Whether you’re an NFL player, coach, or fan, everyone enters the season hoping to win the Super Bowl. It goes without saying, though, that it’s easier said than done. While there are usually a handful of teams with enough talent to win the championship, only one of them can claim the top spot.
While both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs have won the big game before, Patrick Mahomes and his teammates are the defending champions; they’ll do everything in their power to keep hold of the Lombardi Trophy. How many teams have pulled off that feat and won back-to-back Super Bowls?
A brief history of the Super Bowl
These days, the Super Bowl towers over the NFL landscape; even if you aren’t a football fan, you’ll probably watch at least a little bit of the big game. In the grand scheme of things, though, it’s still a relatively recent creation.
While the NFL first kicked off as the American Professional Football Association in 1920, the league didn’t originally have a championship game; the champion was decided by winning percentage. That reality led to some issues, like ties and unequal records, and, in 1932, the league held a one-game championship playoff. It unsurprisingly proved to be incredibly popular, and a tradition was born.
Things took another leap forward in the 1960s when the American Football League (AFL) challenged the NFL for gridiron supremacy. While the two leagues eventually merged, there were four AFL–NFL Championship Games, pitting each league’s top team against each other.
While things have evolved over the years—Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt coined the term ‘Super Bowl,’ teams now represent two conferences instead of two leagues, and the game is now a global spectacle—the core appeal of the event remains the same. Two top-notch teams will take the field, but only one can be crowned champion.
How many teams have won back-to-back Super Bowls?
As fans of the Buffalo Bills and other franchises can confirm, winning one Super Bowl is tough enough. A select group of teams, however, have won back-to-back titles.
The Green Bay Packers pulled off the feat in what became Super Bowl 1 and Super Bowl 2; as mentioned above, they were technically called the AFL–NFL Championship Game at the time. The Miami Dolphins then won back-to-back titles in Super Bowls 7 and 8.
After that, the Pittsburgh Steelers actually won two separate sets of back-to-back championships; they lifted the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowls 9 and 10, then Super Bowls 13 and 14.
Since the 1980s, though, NFL fans have seen four sets of back-to-back Super Bowl champs. The San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, and New England Patriots all accomplished the feat.
In total, seven different franchises—and eight teams, thanks to two different Steelers squads—have won back-to-back Super Bowls. Given that February 2021 will be the 55th edition of the big game, that’s a pretty exclusive club.
The Kansas City Chiefs will be hoping to become the next back-to-back champs
Come February 7, the Kansas City Chiefs will be hoping to add their name to that exclusive list. If they can knock off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl 55, they’ll become the NFL’s newest back-to-back champions.
Last year, the Chiefs broke a lengthy Super Bowl drought by coming from behind to steal the Lombardi Trophy away from the San Francisco 49ers. This year, though, they’ll be facing a serial winner in the form of Tom Brady.
While it’s never wise to bet against Tom Brady, especially in the playoffs, the Chiefs will have to feel good about their chances. Patrick Mahomes and their explosive offense can outscore virtually anyone; Kansas City’s defense is also run by Steve Spagnuolo, who has a history of besting Brady in the big moment.
Winning one Super Bowl title is tough enough; winning two back-to-back is quite a feat. Only time will tell if the Kansas City Chiefs can make it happen in Tampa.
Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference