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How every Super Bowl winner fared the following season

  • How every Super Bowl winner fared the following season
    1/ Au Kirk // Wikimedia Commons

    How every Super Bowl winner fared the following season

    While fans of the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots are wholly focused on the big game Feb. 3, there are 30 other NFL teams already dreaming of next season. Those on the outside looking in can take solace in the fact that not many teams repeat as Super Bowl champions, so the 2019 field is wide open.

    Only on eight occasions has a Super Bowl winner repeated as champ. Consider this your kickoff show for Super Bowl LIII, as Stacker has compiled every Super Bowl winner since the first game in 1967, and included that team’s following season’s record and what led them to repeat glory or fall short of the promised land. A variety of records were used, with databases like NFL.com and Pro-Football-Reference as guides.

    For Rams and Pats faithful, it’s never too early to start thinking—and worrying—about next year.

    RELATED: Ranking every quarterback performance in Super Bowl history

  • Super Bowl I: Green Bay Packers
    2/ Jimberg13 // Wikimedia Commons

    Super Bowl I: Green Bay Packers

    Following season's record: 9-4-1

    When the Packers thrashed the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 in Super Bowl I, they did so under the balmy Los Angeles sun. Those conditions were a stark contrast to the environment surrounding Green Bay's most infamous game the following season, when the legend of the “frozen tundra” of Lambeau Field reached mythical levels. On Dec. 31, 1967, the Packers outlasted the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL championship game, in a contest remembered as the “Ice Bowl.” The minus 13-degree temperature for kickoff could not stop the home team though, as the Packers outlasted the Cowboys, 21-17, and headed to their second straight Super Bowl.

  • Super Bowl II: Green Bay Packers
    3/ Unknown // Wikimedia Commons

    Super Bowl II: Green Bay Packers

    Following season's record: 6-7-1

    The Packers once again dominated a foe from the upstart American Football League in Super Bowl II, stymying the Oakland Raiders, 33-14. Green Bay kicker Don Chandler equaled Oakland's output himself with 14 points, highlighted by four field goals. There would be no three-peat in store for the Packers though, as Green Bay stumbled to a below .500 record in 1968, and missed the postseason. Cheeseheads would not witness their team in another Super Bowl until 1997.

  • Super Bowl III: New York Jets
    4/ David Maxwell // Getty Images

    Super Bowl III: New York Jets

    Following season's record: 10-4

    Joe Willie Namath guaranteed the Jets would win Super Bowl III and in stunning fashion, the playboy with the golden arm led New York to a shocking upset of the heavily favored Baltimore Colts, 16-7, at the Orange Bowl in Miami. With the victory, the Jets forever altered the landscape of professional football, proving that teams from the American Football League were on par with the old guard from the National Football League. The Jets made the playoffs the following season, but lost to the Kansas City Chiefs. Namath had a horrid afternoon, completing only 14 of 40 pass attempts while tossing three interceptions. Alas, Super Bowl III was the pinnacle of Namath's career, which became ravaged by injuries, and the Jets have never made it back to the Super Bowl.

  • Super Bowl IV: Kansas City Chiefs
    5/ Brian Bahr // Getty Images

    Super Bowl IV: Kansas City Chiefs

    Following season's record: 7-5-2

    After beating the New York Jets in the 1969 playoffs, the Chiefs' punishing defense steamrolled its way to Super Bowl IV, where they topped the Minnesota Vikings 23-7. With legendary coach Hank Stram calling the plays, the Chiefs jumped out to a 16-0 lead before the Vikings got on the board with a touchdown—the Jets also had a 16-0 lead in the previous year's Super Bowl before winning 16-7. Len Dawson connected with Otis Taylor to put the game away, 23-7. Kansas City appeared prime for a repeat run, but lost its final two games of the 1970 regular season and missed out on the playoffs.

  • Super Bowl V: Baltimore Colts
    6/ Malcolm W.Emmons // Wikipedia Commons

    Super Bowl V: Baltimore Colts

    Following season's record: 10-4

    The Colts avenged their Super Bowl III disappointment by marching back into the Orange Bowl two years later and holding off the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V, 16-13. The game was marked by sloppy play, which earned it the name the “Blunder Bowl,” but the Colts' Jim O'Brien executed a kick of beauty when he nailed a 32-yard field goal with five seconds remaining to seal the win. The Colts went 10-4 the following year, but fell in the conference championship game to the Miami Dolphins. The 1971 campaign was the last time Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas helmed the Colts in the playoffs, but he forever had a haircut you could set your watch to.

  • Super Bowl VI: Dallas Cowboys
    7/ Al Messerschmidt // Getty Images

    Super Bowl VI: Dallas Cowboys

    Following season's record: 10-4

    One year after falling to the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl V, the Cowboys dominated the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI, 24-3. Roger Staubach threw two touchdown passes and won the game's most valuable player award, and bandwagon fans from across the country rejoiced. The Cowboys were dealt a blow in 1972 when Staubach separated his shoulder, but the team still posted a 10-4 mark, before being dispatched by the Washington Redskins in the conference championship game.

  • Super Bowl VII: Miami Dolphins
    8/ Tom Hauck // Getty Images

    Super Bowl VII: Miami Dolphins

    Following season's record: 12-2

    The 1972 Dolphins remain the only NFL team to accomplish a perfect season, and legend has it that the surviving members pop some bubbly each year to remind the league's other 31 teams of their excellence whenever the last unbeaten team falls (members of the ‘72 champs have disputed this myth). The Miami defense collected three interceptions against the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII, and carried that momentum into the following season when they became the first AFC team to win back-to-back titles.

  • Super Bowl VIII: Miami Dolphins
    9/ Unknown // Creative Commons

    Super Bowl VIII: Miami Dolphins

    Following season's record: 11-3

    The 1973 Dolphins finally lost a game—two to be exact, but still were heads above the rest of the league. In Super Bowl VIII, Miami overwhelmed the Minnesota Vikings, 24-7, propelled by Larry Csonka, a gladiator on the gridiron who went on to host the first run of “American Gladiators” on television. The Dolphins' run of success finally came to a halt the next season, as they lost in the divisional round of the playoffs to the Oakland Raiders.

  • Super Bowl IX: Pittsburgh Steelers
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    Super Bowl IX: Pittsburgh Steelers

    Following season's record: 12-2

    The Steelers won their first of a record six Super Bowls in 1975, taking Super Bowl IX, 16-6, over the Minnesota Vikings. Franco Harris rumbled to 158 yards rushing and one touchdown, picking up MVP honors. Pittsburgh's Steel Curtain defense continued to punish opponents into the 1975 campaign, as they won 11 of their final 12 regular season games, then carried that momentum into the playoffs.

  • Super Bowl X: Pittsburgh Steelers
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    Super Bowl X: Pittsburgh Steelers

    Following season's record: 10-4

    With a 21-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl X, the Steelers became the third team to capture consecutive Super Bowls. This clash between two of the NFL's most storied franchises was memorable for the grace and spee of Lynn Swann, who pulled in 161 yards receiving, including an iconic 64-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter that sealed the Pittsburgh win—and just maybe helped land him a gig in “The Waterboy.” While the Steelers would remain a perennial contender throughout the decade, they could not clinch a three-peat, falling to the Oakland Raiders in the 1976 AFC championship game.


     

  • Super Bowl XI: Oakland Raiders
    12/ Heinz Kluetmeier // Getty Images

    Super Bowl XI: Oakland Raiders

    Following season's record: 11-3

    Believe it or not, millennials, but John Madden is more than the namesake of a video game franchise. In 1977, he coached the Oakland Raiders to a 32-14 shellacking of the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI. Minnesota—which dropped their fourth Super Bowl—and their Purple People Eaters defense was no match for the Raiders' ground game and the slithery operations of quarterback Ken Stabler in the pocket. Oakland returned a stout unit the following season, but fell short in the conference championship game, succumbing to the rival Denver Broncos.

  • Super Bowl XII: Dallas Cowboys
    13/ Otto Greule Jr. // Getty Images

    Super Bowl XII: Dallas Cowboys

    Following season's record: 12-4

    The first batch of Super Bowls were not always the most thrilling of matchups. When the Cowboys grabbed their second world championship title, they easily subdued the Denver Broncos, en route to a 27-10 victory. The Cowboys' “Doomsday” defense only allowed 156 total yards and recovered four fumbles as they left the Superdome with another Vince Lombardi trophy. Dallas looked equally as stout the next season, reaching the Super Bowl behind the dynamic one-two combo of Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett.

  • Super Bowl XIII: Pittsburgh Steelers
    14/ Rick Stewart // Getty Images

    Super Bowl XIII: Pittsburgh Steelers

    Following season's record: 12-4

    If the first dozen Super Bowls failed to produce much drama, Super Bowl XIII more than made up for the lack of theatrics. After a back and forth first half, the Steelers jumped out to a 35-17 lead before the Dallas Cowboys made a furious comeback, falling just short and losing, 35-31. The crowd-pleasing game was not as well-received by bookmakers though, who dubbed the day “Black Sunday” for losing almost $3 million. Terry Bradshaw, who many recognize today as an affable television personality, threw for 318 yards and four touchdowns, and continued his roll into the 1979 campaign.

  • Super Bowl XIV: Pittsburgh Steelers
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    Super Bowl XIV: Pittsburgh Steelers

    Following season's record: 9-7

    Steelers fans waved their fear-inducing yellow terrible towels all around the Rose Bowl, as Terry Bradshaw and company staged a fourth quarter comeback to take down the hometown Los Angeles Rams, 31-19. Bradshaw connected with John Stallworth on a 73-yard touchdown early in the fourth, before Franco Harris added an insurance score with less than two minutes remaining. Alas, this was the end of the glory days for the Steelers. After winning four Super Bowls in six years, the team scuttled and missed the playoffs in 1980, and did not win another Super Bowl until 2006.

  • Super Bowl XV: Oakland Raiders
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    Super Bowl XV: Oakland Raiders

    Following season's record: 7-9

    One of the teams to assume the mantle left behind by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the American Football Conference were the Raiders, who outclasses the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-10, in Super Bowl XV in the Superdome in New Orleans. Cliff Branch caught two touchdowns and Jim Plunkett threw for three scores on his way to winning the most valuable player award. Plunkett, born to two legally blind parents, began his career as a backup, but soon became a Raiders legend. However, success would not immediately follow, as Oakland missed the playoffs the next year.

  • Super Bowl XVI: San Francisco 49ers
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    Super Bowl XVI: San Francisco 49ers

    Following season's record: 3-6

    The 1980s were a decade of opulence for Bay Area football. With the Raiders punishing opponents in the AFC, the 49ers emerged as a high-powered offensive juggernaut across the Bay Bridge. On Jan. 14, 1982, San Francisco won their first Super Bowl, holding off the Cincinnati Bengals, 26-21. The 49ers quest for a repeat was paused by a labor strike that shortened the 1982 season to nine games, and San Francisco never found their mojo, picking up only three wins and missing the playoffs.

  • Super Bowl XVII: Washington Redskins
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    Super Bowl XVII: Washington Redskins

    Following season's record: 14-2

    Trailing 17-10 at halftime, the Redskins scored 17 unanswered points in the second half to bring their first Vince Lombardi trophy back to the nation's capital. Blue collar running back John Riggins (no relation to Tim, sorry “Friday Night Lights” fans) pounded his way to 166 yards rushing and one touchdown. The Washington machine continued pumping on into 1983, when they reached the Super Bowl once again.

  • Super Bowl XVIII: Los Angeles Raiders
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    Super Bowl XVIII: Los Angeles Raiders

    Following season's record: 11-5

    The swashbuckling Raiders returned to the Super Bowl in 1984, only this time they repped the City of Angels. In 1982, an Oakland Superior Court judge tried to block the team from moving to southern California, but a federal jury later ruled in favor of the Raiders. After the 1994 season, the team and frenetic owner Al Davis moved the franchise back to Oakland, and in 2020, the Raiders are scheduled to relocate to Las Vegas under the helm of Mark Davis. Facing the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII proved a much easier path for Oakland, as they stomped their way to a 38-9 win. The Raiders would return to the playoffs in 1984, but lost in the wild card round.

  • Super Bowl XIX: San Francisco 49ers
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    Super Bowl XIX: San Francisco 49ers

    Following season's record: 10-6

    The 49ers returned to the big game in 1985, and despite trailing 10-7 after the first quarter, Joe Montana led San Francisco to a 38-16 triumph over the Miami Dolphins. Montana, in a battle against another future Hall of Famer in Dan Marino, outdueled his rival with 331 passing yards and a trio of touchdowns. San Francisco snuck back into the playoffs the next season, but were eliminated in a wild card game against the New York Giants, one of their biggest antagonists over the next two decades.

  • Super Bowl XX: Chicago Bears
    21/ Mike Powell // Getty Images

    Super Bowl XX: Chicago Bears

    Following season's record: 14-2

    You've seen the video, complete with its gaudy special effects, black sunglasses, and offbeat rapping. Despite the cheesiness of the Bears' “Super Bowl Shuffle,” Chicago could back up their bravado. In one of the biggest mismatches in Super Bowl history, the Bears stormed past the New England Patriots, 46-10. To add salt in the wounds of Bostonites, Chicago defensive lineman William “Refrigerator” Perry even got in on the blowout, scoring a touchdown late in the rout. The Bears and sharp-mouthed coach Mike Ditka looked primed for back-to-back titles, but were upset in the 1986 playoffs in a divisional round battle against the Washington Redskins.

  • Super Bowl XXI: New York Giants
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    Super Bowl XXI: New York Giants

    Following season's record: 6-9

    Two weeks before Super Bowl XXI, the Denver Broncos behind quarterback John Elway staged one of football's most iconic moments as they drove 98 yards to tie the Cleveland Browns in the AFC championship game, before winning in overtime. In the big game against the Giants though, there would be no such heroics. New York plowed through the Denver defense and left the Rose Bowl with a 39-20 win and their first world title. The Giants were a perennial contender throughout the decade, but were slowed by another labor stoppage in 1987, and missed the postseason.

  • Super Bowl XXII: Washington Redskins
    23/ Rick Stewart // Getty Images

    Super Bowl XXII: Washington Redskins

    Following season's record: 7-9

    Louisiana legend Doug Williams became the first African-American starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl when he guided the Redskins over the Denver Broncos in the 1987 game, 42-10. Williams, who played college ball at Grambling State University, dissected the Denver defense with 340 yards passing and four touchdowns, which earned him MVP honors. Washington suffered a championship hangover though, and missed the 1988 playoffs.

  • Super Bowl XXIII: San Francisco 49ers
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    Super Bowl XXIII: San Francisco 49ers

    Following season's record: 14-2

    If Joe Montana wasn't already considered one of the sport's all-time greats, he likely cemented his status with Super Bowl XXIII. Trailing 16-13 with just over three minutes remaining in the game, Montana marched the 49ers down the field and hooked up with John Taylor in the end zone for the game-clinching score and a 20-16 victory. For aficionados of television, kitsch, and American beer, this game was also notable for airing the first “Bud Bowl” commercial. For the 49ers though, they only popped bottles of champagne after Super Bowl XXIII and would replicate the celebration one year later.

  • Super Bowl XXIV: San Francisco 49ers
    25/ George Rose // Getty Images

    Super Bowl XXIV: San Francisco 49ers

    Following season's record: 14-2

    The Denver Broncos were one of the AFC's most dangerous teams during the 1980s, but their Super Bowl exploits were far from inspiring. In another matchup of legendary quarterbacks, Joe Montana and the 49ers thrashed John Elway and the Broncos, 55-10. Montana tossed five touchdowns (three to Jerry Rice) and picked up the game's MVP award. The 49ers were on their way to a three-peat, before running into those pesky New York Giants in the 1990 NFC title game, where they fell, 15-13.

  • Super Bowl XXV: New York Giants
    26/ Rick Stewart // Getty Images

    Super Bowl XXV: New York Giants

    Following season's record: 8-8

    After Whitney Houston kicked off the evening with a rousing rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner," Scott Norwood polarized the state of New York when he missed a 47-yard field goal with eight seconds left in regulation that likely would have given the Buffalo Bills their first Super Bowl title. In the end though, Giants fans throughout the Empire State rejoiced as the pigskin sailed just right of the yellow goalposts, giving the G-Men their second Super Bowl with the 20-19 victory. This would be a last hurrah of sorts for this Giants group, as coach Bill Parcells left after the season and the team missed the playoffs under new leader Ray Handley.

  • Super Bowl XXVI: Washington Redskins
    27/ Mike Powell // Getty Images

    Super Bowl XXVI: Washington Redskins

    Following season's record: 9-7

    While the Buffalo Bills came in looking to make amends for their heartbreaking loss in Super Bowl XXV, the Redskins put this game out of reach early, cruising to a 37-24 win. A bit of a snoozer of a game also had one of the most channel-changing worthy halftime shows ever. The Bills would be back for more in 1992, and while Washington reached the divisional round of the playoffs the following year, the team with the controversial nickname has never been back to another Super Bowl.

  • Super Bowl XXVII: Dallas Cowboys
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    Super Bowl XXVII: Dallas Cowboys

    Following season's record: 12-4

    The Buffalo Bills continued their run of dominance in the AFC, but could not get over the hump as they met “America's Team” in Super Bowl XXVII. Behind future Hall of Famers Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and Emmitt Smith, the Cowboys trounced the Bills, 52-17. The only Cowboy perhaps not overcome with joy after the game was Leon Lett, who thought he had a sure touchdown, but was caught from behind by the speedy Don Beebe at the goal line. Soothing Lett's pain was the fact that Dallas returned to the Super Bowl the following season.

  • Super Bowl XXVIII: Dallas Cowboys
    29/ George Rose // Getty Images

    Super Bowl XXVIII: Dallas Cowboys

    Following season's record: 12-4

    In a rematch of Super Bowl XXVII, the Cowboys once again proved too much for the Buffalo Bills, who became the only team in NFL history to lose four consecutive Super Bowls. This 30-17 Cowboys win looked in doubt in the first half, as Buffalo carried a 13-6 lead into halftime. But Emmitt Smith ran for two second half touchdowns and won MVP. There still has never been a three-peat Super Bowl winner though, as the Cowboys fell in the NFC championship game the following January.

  • Super Bowl XXIX: San Francisco 49ers
    30/ George Rose // Getty Images

    Super Bowl XXIX: San Francisco 49ers

    Following season's record: 11-5

    In an all-California tussle, the 49ers picked up their fifth Super Bowl, overwhelming the San Diego Chargers, 49-26. Steve Young—a descendent of Brigham Young—who inherited the quarterback position from Joe Montana, did something his predecessor never did by tossing a record six touchdowns in a Super Bowl. San Francisco whiffed on another Super Bowl run during the 1995 season, losing to the Green Bay Packers in the divisional playoffs.

  • Super Bowl XXX: Dallas Cowboys
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    Super Bowl XXX: Dallas Cowboys

    Following season's record: 10-6

    Head coach Jimmy Johnson popularized the phrase “How ‘bout dem Cowboys!” in the early 1990s, but the flamboyant sideline maestro was long gone by the time Dallas reached the 30th edition of the Super Bowl. Johnson left Dallas after a long power struggle with headstrong owner Jerry Jones, so Barry Switzer took the reigns. With the core of their earlier Super Bowl teams still in tact on the field, the Cowboys held off the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-17. Dallas was dropped in the divisional round the next season and has not been to a Super Bowl since the 1996 game in Arizona.

  • Super Bowl XXXI: Green Bay Packers
    32/ Rick Stewart // Getty Images

    Super Bowl XXXI: Green Bay Packers

    Following season's record: 13-3

    The 1990s were a halcyon period for quarterbacks, with Steve Young and Troy Aikman redefining the record books. During the midpoint of the decade, a gunslinger from Mississippi joined the ranks of the elite and resurrecting the legend of the Packers. In Super Bowl XXXI, Brett Favre brought the Vince Lombardi trophy back to where it originated, as Green Bay toppled the New England Patriots, 35-21. Favre would go on to a Hall of Fame career, become a spokesman for real, comfortable jeans, and make cameos in Hollywood flicks like “There's Something About Mary.” Favre led the Packers to another Super Bowl the next year, but it was a quarterback who developed his stardom in the 1980s that proved to be a foil.

  • Super Bowl XXXII: Denver Broncos
    33/ Andy Lyons // Getty Images

    Super Bowl XXXII: Denver Broncos

    Following season's record: 14-2

    By the time John Elway stepped onto the field for Super Bowl XXXII in San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium, he had suffered three of the worst Super Bowl losses in history. Elway left it all out on the field against the Green Bay Packers, even infamously diving head first for a crucial first down late in the game that led to a 31-24 win and Denver's first Super Bowl title. Before committing to football, Elway was a top baseball prospect, drafted by the Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees. The veteran proved to have some magic left in his right arm, as the Broncos returned to the big game the next season.

  • Super Bowl XXXIII: Denver Broncos
    34/ Al Bello // Getty Images

    Super Bowl XXXIII: Denver Broncos

    Following season's record: 6-10

    In his final NFL game, John Elway quarterbacked the Broncos to another Super Bowl win, taking down the Atlanta Falcons, 34-19. Elway took home the game's MVP award, throwing for 336 yards and a touchdown, and eventually made his way to Denver's front office, becoming the Broncos' general manager. As expected, Denver went through a lull after Elway's retirement and missed the 1999 postseason.

  • Super Bowl XXXIV: St. Louis Rams
    35/ Al Bello // Getty Images

    Super Bowl XXXIV: St. Louis Rams

    Following season's record: 10-6

    The Tennessee Titans came one yard away from derailing “The Greatest Show on Turf.” On the final play of regulation, Steve McNair hit Kevin Dyson coming across the middle, but a tackle by the Rams' Mike Jones stopped Dyson's arm just short of reaching over the goal line. The dramatic win was the capstone for St. Louis quarterback Kurt Warner, who worked in a grocery store before getting picked up by the Rams. Warner was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017, but could not carry the Rams past the New Orleans Saints in the 2000 wild card round.

  • Super Bowl XXXV: Baltimore Ravens
    36/ Andy Lyons // Getty Images

    Super Bowl XXXV: Baltimore Ravens

    Following season's record: 10-6

    The drama of the Rams' Super Bowl victory was contrasted by a relative snooze fest the next year between the Ravens and New York Giants. Spurred by a great defensive unit, Baltimore smothered the Giants in a 34-7 blowout. Aside from those in the New York area, watching the game must have been particularly brutal for Clevelanders, as Ravens owner Art Modell relocated the Browns franchise to Baltimore before the 1996 season. In a slight modicum of karma, the Ravens lost in the following year's divisional playoff round.

  • Super Bowl XXXVI: New England Patriots
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    Super Bowl XXXVI: New England Patriots

    Following season's record: 9-7

    If it wasn't for Mo Lewis, Super Bowl XXXVI may not have ever unfolded in its final form—and New Yorkers with a penchant for wearing green might be a lot less miserable. Early in the 2001 season, Lewis, a hard-hitting linebacker for the New York Jets, injured New England Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Enter little-known sixth-round pick Tom Brady. With short, accurate routes, Brady diced up defenses and carried New England into the Super Bowl, where they held off the St. Louis Rams, 20-17, thanks to a game-winning field goal by Adam Vinatieri—who at 46, was still playing in 2018. The Patriots missed the 2002 playoffs, but would be back many, many more times.

  • Super Bowl XXXVII: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    38/ Al Bello // Getty Images

    Super Bowl XXXVII: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Following season's record: 7-9

    The 2003 Super Bowl had one of the more ominous nicknames. Also known as “Chucky Bowl” due to Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden—who looks like “Child's Play” villain Chucky—having previously coached the AFC champion Oakland Raiders, the game was expected to be a defensive grind, but ended up a 48-21 showcase of dominance by Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers' next season played out like a horror film though, as they did not qualify for the postseason.

  • Super Bowl XXXVIII: New England Patriots
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    Super Bowl XXXVIII: New England Patriots

    Following season's record: 14-2

    The foundation for the Patriots' ongoing dynasty was cemented with a 32-29 win over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII, which was clinched by another clutch last second field goal by Adam Vinatieri. Tom Brady won the MVP award, outperforming a game Jake Delhomme, who threw for 323 yards and three touchdowns in the loss. The event is also known for the controversial halftime show, where Justin Timberlake revealed part of Janet Jackson's breast. New England returned to the Super Bowl in 2005, albeit with much tamer entertainment.

  • Super Bowl XXXIX: New England Patriots
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    Super Bowl XXXIX: New England Patriots

    Following season's record: 10-6

    Watching the Patriots push their way to a third Super Bowl title in four years was sickening to fans of their rivals, and possibly opposing quarterbacks. As the Philadelphia Eagles tried to muster up a late comeback, it appeared quarterback Donovan McNabb became sick on the field. Despite McNabb fighting through, the Eagles came up short, losing 24-21. To the relief of some, the Patriots train was momentarily halted in 2005, when they lost in the divisional playoffs.

  • Super Bowl XL: Pittsburgh Steelers
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    Super Bowl XL: Pittsburgh Steelers

    Following season's record: 8-8

    After more than two decades of dormancy, the Steelers returned to the pinnacle of the NFL by shutting down the Seattle Seahawks, 21-10, in the 40th Super Bowl. Hines Ward won Super Bowl MVP, and became an instant celebrity in South Korea, where his mother is from. Pittsburgh was absent from the playoffs after finishing 8-8 the next season—the last on the sidelines for coach Bill Cowher.

  • Super Bowl XLI: Indianapolis Colts
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    Super Bowl XLI: Indianapolis Colts

    Following season's record: 13-3

    On a rainy February night in Miami, Peyton Manning won his first Super Bowl, carrying the Colts to a 29-17 win over the Chicago Bears. Manning, long hounded by labels that he could not win the big one, had a relatively quiet night, but still took home MVP hardware. With Manning under center, Indianapolis would be playoff mainstays during the 2000s, as he became one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. A surprising divisional round loss momentarily halted Indianapolis's upward trajectory in 2007.

  • Super Bowl XLII: New York Giants
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    Super Bowl XLII: New York Giants

    Following season's record: 12-4

    The New England Patriots were the talk of the sports world in 2007, as they went undefeated in the regular season and entered the Super Bowl with an 18-0 record, looking to become only the second team to finish an NFL season unbeaten. However, Eli Manning, little brother of Peyton, played sound football throughout, aided by almost supernatural playmaking by his wide receivers, and the Giants shocked New England, 19-16. The Giants exited after one playoff game the next year, but forever can claim to be the one in 18-1.

  • Super Bowl XLIII: Pittsburgh Steelers
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    Super Bowl XLIII: Pittsburgh Steelers

    Following season's record: 9-7

    Super Bowls in the 21st century have included some of the sport's most unbelievable feats of athleticism by wide receivers. In the 43rd edition of the Super Bowl, played in Tampa Bay, Larry Fitzgerald, a receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, sprinted 64 yards for a go-ahead touchdown with under three minutes left. But that was more than enough time for Ben Roethlisberger to find Santonio Holmes in the end zone; Holmes' tippy toes barely scraped in bounds, sealing Pittsburgh's 27-23 win. The feeling of ecstasy did not last long: Holmes was eventually shipped out of Pittsburgh and the Steelers missed the playoffs in 2009.

  • Super Bowl XLIV: New Orleans Saints
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    Super Bowl XLIV: New Orleans Saints

    Following season's record: 11-5

    In a battle of highly potent offenses, it was play that altered Super Bowl XLIV in Dolphin Stadium in Miami: Trailing 10-6 at halftime, the Saints opened the third quarter with an onside kick, catching the Indianapolis Colts by surprise and taking the ball over at their own 42-yard line. Quarterback Drew Brees drove the Saints down for a go-ahead score and New Orleans won their first Super Bowl, 31-17. Fun fact: Peyton Manning, quarterback for the Colts, is the son of Archie Manning, perhaps the Saints' most revered quarterback before the arrival of Brees. New Orleans lost in the playoffs during their title defense.

  • Super Bowl XLV: Green Bay Packers
    46/ Doug Pensinger // Getty Images

    Super Bowl XLV: Green Bay Packers

    Following season's record: 15-1

    Green Bay, Wisc., might not have the same perks as other NFL cities like Miami or Los Angeles, but Packers fans have enjoyed almost three decades of premier quarterback play. After Brett Favre was traded to the Jets in 2008, Aaron Rodgers took over and the Packers hardly skipped a beat. In 2011, Rodgers and company christened the newly opened Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, by dropping the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-25. Mr. “Discount Double Check” won MVP, and the Packers looked ready to repeat after a stellar regular season, but were upset in the following year's playoffs.

  • Super Bowl XLVI: New York Giants
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    Super Bowl XLVI: New York Giants

    Following season's record: 9-7

    While the New England Patriots have had their way with just about every team since the turn of the century, the Giants have been their kryptonite. Looking to avenge New York ruining their perfect season four years earlier, New England could not solve the Giants' defense and succumbed, 21-17. The Giants barely made the playoffs before going on a memorable run, but could not repeat their magic, missing the postseason the next year.

  • Super Bowl XLVII: Baltimore Ravens
    48/ Chris Graythen // Getty Images

    Super Bowl XLVII: Baltimore Ravens

    Following season's record: 8-8

    Behind young, dynamic quarterback Colin Kaepernick and coached by John Harbaugh, the San Francisco 49ers walked into the Superdome in New Orleans looking to electrify and win their sixth Super Bowl. Instead, the power went out during the middle of the game, halting action for 34 minutes. When play resumed, the Ravens—coached by John's brother, Jim Harbaugh—held off a 49ers rally and won, 34-31. Baltimore did not reach the postseason the next year and haven't been back to another Super Bowl.

  • Super Bowl XLVIII: Seattle Seahawks
    49/ Rob Carr // Getty Images

    Super Bowl XLVIII: Seattle Seahawks

    Following season's record: 12-4

    In the first Super Bowl held in the Northeast, the Seattle Seahawks and their “Legion of Boom” defense neutralized the Denver Broncos—now with Peyton Manning at quarterback—43-8. The game was held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.—home of the NFL's New York Giants and New York Jets. The Seahawks looked equally as formidable defending their title, but would not leave Super Bowl XLIX with such a glorious feeling.

  • Super Bowl XLIX: New England Patriots
    50/ Tom Pennington // Getty Images

    Super Bowl XLIX: New England Patriots

    Following season's record: 12-4

    Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll will forever be hounded by questions on why he didn't just run the ball. One yard away from all but guaranteeing another Super Bowl win, Carroll called a pass play from the Patriots 1-yard line and quarterback Russell Wilson was intercepted. The Patriots won their fourth Super Bowl, 28-24, but were prevented a repeat when longtime foe Peyton Manning stifled them in the AFC championship game.

  • Super Bowl 50: Denver Broncos
    51/ Timothy A. Clary // Getty Images

    Super Bowl 50: Denver Broncos

    Following season's record: 9-7

    After licking their wounds from the Super Bowl XLVIII loss, Peyton Manning and the Broncos took the 50th Super Bowl with a 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers. Manning, in his final game, did not play particularly well, but Denver's defense—helmed by Super Bowl MVP Von Miller—continually flustered Cam Newton and the Panthers. After Manning's retirement, the Broncos missed the playoffs and have been searching for a sound replacement at quarterback ever since.

  • Super Bowl LI: New England Patriots
    52/ Jamie Squire // Getty Images

    Super Bowl LI: New England Patriots

    Following season's record: 13-3

    If Patriots fans are haunted by the numbers 18-1, faithful of the Atlanta Falcons will forever anguish at the sight of 28-3. That was the lead the Falcons had in Super Bowl LI, before they went conservative and New England stormed back behind the wizardry of Tom Brady. New England's 34-28 win delivered their fifth Vince Lombardi trophy and the Falcons have not recovered. The Patriots, meanwhile, continued to churn along.

  • Super Bowl LII: Philadelphia Eagles
    53/ Patrick Smith // Getty Images

    Super Bowl LII: Philadelphia Eagles

    Following season's record: 9-7

    The Eagles winning the Super Bowl with a backup quarterback was an underdog story that would make Rocky proud. Led by Nick Foles—whose mastery at performing football miracles earned him the nickname “St. Nick”—Philadelphia outlasted the New England Patriots, 41-33. The key play was known as “Philly Special”: Foles, lining up at receiver, caught a touchdown and entered the pantheon of Philly sports legends with the Italian Stallion. Foles created some more postseason magic this year, but the Eagles ultimately fell short of a repeat, losing in the divisional round of the playoffs.

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