The Kansas City Chiefs are out of the purgatory known as being without a playoff win for a very long time. Who is still in there, leading the drought for NFL teams? Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns and most recently adding another tragic aspect to their failure, the Cincinnati Bengals.
Miami Dolphins, 2000 Season
The last time the Miami Dolphins won a playoff game was on December 30, 2000, beating the Indianapolis Colts 23-17 in the Wild Card round. The game ended in overtime with Lamar Smith running for the winning touchdown, as the Dolphins overcame three interceptions by Jay Fielder, and playing against Peyton Manning, who threw for 194 yards and a touchdown. They would go on to lose against the Oakland Raiders a week later, and make two more postseason appearances: In the 2001 season and in 2008, losing on both occasions to the Baltimore Ravens.
Buffalo Bills, 1995 Season
The Bills were a powerhouse without a title during the early 1990’s. In 1995, it was something of a swan song for them, beating division rivals the Miami Dolphins 37-22 in the Wild Card round before going on to lose against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who made the Super Bowl that season. Thurman Thomas had a huge day with 158 rushing yards and a touchdown while the Jim Kelly and Dan Marion duel resulted in three touchdowns and five interceptions. The Bills have made the playoffs three more times in the following four seasons, but never since the 1999 season.
Cleveland Browns, 1994 Season
The last time the Browns won a playoff game was January 1, 1995, beating the New England Patriots 20-13. Vinny Testaverde was the quarterback then, throwing for 268 yards and a touchdown to Mark Carrier while Michael Jackson had a pretty big day with 122 receiving yards. Drew Bledsoe was the quarterback for the Patriots at the time, throwing three interceptions. The Browns were inactive from 1996-1998 as the franchise moved away to Baltimore, and made the postseason just one more time, in the 2002 NFL season. They lost to the Steelers after beating the Patriots.
Detroit Lions, 1991 Season
The Lions made the playoffs six times during the 1990’s, but only in the 1991 season, and more specifically on January 5, 1991, did they taste victory, destroying the Dallas Cowboys 38-6. It had less to do with Barry Sanders outplaying Emmitt Smith (both didn’t do much, but Sanders did score a touchdown) and more with the defense forcing four turnovers, and quarterback Erik Kramer throwing three touchdowns passes. They lost to the Washington Redskins in the NFC championship game, and went on to lose their next seven playoff games, all in the Wild Card round, the last of them a year ago.
Cincinnati Bengals, 1990 Season
On January 6, 1991, the Cincinnati Bengals won a playoff game against the Houston Oilers, beating them 41-14. Boomer Esiason threw two touchdown passes and ran for another, while Eric Ball and Ickey Woods danced in the end zone as well. The Bengals lost the next game to the Raiders, and needed 15 more years to get back into the playoffs. They’ve been making the postseason on a regular basis since 2009, but have lost every time, often in tragic ways.