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Oldest teams in the NFL

  • Oldest teams in the NFL

    This year, the National Football League celebrates its 100th season. There will likely be a multitude of tributes and trips down memory lane this fall, providing a weekly lesson in football history. Before the season kicks off September 5, when the Chicago Bears host the Green Bay Packers, Stacker decided to list the oldest teams in the NFL and delve into their histories on the gridiron. This includes the olden days of leather helmets and black-and-white broadcasts when fans attended games in dresses and suits and ties as opposed to painted faces and oversized jerseys.

    The 32 teams are ranked by years active, with ties broken by the number of wins. The oldest teams are not necessarily the most successful when it comes to titles (the top two only have one Super Bowl title between them), while relative newcomers like the New England Patriots have trophy cases stuffed to the brim. The NFL hasn't added a new team since 2002, creating enough of a sample size for even the youngest of franchises to have its share of stars and marquee moments.

    This list also details the extensive moves of several franchises, from trips in and out of Baltimore to the exodus and return to Cleveland. Several NFL teams have not only changed cities but also switched nicknames (did you know the New York Jets were once called the Titans, while the Tennessee Titans used to be the Houston Oilers?).

    Training camps will be kicking off in a matter of weeks and before you know it, football season will be here. Click through to relive a century of football history, from heartbreaking Super Bowl losses to the gaudiest uniforms ever worn, as well as the only team to ever finish a season with a perfect, undefeated record.

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  • #32. Houston Texans

    - Year founded: 2002
    - Overall record: 124-156-0

    Prior to the birth of the Texans, the Tennessee Titans franchise (formerly known as the Oilers) called Houston home. The Oilers left for Nashville after the 1996 season, leaving Houston without an NFL team for five seasons. The Texans have had a string of recent success since 2011, winning five division titles behind the talents of Andre Johnson, J. J. Watt, DeAndre Hopkins, and Arian Foster.

  • #31. Baltimore Ravens

    - Year founded: 1996
    - Overall record: 215-176-1

    The Ravens are another team born out of relocation. Former Browns owner Art Modell ripped out the hearts of many Clevelanders when he announced his plans to relocate the city's NFL team to Baltimore (the Browns were re-established as an expansion team, beginning play in 1999). The Ravens returned pro football back to Baltimore, a city which was also the victim of a move in 1984 when the Colts fled to Indianapolis. The Ravens saw quick success, winning two Super Bowls (2002, 2012) on the strength of stout defense featuring the likes of Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, and Ed Reed.

  • #30. Jacksonville Jaguars

    - Year founded: 1995
    - Overall record: 177-221-0

    The Jacksonville Jaguars began their winning ways early, taking two division titles in 1998 and 1999. Fred Taylor, Jimmy Smith, and Mark Brunell were vital cogs of the ascent, but the Jaguars did not win another division title until 2017. They have often been the subject of relocation speculation, but current owner Shahid Khan appears set on keeping the team in Jacksonville, for now.

  • #29. Carolina Panthers

    - Year founded: 1995
    - Overall record: 199-201-1

    Similar to the Jaguars (the team they entered the NFL with in 1995), the Panthers experienced success out of the gate, winning a division title in 1996. A strong defense led by Kevin Greene and Eric Davis carried Carolina to the NFC Championship Game that season, a stage they'd also reach in 2003, 2005, and 2015. The Panthers remain 0-2 in Super Bowl matchups, but with Cam Newton at quarterback, they should remain a steady threat in the NFC South.

  • #28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    - Year founded: 1976
    - Overall record: 266-424-1

    For much of their existence, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have resided toward the bottom of the NFL standings (winning 38% of your games will have that kind of effect). While their play on the gridiron has not always inspired, at least aesthetically they have had some of the flashiest uniforms in NFL history. Despite their history, the Bucs can lay claim to one Super Bowl win, in 2002; 12 other teams cannot.

  • #27. Seattle Seahawks

    - Year founded: 1976
    - Overall record: 360-347-1

    The Seahawks have long been known for their raucous fans and suffocating defense. This century, they have 12 playoff appearances, thanks to the performance of stars past and present including Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, and Marshawn Lynch. Since 2005, the Seahawks have made three Super Bowls, including a championship in 2013.

  • #26. Cincinnati Bengals

    - Year founded: 1968
    - Overall record: 362-441-4

    Earlier this decade, the Cincinnati Bengals were one of the NFL's most consistent franchises, making playoff appearances five straight seasons from 2011–15. However, the Bengals—from the Boomer Esiason era and the reign of Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson to today's regime helmed by Andy Dalton—still remain without a Super Bowl title. During the 1980s, the Bengals lost two heartbreaking Super Bowls at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers.

  • #25. New Orleans Saints

    - Year founded: 1967
    - Overall record: 371-446-5

    While the Saints are now considered one of the NFL's premier franchises (thanks in large part to the skills of Drew Brees), they were once a laughingstock. Because of the team's subpar play, fans would attend games with paper bags on their heads, and the franchise became known as the ‘Aints. But since Brees arrived before the 2006 season, New Orleans won Super Bowl XLIV and has made seven playoff appearances.

  • #24. Atlanta Falcons

    - Year founded: 1966
    - Overall record: 368-466-6

    The Falcons have fielded some of the NFL's most athletic players, from Deion Sanders to Michael Vick. Still, Atlanta has yet to win a Super Bowl—don't mention the numbers 28 and 3 to any Falcons fan. In Super Bowl LI, Atlanta blew a 28-3 lead, as the New England Patriots scored 31 unanswered points for a comeback win.

  • #23. Miami Dolphins

    - Year founded: 1966
    - Overall record: 472-381-4

    Dolphins fans, despite not winning a championship since the 1973 season, can still puff out their chests whenever debating NFL supremacy with rival fanbases. That's because during the 1972 season, Miami finished with a perfect 14-0 record, and they remain the only team to go undefeated en route to a title. That team was led by Bob Griese, Mercury Morris, and Larry Csonka on offense and the Dolphins' vaunted “No-Name Defense” on the other side of the ball.

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