Which American sports team has the longest playoff drought today?


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NASHVILLE, TN – SEPTEMBER 24: Quarterback Marcus Mariota #8 of the Tennesee Titans calls a play against the Seattle Seahawks at Nissan Stadium on September 24, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Shaban Athuman/Getty Images)

Andrew Dursi, Sports Editor

The title of longest playoff drought in American sports has now switched hands. In a season where eight teams who missed the playoffs last year, earned a spot in them this year, the Buffalo Bills had the opportunity to play in the AFC Wild Card Game against the Tennessee Titans. The Titans would go on to 10-3 in a defensive battle for the ages, but reaching the game alone was a monstrous achievement for the team. It also has the sports community wondering, who has the longest playoff drought now?

Unfortunately for fans of the Seattle Mariners, their team now holds that distinction, with their last playoff game being in the 2001 ALCS where they were defeated by the Yankees. The Mariners also have the unfortunate dishonor of being one of the seven teams in Major League Baseball never to win a world series, and one of two teams to never even make it past the Championship Series’ games.

The Minnesota Timberwolves would be next on the list of playoff droughts, not having been to the NBA playoffs since they were defeated by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2003-2004 Western Conference Finals. Similarly to the Mariners, the Timberwolves also are one of twelve NBA teams to never win a championship and one of seven teams to never play in the NBA Finals. As of right now, the Timberwolves hold a 29-17 record and the fourth seed in the Western Conference. With the addition of Jimmy Butler from Chicago during the offseason, reaching the playoffs seems more likely than ever for Minnesota.

Though playoff droughts are rough, championship droughts are even worse. Of all American sports teams who have won championships, the Arizona Cardinals not only never repeated, but also won their only championship longer ago than any other team. They came close in 2009 when QB Kurt Warner led the team to the Super Bowl, but they came up short falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-23.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the New England Patriots have just reached the AFC Championship game for a record seventh consecutive season. They have made the playoffs 15 times since 2000, which is the most of any active NFL team. In that span, they have won five Super Bowls, and have a 25-9 playoff record. They will once again play in the Super Bowl in 2018.