Greatest Super Bowl Champ (01/24/16)

By John Ewing Director of Research and Analytics @johnewing
Ranking every Super Bowl Champion EVER!



Which team is the greatest Super Bowl Champion of all-time? In the lead up to Super Bowl 50 we rank every past champion to determine which team is the best ever.

To build our Super Bowl Power Rankings, we “played” every team against every other team, using strength of schedule adjusted statistics, 50,000 times each and ranked them by overall winning percentage of those games.

Let the countdown begin…

10. 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers



What wins championships, offense or defense? In Super Bowl XXXVII the answer was definitive. A Raiders team that had averaged 279.7 passing yards and 28.1 points per game was shut down by a stifling Buccaneers defense. Tampa Bay set Super Bowl records by picking off league MVP Rich Gannon five times and scoring three defensive touchdowns.

9. 1972 Miami Dolphins



A perfect season is a special thing. Miami was the best team that year but being undefeated isn't enough to claim the top spot on this list. Don Shula's squad was good but not dominant. During its regular season run of “excellence” the Dolphins beat just two teams with a winning record. When we re-simulate Miami's 1972 schedule, the team would have just a 1.2 percent chance to win every game. The Dolphins would have to get lucky, again, for Mercury Morris to pop bottles of champagne each season.

8. 1994 San Francisco 49ers



Steve Young completed one of the greatest passing seasons in NFL history. The 49ers quarterback won his second MVP in three years by completing 70.3 percent of his passes while averaging more than eight yards per attempt. Young led the NFL with 35 touchdown passes and threw just one interception for every 45 attempts. The offense couldn't be stopped scoring more than 40 points six times and less than 30 points just twice over the team's final thirteen games (including the playoffs). The championship made San Francisco the first team to win five Super Bowls and it ended the rival Dallas Cowboys streak of consecutive titles.

7. 1991 Washington Redskins



Washington dominated the league in 1991 winning its first eleven games and finishing the regular season 14-2 (the two losses were by three points and two points respectively). They scored the most points in the league (485), thanks to the “Posse” and allowed the second fewest (224). Washington is the last Super Bowl Champion to never trail in any of their playoff victories.

6. 1984 San Francisco 49ers



This was the first team to ever win fifteen games in the regular season since the league went to a sixteen game schedule in 1978. The 1984 Niners are often remembered for its offense. Joe Montana averaged over 8 yards per attempt and the running game averaged 4.6 yards per carry. Montana and four other offensive starters were named to the Pro Bowl that season. The defense wasn't that shabby either as five starters on that side of the ball made trips to Hawaii as Pro Bowlers. The defense held Dan Marino, who had thrown for a then-record 48 touchdowns, to just one score and two interceptions in the Super Bowl.

5. 1979 Pittsburgh Steelers



Save the best for last. The Steelers dominated the 70s winning four Super Bowls in six years but it was the 1979 team that was the greatest in the dynasty. Pittsburgh sent ten players to the Pro Bowl that season, eight of which are in the Hall of Fame. The Steel Curtain was so dominant that it was able to overcome 52 turnovers by the offense to finish fifth in points allowed.

4. 1996 Green Bay Packers



Brett Favre and the Cheeseheads crack the top five with one of the most balanced teams in the Super Bowl era. The Packers led the league in scoring (456 points) and allowed the fewest points on defense (210), the first to accomplish the feat since the 1972 Dolphins. Green Bay was the top overall team on offense, defense and special teams – Desmond Howard broke the NFL single-season record for punt return yardage and was named Super Bowl MVP. Favre was in his prime and won his second straight MVP to go along with his only Super Bowl ring.

3. 1989 San Francisco 49ers



Best 49ers team ever! Now that is saying something. San Francisco outscored its playoff opponents 126-26 including a 55-10 throttling of John Elway's Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl. The 1989 squad was the first and only team in NFL history to win back-to-back Super Bowls with different head coaches.

2. 1985 Chicago Bears




The Monsters of the Midway are the greatest defense in Super Bowl history. Da 1985 Bears featured nine Pro Bowlers, four future Hall of Famers including Walter “Sweetness” Payton, who went over 2,000 combined yards for a third consecutive season, and Hall of Fame head coach Mike Ditka. A case could be made for Chicago as the greatest Super Bowl champion based solely on the Super Bowl Shuffle.

1. 1999 St. Louis Rams



The “Greatest Show on Turf” is the greatest team in Super Bowl history. The Rams ranked first in the NFL in total yards and total points (would do so in each of the next two seasons as well). Kurt Warner became just the second quarterback to throw for more than 40 touchdowns and was named league MVP. Marshall Faulk amassed 2,429 yards from scrimmage and scored twelve touchdowns, he was named Offensive Player of the Year, while finishing second in MVP voting. The defense finished the season ranked sixth in yards and fourth in points. A team known for its offense won its Super Bowl thanks to a defensive play that is one of the most memorable in Super Bowl history.

Ranking every Super Bowl Champion

Rank Team
1 1999 St. Louis Rams
2 1985 Chicago Bears
3 1989 San Francisco 49ers
4 1996 Green Bay Packers
5 1979 Pittsburgh Steelers
6 1984 San Francisco 49ers
7 1991 Washington Redskins
8 1994 San Francisco 49ers
9 1972 Miami Dolphins
10 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
11 1998 Denver Broncos
12 1993 Dallas Cowboys
13 2000 Baltimore Ravens
14 1992 Dallas Cowboys
15 1971 Dallas Cowboys
16 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers
17 2013 Seattle Seahawks
18 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers
19 1969 Kansas City Chiefs
20 2014 New England Patriots
21 1988 San Francisco 49ers
22 1973 Miami Dolphins
23 1995 Dallas Cowboys
24 1976 Oakland Raiders
25 2011 New York Giants
26 2010 Green Bay Packers
27 2009 New Orleans Saints
28 1977 Dallas Cowboys
29 2004 New England Patriots
30 2003 New England Patriots
31 2008 Pittsburgh Steelers
32 1987 Washington Redskins
33 2012 Baltimore Ravens
34 1997 Denver Broncos
35 1968 New York Jets
36 1966 Green Bay Packers
37 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers
38 1983 Los Angeles Raiders
39 1990 New York Giants
40 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers
41 1986 New York Giants
42 1982 Washington Redskins
43 2007 New York Giants
44 2001 New England Patriots
45 1981 San Francisco 49ers
46 1967 Green Bay Packers
47 1980 Oakland Raiders
48 2006 Indianapolis Colts
49 1970 Baltimore Colts