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Defending NFL Champions

Posted by Andrew McKillop on January 9, 2011

Below is a list of all the NFL’s defending champions, and how the champs fared in the year they were defending their title.  If a defending champion didn’t make the playoffs the finish cell was left blank.  From 1921-1932 the NFL didn’t schedule an official post-season, so for those years you will see how defending champs finished in the overall NFL standings.

Repeat champions are bolded.

Legend: Rec (Regular Season Record); WC (Wild Card), DV (Divisional Round), CC (Conference Championship), LC (League Championship Game), SB (Super Bowl)

NFL Defending Champions

Year Def Champ Rec Finished
2010 Saints 11-5 WC: 36-41 at Seahawks
2009 Steelers 9-7
2008 Giants 12-4 DV: 11-23 vs Eagles
2007 Colts 13-3 DV: 24-28 vs Chargers
2006 Steelers 8-8
2005 Patriots 10-6 DV: 13-27 at Broncos
2004 Patriots 14-2 SB: 24-21 vs Eagles
2003 Buccaneers 7-9
2002 Patriots 9-7
2001 Ravens 10-6 DV: 10-27 at Steelers
2000 Rams 10-6 WC: 28-31 at Saints
1999 Broncos 6-10
1998 Broncos 14-2 SB: 34-19 vs Falcons
1997 Packers 13-3 SB: 24-31 vs Broncos
1996 Cowboys 10-6 DV: 17-26 at Panthers
1995 49ers 11-5 DV: 17-27 vs Packers
1994 Cowboys 12-4 CC: 28-38 at 49ers
1993 Cowboys 12-4 SB: 30-13 vs Bills
1992 Redskins 9-7 DV: 13-20 at 49ers
1991 Giants 8-8
1990 49ers 14-2 CC: 13-15 vs Giants
1989 49ers 14-2 SB: 55-10 vs Broncos
1988 Redskins 7-9
1987 Giants 6-9
1986 Bears 14-2 DV: 13-27 vs Redskins
1985 49ers 10-6 WC: 3-17 at Giants
1984 Raiders 11-5 WC: 7-13 at Seahawks
1983 Redskins 14-2 SB: 9-38 vs Raiders
1982 49ers 3-6
1981 Raiders 7-9
1980 Steelers 9-7
1979 Steelers 12-4 SB: 31-19 vs Rams
1978 Cowboys 12-4 SB: 31-35 vs Steelers
1977 Raiders 11-3 CC: 17-20 at Broncos
1976 Steelers 10-4 CC: 7-24 at Raiders
1975 Steelers 12-2 SB: 21-17 vs Cowboys
1974 Dolphins 11-3 DV: 26-28 at Raiders
1973 Dolphins 12-2 SB: 24-7 vs Vikings
1972 Cowboys 10-4 CC: 3-26 at Redskins
1971 Colts 10-4 CC: 0-21 at Dolphins
1970 Vikings 12-2 DV: 14-17 vs 49ers
1969 Colts 8-5-1
1968 Packers 6-7-1
1967 Packers 9-4-1 LC: 21-17 vs Cowboys
1966 Packers 12-2 LC: 34-27 at Cowboys
1965 Browns 11-3 LC: 12-23 at Packers
1964 Bears 5-9
1963 Packers 11-2-1
1962 Packers 13-1 LC: 16-7 at Giants
1961 Eagles 10-4
1960 Colts 6-6
1959 Colts 9-3 LC: 31-16 vs Giants
1958 Lions 4-7-1
1957 Giants 7-5
1956 Browns 5-7
1955 Browns 9-2-1 LC: 38-14 at Rams
1954 Lions 9-2-1 LC: 10-56 at Browns
1953 Lions 10-2 LC: 17-16 vs Browns
1952 Rams 9-3 DV: 21-31 at Lions
1951 Browns 11-1 LC: 17-24 at Rams
1950 Eagles 6-6
1949 Eagles 11-1 LC: 14-0 at Rams
1948 Cardinals 11-1 LC: 0-7 at Eagles
1947 Bears 8-4
1946 Rams 6-4-1
1945 Packers 6-4
1944 Bears 6-3-1
1943 Redskins 6-3-1 LC: 21-41 at Bears
1942 Bears 11-0 LC: 6-14 at Redskins
1941 Bears 10-1-1 LC: 37-9 vs Giants
1940 Packers 6-4-1
1939 Giants 9-1-1 LC: 0-27 at Packers
1938 Redskins 6-3-2
1937 Packers 7-4
1936 Lions 8-4
1935 Giants 9-3 LC: 7-26 at Lions
1934 Bears 13-0 LC: 13-30 at Giants
1933 Bears 10-2-1 LC: 23-21 vs Giants
1932 Packers 10-3-1 2nd
1931 Packers 12-2 1st
1930 Packers 10-3-1 1st
1929 Providence S Roller 4-6-2 8th
1928 Giants 4-7-2 6th
1927 Frankford Y Jackets 6-9-3 7th
1926 Cardinals 5-6-1 10th
1925 Cleveland Bulldogs 5-8-1 12th
1924 Cleveland Bulldogs 7-1-1 1st
1923 Canton Bulldogs 11-0-1 1st
1922 Bears 9-3 2nd
1921 Akron Pros 8-3-1 3rd

 

AFL Defending Champions

Year Def Champ Rec Finished
1970 Chiefs (Note Below) 7-5-2
1969 Jets 10-4 DV: 6-13 vs Chiefs
1968 Raiders 12-2 LC: 23-27 at Jets
1967 Chiefs 9-5
1966 Bills 9-4-1 CC: 7-31 vs Chiefs
1965 Bills 10-3-1 LC: 23-0 at Chargers
1964 Chargers 8-5-1 LC: 7-20 at Bills
1963 Chiefs 5-7-2
1962 Oilers 11-3 LC: 17-20 vs D Texans
1961 Oilers 10-3-1 LC: 10-3 at Chargers

The 1969 AFL champion Kansas City Chiefs joined the NFL in 1970.

 

AAFC Defending Champions

Year Def Champ Rec Finished
1950 Browns (Note Below) 10-2 LC: 30-28 vs Rams
1949 Browns 9-1-2 LC: 21-7 vs 49ers
1948 Browns 14-0 LC: 49-7 vs Buf Bills
1947 Browns 12-1-1 LC: 14-3 at NY Yankees

The 1949 AAFC champion Cleveland Browns joined the NFL in 1950.

 

References: Pro-Football-Reference.com, Professional Football Researchers Association

 

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