The 2023 NFL season, which will culminate with Super Bowl LVIII on the 11th of February 2024, got underway at the start of September. Everyone will want to get to Paradise – the town outside Las Vegas that will host the big match – but of course only two will succeed. And naturally enough, of the two teams who do make it to the showpiece, only one will walk away happy.
There have been 57 Super Bowls to date since the first game back in 1967. Green Bay Packers prevailed that day but who else has won the biggest game in American football and which teams have won the most Super Bowl titles?
Patriots & Steelers Have Most Super Bowl Wins
The Patriots, which have gone at different times by the name of the Boston Patriots and, since their move to Foxborough in 1971, the New England Patriots, have six Super Bowl wins to their name. With five further defeats in the big game, no other franchise can get close to their record of 11 Super Bowl appearances.
Three other teams have made the NFL’s final two on eight occasions: the Dallas Cowboys, the Denver Broncos and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Cowboys have tasted glory five times, the Broncos have lost five Super Bowls, whilst it is the Steelers who are tied with New England as the most successful team in Super Bowl history.
|Wins||Pittsburgh Steelers||New England Patriots|
|1||1974 – Beat Minnesota 16-6||2001 – Beat Rams 20-17|
|2||1975 – Beat Dallas 21-17||2003 – Beat Panthers 32-29|
|3||1978 – Beat Dallas 35-31||2004 – Beat Eagles 24-21|
|4||1979 – Beat Rams 31-19||2014 – Beat Seahawks 28-24|
|5||2005 – Beat Seahawks 21-10||2016 – Beat Falcons 34-28 (OT)|
|6||2008 – Beat Cardinals 27-23||2018 – Beat Rams 13-3|
Note that the years listed are the seasons as the Super Bowl typically takes place at the start of the following year.
As we can see from the table above, the two sides have had very different eras where they were dominant. The Steelers were the number one side of the 1970s, winning four Super Bowls in six seasons, before the Patriots had even got off the mark. However, the Pats, beaten in their first two Super Bowl outings, have been by far the best side of the 21st century.
Spearheaded by the incomparable Tom Brady, who himself has won seven Super Bowls, more than any team in the history of the sport, New England have made the big game for fun in the new millennium. The franchise appeared in the Super Bowl nine times, winning six, between 2001 and 2018. Brady played in all six wins for New England, and he also led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to glory in 2020. In total, he has appeared in the Super Bowl an incredible 10 times.
Other Teams with Multiple Super Bowl Wins
In total 15 different teams have won multiple Super Bowls, with a further five sealing the deal just once in their history. Four teams have never made it to the big one (name and shame you say? OK: Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars, though the first two teams are the only ones to have competed in every single season!). In addition, there are eight teams who have made it to the last two but never managed to take glory. Particular commiserations to both the Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings who have lost four out of four!
Cowboys & 49ers Tied Third With Five Super Bowls Each
Having said that the Pittsburgh Steelers were the preeminent team of the 1970s, we should remember that the Cowboys appeared in five Super Bowl matches between 1970 and 1978. They lost three and won two though, with two of those defeats coming against the Steelers (this match-up is the most common in Super Bowl history and has happened three times in total). That was a brilliant and hugely popular Dallas side though and the franchise added a further three Championships in a second glory era in the 1990s. They made the big game in 1992, 1993 and 1995 and didn’t put a foot wrong.
Up there with the Cowboys are the San Francisco 49ers, who now share ownership with Leeds United. The 49ers were very much the best team of the 1980s, with legendary names such as Joe Montana and Jerry Rice central to their success. San Francisco won the Super Bowl in 1981, 1984, 1988, 1989 and 1994 and didn’t lose in the key game until their fifth appearance, in 2012.
Since then they have also lost in 2019, against the Kansas City Chiefs but Montana, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, never tasted defeat in a Super Bowl. He like a number of San Francisco stars of that era has four Championships to his name.
Green Bay Packers & New York Giants Best of the Rest
The Denver Broncos, Raiders (of LA, Oakland or Las Vegas, depending on the year!), Washington and the Chiefs all have three wins, there are two teams who have gone one better. The Packers won the first Super Bowl, as noted at the start of this feature and they would retain their crown a year later. They beat the Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders respectively, claiming their third Super Bowl in the 1996 season against the Pats and then a fourth in 210 against the Steelers.
New York Giants also have four wins but theirs are more spread out than most of the other teams on our list. They won their first title in 1986 and a second in 1990. They lost their third Super Bowl match in 2000 but added two more titles in 2007 and 2011. Their Super Bowl results can be seen below:
- 1986 – Beat Denver Broncos 39-20
- 1990 – Beat Buffalo Bills 20-19
- 2000 – Lost 34-7 to Baltimore Ravens
- 2007 – Beat New England Patriots 17-14
- 2011 – Beat New England Patriots 21-17