Feb 10, 2024, 10:36 PM ET
Winning a Super Bowl is difficult, as evidenced by the fact that a dozen NFL franchises have never hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. Winning back-to-back Super Bowls is extremely challenging, especially in today’s parity-laden NFL.
Only eight teams have successfully defended their title, and the most recent example was 20 years ago. Let’s take a look at the NFL teams who managed to win back-to-back Super Bowls.
New England Patriots, 2003-2004
In Super Bowl XXXVIII, the New England Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers 32-29 at Reliant Stadium in Houston. The following year, they took down the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXIX at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville. The Patriots have made an NFL-record 11 Super Bowl appearances, winning an NFL-record six titles (all between 2002 and 2019).
Denver Broncos, 1997-1998
In Super Bowl XXXII, the Denver Broncos beat the Green Bay Packers 31-24 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Terrell Davis was named the Super Bowl MVP after rushing for 157 yards and three touchdowns. The next year, Denver beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-19 in Super Bowl XXXIII at Pro Player Stadium in Miami — with John Elway taking home the Super Bowl MVP award.
Dallas Cowboys, 1992-1993
In the 1990s, the Dallas Cowboys were a juggernaut; Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin led the team to three Super Bowl victories in four seasons. In Super Bowl XXVII, the Cowboys blew out the Buffalo Bills 52-17 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The following year, Super Bowl XXVIII in Atlanta featured a rematch between Dallas and Buffalo, with the Cowboys dominating again 30-13.
San Francisco 49ers, 1988-1989
In Super Bowl XXIII, the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 20-16 at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami. Jerry Rice won Super Bowl MVP after recording 215 receiving yards and a touchdown. In Super Bowl XXIV, the Niners crushed the Broncos, 55-10, at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans — with Joe Montana throwing for five touchdowns and earning Super Bowl MVP honors.
Pittsburgh Steelers, 1978-1979
In Super Bowl XIII, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Cowboys 35-31 at the Orange Bowl in Miami. One year later, the Steelers defended their title in Super Bowl XIV by defeating the Los Angeles Rams 31-19 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Terry Bradshaw was named Super Bowl MVP after both wins, joining Bart Starr as the only players in NFL history to win this award in back-to-back years.
Pittsburgh Steelers, 1974-1975
In Super Bowl IX, the Steelers overcame the Minnesota Vikings 16-6 at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans — with Franco Harris won Super Bowl MVP. In Super Bowl X, the Steelers defeated the Cowboys 21-17 at the Orange Bowl in Miami, with Lynn Swann earning Super Bowl MVP honors. The Steelers won four titles in six seasons and are the only team to win back-to-back Super Bowls on multiple occasions. Pittsburgh’s six Super Bowl victories are tied for the NFL record.
Miami Dolphins, 1972-1973
To this day, the 1972 Miami Dolphins are the only team in NFL history to have an undefeated season. They beat the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII 14-7 at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. The following year, they beat the Vikings 24-7 in Super Bowl VIII at Rice Stadium in Houston. Miami was led by Don Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history.
Green Bay Packers, 1966-1967
Not only did the Packers make history by winning the inaugural Super Bowl, they became the first team to win it back-to-back the following year. In Super Bowl I, the Packers took down the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 at the Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. In Super Bowl II, they beat the Oakland Raiders 33-14 at the Orange Bowl in Miami. While it was easier to repeat as champions back then since there were only 16 teams, it’s still a very impressive feat.