In the history of the Super Bowl, only one team has ever won three consecutive championships. The Miami Dolphins capped off a perfect season in 1972 by beating the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII, and then repeated as champions when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl VIII.
The New England Patriots have a chance to become just the second team to repeat as champions when they take on the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. But if they win, does that mean they will have a great shot at making it three in a row?
To answer that question, I looked through every Super Bowl season since the AFL-NFL merger to see how often teams made it back to the Big Game after winning it all. It turns out that defending champions are quite good at returning to the Super Bowl.
Since 1970, 10 teams have made it back to the Super Bowl after winning a championship. That’s more than two-thirds (68 percent) of all winners! In fact, only four teams haven’t made it back: The 1971 Dallas Cowboys, 1985 San Francisco 49ers, 1998 Denver Broncos and 2009 Pittsburgh Steelers.
Those teams didn’t make it back for different reasons: The Cowboys were upset by the Baltimore Colts in their first playoff game after beating Miami
The Patriots are trying to become the first team to win three Super Bowls in a row. Here’s what history says about their chances.
By: firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Beller) on 25 Feb 2016
The Super Bowl is more than just the final game of the NFL season. It’s also the culmination of a year’s worth of storylines that take shape as early as training camp and develop as we go along.
This year, we’ve been focused on one storyline above all else: Can the Patriots make it a hat trick? They’re trying to become just the third team in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in a row, joining the Packers (1929-31) and Steelers (1974-76).
The Pats have made it back for another shot at history, but there’s no guarantee they’ll reach it. The Broncos have an elite defense that could stymie Tom Brady and Co., while Peyton Manning is looking to go out on top after winning his second MVP award in 2013-14.
We know what the Patriots are up against, but we haven’t discussed whether they’re likely to defy history and claim a third consecutive Lombardi Trophy. That’s what we’re going to do now, using past
The Patriots are back in the Super Bowl for the third-consecutive season, which means that Tom Brady is trying to accomplish a feat that no NFL team has been able to do since the Bills did it from 1990-93. If he succeeds, it would be just the fourth time that an NFL team has ever managed three-straight Super Bowl appearances.
But how likely is this to happen? Is it possible that the greatest dynasty in NFL history could add another year to its résumé and win three straight championships? To put this into perspective, I went back through every Super Bowl and measured how often teams made repeat appearances in the game. Here’s what I found.
Of course, there’s a difference between making repeat appearances and winning multiple titles. Since there was no playoff system before 1967, only two teams had played more than one Super Bowl before then: The Packers won titles in 1966 and 1967, while the Chiefs lost to them in 1966 and beat them in 1970.
In terms of consecutive appearances, the first team to make it back-to-back was Miami, who won three straight titles from 1972-74; Dallas won two straight after that during their run of dominance in the early ’90s; then came Buffalo
The New England Patriots are set to play in their third Super Bowl in as many years. If they win, they will become the second team in NFL history to win three consecutive Super Bowls. The last team to do it? The Patriots, of course, who won three Super Bowls in four years from 2001—2004. That team has long been considered the greatest dynasty in the history of pro football: They only missed the playoffs once between 2000 and 2006 and won two more championships along the way.
But is it fair to call them a dynasty? After all, that word conjures up images of Bill Russell’s Celtics or Wayne Gretzky’s Oilers — teams that won year after year after year after year. While three titles in four years is impressive, it’s hard to compare it with those teams that kept winning for a decade or more.
Rather than start an argument about what exactly defines a dynasty, we’ll look at the statistics and see if those stats support New England earning the “dynasty” tag.
The New England Patriots are playing in their third consecutive Super Bowl, facing the Philadelphia Eagles on Feb. 4. If they win, they’ll be the first team in history to win three titles in a row—and the fourth franchise ever to win at least three Super Bowls in four seasons or fewer. The Miami Dolphins did it in 1972-73, the Pittsburgh Steelers did it in 1975-76 and ‘79-80 and the San Francisco 49ers did it in 1988-89 and ‘92-93.
The Packers were one of two teams to appear in three straight NFL title games from 1929-31. In fact, Green Bay won the first two before losing to the Chicago Bears in the third year. The other squad to get so close? Those 1930 Bears, who lost back-to-back championship games before beating the Packers in ’31.
No team has ever made it to four straight NFL/AFC or NFC title games—only six have even made it to three straight: The Packers and Bears did it twice each, while the Kansas City Chiefs (1966-69), Buffalo Bills (1990-93) and Patriots (2016-18) have done it once each.
The last time that a pro football team won
If you’re a Patriots fan, it’s probably already begun. The boasting. The gloating. The “we’re the best ever” talk that has become so commonplace around these parts that it’s hardly worth mentioning anymore.
But there is one thing about this 2019 New England Patriots football team that is worth noting and discussing, and it should strike fear in the hearts of every other NFL team hoping to get in the way of a seventh Super Bowl title for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick:
The chance to win three straight Super Bowls.
This is not to be confused with winning three out of four, which the Patriots did from 2001 through 2004. It is also not to be confused with winning two in a row, which they did twice (2003-04 and 2014-15), or even winning back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018. All of those things are impressive — truly impressive — but none of them match up with what could happen during these playoffs if all goes according to plan for the defending champions: going to three consecutive Super Bowls and winning them all.
The Patriots will be in the Super Bowl for the third consecutive season, and they have a chance to become the first team since the 1972–73 Dolphins to win three straight championships. Even if Tom Brady loses another Super Bowl to Eli Manning or Ben Roethlisberger, his team will be favored to return next season and claim a seventh Lombardi Trophy.
The NFL has never been more of a dynasty league than it is today, with six of the past 10 Super Bowls belonging to either New England or Seattle. And while the Seahawks fell down in 2016, all signs point to them being back next year. But beyond that, you need to go all the way back to Jan. 14, 1973, to find a championship game without some variation of Brady vs. Manning vs. Roethlisberger:
Super Bowl I: Packers 35, Chiefs 10
Super Bowl II: Packers 33, Raiders 14
Super Bowl III: Jets 16, Colts 7
Super Bowl IV: Chiefs 23, Vikings 7
Super Bowl V: Colts 16, Cowboys 13
Super Bowl VI: Cowboys 24, Dolphins 3
Super Bowl VII: Dolphins 14, Redskins 7
Super Bowl VIII: Dolphins 24, Vikings 7
Super Bowl IX: Steelers 16, Vikings 6
Super Bowl X