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Every team is not a viable contender

Will the Jets or Redskins become the latest franchise to miss the playoffs one year and earn a Super Bowl berth the next?

Updated: February 12, 2004, 5:33 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Only two seasons before their Super Bowl XXXVIII berth, the Carolina Panthers won just a single contest, concluding the dismal 2001 campaign with a 15-game losing streak. A year later, under rookie coach John Fox, the Panthers won seven times and then, in the recently completed season, fell four seconds shy of forcing a Super Bowl overtime and earning a chance to culminate one of the great franchise resurrections in NFL history.

The lesson for moribund clubs everywhere, in the wake of the ...

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