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The Browns, Lions, Texans and Jaguars Embrace Hope as They Eye the Super Bowl

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — They are bonded by football futility for now, but surely not forever. Right?

Cleveland, Detroit, Houston and Jacksonville — the NFL’s final four, if you will — are the last remaining teams to never make a Super Bowl. They’re far from favorites yet still in contention to end their droughts as the playoffs near.

The Browns (11-5) and Lions (11-5) have clinched postseason berths. The Texans (9-7) and Jaguars (9-7) can join them with victories this weekend. “It’s great for all four of those franchises,” said retired NFL cornerback Johnathan Joseph, who spent nine of his 15 professional seasons with Houston. “They’re on the verge and they’re not going away. They’re all young teams with young talent. It’s only a matter of time.” The Browns, Lions and Jaguars have been close before, all of them reaching conference championship games in different decades and losing in stomach-churning fashion. Here’s a look at a few defining failures for the NFL’s final four:

CLEVELAND BROWNS

Of the four, the Browns have come the closest to ending their misery. That’s hardly any consolation for Bernie Kosar. “It’s only taken me 30 years to get over it,” Cleveland’s former quarterback said.

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