Washington Redskins (RGIII), San Francisco 49ers (Colin Kaepernick), Indy Colts (Andrew Luck), Seattle Seahawks (Russell Wilson), Cincinatti Bengals (Andy Dalton), Carolina Panthers (Cam Newton)
Teams with QB's I don't know what to Make of: Kansas City Chiefs (Alex Smith), San Diego Chargers (Philip Rivers), Arizona Cardinals (Carson Palmer), Detroit Lions (Matt Stafford), St. Louis Rams (Sam Bradford).
This leaves 8 Teams: Buffalo Bills, NY Jets, Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans. Based on the QB situation alone, I don't think the Super Bowl is legitimately in play for these teams. That leaves 75% of the teams in the league that have at least an outside hope of making the Super Bowl.
Outside of the Vikings and Dolphins, these teams will also be very bad. So, kick back fans of these teams. It's gonna be a long season for you. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel for these teams. And that light's name is Jadeveon Clowney.