The Super Bowl is the NFL’s ultimate prize. Winning is the pinnacle of achievement in professional football. That’s not to say the best team always wins it. Sometimes, teams get hot at the right moment and go on a well-timed run. In some cases, though, a historically great team comes out on top.
In the history of football’s big game, there have been many winners, but only a few stand out above the rest. Here are the best NFL teams in Super Bowl history.
The best Super Bowl teams
CBS Sports compiled a list of the best individual Super Bowl teams in NFL history and came up with the following:
10. 1999 St. Louis Rams
9. 1986 New York Giants
8. 1966 Green Bay Packers
7. 1998 Denver Broncos
6. 1976 Oakland Raiders
5. 1992 Dallas Cowboys
4. 1984 San Francisco 49ers
3. 1985 Chicago Bears
2. 1972 Miami Dolphins
- 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers
The 1978 Steelers land the list’s top spot after compiling a 17-2 record in a season when some suspected defensive rules were altered to slow down the team. The 1984 San Francisco 49ers faced off against Dan Marino and the Dolphins, only to shut out the prolific quarterback in the second half en route to a blowout victory. The 1992 Cowboys shut down an elite Buffalo Bills team that went to the Super Bowl annually at the time.
No matter which team you think performed the best in Super Bowl history, you can’t argue with the best Super Bowl record of all time.
The best Super Bowl record
Which franchises have the most Super Bowl wins? Well, according to The Sporting News, two teams stand head and shoulders above the rest: the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers. The Pats have won the big game six times in 11 appearances. Their numbers are so impressive that they’ve lost more Super Bowls (five) than most other teams have won.
The Steelers won four under the leadership of quarterback Terry Bradshaw. Then Pittsburgh added two under Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. Overall, the Black and Gold have won six and lost two.
The Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers have both earned five Super Bowls. The Niners are 5-2 while the Cowboys are 5-3. Two other legendary NFL franchises, the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants, have won four each — both 4-1 in Super Bowl play.
Who is the best Super Bowl team in history?
There have been many great teams throughout NFL history, and several were Super Bowl winners. But which one was the absolute best? It’s difficult to say with certainty as you have to compare teams from various eras against each other. But from a dominance perspective, one team stands above the rest: the 1985 Chicago Bears.
Think about what the 1985 Bears accomplished. In the span of one NFL season, they:
- Finished 15-1, losing only to the Miami Dolphins during the regular season
- Featured a capable offense alongside one of the all-time best defenses in NFL history (Buddy Ryan’s vaunted “46” defense, which may have been the greatest defense of all time)
- Won the Super Bowl in a rare blowout, a feat not often achieved in the NFL’s ultimate game
The 1972 Miami Dolphins went undefeated but only played 17 games to do it. The only team that matches the Bears would be the 2007-08 New England Patriots, the first NFL team to go 16-0 in the regular season. Unfortunately for the Pats, they have a blemish on this record from losing to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl that year. Before then, they dominated most of their regular opponents like few teams had before.
With the Patriots’ inability to close the deal in the Super Bowl, the ’85 Bears stand out as the best Super Bowl team in history.