Tickets to Canton are punched in the Super Bowl. What about those who never won it? Here’s the 10 best:
5. Gale Sayers
You can make a case he’s the greatest running back ever to live, but Sayers only checks in at No. 5 on our list because his career was so short and overlapped only with the very beginning of the Super Bowl era.
The Bears great led the league in rushing in 1966 (1,231 yards) and 1969 (1,032), and piled up 39 touchdowns over his first five seasons in the league.
If injuries hadn’t ruined his career, who knows how much Sayers could have done?
4. Merlin Olsen
Olsen, who died less than a year ago, made 14 Pro Bowls and six All Pro teams, but had the misfortune of playing his entire career for the Rams — who won their only Super Bowl long after he retired.
The defensive lineman, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1982, never missed a game over the course of his 15-year career. But his “Fearsome Foursome” line could never quite win the big one.
3. Randy Moss
Moss, who has led the league in TD catches five times (including his rookie season in 1998), is arguably the greatest fly route receiver of all time.
Few pass-catchers have ever been faster, and none opened up the field for teammates the way Moss has.
But with that million-dollar talent comes a million-dollar ego — why he’s bounced around the league so much.
2. Barry Sanders
Just like Sayers — a great running back whose career ended before its time.
Sanders never rushed for less than 1,000 yards in a season, and scored 10 TDs six times. But he only played on three 10-win teams in Detroit, and quit the league with plenty of life left in his legs.
1. Dan Marino
Take the Vikings’ serial texter out of the equation, and Marino is the most statistically impressive quarterback of all time.
He led the league in TD throws three times, completions six times and yardage five times.
Miami’s defense and offensive line, though, never quite lived up to his sterling example.
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