SportsDelve.com

Original and Historical Sports Research

  • No Longer Updated

    This website is no longer being updated. A handful of the articles have been updated and moved to FootballGeography.com

Defeating the Defending Super Bowl Champions

Posted by Andrew McKillop on November 16, 2010

Updated: 1/8/2011

The Cleveland Browns 30-17 victory over the New Orleans Saints in 2010 was impressive on many fronts. Overlooked by most people was that for the third year in a row the Browns, a team that has been in the NFL basement the past few years, beat the defending Super Bowl champions.

I was curious how many times this has happened before. I went back into the history books, and recorded every instance in which a team beat the defending Super Bowl champion. The results were quite interesting.

The most consecutive years a team beat the defending Super Bowl champion, is four years. The Chargers were the first to do so from the years of 1979-82. The Chargers actually beat the defending Super Bowl champion five times (the record) in a row within four years. This is thanks to their two victories over the Oakland Raiders in 1981.

The Rams were the next team to beat the defending Super Bowl champion four years in a row, doing so from 1989-92. The Rams streak is especially impressive because for three out of four years (except 1989) the Rams posted losing seasons.

There are only five other instances (not including the Browns current streak) where a team has been able to beat the defending Super Bowl champion three years in a row; the Oilers (1979-81), Colts (1995-97), Buccaneers (1999-2001), Packers (2001-03), and Chargers (2005-07).

No team has beaten a defending Super Bowl champion three times in one season. Although teams have beaten the defending Super Bowl champion two times in one season on a rather consistent basis. The Bengals are the latest team to complete this feat defeating the Steelers twice last season. The Redskins hold the record in this category, beating the defending Super Bowl champion twice in the same season on three occasions (1972, 1987, and 1991).

Below is table on how many times each NFL team has beaten the defending Super Bowl champion, and the last time each team beat the defending Super Bowl champion.

Team # Team Last
Broncos 15 Browns 2010
Chargers 14 Buccaneers 2010
Raiders 12 Cardinals 2010
Rams 12 Falcons 2010
Redskins 12 Ravens 2010
Vikings 11 Seahawks 2010
Browns 10 Bears 2009
Chiefs 10 Bengals 2009
Bears 9 Chiefs 2009
Bengals 9 Raiders 2009
Dolphins 9 Cowboys 2008
Giants 9 Eagles 2008
Saints 9 Vikings 2008
49ers 8 Chargers 2007
Colts 8 Oilers/Titans 2007
Cowboys 8 Patriots 2007
Eagles 8 Broncos 2006
Falcons 7 Jaguars 2006
Oilers/Titans 7 Colts 2005
Packers 7 Dolphins 2005
Panthers 7 Panthers 2005
Lions 6 Steelers 2004
Steelers 6 49ers 2003
Bills 5 Packers 2003
Patriots 5 Saints 2003
Buccaneers 4 Jets 2002
Cardinals 4 Redskins 2000
Ravens 4 Giants 1998
Seahawks 4 Lions 1997
Jaguars 3 Bills 1996
Jets 3 Rams 1992
Texans 0 Texans N/A

 

Reference: Pro-Football-Reference.com

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: