When Was the First Super Bowl?
In 2019, Patrick Mahomes led the Kansas City Chiefs to their first Super Bowl championship in 50 years. That came on the heels of Tom Brady leading the New England Patriots to their sixth title since 2001.
But even though it seems like the 43-year-old quarterback has been around forever, not even he was alive when the first Super Bowl took place. Let’s take a deeper dive into the history of the biggest NFL game of the year before we take things all the way back to Super Bowl I.
The Kansas City Chiefs are the most recent NFL champions
It’s hard to believe that a historic NFL team like the Chiefs doesn’t have more Super Bowl banners hanging at Arrowhead Stadium. Yet, Kansas City has only achieved that accomplishment on two occasions in franchise history.
After winning a title in 1969, the Chiefs went on a 50-year championship drought.
But in 2019, Clark Hunt’s team finally got over the hump. Of course, that had a little something to do with having Patrick Mahomes under center.
Although he didn’t come close to matching his ridiculous 2018 regular-season numbers, the reigning NFL MVP inflicted serious damage in the playoffs. Mahomes torched the Houston Texans by throwing five touchdowns in a 51-31 comeback victory. He threw three more against the Tennessee Titans to send the Chiefs to Super Bowl 54.
The San Francisco 49ers did well to keep the rocket-armed quarterback in check…for most of the game. But in the fourth quarter, Mahomes made a number of big throws that helped Kansas City emerge on top by a final score of 31-20.
However, while it took the Chiefs a half-century to call themselves Super Bowl champions, another franchise has made winning titles a habit over the last two decades.
The Patriots have made the most Super Bowl appearances of all time
Long before Tom Brady arrived, the Patriots made their first Super Bowl appearance in 1985. Unfortunately for New England fans, the Chicago Bears and their historically dominant defense completed overmatched Steve Grogan and the offense. Mike Ditka’s team easily won by a final score of 46-10.
Eleven years later, the Patriots found themselves playing for the Lombardi Trophy against the Green Bay Packers. Once again, New England lost by double-digits, as Brett Favre led his team to a 35-21 victory.
But in 2000, Bill Belichick spent the 199th overall pick on Tom Brady. And that changed everything for fans of the Foxborough-based franchise.
During his incredible career in New England, Brady led the franchise to nine Super Bowl appearances. The four-time Super Bowl MVP won six rings and could easily have another one if Malcolm Butler had actually played against the Philadelphia Eagles. And if David Tyree hadn’t hauled in a desperation heave from Eli Manning, the Patriots would have completed a perfect season.
Still, they hold a sizable lead when it comes to overall Super Bowl appearances. New England has made 11 trips, with nine of them coming between 2001-2019. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos have each made eight appearances.
However, the Patriots’ first championship appearance didn’t take place until more than 20 years after the first Super Bowl.
The first Super Bowl took place in 1967
No. 53: 1966 Super Bowl I – Chiefs vs. Packers “The First AFL-NFL World Championship Game” (Jan. 15, 1967) #NFL100 @packers— NFL (@NFL) September 28, 2019
?: NFL 100 Greatest Games on @NFLNetwork pic.twitter.com/cnoPIROXdN
So when did the first Super Bowl occur?
You have to flip the calendar back to Jan. 15, 1967. In a battle between the AFL champion Chiefs and the NFL champion Packers at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Vince Lombardi’s team easily took care of business.
Green Bay won Super Bowl I by 25 points thanks to a balanced offensive attack that included 130 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
Bart Starr earned MVP honors after completing 16-of-23 passes for 250 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.
He repeated the feat the following year.
In Super Bowl II, the Packers QB threw for 202 yards and one touchdown in Green Bay’s 33-14 victory against the Oakland Raiders.
All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.