The Kansas City Chiefs’ victory in Super Bowl LVIII last night marked just the ninth time in history a champion repeated the feat the very next year. Only eight teams have ever done it, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are the only team to have done it twice.
The trend of repeating champions burst out of the gate. The Green Bay Packers won each of the first two Super Bowls in 1966 and 1967, beating the Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders, respectively. The Steelers repeated in 1974 and 1975, then became the first to three titles in 1978. As an encore, they repeated again in 1979.
The Chiefs’ latest victim, the San Francisco 49ers, also repeated as champions among their five Super Bowls. Having already won twice, they doubled their total in 1988 and 1989. Then the Dallas Cowboys doubled up in 1992 and 1993, followed by the Denver Broncos in 1998 and 1999 and the New England Patriots in 2003 and 2004.
Four teams won consecutive Super Bowls in under two decades. The league had to wait nearly another decade for its next repeat champion in the Chiefs. Only three teams during that span even had a chance.
The Seattle Seahawks returned to the championship in 2014 after winning the year before but lost to the New England Patriots. Two years later, the Patriots reached the Super Bowl twice, winning in 2016 but losing in 2017. The Chiefs won in 2019 only to lose the following season to Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Unlike the Steelers, they failed their first opportunity to repeat, but they made good on their second. With the exception of the Patriots and now the Chiefs, even repeating as conference champion is growing increasingly rare.
Nine teams have done it in the NFC since the start of the Super Bowl era, but just once since 1997. The AFC also has only nine occurrences, but it has three that are unique. Only in the AFC has a team reached the Super Bowl in three or more consecutive seasons.
The Buffalo Bills are infamous for their four-year run of Super Bowl losses. The Miami Dolphins reached three consecutive Super Bowls in 1971-73, winning twice. And the Patriots reached safely in three straight years from 2016-18, winning twice.
The Chiefs are the latest team to have a shot at three-peating, but nobody has done it in NFL history. Nobody has ever even had a chance to do it; in fact, nobody has won two Super Bowls and made it a third consecutive year.
You can bet that the Chiefs will be a Super Bowl favorite for the 2024 season. They already have the second-best odds behind the team they beat if you want to get your bet in early. The last time any team in the major North American sports three-peated was the Los Angeles Lakers of 2000-02. The NBA, NHL, and MLB have seen 14 combined three-peats.
The NFL has never seen that in the Super Bowl era, but the Packers did win the final NFL championship before the Super Bowl began in 1966. The Packers also won championships in 1929-31.