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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Game History of Superbowl

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Game history

1966–1967: Packers early success
The Green Bay Packers won the first two Super Bowls, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders. The Packers were led by quarterback Bart Starr, who was named MVP for both games. These two championships, along with the Packers' NFL championships in 1961, 1962, and 1965 have led many people to consider the Packers to be the "Team of the '60s." Green Bay is often referred to as "Title Town."

 1968–1980 AFL/AFC dominance
In Super Bowl III, behind the guarantee of Joe Namath, the New York Jets defeated the 18-point favorite Baltimore Colts 16–7. The win helped solidify the AFL as a legitimate contender with the NFL. And as it turned out, the 1970s were dominated by the AFC, though four of those wins were by pre-merger NFL teams that had been moved to the AFC. Only one NFC franchise won a Super Bowl during the decade: the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas appeared in five Super Bowls and won Super Bowls VI and XII.

During the 1970s, a majority of the Super Bowls were won by just two teams, the Miami Dolphins and the Pittsburgh Steelers, winning a combined six championships in the decade. Miami won Super Bowls VII and VIII. The first of these Super Bowl wins capped the only undefeated and untied season in the history of the NFL at 17-0. The 2007 New England Patriots, who went 16–0 during the regular season, ended up losing Super Bowl XLII to the New York Giants. The New England Patriots of that year have the best record to never win a title at 18-1. (The 1984 49ers and 1985 Bears also have an 18-1 record but both teams won the Super Bowl)

The Steelers' dynasty

Pittsburgh won four Super Bowls between 1974 and 1980 (IX, X, XIII, and XIV) behind the coaching of Chuck Noll and play of Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swann, and Franco Harris—each receiving at least one MVP award—and their "Steel Curtain" defense led by "Mean" Joe Greene and Jack Lambert. The Steelers were the first team to win three and then four Super Bowls and appeared in six AFC Championship Games during the decade making the playoffs eight straight seasons. Nine players and three coaches/administrators that were on each of the championship seasons have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Pittsburgh is also the only team to win back-to-back Super Bowls on two different occasions.

1981–1996: The NFC's winning streak

NFC teams won fifteen of sixteen Super Bowls in this stretch, including thirteen in a row from 1984 to 1996.

The 49ers lead the NFC domination in the 1980s

The most successful franchise of the 1980s was the San Francisco 49ers, who won four Super Bowls in the decade (XVI, XIX, XXIII, and XXIV). They were known for using Bill Walsh's west coast offense. The 1980s also included the 1985 Chicago Bears who finished the season with an 18–1 record (a feat accomplished the prior year by the 49ers). The Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders were the only AFC franchise to win a Super Bowl in the 1980s, winning Super Bowls XV and XVIII. The New York Giants also won Super Bowl XXI and XXV.

The Cowboys dominate the early 1990s

The Dallas Cowboys became the dominant team in the NFL in the early 1990s. After championships by division rivals New York and Washington to start the decade, the Cowboys won three of the next four Super Bowls. With Super Bowl XXIX, the 49ers became the first team to win five Super Bowls. The Cowboys also won their fifth title ( Super Bowl XXX ) in the decade and appeared in four NFC championship games as well, winning with both a balanced offense and dominant defense. The 49ers and the Cowboys faced each other in three consecutive NFC championships. As both teams began to lose their dominance late into the decade, another NFC powerhouse, the Green Bay Packers, led by three time MVP quarterback Brett Favre, emerged, winning Super Bowl XXXI following the 1996 season.

The early 1990s also featured the Buffalo Bills, who became the only team to date to appear in four consecutive Super Bowls. However, they lost all of them.

1997–Present: The AFC Rises Again

In Super Bowl XXXII, quarterback John Elway led the Denver Broncos to an upset victory over the defending champion Packers, snapping the NFC's 13-game winning streak, and beginning a streak in which the AFC would win nine of the next thirteen Super Bowls. The Broncos would go on to win Super Bowl XXXIII the next year, over the Atlanta Falcons, in Elway's final game before retiring. After an NFC win by the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV, the AFC continued its winning ways, with wins by the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots.

The Patriots dominate the early 2000s

The Patriots became the dominant team through the early 2000s, winning the championship in three of the first four years of the decade. In Super Bowl XXXVI Super Bowl MVP quarterback Tom Brady led his team to a 20–17 upset victory over the Rams. The Patriots also went on to win Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX. They lost Super Bowl XLII to the New York Giants in 2008 becoming the only team to finish the season 18–1 and not win the Super Bowl. (Had they won they would have been the first team to finish a season 19–0 and also join the 1972 Miami Dolphins as the only teams to possess perfect seasons.)

The second half of the decade saw parity among both conferences. The AFC recorded wins by the Pittsburgh Steelers (XL and XLIII) and the Indianapolis Colts (XLI). The Giants (XLII) and the New Orleans Saints (XLIV) logged NFC wins.

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