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Ranking each team's chances of winning a Super Bowl in the next 3 years

theScore logo theScore 5/17/2019 Alex Chippin, Mike Alessandrini
a person wearing a helmet © Diamond Images / Getty

The NFL often stands for "Not For Long," as significant changes occur every campaign. One season's contenders can fall flat the next, and quick rebuilds often elevate last-place squads to divisional championships.

Such transformations got us thinking: How would each franchise fare in a three-year championship window? A number of factors contribute to a successful run at the Lombardi Trophy, including coaching, front-office stability, and even luck. But we've outlined the four that matter most.

Examining each club's quarterback situation, salary-cap complexion, cornerstone cast, and youth pipeline, we rank every team's chances of capturing a Super Bowl in the next three years:

*Note: The 32 teams' combined Super Bowl odds total 300 percent - 100 percent per Super Bowl.

New York Giants: 0.5 percent

If this offseason is any indication, Dave Gettleman and the Giants are in the midst of implementing a questionable long-term plan and thus sit at the bottom of our rankings. We can't say for sure whether Daniel Jones will develop into a franchise quarterback - he appeared to be a reach at No. 6 overall and likely won't see extended time as a starter until 2020. Couple that uncertainty with a roster that severely lacks star power outside of Saquon Barkley and New York's three-year outlook is bleak. There's young talent in spots, but this team's timeline seems closer to five years than three. We doubt Gettleman is even around by 2021.

Miami Dolphins: 0.5 percent

Not even the Dolphins know who their quarterback will be for the next three years, which is really all one needs to know about the state of the franchise. The Fins are embarking on a full-scale rebuild and will need to turn over a gigantic portion of their roster before they can compete for anything other than a first overall pick. At the moment, Miami's future is so muddied that we can't even see a Super Bowl window.

Cincinnati Bengals: 0.5 percent

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The Bengals won't win a Super Bowl as long as Andy Dalton is their starting quarterback. Even if they ditch Dalton for a rookie next year, it's going to take time to develop said youngster. A.J. Green, Geno Atkins, and Carlos Dunlap aren't getting any younger, and Cincinnati's roster is peppered with holes too large to fill overnight. The hiring of Zac Taylor as head coach doesn't inspire much confidence, especially after he struggled to fill out a staff. Bengals fans should be happy just to sniff the playoffs over the next three years.

Denver Broncos: 0.5 percent

John Elway's quarterback whiffs and draft shortcomings have left Broncos fans without much cause for excitement. Von Miller and Chris Harris Jr. are nearing the end of their prime, yet remain the Broncos' two best players by a mile. The lack of talent won't play well in the AFC West, where the Chiefs and Chargers figure to reign for a while. Unless Drew Lock turns out to be the second coming of the man who drafted him, the Broncos' outlook isn't improving any time soon.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 1 percent

Tampa has two key issues to address over the next three years. The first is at football's premier position, as new head coach Bruce Arians must determine whether Jameis Winston can be a true franchise quarterback; the former No. 1 overall pick has yet to prove it. Secondly, the team could potentially run into salary cap issues and a subsequent roster conundrum. The Buccaneers can cut a number of key veterans in 2020, but would greatly decrease their overall talent in the process. If veterans, including Winston, are retained or extended, the team will have little room to add the impact players necessary to ascend in the NFC South. The Bucs look like a franchise stuck in the mud, but at least they have a chance at a full reset - if they so chose.

Tennessee Titans: 1 percent

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It's looking more and more like Marcus Mariota's long-awaited breakthrough campaign is never going to arrive. For all the money the Titans have dolled out trying to improve the cast around him, Mariota and Co. have repeatedly topped out at nine wins, never showing the traits of a true contender. Mariota's entering the final year of his contract, but even if he sticks around, the Titans' ceiling appears limited.

Oakland Raiders: 3 percent

The Raiders probably do have an organizational plan, it's just hard to tell what it is. They made splashes aplenty this offseason, but it doesn't really feel like they made up much ground on the competition. Derek Carr doesn't seem good enough to win it all, but the club appears reluctant to part ways with him. Oakland invested two of its three first-round picks in 2019 in a running back and a box safety, two of the less valuable positions in the NFL. The Raiders' strategy is so crazy it just might work - but we're not optimistic.

Detroit Lions: 3 percent

Detroit is in an interesting predicament. Matthew Stafford is a fringe top-10 quarterback and the team had an aggressive offseason, so a playoff push isn't totally out of the question. But if the Lions falter in 2019, Matt Patricia could be the latest former Patriots assistant to be fired from a head coaching position. Such volatility can't help the franchise's long-term outlook. General manager Bob Quinn has added plenty of young talent during his tenure, but his squad needs a stronger core to thrive in the NFC. The Lions could be faced with a minor rebuild in the near future but lack the cap flexibility for major adds. Let's not forget that Stafford may not even be the starting quarterback in 2021; he has a potential out in his current contract following the 2020 season.

Buffalo Bills: 3 percent

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We know Josh Allen will be the Bills' quarterback in three years, but how good he'll become remains to be seen. Financially, Buffalo is set up to add pieces around him in the future, but that won't matter much unless he resolves his accuracy woes. The Bills have a strong defense and continue to invest high draft picks there, so it's not as if the Super Bowl dream is entirely hopeless in Orchard Park. Still, Buffalo looks to be more than three years away from really making a run.

Carolina Panthers: 5 percent

Like others on this list, the Panthers are quickly headed towards NFL purgatory. With Cam Newton's health in question after shoulder surgery and subpar coaching across the board, a disappointing 2019 season may be in the cards. Though Carolina's roster features several blue-chip pieces, most are on the wrong side of 30. With few ascending young players compared to other NFC clubs, the Panthers may have trouble regrouping. Even if Newton is fully healthy moving forward, we question whether his teammates are talented enough for a run at the Lombardi Trophy.

Jacksonville Jaguars: 5 percent

The Jaguars reek of a poor and outdated management style: Since 2017, they've handed out vastly inflated contracts to two statistically replacement-level quarterbacks (Blake Bortles and Nick Foles), drafted a running back fourth overall (Leonard Fournette), and gone from cap heaven to cap hell. They're currently over the payroll threshold for 2020 and have yet to lock up marquee cornerback Jalen Ramsey. There are significant reasons for pessimism, but it's worth mentioning that Jacksonville still boasts a relatively strong defense and that Foles - if nothing else - should galvanize a locker room that appeared to wave the white flag last year.

Baltimore Ravens: 5 percent

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If Lamar Jackson makes major strides as a passer, the Ravens could be a force to be reckoned with. But there are too many holes in his game right now to believe Baltimore has a realistic shot of winning big soon, and the franchise's near-future prospects aren't exactly what electricians would call bright. The Ravens' reliance on older players - especially defensively with key cogs such as Earl Thomas (30), Jimmy Smith (30), and Brandon Carr (33) - is more likely to spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E than L-O-M-B-A-R-D-I.

Washington Redskins: 5 percent

If Dwayne Haskins lives up to his draft slot, the Redskins should have little trouble competing in the NFC far beyond our short-term window. Over the next three seasons, though, Haskins' success is far from guaranteed. With Case Keenum and Colt McCoy currently on the roster, the former Ohio State passer may not even open his rookie campaign as the starter. When he's eventually named QB1, it's reasonable to expect a learning curve. Washington's roster features a number of cornerstone players and ascending young talent, but its front-office instability, lack of offensive weapons, and uncertainty at quarterback rank it near the middle of the pack. The Redskins likely won't win the Super Bowl this season, but there's certainly potential beyond 2019.

San Francisco 49ers: 5 percent

San Francisco's Super Bowl hopes are closely tied to the partnership between Jimmy Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan. Garoppolo has yet to start more than five games in a single campaign, so it's fair to question whether he can lead this club to the promised land. But the 49ers' window is upon them. General manager John Lynch has added a number of talented players during his tenure, including Dee Ford, George Kittle, and Kwon Alexander, though his team still lacks depth. Nick Bosa, the No. 2 pick of 2019, has All-Pro potential, but other needs must be addressed. Overall, San Francisco's key players are established and should keep them in contention over the next couple of seasons.

New York Jets: 5 percent

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If Sam Darnold becomes the franchise quarterback many expect him to be, Gang Green could quickly vault into the title picture. The Jets have a solid crop of players around Darnold and added veteran stars Le'Veon Bell and C.J. Mosley to their young core in the free agency. But the Super Bowl is a long way from the AFC East basement, where New York has resided the last three years. The Jets still suffer from organizational dysfunction; in three years, they're more likely to be regarded as a circus than a threat to the throne.

Seattle Seahawks: 8 percent

As long as Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll are in town, the Seahawks should never be counted out. Many predicted Seattle to take a major step back in 2018, but instead, it made the playoffs. Yet despite strong coaching and an elite quarterback, it's difficult to envision a championship in the near future. The roster features virtually no true cornerstone players aside from Wilson and Bobby Wagner. Chris Carson, Poona Ford, and Tyler Lockett are young players worth getting excited about, but there are still too many weaknesses and too much turnover at key positions. Maybe Wilson can lead another Super Bowl run, but he'll need an inexperienced supporting cast to step up around him.

Arizona Cardinals: 8 percent

Arizona may finally be ready to emerge from the NFC West basement. The ascending franchise is well-positioned with intriguing potential throughout its roster. Kyler Murray, last month's No. 1 overall pick, leads the offense alongside young weapons David Johnson and Christian Kirk. Defensively, the Cardinals boast an impressive mix of savvy veterans and high-upside youngsters. Arizona also has plenty of cap flexibility to add blue-chip free agents, provided Steve Keim can build on his 2019 offseason momentum. If Kliff Kingsbury can succeed in the NFL and get the most out of Murray early on, his squad may reach contender status sooner rather than later.

Minnesota Vikings: 8 percent

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The Vikings' roster is among the deepest and most talented in the NFL. With plenty of core players on both sides of the ball, it wouldn't be surprising to see Minnesota in the next NFC title game. Following the 2019 season, however, many questions will arise. Are veterans Xavier Rhodes, Harrison Smith, and Linval Joseph destined for a decline? Will Mike Zimmer remain the team's head coach? Can Kirk Cousins step up in big games? The Vikings are one of the most stacked clubs in the league, but they're teetering on implosion as well. There just isn't enough young talent for a quick rebuild.

Pittsburgh Steelers: 10 percent

Internal turmoil killed the Steelers in 2018, but they still have the necessary parts for championship runs. The most important ingredient is Ben Roethlisberger, whose offseason extension indicates he won't retire any time soon. Young stars like James Conner and JuJu Smith-Schuster will only get better, the defense is on the rise, and the organization remains relatively stable despite bizarre recent events. Pittsburgh may regress slightly in 2019 but could come back strong after that.

Dallas Cowboys: 10 percent

As it stands, Dallas possesses a number of cornerstones at key positions. Not many NFL squads enjoy a top-three offensive line along with the impact that Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Byron Jones provide. Though this bodes well for 2019, the Cowboys are likely to run into major salary-cap issues in the near future. Excluding Lawrence, hefty extensions for the aforementioned players loom, as well as one for quarterback Dak Prescott. Dallas is either going to lack funds or lose Pro Bowl talent within the next year. The front office and coaching staff aren't a picture of brilliance, which hurts the Cowboys' ranking, but their ascending pieces still provide a great deal of optimism.

Atlanta Falcons: 10 percent

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Dan Quinn's squad took a step back last season, but injuries were the primary cause of regression. The Falcons appear poised to re-enter the race for NFC supremacy on the strength of a top-tier quarterback, well-balanced offense, and a young, star-studded stop unit featuring Deion Jones, Keanu Neal, and Grady Jarrett, among others. As long as Atlanta's core stays healthy, a Super Bowl appearance is within reason. If the events of 2018 repeat themselves, though, things could fall apart in short order. Already low on 2020 cap space, the Falcons have impending decisions regarding extensions for Jarrett, Julio Jones, and others - decisions that could impact future talent acquisition.

Chicago Bears: 10 percent

As he proved in 2018, Matt Nagy has a bright future as a head coach. Chicago's roster features a number of blue-chip players, especially on defense, who could keep it in contention for the foreseeable future. But two obstacles potentially stand in the way: Mitchell Trubisky and a lack of cap flexibility. Trubisky may eventually develop into a foundational quarterback, but he's battled inconsistency to date. If the Bears extend their signal-caller within the next two years, they'll likely be even tighter against the cap moving forward. With Trubisky on his rookie deal, Chicago's Super Bowl window is smaller than many believe, but the Bears have a plethora of young studs ready to break out.

Los Angeles Rams: 13 percent

The defending NFC champs are well-positioned for another run at the Lombardi Trophy with Sean McVay leading the offense and Aaron Donald pacing the defense. It's no secret the Rams continued an aggressive, all-in strategy in 2019, but their tactics certainly have an expiration date. Todd Gurley's health and Jared Goff's level of play are major question marks, and the latter will likely be signed to a long-term extension within the next year. Despite this, Los Angeles has one of the NFL's top rosters and seemingly always finds a way to acquire talent. With numerous core veterans already locked up, the Rams still look like an elite franchise, at least for now.

Houston Texans: 15 percent

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It's hard to find a stronger quartet in the league than the Texans' foursome of Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, J.J. Watt, and Jadeveon Clowney. It takes more than four great players to win a Super Bowl, but Houston boasts ample future cap flexibility to add to its core. A passive 2019 offseason hurts their chances this year, but the Texans are set up well for 2020 and 2021 and could achieve greatness before long.

Green Bay Packers: 15 percent

A productive offseason from general manager Brian Gutekunst has the Packers trending upward. Gone are the days of Green Bay's refusal to spend money in free agency, a philosophical shift illustrated by a balanced roster featuring high-end veterans and young core pieces. There's talent at virtually every position and enough playmakers surrounding Aaron Rodgers to chase a championship. New head coach Matt LaFleur is perhaps the team's biggest question mark, but the Packers have a legitimate shot at their fifth Super Bowl as long as Rodgers is healthy and committed.

Los Angeles Chargers: 15 percent

The question for the Chargers isn't whether they have enough talent to win a Super Bowl, it's whether they'll ever put it all together when it matters most. The Bolts have oozed talent for most of the last 15 years but have only advanced as far as the AFC championship, doing so only once. Pro Bowlers litter the roster for now, but windows don't last long in the NFL, especially for teams that tend to hesitate when players ask them to open their wallets.

Cleveland Browns: 15 percent

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Cleveland is absolutely loaded with young, top-tier talent and has all the makings of a budding AFC juggernaut. The defense still needs work, but Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward are locked in at the two premium positions. Though somehow imploding would be very Browns-esque, it's not unreasonable to envision Cleveland organizing a Super Bowl parade before second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield signs his next contract.

New Orleans Saints: 15 percent

If these rankings only included the upcoming campaign, the Saints would surely slot inside the top three. Sean Payton's squad has suffered postseason heartbreak two years in a row, but a Super Bowl berth remains well within reach. New Orleans is well-coached and arguably features the league's best top-to-bottom roster, though Drew Brees is entering the final year of his contract. If the club extends Brees, Michael Thomas, and Alvin Kamara in the near future, there will be little cap space to address other positions. Ultimately, though, the Saints' title chances live and die with their quarterback. Brees is far from guaranteed to play beyond 2019, but his team is a threat to win whenever he's on the field.

Indianapolis Colts: 20 percent

So long as Andrew Luck remains healthy - a better bet now that Indy has a stable offensive line - few teams will be better positioned to contend for titles over the next three years than the Colts. The AFC South gives Indianapolis a manageable path to the playoffs each year, while Chris Ballard - one of the league's savviest general managers - will have cap space aplenty to make whatever moves he deems necessary in 2020 and beyond. The Colts had success last year with scheme-specific players; there should be more upside to come once they add truly elite talent on both sides of the ball.

Kansas City Chiefs: 20 percent

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Anything is possible when you have the best quarterback in the NFL, and the Chiefs are confident they have that in reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes. Kansas City has Mahomes surrounded with stars, although the uncertainty of Tyreek Hill's future could change that somewhat. Even with the Chiefs' history of postseason chokes, it's hard to identify many franchises that are more likely to be ordering rings within the next three years.

Philadelphia Eagles: 25 percent

Few teams can match Philadelphia's cornerstone players. Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, and Zach Ertz are among the top players at their respective positions, and all five are locked into long-term contracts. With Howie Roseman leading the front office and Doug Pederson calling plays, the Eagles' present and future are in good hands. The club's biggest concern, of course, is Carson Wentz's health. Injuries prematurely ended the quarterback's last two campaigns, so it's fair to question his long-term durability. If Wentz is healthy moving forward and Roseman can continue his expert salary-cap maneuvering, Philadelphia is an excellent bet to capture its second Super Bowl before the 2021 season concludes.

New England Patriots: 40 percent

There are plenty of reasons the Patriots have played in four of the last five Super Bowls, winning three of them. They have the greatest coach-quarterback combination ever, they manage the salary cap as well as any team in the league, and they continually breed fresh talent. As long as Tom Brady fulfills his stated desire to play at least three more seasons, there's a good chance he'll finish at least one of them raising another Lombardi Trophy over his head.

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