The Kansas City Chiefs start their playoff quest to repeat as Super Bowl champions this week. If they succeed their place in NFL history will be guaranteed.
The regular season is now officially in the rearview mirror for the Kansas City Chiefs. All season long there has been a little bit of a feeling that the Chiefs were just doing enough to keep winning and put themselves in a position for the playoffs. Close or ugly wins don’t matter anymore. The Chiefs need to win three more games by any means possible. Period. If they do, and repeat as Super Bowl champions they will join an elite group of teams and their place in NFL immortality will be secured.
Winning any Super Bowl is amazing and secures a place in NFL history. However, winning two in a row puts a franchise in a completely different category. The NFL has only had a team repeat as back-to-back Super Bowl champions eight times in the history of the league, and every one of those teams is remembered as one of the greatest teams ever—or at very least one of the truly historic quarterback/coach combos. If the Chiefs can win another Super Bowl this season, they will absolutely have earned the right to put themselves in that company.
Here are the eight previous repeat champions in chronological order.
1. Green Bay Packers – Super Bowls I and II
The Green Bay Packers won the first two Super Bowls. The first was against the Chiefs and then they defended their title against the Oakland Raiders. These teams have some absolutely historic names on them, including head coach Vince Lombardi who the Super Bowl trophy is now named after. Guys quarterback Bart Starr and linebacker Ray Nitschke (just to name a few) are up there too. You can’t tell the history of the NFL without this team.
2. Miami Dolphins – Super Bowls VII and VIII
When the Miami Dolphins won Super Bowl VII over the Washington Redskins, they completed the only perfect season in NFL history. While they didn’t go undefeated again the next season, they only lost two games and beat the Minnesota Vikings to repeat as champions. This team included another legendary coach in Don Shula and had an offense with big names like Bob Griese, Larry Csonka, Mercury Morris, and Paul Warfield. The undefeated season alone secured this team’s spot in history. Repeating as Super Bowl champions was just icing on the cake.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (twice) – Super Bowls IX and X and Super Bowls XIII and XIV
I thought about listing these separately, but since they were next to each other chronologically and had so many of the same players, it seemed a little repetitive. Prior to the modern-era New England Patriots, the NFL had never had a team dominate an era like these Steelers teams did. They repeated as champions in Super Bowls IX and X and then two years later they did it again in Super Bowls XIII and XIV.
These teams all were coached by Hall of Fame coach Chuck Noll and are full of all-time great players like Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, John Stallworth, Lynn Swann, Jack Ham, Jack Lambert, Joe Green and many more. Once again, you simply can’t ignore these Steelers teams when talking about the greatest NFL organizations of all time.
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4. San Francisco 49ers – Super Bowls XXIII and XXIV
The San Francisco 49ers got their first Super Bowl win against the Cincinnati Bengals and then followed up the next season by beating the Denver Broncos to repeat as champions. This team got legendary coach Bill Walsh a Super Bowl win in his final season before turning the reigns over to George Seifert for their repeat season. These teams are probably best know for the historically great combo of quarterback Joe Montana and receiver Jerry Rice, both of which get mentioned as the best ever. Once again, we are talking about a team that most recognize as an all-time great team.
5. Dallas Cowboys – Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII
The Dallas Cowboys had the privilege of handing the Buffalo Bills two consecutive Super Bowl losses as the Cowboys repeated and secured their place on the list of all time great NFL teams. These Cowboys teams were coached by Hall of Fame coach Jimmy Johnson and included three all-time great offensive players in Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin. Not only were these teams great from a talent standpoint, they were flashy and entertaining—whether you loved them or hated them. To this day when you see highlights or montages of the history of the NFL, they almost always include Johnson yelling “How bout them Cowboys!”
6. Denver Broncos – Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII
Many were starting to wonder if John Elway was going to end his amazing Hall of Fame career without ever getting that elusive Super Bowl win. He would wind up with two to end his career. The Broncos won consecutive rings against the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons in the late ’90s. While Elway is the big name historically, running back Terrell Davis was the workhorse of those teams and defenders like Steve Atwater, Bill Romanowski, and former Chief Neil Smith were big factors too. Those wins also solidified the standing of head coach Mike Shanahan.
7. New England Patriots – Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIV
The legacy of the Tom Brady and Bill Belichick New England Patriots goes well beyond these two Super Bowl wins, but while the duo did win an amazing six championships, this was the only time they had consecutive victories. Their win over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII was their second overall and the first of their back-to-back rings with the second coming against the Philadelphia Eagles (coached by Andy Reid). I don’t think there is any doubt about the legacy of the Brady/Belichick Patriots, but even they were only able to repeat one time.
That’s the list. Those are all the teams that have repeated as champions, and that is the company that the Chiefs are trying to join. Should they pull it off (and there is a LONG way to go) the Chiefs have the credentials to hold their own against these all time great teams. They have a Hall of Fame caliber coach in Andy Reid. They have what will likely be an all-time great quarterback in Patrick Mahomes. Other amazing talents like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce help the roster hold up with these other teams.
If you look at the winning percentage the Chiefs would be right there as well. If you look at the winning percentage (including the playoffs) of all these teams over their two seasons as champions you get.
- Miami Dolphins (VII and VIII) – 94.1%
- New England Patriots (XXXVIII and XXXIX) – 89.5%
- Pittsburgh Steelers (IX and X) – 84.8%
- Denver Broncos (XXXII and XXXIII) – 84.6%
- Pittsburgh Steelers (XIII and XIV) – 84.2%
- Dallas Cowboys (XXVII and XXVIII) – 81.6%
- Green Bay Packers (I and II) – 81.3%
- San Francisco 49ers (XXIII and XXIV) – 78.9%
If the Kansas City Chiefs were to win their next three games and repeat as Super Bowl champions, it would make their combined winning percentage over the past two seasons at 84.2 percent—a mark which would tie them with the Steelers for fifth best on that list.
So the Chiefs would have the coach, the talent, and the winning percentage to belong in this elite club. That is what the Chiefs are playing for when the take the field this weekend: A place in football immortality. Frankly, they were a Dee Ford offsides call away from potentially already being there, but no need to look back now.
The Chiefs have a chance to prove their place in NFL history if they just take care of business. Now let’s hope they do just that when they take the field against the Cleveland Browns this weekend.