What does a Super Bowl-winning team look like? Can you spot early signs in the season based off record or quarterback experience?
Let’s dive into the last two decades of the most-watched sporting event in the U.S. and search for trends to help you bet the winner of the Super Bowl in 2020 and beyond.
The Patriot way
|Year||Winning team||Losing team||Winning conference|
|2018||New England Patriots||Los Angeles Rams||AFC|
|2017||Philadelphia Eagles||New England Patriots||NFC|
|2016||New England Patriots||Atlanta Falcons||AFC|
|2015||Denver Broncos||Carolina Panthers||AFC|
|2014||New England Patriots||Seattle Seahawks||AFC|
|2013||Seattle Seahawks||Denver Broncos||NFC|
|2012||Baltimore Ravens||San Francisco 49ers||AFC|
|2011||New York Giants||New England Patriots||NFC|
|2010||Green Bay Packers||Pittsburgh Steelers||NFC|
|2009||New Orleans Saints||Indianapolis Colts||NFC|
The New England Patriots have earned a spot in five of the last 10 Super Bowls and are 6-3 in nine Super Bowl appearances since 2000. Since 2015 the Pats have been a part of all but one Super Bowl and have won three of their last four.
— The Athletic Boston (@TheAthleticBOS) February 4, 2019
The Patriots haven’t been the only mainstay in the Super Bowl, however. Since 2014 the final game of the postseason has included matchups with some combination of either the Broncos, Patriots or Seahawks. The Seahawks beat the Broncos in 2014, then lost to the Patriots in 2015. The next year, Denver returned to beat Carolina, then New England emerged once more from the AFC to play a part in every Super Bowl from 2017 to 2019.
No team has won back-to-back Super Bowls since the Patriots did it in 2003 and 2004.
AFC vs. NFC
In the last 10 years, the AFC and NFC are an even 5-5 in the Super Bowl, though the AFC has won four of the last five and is 12-8 in the Super Bowl since 2000.
The AFC is also 11-6 when the Super Bowl is played in the month of February, while the NFC is 15-4 when playing inside a dome.
Next five #SuperBowl sites:
2019 (LIII): Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA (CBS)
2020 (LIV): Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL (FOX)
2021 (LV): Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL (NBC)
2022 (LVI): Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park, Inglewood, CA (CBS)
2023 (LVII): TBD pic.twitter.com/Pkuj9iUunF
— ATL Legion (1-4) 🇺🇸🇫🇷 (@ATLSportsNut_19) February 4, 2018
Overall season record by winner
|Year||Winning team||Overall record||Record through first 5 games|
|2018||New England Patriots||11-5-0||3-2|
|2016||New England Patriots||14-2-0||4-1|
|2014||New England Patriots||12-4-0||3-2|
|2012||Baltimore Ravens||10-6-0 *wild-card team||4-1|
|2011||New York Giants||9-7-0 *wild-card team||3-2|
|2010||Green Bay Packers||10-6-0 *wild-card team||3-2|
|2009||New Orleans Saints||13-3-0||5-0|
Achieving perfection in the regular season doesn’t count for much. Just ask the 2007 Patriots, who went 16-0 but fell to the New York Giants, a wild-card team, in Super Bowl XLII.
The only team in NFL history to record a perfect season is the 1972 Dolphins. Miami pulled off a 14-7 victory over the Washington Redskins in the Super Bowl after it went 14-0 in the regular season.
Since 2000 13-3 has been the most common regular-season record of the Super Bowl champion. In 2010-2011 season the New York Giants owned a 9-7 regular-season record, the worst by a Super Bowl-winning team in 20 years.
Does a fast start matter?
In the last decade no Super Bowl winner has had a record worse than 3-2 after its first five games, and only twice in that time span has a team been undefeated through its first five games and gone on to hoist the Lombardi Trophy (Denver in 2015 and New Orleans in 2009).
Since 2000 (including ties), 9 of 24 teams who were the last undefeated made the Super Bowl (2006 @Colts were only team to win)
Only other time Patriots were the last undefeated team was 2007 (lost Super Bowl XLII)
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) October 7, 2019
In the last 20 years, 14 teams have started off 4-1 or 3-2 and won the Super Bowl, while five have started 5-0, and one notched a 2-3 record. The team with the losing record through five games was the New England Patriots in 2001.
Super Bowl history in Miami
While it’s certain the Miami Dolphins won’t be playing in the Super Bowl this season, Miami will experience the ultimate postseason celebration in 2020, as Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens is set to host Super Bowl LIV.
The Super Bowl has been held in the Miami metro area (either at the Orange Bowl in Miami or at Hard Rock Stadium, which has gone by several names) 10 times in NFL history, with the 49ers, Steelers and Colts each claiming two victories, while the Packers, Jets, Broncos and Saints have each won the Super Bowl once in the Magic City.
The last three teams who earned a Super Bowl title in Miami started the season 5-0 (the 2009-2010 Saints, 2006-2007 Colts, and 1998-1999 Broncos).
One other fun fact: There has been a kickoff return for a touchdown in four of the five Super Bowls played in Hard Rock Stadium.
Super Bowl quarterback trends
|2018||Tom Brady||New England Patriots||41|
|2017||Nick Foles||Philadelphia Eagles||29|
|2016||Tom Brady||New England Patriots||39|
|2015||Peyton Manning||Denver Broncos||39|
|2014||Tom Brady||New England Patriots||37|
|2013||Russell Wilson||Seattle Seahawks||25|
|2012||Joe Flacco||Baltimore Ravens||28|
|2011||Eli Manning||New York Giants||31|
|2010||Aaron Rodgers||Green Bay Packers||27|
|2009||Drew Brees||New Orleans Saints||31|
In 2019 a 41-year-old Tom Brady set the record as the oldest quarterback to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Before he accomplished the feat, Peyton Manning owned the mark, when he brought home Super Bowl 50 with the Denver Broncos at age 39.
Tom Brady and Jared Goff have the largest age gap (17 years, 72 days) of any starting QB matchup in Super Bowl history.
Next-closest: Super Bowl 50: Peyton Manning & Cam Newton (13 years, 48 days)
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 21, 2019
The average age of the last 10 Super Bowl-winning QBs is 32.7. Only four players younger than 30 have led their teams to Super Bowl titles in the last decade—Nick Foles at 29, Russell Wilson at 25, Joe Flacco at 28 and Aaron Rodgers at 27.
Ben Roethlisberger was the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl when he did it at age 23 in 2006.