Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs advanced to the Super Bowl after defeating the Baltimore Ravens 17-10 in the AFC Championship Game. The defending Super Bowl champions will now head to Las Vegas to face the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII.
No team in NFL history has won three consecutive Super Bowl championships. Over the 57-year history of the Super Bowl, only eight teams have successfully defended their title. With a win in the upcoming Super Bowl, the Chiefs could become the ninth team to repeat as champions.
It's not an easy thing to do — especially in the salary cap and free agency era. There are a lot of factors that can bring down a defending Super Bowl champion. Super Bowl-winning players want more money and leave in free agency, some get complacent after an offseason full of praise. The defending champion becomes a target for all 31 other franchises. Then, there are the usual things that can derail a season: injuries to significant players, unlucky bounces and better-equipped opponents.
In fact, Kansas City has been in this position before. The 2019 Chiefs won Super Bowl LIV and returned to the championship game in 2020. They fell short in a 31-9 loss against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
As Kansas City hopes to close the deal, here's a list of teams that have successfully defended their championship.
Every back-to-back Super Bowl winner in NFL history
Green Bay Packers: Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II
The Green Bay Packers won the inaugural Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs, then knocked off the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl II. The Super Bowl victories led to the Super Bowl trophy being named after legendary Packers head coach Vince Lombardi.
Miami Dolphins: Super Bowls VII and VIII
The 1972 Miami Dolphins are the only team to complete an NFL season without losing a single game. They capped off the perfect season with a Super Bowl victory against Washington. Miami finished the following season with a 12-2 record before going on to beat the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl VIII.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Super Bowls IX and X
The Pittsburgh Steelers had one of the greatest dynasties in the history of the NFL, led by the Steel Curtain defense and a roster full of Hall of Fame players. The Steelers kicked off their dynastic run by defeating the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys in back-to-back Super Bowls.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Super Bowls XIII and XIV
Pittsburgh stumbled for two years, then returned to the Super Bowl for two more Super Bowls. Quarterback Terry Bradshaw became the first quarterback to win four Super Bowl championships with consecutive Super Bowl wins over the Cowboys and Los Angeles Rams.
San Francisco 49ers: Super Bowls XXIII and XXIV
The next great NFL dynasty featured head coach Bill Walsh, quarterback Joe Montana and wide receiver Jerry Rice. The 49ers already had two Super Bowl championships before their back-to-back wins. Rice set a Super Bowl record for receiving yards (215) against the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII. The following season, Montana threw for five touchdown passes to defeat the Denver Broncos in the largest Super Bowl blowout in NFL history.
Dallas Cowboys: Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII
The Buffalo Bills lost four consecutive Super Bowls in the early 1990s, and the Dallas Cowboys took full advantage. The Cowboys beat the Bills in back-to-back Super Bowls, then picked up another championship two years later.
Denver Broncos: Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII
John Elway was one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, but he struggled to capture the elusive Lombardi Trophy. In his last two seasons, he picked up two Super Bowls against the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons, cementing his legacy.
New England Patriots: Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX
The New England Patriots had the greatest dynasty in NFL history, and arguably in sports. It started with three Super Bowls in a four-year stretch. Led by head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, the Patriots beat the Carolina Panthers in a shootout for their second Super Bowl win. The following year, they defended that championship by taking down head coach Andy Reid's Philadelphia Eagles.
Kansas City Chiefs: Super Bowls XLVII and XLVIII
The Kansas City Chiefs cemented the start of their dynasty after toppling the Eagles in Super Bowl 57 with a thrilling win by getting another exhilarating victory in the second-ever overtime game in Super Bowl history to beat the 49ers in dramatic fashion.