Ranking back-to-back Super Bowl champions From WhatIfSports.com image

Ranking back-to-back Super Bowl champions

If the Seahawks repeat as Super Bowl champions, how will they rank among past back-to-back winners?

January 28, 2015

On Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks will have a chance to accomplish something that only seven franchises have done: win back-to-back Super Bowl titles.

When the Super Bowl was first introduced in 1966, Vince Lombardi and his Green Bay Packers had already won the NFL Championship over the Cleveland Browns the year before. So, their confidence level was already high. In SB I, the Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10. The following season, they were victorious over the Oakland Raiders, 33-14. Bart Starr was the MVP in both games.

The next team to go back-to-back successfully was the Miami Dolphins. This team is most famous for their perfect season in 1972. However, many don't realize that Don Shula led the Dolphins to a 12-2 record and a second championship the next year, as well.

Immediately after Miami's achievement, Chuck Noll and the Pittsburgh Steelers would earn their consecutive championships over the Minnesota Vikings (losing for the second-straight year) and the Dallas Cowboys.

As if winning back-to-back years once wasn't enough, the Steelers did it again in Super Bowls XIII and XIV. Terry Bradshaw then became the first quarterback to win four rings in a career.

Repeat Champ Rankings
  Team Avg. Win %
1 1988-89 49ers 58.6
2 1992-93 Cowboys 57.4
3 2013-14 Seahawks 53.9
4 1972-73 Dolphins 52.2
5 1997-98 Broncos 49.8
6 1978-79 Steelers 49.5
7 2003-04 Patriots 48.1
8 1974-75 Steelers 45.0
9 1966-67 Packers 35.7

Win % indicates the average win percentage of each back-to-back champion. Check the table below for the full results of our simulation.

Another QB added his name to that exclusive fraternity after winning Super Bowls XXIII and XXIV sequentially. Joe Montana helped lead the San Francisco 49ers to back-to-back crowns over the Cincinnati Bengals and the Denver Broncos.

In the early 90s, the Buffalo Bills attended four-straight Super Bowls. However, they were unsuccessful each time. The Cowboys were victorious over the Bills in Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII. They were led by a trifecta of Hall of Famers: Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin.

After losing four times in the final game, the Broncos won their first and second title with John Elway in Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII. When the back-to-back feat came to an end, Elway called his playing career to an end.

Finally, there is the New England Patriots. Led by future HOFs Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, they were triumphant in consecutive terms, Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX.

Now, the last team to undertake the daunting task of winning two trophies in a row will look to stop Seattle from joining the club. For argument's sake, let's say that Russell Wilson wins his second Super Bowl.

So, WhatIfSports.com asked the question, "Which team was the most dominant during its two-year reign?"

Using our NFL simulation engine, we placed every back-to-back champion, as well as the 2013 and 2014 Seahawks, into a round-robin tournament. Everyone "played" 101 games against every team in the field. We then ranked each team by win percentage in the tournament, taking the average win percentage of each repeat champ to generate our ranking.

When the dust finally settled, our computer concluded that San Francisco had the best two-year time in power, winning 58.6 percent of its simulations. George Seifert's 49ers finished the 1989 regular season with a 14-2 record after winning the title the year prior. In the playoffs, they continued to dominate. First, they beat the Vikings in the Divisional round, 41-13. Next, the Rams were trampled 30-3. Finally, the Broncos were torched 55-10 in the big game.

Of the 18 teams in our simulation, the 1989 Niners took the gold and won 69.1 percent of their round-robin contests. They also scored an average of 28.2 points per simulation, the highest average among the competing squads.

Should Seattle beat the Patriots and join the exclusive club of back-to-back champions, our simulation engine ranks their repeat performance as the third-best in NFL history.

Round-Robin Simulation Results
 TeamWin %Avg. PPGAvg. PPA
11989 San Francisco 49ers69.128.222.3
21993 Dallas Cowboys61.727.424.1
32013 Seattle Seahawks61.123.620.2
41979 Pittsburgh Steelers58.024.922.3
51998 Denver Broncos55.826.524.5
61972 Miami Dolphins55.725.623.2
71992 Dallas Cowboys53.123.822.6
81975 Pittsburgh Steelers50.422.922.7
91973 Miami Dolphins48.622.122.3
102003 New England Patriots48.120.621.5
111988 San Francisco 49ers48.123.024.0
122004 New England Patriots48.024.124.7
132014 Seattle Seahawks46.722.023.6
141997 Denver Broncos43.724.626.4
151978 Pittsburgh Steelers41.019.422.2
161974 Pittsburgh Steelers39.618.521.9
171966 Green Bay Packers39.420.022.9
181967 Green Bay Packers31.919.525.6

Super Bowl XLIX doesn't have to be your last taste of football until September. Let WhatIfSports.com provide your daily fix. Create your ultimate roster using our Dream Teams feature. Then take that roster and simulate it against ANY TEAM IN NFL HISTORY using our NFL SimMatchup tool.

Adam Meyer is a Contributor for WhatIfSports.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FOXSportsMeyer.

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