Being the most successful team in the NFL is all about winning Super Bowls, and bringing the Lombardi Trophy home for a celebration that will last all offseason. American Football is a global giant, and the figures behind it are astounding. Infact, the NFL has the biggest TV rights deal in any sport. From 2014 to 2022, the NFL signed a new 9 year deal with four US networks – CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN. This works out at $4.5 billion a year in combined payments from four networks which is quite a remarkable amount of money for one sport.
Here’s a look back at the teams that have won the most Super Bowls in NFL history.
Pittsburgh Steelers – 6 Super Bowl victories
They may not have had much recent success but the Steelers have a great Super Bowl History with 8 – 6 champions in 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 2005 and 2008. They were twice runner up in 2005 and 2010. They have 23 division championships and 31 playoff appearances, most recently in 2017.
For their last 50 years in the NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers have seen simultaneous success over the period. Their continuity at the head coaching position is one of their secrets to success and has been their strong suit for long now. They are the only NFL team whose every head coach they’ve had since 1969 has won a championship. Starting with Chuck Noll, who got the Steelers coaching job in January 1969, along with some excellent draft picks, Pittsburgh led by QB Terry Bradshaw, RB Franco Harris, WR Lynn Swann, and the infamous “Steel Curtain” defense, the Steelers dominated the 1970’s by winning four Super Bowls. After their fourth Super Bowl victory in January 1980 to cap off the 1979 season, the franchise won their next championship only after 25 years. Head coach Bill Cowher was not much of a hit. In the 2005 season, with reliable veteran talent and a wild card team to support second year QB Ben Roethlisberger, they made a phenomenal playoff run, and defeated the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL. 36 year old Mike Tomlin who took over after Cowher retired led the team back along with Roethlisberger. In the 2008 NFL season, Big Ben was recognized as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, who went head to head with Kurt Warner and the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII. With one of his most iconic throws in history, that found WR Santonio Holmes in the very corner of the end zone with little margin for error, helped the Steelers clinch the sixth championship.
New England Patriots – 6 Super Bowl victories
The Patriots have really dominated the NFL since 2001, with 6 Super Bowl titles (2002, 2004, 2005, 2015, 2017 and 2019. They have been in 11 Super Bowls with 5 losses, which puts them way out in front as the greatest NFL team in the Super Bowl era.
The Patriots shocked the world by making the Super Bowl for the first time with the remainder of the 2001 season. They went on to defeat the “Greatest Show on Turf” St. Louis Rams in the big game. New England would impressively record Super Bowl wins against the Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, and eventually the relocated Los Angeles Rams, but perhaps their greatest triumph came against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. The Patriots after being down 28-3 in the third quarter, started to chip away at the lead, starting with a James White touchdown catch from Tom Brady. As the floodgates opened, Brady orchestrated three more scoring drives in the 4th quarter, and one more in overtime (which White was a big part of), as the team completed the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.
San Francisco 49ers – 5 Super Bowl victories
5 Super Bowl wins (1981, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1994) They were runner up at the 2012 Super Bowl. Throw in 19 division championships and 26 playoffs and you have the 4th best NFL team in the Super Bowl era.
Coached by Bill Walsh, they dominated the NFL in the 1980’s with four Super Bowl titles in the decade. He led the team to two Super Bowl wins in the 1981-1982 and 1984-1985 seasons, with a cool, calm and collected way of playing along with QB Joe Montan. With additional help from Jerry Rice, who kickstarted his career in 1986, scoring 15 touchdowns through the air to go along with 1,570 receiving yards. Rice would go on to score double-digit touchdowns in nine of his first 11 NFL seasons. After Joe Montana’s elbow injury in 1991 and eventual departure to the Kansas City Chiefs in 1993, former BYU QB Steve Young stepped in. He played very well since he assumed the starting role in 1991, but his successful season came in 1994, when he threw for 35 touchdowns. Young and Rice formed an unstoppable pair, and led San Francisco back to the Super Bowl that year, where they defeated the San Diego Charges 49-26 for their fifth title.