Eagles

How do NFL teams fare in season following Super Bowl loss?

Eagles

The Kansas City Chiefs’ journey back to another Super Bowl came to an abrupt end on Sunday.

Following a blowout loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV last February, Kansas City got off to an uncharacteristic start this season. Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes and Co. won just three of their first seven games and were on the outside looking in on the AFC playoff picture heading into November. 

Things quickly picked up from there. The Chiefs rattled off eight straight wins and were in the mix for the AFC’s No. 1 seed before they lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17. They ended the regular season at 12-5 and appeared poised for a Super Bowl return.

The team soon found itself in a familiar spot: at home for the AFC Championship Game. They reached the conference title game by blowing out the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wild card round and beating the Buffalo Bills in one of the greatest playoff games of all time.

In the AFC Championship Game, the Chiefs were up 18 points with just over a minute left in the first half. Joe Burrow and the Bengals took over the game after that point, pulling out a 27-24 upset win in overtime to deny the Chiefs their third straight Super Bowl appearance.

By falling short in the AFC Championship Game, did the Chiefs become the latest victim of the Super Bowl jinx? Does such a thing even exist for a team that loses the prior Super Bowl?

 

Sifting through the next-season results of every Super Bowl runner-up, the findings push back on the premise of a general hangover. From the bad to the historic, here is how each team that lost the Super Bowl fared the following year:

Which Super Bowl runner-up had the worst record the next season?

The single worst showing from a Super Bowl loser in their follow-up season came from the Oakland Raiders. After getting trounced by the Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII, they went just 4-12 in 2003. Bill Callahan’s group went 2-2 to start the season before ending the year on a 2-10 slump.

Out of the first 55 Super Bowl losers, 38 came back to make the playoffs the next season. The 69.1% playoff rate would refute the notion of a “Super Bowl runner-up jinx.”

Of the 17 runners-up that failed to make the playoffs, 11 did not even reach a .500 record -- like the 2003 Raiders. All 11 instances have come since 1989, with the earliest being the 1989 Denver Broncos and the most recent being the 2019 San Francisco 49ers

Which Super Bowl runner-up had the best record the next season?

The only undefeated team in NFL history had its perfect season following a Super Bowl loss.

The Miami Dolphins went 10-3-1 in 1971 before falling to the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl VI. Don Shula’s team rebounded with the only undefeated season in NFL history, going 14-0 in the 1972 regular season before edging Washington 14-7 in Super Bowl VII.

As if the perfect season and franchise’s first Super Bowl victory weren’t enough, the Dolphins went back to back by beating the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl VIII the next season.

The 1970 Cowboys and 2017 New England Patriots are the only other teams to lose the Super Bowl and bounce back to win the title the next season. Five additional teams reached the Super Bowl in consecutive seasons but lost both times.

How has each Super Bowl loser done the following season?

Here are the year-by-year results for each Super Bowl loser:

1966 Kansas City Chiefs: Lost Super Bowl I, finished 9-5 (missed playoffs) in following season

1967 Oakland Raiders: Lost Super Bowl II, finished 12-2 (made playoffs) in following season

1968 Baltimore Colts: Lost Super Bowl III, finished 8-5-1 (missed playoffs) in following season

1969 Minnesota Vikings: Lost Super Bowl IV, finished 12-2 (made playoffs) in following season

1970 Dallas Cowboys: Lost Super Bowl V, finished 11-3 (won Super Bowl) in following season

1971 Miami Dolphins: Lost Super Bowl VI, finished 14-0 (won Super Bowl) in following season

1972 Washington: Lost Super Bowl VII, finished 10-4 (made playoffs) in following season

1973 Minnesota Vikings: Lost Super Bowl VIII, finished 10-4 (lost Super Bowl) in following season

1974 Minnesota Vikings: Lost Super Bowl IX, finished 12-2 (made playoffs) in following season

 

1975 Dallas Cowboys: Lost Super Bowl X, finished 11-3 (made playoffs) in following season

1976 Minnesota Vikings: Lost Super Bowl XI, finished 9-5 (made playoffs) in following season

1977 Denver Broncos: Lost Super Bowl XII, finished 10-6 (made playoffs) in following season

1978 Dallas Cowboys: Lost Super Bowl XIII, finished 11-5 (made playoffs) in following season

1979 Los Angeles Rams: Lost Super Bowl XIV, finished 11-5 (made playoffs) in following season

1980 Philadelphia Eagles: Lost Super Bowl XV, finished 10-6 (made playoffs) in following season

1981 Cincinnati Bengals: Lost Super Bowl XVI, finished 7-2 (made playoffs) in following season

1982 Miami Dolphins: Lost Super Bowl XVII, finished 12-4 (made playoffs) in following season

1983 Washington: Lost Super Bowl XVIII, finished 11-5 (made playoffs) in following season

1984 Miami Dolphins: Lost Super Bowl XIX, finished 12-4 (made playoffs) in following season

1985 New England Patriots: Lost Super Bowl XX, finished 11-5 (made playoffs) in following season

1986 Denver Broncos: Lost Super Bowl XXI, finished 10-4-1 (lost Super Bowl) in following season

1987 Denver Broncos: Lost Super Bowl XXII, finished 8-8 (missed playoffs) in following season

1988 Cincinnati Bengals: Lost Super Bowl XXIII, finished 8-8 (missed playoffs) in following season

1989 Denver Broncos: Lost Super Bowl XXIV, finished 5-11 (missed playoffs) in following season

1990 Buffalo Bills: Lost Super Bowl XXV, finished 13-3 (lost Super Bowl) in following season

1991 Buffalo Bills: Lost Super Bowl XXVI, finished 11-5 (lost Super Bowl) in following season

1992 Buffalo Bills: Lost Super Bowl XXVII, finished 12-4 (lost Super Bowl) in following season

1993 Buffalo Bills: Lost Super Bowl XXVIII, finished 7-9 (missed playoffs) in following season

1994 San Diego Chargers: Lost Super Bowl XXIX, finished 9-7 (made playoffs) in following season

1995 Pittsburgh Steelers: Lost Super Bowl XXX, finished 10-6 (made playoffs) in following season

1996 New England Patriots: Lost Super Bowl XXXI, finished 10-6 (made playoffs) in following season

1997 Green Bay Packers: Lost Super Bowl XXXII, finished 11-5 (made playoffs) in following season

1998 Atlanta Falcons: Lost Super Bowl XXXIII, finished 5-11 (missed playoffs) in following season

1999 Tennessee Titans: Lost Super Bowl XXXIV, finished 13-3 (made playoffs) in following season

2000 New York Giants: Lost Super Bowl XXXV, finished 7-9 (missed playoffs) in following season

2001 St. Louis Rams: Lost Super Bowl XXXVI, finished 7-9 (missed playoffs) in following season

2002 Oakland Raiders: Lost Super Bowl XXXVII, finished 4-12 (missed playoffs) in following season

2003 Carolina Panthers: Lost Super Bowl XXXVIII, finished 7-9 (missed playoffs) in following season

2004 Philadelphia Eagles: Lost Super Bowl XXXIX, finished 6-10 (missed playoffs) in following season

2005 Seattle Seahawks: Lost Super Bowl XL, finished 9-7 (made playoffs) in following season

2006 Chicago Bears: Lost Super Bowl XLI, finished 7-9 (missed playoffs) in following season

2007 New England Patriots: Lost Super Bowl XLII, finished 11-5 (missed playoffs) in following season

2008 Arizona Cardinals: Lost Super Bowl XLIII, finished 10-6 (made playoffs) in following season

 

2009 Indianapolis Colts: Lost Super Bowl XLIV, finished 10-6 (made playoffs) in following season

2010 Pittsburgh Steelers: Lost Super Bowl XLV, finished 12-4 (made playoffs) in following season

2011 New England Patriots: Lost Super Bowl XLVI, finished 12-4 (made playoffs) in following season

2012 San Francisco 49ers: Lost Super Bowl XLVII, finished 12-4 (made playoffs) in following season

2013 Denver Broncos: Lost Super Bowl XLVIII, finished 12-4 (made playoffs) in following season

2014 Seattle Seahawks: Lost Super Bowl XLIX, finished 10-6 (made playoffs) in following season

2015 Carolina Panthers: Lost Super Bowl 50, finished 6-10 (missed playoffs) in following season

2016 Atlanta Falcons: Lost Super Bowl LI, finished 10-6 (made playoffs) in following season

2017 New England Patriots: Lost Super Bowl LII, finished 11-5 (won Super Bowl LIII) in following season

2018 Los Angeles Rams: Lost Super Bowl LIII, finished 9-7 (missed playoffs) in following season

2019 San Francisco 49ers: Lost Super Bowl LIV, finished 6-10 (missed playoffs) in following season

2020 Kansas City Chiefs: Lost Super Bowl LV, finished 12-5 (made playoffs) in following season