Who is the Most Successful American Football Team?
There are only four American Football teams in the history of the sport that have never even made it to the biggest stage of all – the Super Bowl. Cleveland, Detroit, Houston and Jacksonville hold that dubious honour at the current time – and the Super Bowl betting markets do not fancy any of them to change that record for the time being. But who have been the most successful teams of all time?
Super Bowl victories are really the only way to measure success in American Football. There may be individual star players that never got to size up a winner’s ring – but for the teams themselves it is all about winning the big show at the beginning of February. Read on to find out who has celebrated more than the others when it comes to gridiron.
Five Super Bowl Wins – San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers really were the team of the 80s. Four of the team’s Super Bowl triumphs came in that decade, as head coach Bill Walsh marshalled a lethal offense led by the peerless Joe Montana. Not only did San Francisco have one of the best quarterbacks the sport has ever seen – it was also blessed with an incredible wide receiver in the form of Jerry Rice.
Even when time caught up with Montana, the 49ers unveiled new QB sensation Steve Young, who teamed up seamlessly with Rice to add another Super Bowl win in 1994. They connected for a long TD on the opening drive of that game and never looked like losing.
Five Super Bowl Wins – Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are known as ‘America’s Team’ and only squeeze past San Francisco thanks to an extra Super Bowl appearance – albeit a losing one. Dallas has won the big game five times as well and enjoyed a flurry of success in the early 1990s after originally dominating the sport in the 1970s.
Head coach Jimmy Johnson, under larger than life owner Jerry Jones, masterminded the second Super Bowl winning dynasty in Dallas, relying on Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin to get the job done. There hasn’t been much to shout about this side of the millennium though.
Six Super Bowl Wins – Pittsburgh Steelers
Where the 49ers dominated in the 1980s, the Steelers went before in the 1970s, winning four Super Bowls thanks to the passing of quarterback Terry Bradshaw, wide receiver Lynn Swann and running back Franco Harris. Plus, there was the ‘Steel Curtain’ defense that seemed to be made of the very stuff that gives the team its nickname.
That all-conquering 1970s Steelers team forged a tradition of physical and mental strength. But it took 16 years after Super Bowl XIV for Pittsburgh to return to the championship game. It took another ten years for the next Super Bowl win – and another in 2008 made the franchise one of the most successful in the history of the sport.
Most Successful Team of All Time – New England Patriots
But it is the New England Patriots that can claim the title, thanks to six Super Bowl victories and five more unsuccessful appearances in American Football’s glittering jewel. The Pats have crammed all their success into the 21st century thanks to the winningest QB-head coach duo in the sport’s history. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick were made for each other and won six championships together in just 17 years.
But it was Super Bowl LI when the Patriots showed just why they are the most successful team of all time. Down 28-3 in the third quarter it looked as though Atlanta was going to win its first ever championship game. But with three scoring drives in the fourth quarter alone, New England staged the greatest ever comeback and ensured that Tom Brady would need to be measured for yet another ring. He has now gone on to win another Super Bowl in Tampa Bay, while the Pats valiantly attempt to add to their trophy room.