How Have Teams Performed After Appearing in the Super Bowl?
One of the first questions asked of teams who've just won the Super Bowl is how likely they are to repeat as champions. Was their Super Bowl win a Cinderella run or the makings of a dynasty?
How about losers? Do they fare worse than winners in the following season? Or do they bounce back stronger than ever?
We take a look at each season for the winners and losers of each Super Bowl since Super Bowl One.
How Have Teams Performed After Winning the Super Bowl?
Since the first Super Bowl, in 1966, there have been a total of 8 repeat champions with the last coming when the Patriots won it all again during the 2004 NFL season. This equates to 17.4% of all Super Bowl winners being repeat winners, which suggests that there is about a 1 in 6 chance a team will repeat.
No NFL team has ever three-peated in the Super Bowl era, however, prior to the creation of the Super Bowl the Green Bay Packers had two three-peats (1929-31 and 1965-67).
In total, 11 teams have got back to the Super Bowl after winning it in the previous year with 3 losing the big game - '77 Cowboys, '82 Redskins and '96 Packers.
Looking past just repeating, we find that teams that won the Super Bowl get back into the playoffs at a rate of nearly 70% - 32 or 46 past winners.
During the regular season following a Super Bowl win, the average winning percentage of championship teams is 0.670, which is equivalent to 10.75 wins. Only 7 Super Bowl champions have followed up with a losing record with the 49ers posting the worst post-Super Bowl record with 3-6 record during the 1982 strike-shortened season.
Here is a complete list of each teams record, winning percentage and playoff result after each Super Bowl win:
|Game||Season||Winning team||Next Yr Record||Win %||Result|
|I||1966||Green Bay Packers||9-4-1||0.679||Won Super Bowl|
|II||1967||Green Bay Packers||6-7-1||0.464||Missed|
|III||1968||New York Jets||10-4||0.714||Lost Divisional|
|IV||1969||Kansas City Chiefs||7-5-2||0.571||Missed|
|V||1970||Baltimore Colts||10-4||0.714||Lost Conference|
|VI||1971||Dallas Cowboys||10-4||0.714||Lost Conference|
|VII||1972||Miami Dolphins||12-2||0.857||Won Super Bowl|
|VIII||1973||Miami Dolphins||11-3||0.786||Lost Divisional|
|IX||1974||Pittsburgh Steelers||12-2||0.857||Won Super Bowl|
|X||1975||Pittsburgh Steelers||10-4||0.714||Lost Conference|
|XI||1976||Oakland Raiders||11-3||0.786||Lost Conference|
|XII||1977||Dallas Cowboys||12-4||0.750||Lost Super Bowl|
|XIII||1978||Pittsburgh Steelers||12-4||0.750||Won Super Bowl|
|XVI||1981||San Francisco 49ers||3-6||0.333||Missed|
|XVII||1982||Washington Redskins||14-2||0.875||Lost Super Bowl|
|XVIII||1983||Los Angeles Raiders||11-4||0.688||Lost Wild Card|
|XIX||1984||San Francisco 49ers||10-6||0.625||Lost Wild Card|
|XX||1985||Chicago Bears||14-2||0.875||Lost Divisional|
|XXI||1986||New York Giants||6-9||0.400||Missed|
|XXIII||1988||San Francisco 49ers||14-2||0.875||Won Super Bowl|
|XXIV||1989||San Francisco 49ers||14-2||0.875||Lost Conference|
|XXV||1990||New York Giants||8-8||0.500||Missed|
|XXVI||1991||Washington Redskins||9-7||0.563||Lost Divisional|
|XXVII||1992||Dallas Cowboys||12-4||0.750||Won Super Bowl|
|XXVIII||1993||Dallas Cowboys||12-4||0.750||Lost Conference|
|XXIX||1994||San Francisco 49ers||11-5||0.688||Lost Divisional|
|XXX||1995||Dallas Cowboys||10-6||0.625||Lost Divisional|
|XXXI||1996||Green Bay Packers||13-3||0.813||Lost Super Bowl|
|XXXII||1997||Denver Broncos||14-2||0.875||Won Super Bowl|
|XXXIV||1999||St. Louis Rams||10-6||0.625||Lost Divisional|
|XXXV||2000||Baltimore Ravens||10-6||0.625||Lost Divisional|
|XXXVI||2001||New England Patriots||9-7||0.563||Missed|
|XXXVII||2002||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||7-9||0.438||Missed|
|XXXVIII||2003||New England Patriots||14-2||0.875||Won Super Bowl|
|XXXIX||2004||New England Patriots||10-6||0.625||Lost Divisional|
|XLI||2006||Indianapolis Colts||13-3||0.813||Lost Divisional|
|XLII||2007||New York Giants||12-4||0.750||Lost Divisional|
|XLIV||2009||New Orleans Saints||11-5||0.688||Lost Wild Card|
|XLV||2010||Green Bay Packers||15-1||0.938||Lost Divisional|
|XLVI||2011||New York Giants||9-7||0.563||Missed|
Summary of the following season of Super Bowl Winners:
- Won Super Bowl - 8 (17.0%)
- Lost Super Bowl - 3 (6.4%)
- Lost Conference Final - 6 (12.7%)
- Lost Divisional Game - 12 (25.5%)
- Lost Wild Card - 3 (6.4%)
- Missed Playoffs - 15 (31.9%)
- Average Winning % - 0.667 (approx. 10.75 games won)
How Teams Have Performed After Losing the Super Bowl
How do teams rebound after losing the biggest game? Do they crumble due to the enormity of the defeat or bounce back stronger than ever?
Historically, teams that have lost the Super Bowl have come back to play in the big game the next year only 5 times with just 2 of those teams finally winning it all. This suggests that teams that have lost the Super Bowl only have a 1 in 23 chance of coming back the next season to win it all compared to 1 in 6 chance of winners.
Here is a complete list of each teams record, winning percentage and playoff result after each Super Bowl loss:
|Game||Season||Losing team||Next Yr. Record||Win %||Result|
|I||1966||Kansas City Chiefs||9-5||0.643||Missed|
|II||1967||Oakland Raiders||12-2||0.857||Lost Conference|
|IV||1969||Minnesota Vikings||12-2||0.857||Lost Divisional|
|V||1970||Dallas Cowboys||11-3||0.786||Won Super Bowl|
|VI||1971||Miami Dolphins||14-0||1.000||Won Super Bowl|
|VII||1972||Washington Redskins||10-4||0.714||Lost Divisional|
|VIII||1973||Minnesota Vikings||10-4||0.714||Lost Super Bowl|
|IX||1974||Minnesota Vikings||12-2||0.857||Lost Divisional|
|X||1975||Dallas Cowboys||11-3||0.786||Lost Divisional|
|XI||1976||Minnesota Vikings||9-5||0.643||Lost Conference|
|XII||1977||Denver Broncos||10-6||0.625||Lost Divisional|
|XIII||1978||Dallas Cowboys||11-5||0.688||Lost Divisional|
|XIV||1979||Los Angeles Rams||11-5||0.688||Lost Wild Card|
|XV||1980||Philadelphia Eagles||10-6||0.625||Lost Wild Card|
|XVI||1981||Cincinnati Bengals||7-2||0.778||Lost Wild Card|
|XVII||1982||Miami Dolphins||12-4||0.750||Lost Divisional|
|XVIII||1983||Washington Redskins||11-5||0.688||Lost Divisional|
|XIX||1984||Miami Dolphins||12-4||0.750||Lost Conference|
|XX||1985||New England Patriots||11-5||0.688||Lost Divisional|
|XXI||1986||Denver Broncos||10-4-1||0.656||Lost Super Bowl|
|XXV||1990||Buffalo Bills||13-3||0.813||Lost Super Bowl|
|XXVI||1991||Buffalo Bills||11-5||0.688||Lost Super Bowl|
|XXVII||1992||Buffalo Bills||12-4||0.750||Lost Super Bowl|
|XXIX||1994||San Diego Chargers||9-7||0.563||Lost Wild Card|
|XXX||1995||Pittsburgh Steelers||10-6||0.625||Lost Divisional|
|XXXI||1996||New England Patriots||10-6||0.625||Lost Divisional|
|XXXII||1997||Green Bay Packers||11-5||0.688||Lost Wild Card|
|XXXIV||1999||Tennessee Titans||13-3||0.813||Lost Divisional|
|XXXV||2000||New York Giants||7-9||0.438||Missed|
|XXXVI||2001||St. Louis Rams||7-9||0.438||Missed|
|XL||2005||Seattle Seahawks||9-7||0.563||Lost Divisional|
|XLII||2007||New England Patriots||11-5||0.688||Missed|
|XLIII||2008||Arizona Cardinals||10-6||0.625||Lost Divisional|
|XLIV||2009||Indianapolis Colts||10-6||0.625||Lost Wild Card|
|XLV||2010||Pittsburgh Steelers||12-4||0.750||Lost Wild Card|
|XLVI||2011||New England Patriots||12-4||0.750||Lost Divisional|
|XLVII||2012||San Francisco 49ers||12-4||0.750||Lost Conference|
Summary of the following season of Super Bowl Losers:
- Won Super Bowl - 2 (4.3%)
- Lost Super Bowl - 5 (10.6%)
- Lost Conference Final - 4 (8.5%)
- Lost Divisional Game - 15 (31.9%)
- Lost Wild Card - 7 (14.9%)
- Missed Playoffs - 14 (29.8%)
- Average Winning % - 0.643 (approx. 10.25 games won)
Super Bowl Winners vs. Losers
Looking at Super Bowl Winners vs. Losers, we don't see a drastic difference in performance in the following season with Super Bowl losers making the playoffs in the following season at a rate of 33 of 47 while Super Bowl Winners have a nearly identical return rate of 32 of 47. Super Bowl winners have a slightly better winning regular season percentage of 0.667 vs. 0.643 of losers, which is equivalent to half a game.
The biggest difference appears where it matters most, in the Super Bowl itself where Super Bowl winners have ended up back in the big game 11 times and won it 8 times while Super Bowl losers have only ended back in the game 7 times winning only 2.
It takes a very good team to get to the Super Bowl and win or lose this tends to carry over to the next season. However, there is something to winning it all in terms of winning it again the next season vs. teams that came up short - this could be to psychological factors or just knowing what it takes to win it all.
Updated: to reflect the 2013-14 NFL season in which the Baltimore Ravens failed to make the playoffs and the San Francisco 49ers lost in the NFC Championship.