Super Bowl: how many teams have been champions like Wild Card?

The day of Super Bowl LV is getting closer, Kansas City Chiefs, seeded number one in the American Conference, seems to start as the favorite to win the two-time championship. However, they will face Tampa Bay Buccaneers who come as ‘underdog’.

Tom Brady’s team had to travel to Washington after finishing behind the New Orleans Saints in the division. The Bucs not only beat the NL East champions, but also went to the Mercedez Benz Superdome to beat New Orleans against the odds.

In the final of the National Conference, all bets were on the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, but the defense grew against Aaron Rodgers to give a new bell and put the Buccaneers one step away from their second Super Bowl ring.

Teams that have been champions as Wild Card

The Bucs thing is not something very common, but it is not something extraordinary either. Six teams have managed to be crowned in the Super Bowl after arriving as ‘Wild Card Teams’.

Oakland Raiders Super Bowl XV, 1980

The Raiders were the first team to be crowned after being one of the wild card teams. Oakland finished with a record of 11-5, below the San Diego Chargers (same record). In the Wildcard duel, they beat the Houston Oilers 27-7. 14-12 to Cleveland at home and 34-27 to San Diego in California. They were finally crowned by defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 27-10.

Denver Broncos Super Bowl XXXII, 1997

A veteran John Elway was looking for his first ring as champion at 37 years of age. With an amazing 12-4 record, they finished below the Chiefs and they had to search the long way. They crushed Jacksonville 42-17 in the Wild Card, beat Kansas City 14-10 at Arrowhead and Pittsburgh 24-21. In the Super Bowl, they faced the reigning champions, the Green Bay Packers. With a brilliant performance by the running Back, Terrell Davis (157 yards and three touchdowns) were crowned by beating Brett Favre’s team 31-24.

Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl XXXV, 2000

With a 12-4 record, the Ravens finished below Tennessee in the defunct AFC Central. In the Wild Card Round, they beat Denver 21-3, Tennessee 24-10 in the Divisional Round and 16-3 in the Championship Game against the Raiders. Led by a young Ray Lewis, the Ravens beat the Giants 34-7 in the Super Bowl.

Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl XL, 2005

Five years after Baltimore was crowned wild card, the Steelers managed to do the same. Pittsburgh finished with a record of 11-5 to be the No. 6 seed in the AFC. The Steelers went to Cincinnati to crush them 31-17, the number one-seeded Indianapolis Colts 21-18 and in the Conference finals 34-17 the Denver Broncos. Although Ben Roethlisberger (123 yards and two interceptions) did not have his best performance. He had an important rushing touchdown as Pittsburgh beat Seattle 21-10.

New York Giants Super Bowl XLII, 2007

The Giants were one of the worst teams in terms of the record to be crowned. The New York squad finished with a 10-6 record.. They went to Tampa to beat the Buccaneers 24-14. Then they stunned Romo and Dallas by beating them 21-17, and just like Tampa went to Lambeau Field to beat Green Bay, they did it with a 23-20 win. A miraculous pass from Eli Manning to David Tyree in one of the most remembered plays in Super Bowl history, allowed the Giants through Plaxico Burress to be crowned.

Green Bay Packers Super Bowl XLV, 2010

The Packers have so far been the last team to be crowned after losing their division. Green Bay trailed Chicago by finishing with a 10-6 record. They beat Philadelphia 21.16, Atlanta 48-21 and Chicago 21-14. In the Super Bowl, they beat Pittsburgh 31-25.

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Super Bowl: how many teams have been champions like Wild Card?


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