National Football League

NFLleagueAmerican Professional Football Association
The Super Bowl is also among the biggest club sporting events in the world, with the individual games accounting for many of the most watched television programs in American history and all occupying the Nielsen's Top 5 tally of the all-time most watched U.S. television broadcasts by 2015. The Green Bay Packers hold the most combined NFL championships with 13, winning nine titles before the Super Bowl era and four Super Bowls afterwards. Since the creation of the Super Bowl, the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots both have the most championship titles at six. The Patriots are the NFL's current champions following their victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.

Dallas Cowboys

DallasCowboysDallas Cowboy
The franchise has made it to the Super Bowl eight times, tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Denver Broncos for second most Super Bowl appearances in history, just behind the New England Patriots record eleven Super Bowl appearances. This has also corresponded to eight NFC championships, most in the NFC. The Cowboys have won five of those Super Bowl appearances, tying them with their NFC rivals, the San Francisco 49ers; both are second to Pittsburgh's and New England's record six Super Bowl championships. The Cowboys are the only NFL team to record 20 straight winning seasons (1966–85), in which they missed the playoffs only twice (1974 and 1984).

Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh PiratesSteelersPittsburgh
Pittsburgh is tied with the New England Patriots for the most Super Bowl titles at six, and the team has both played in (16 times) and hosted (11 times) more conference championship games than has any other NFL team. The Steelers have won eight AFC championships, tied with the Denver Broncos, but behind the Patriots' record 11 AFC championships. The team is tied with the Broncos and Dallas Cowboys for the second-most Super Bowl appearances with eight. The Steelers lost their most recent championship appearance, Super Bowl XLV, on February 6, 2011.

New York Giants

GiantsN.Y. GiantsNY Giants
The New York Giants won Super Bowl XLVI against the New England Patriots with a score of 21–17. The winning touchdown was preceded by a 38-yard reception by receiver Mario Manningham. As in Super Bowl XLII, Eli Manning was Super Bowl MVP, defeating the New England Patriots for a second time in the Super Bowl. Ahmad Bradshaw scored the game-winning touchdown by falling into the end zone. The Patriots were allowing Bradshaw to get the touchdown so they would get the ball with some time remaining. When Eli Manning handed the ball to Bradshaw, he told him not to score. Bradshaw was about to fall down at the 1-yard line but his momentum carried him in, thus the "reluctant touchdown."

San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco49ersSan Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame
The next week, the 49ers came back from a 21–0 deficit against the Washington Redskins in the NFC championship game to tie the game, only to lose, after a questionable defensive holding call, 24–21 on a Mark Moseley field goal that sent the Redskins to Super Bowl XVIII. In 1984, the 49ers had one of the greatest seasons in team history by finishing the regular season 15–1, setting the record for most regular season wins that was later equaled by the 1985 Chicago Bears, the 1998 Minnesota Vikings, the 2004 Pittsburgh Steelers, the 2011 Green Bay Packers and finally broken by the 2007 New England Patriots (with 16 regular season victories).

Peyton Manning

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The Broncos defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Divisional Round by a score of 23–16 to advance to the AFC Championship game to host the defending Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots. Manning was 21-of-37 for 222 with no touchdowns or interceptions. It was the 17th, and ultimately final, meeting between Manning and his longtime rival Tom Brady. Despite a late comeback attempt from the Patriots, the Broncos won 20–18 to advance to Super Bowl 50. Manning threw for 176 passing yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions in the win.

2004–05 NFL playoffs

2004Wild Card PlayoffsDivisional Playoffs
The National Football League playoffs for the 2004 season began on January 8, 2005. The postseason tournament concluded with the New England Patriots defeating the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX, 24–21, on February 6, at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. In the United States, ABC broadcast the first two Wild Card playoff games, then CBS broadcast the rest of the AFC playoff games. Fox televised the rest of the NFC games and Super Bowl XXXIX. Although the Rams barely made the playoffs with an 8–8 record, two of their regular season wins were against Seattle.

Pro Bowl

Pro BowlsNFL Pro BowlPro Bowler
For example, in 2010, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs admitted voting for Ryan Fitzpatrick (then the backup quarterback of the Buffalo Bills) over eventual league most valuable player Tom Brady not because he thought Fitzpatrick was the better player but as a vote of disrespect toward Brady's team, the New England Patriots. Some players have had a surprisingly small number of Pro Bowl selections despite distinguished careers. Hall of Fame running back John Riggins was selected only once in his career from 1971 to 1985.

History of the St. Louis Rams

St. Louis RamsLos Angeles RamsSt. Louis
After easily handling Green Bay in the divisional playoffs, the Rams fought off a pesky Philadelphia Eagles team 29–24 to reach their second Super Bowl in three seasons. Their opponents in Super Bowl XXXVI would be the New England Patriots who, much as the Rams had had two years previous, had enjoyed a Cinderella playoff run, highlighted by a dramatic and controversial 16–13 divisional playoff win against the Oakland Raiders. The talent-laden Rams appeared to be primed to become the first professional football dynasty of the 21st century. However, despite being a 14-point favorite, the Rams were dominated by the Patriots for most of the game.

National Football Conference

The only NFC team that has never made a Super Bowl appearance is the Detroit Lions. Since the 2002 division realignment, the NFC has sent 12 different teams to the Super Bowl, whereas the AFC has only sent 6: the Baltimore Ravens (1 time), the Oakland Raiders (1 time), the Denver Broncos (2 times), the Indianapolis Colts (2 times), the Pittsburgh Steelers (3 times) and the New England Patriots (9 times). The only NFC team to make back to back Super Bowls since 2002 are the Seattle Seahawks. As of 2018, the only pre-merger team that does not play in its 1969 market is the St. Louis Cardinals, who moved in 1988 to Phoenix suburb of Tempe (they moved to Glendale in 2006).

2004 Philadelphia Eagles season

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In their first Super Bowl appearance since Super Bowl XV, the Eagles met the New England Patriots on February 6, 2005 at ALLTEL Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. The Patriots, led by Tom Brady had won two of the past three Super Bowls and a win against the Eagles would likely lead to "dynasty status". They had cruised to a 14–2 regular season record, and taken down the Indianapolis Colts and 15–1 Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC playoffs. Meanwhile, the Eagles, considered heavy underdogs, had star wide receiver Terrell Owens miraculously returning, against doctor's orders, from injury.

Kurt Warner

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This win was the first time the Cardinals had won a game on the East Coast the entire 2008 season, after having lost away games to the Panthers, Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets, and the New England Patriots. On January 18, Warner threw for 279 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions against the Philadelphia Eagles to lead the Cardinals to their first Super Bowl appearance in history. Warner is one of three quarterbacks who made Super Bowl starts with two teams (the others are Craig Morton [1970: Dallas Cowboys and 1977: Denver Broncos] and Peyton Manning [2006 & 2009: Indianapolis Colts and 2013 & 2015: Denver Broncos]).

2004 NFL season

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The playoffs began on January 8, and eventually New England repeated as NFL champions when they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 24–21 in Super Bowl XXXIX, the Super Bowl championship game, at ALLTEL Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida on February 6. Ron Blum returned to line judge, and Bill Vinovich was promoted to take his place as referee. Midway through the season, Johnny Grier suffered a leg injury that forced him to retire. He was permanently replaced by the back judge on his crew, Scott Green, who had previous experience as a referee in NFL Europe.

Bill Belichick

BelichickBillBill Belichick (former resident)
They opened the season at 6–0, which combined with the 15 straight wins to end the previous season, gave New England 21 consecutive victories to break the record for most wins in a row formerly held by the Miami Dolphins with 18 straight victories in the 1972 and 1973 seasons. They defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the [[2004–05 NFL playoffs#AFC Championship: New England Patriots 41, Pittsburgh Steelers 27|AFC Championship]]. In Super Bowl XXXIX, the Patriots beat the Philadelphia Eagles and became only the second team to win three Super Bowls in four years.

Super Bowl LII

LIISuper BowlSuper Bowl LII Champions
Super Bowl LII was an American football game played to determine the champion of the National Football League (NFL) for the 2017 season. The National Football Conference (NFC) champion Philadelphia Eagles defeated the American Football Conference (AFC) and defending Super Bowl LI champion New England Patriots, 41–33, to win their first Super Bowl and their first NFL title since 1960. The game was played on February 4, 2018, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This was the second time that a Super Bowl was played in Minneapolis, the northernmost city to ever host the event, after Super Bowl XXVI at the Metrodome during the 1991 season.

American football

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Football is often associated in Brazil as being the sport of supermodel Gisele Bündchen's husband Tom Brady. The NFL has expressed interest in having games in the country, and the Super Bowl has become a widely watched event in Brazil at bars and movie theaters. Canadian football, the predominant form of football in Canada, is closely related to American football—both sports developed from rugby and are considered to be the chief variants of gridiron football.

Willie McGinest

McGinest was drafted by the New England Patriots in the first round (fourth overall) of the 1994 NFL Draft. He was one of the cornerstones for New England's success in winning the Super Bowl in 2001, 2003, and 2004. He was named to the Pro Bowl twice, in 1996 and 2003. In Super Bowl XXXIX, McGinest was used in a different manner from his regular role. While he usually lined up as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, the Patriots moved him to the defensive line as a defensive end in an effort to keep Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb from scrambling.

Washington Redskins

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The Redskins routed the Denver Broncos 42–10 after starting the game in a 10–0 deficit, the largest come-from-behind victory in Super Bowl history, which was tied by the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. This game is more famous for the stellar performance by quarterback Doug Williams who passed for four touchdowns in the second quarter en route to becoming the first black quarterback to lead his team to a Super Bowl victory while also winning the games Super Bowl MVP award.

Rodney Harrison

During the week leading up to the Super Bowl, Harrison got into a verbal feud with Philadelphia Eagles receiver Freddie Mitchell after Mitchell claimed he "had something for Harrison" and did not know the names of the New England secondary. Harrison, in Super Bowl XXXIX, would record seven tackles, a sack, and two interceptions of quarterback Donovan McNabb, despite missing almost an entire quarter due to an injury sustained during the game. The second interception, with ten seconds remaining in the game, preserved a 24–21 Patriot win, ensuring a third championship in four years.

Atlanta Falcons

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In their 53 years of existence (through 2018), the Falcons have compiled a record of 368–466–6 (358–452–6 in the regular season and 10–14 in the playoffs), winning division championships in 1980, 1998, 2004, 2010, 2012, and 2016. The Falcons have appeared in two Super Bowls, the first during the 1998 season in Super Bowl XXXIII, where they lost to the Denver Broncos 34–19, and the second was eighteen years later, a 34–28 overtime loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.

Indianapolis Colts

Baltimore ColtsColtsIndianapolis
The rivalry between the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots is one of the NFL's newest rivalries. The rivalry is fueled by the quarterback comparison between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. The Patriots owned the beginning of the series, defeating the Colts in six consecutive contests including the 2003 AFC Championship game and a 2004 AFC Divisional game. The Colts won the next three matches, notching two regular season victories and a win in the 2006 AFC Championship game on the way to their win in Super Bowl XLI.

Super Bowl XXXVI

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But they went on to win Super Bowl XXXVIII, Super Bowl XXXIX, thus winning three Super Bowls in four years. Then, they won their fourth, fifth, and sixth Super Bowls (Super Bowl XLIX, Super Bowl LI, and Super Bowl LIII) a decade after their third. Brady also won three more Super Bowl MVP awards in Super Bowl XXXVIII, Super Bowl XLIX, and Super Bowl LI, making him the only player to be named Super Bowl MVP four times. Super Bowl XXXVI later became part of the wider 2007 New England Patriots videotaping controversy, also known as "Spygate".

2017 NFL season

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The season began on September 7, 2017, with the Kansas City Chiefs defeating the defending Super Bowl LI champion New England Patriots 42–27 in the NFL Kickoff Game. The season concluded with Super Bowl LII, where the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Philadelphia Eagles faced the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots. The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots 41–33 to win their first Super Bowl title, and fourth NFL championship, in franchise history. It was also a rematch of Super Bowl XXXIX, where the Patriots won 24–21 to win their third title.

Miami Dolphins

Miami did pose more of a challenge to the Brady-led Patriots in the 2000s, however, winning more games against them than the Bills or Jets did during that decade. Notable wins over New England by the Dolphins include the Miracle in Miami, which involved a dramatic last-minute game-winning touchdown that paralleled "The Night that Courage Wore Orange", where in 2004, the Dolphins, at 2–11, upset the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots 28-29, and handed them the second of their 2 losses that season.

2004 Pittsburgh Steelers season

Pittsburgh SteelersPIT2004 Pittsburgh Steelers
*Source: ESPN The Steelers for the 2nd week in a row face an undefeated team, the 7–0 Eagles. With the win, the Steelers improved to 7–1 while the Eagles dropped to 7–1. The game gained wider notoriety in subsequent days following broadcast of footage from the Eagles sideline where Terrell Owens was angrily barking at Donovan McNabb with McNabb striving to ignore him. With their 3rd straight win over the Browns, the Steelers improved to 8–1.