Wildcard Teams That Have Won The Super Bowl

Wild Card Teams That Have Won The Super Bowl

The Super Bowl winner is supposedly the best team in the NFL that year. Well, then how can the Super Bowl winner be the best team if it couldn’t even win their own division?

The current NFL playoff system allows for all the division winners to make the playoffs, and then also the two non-division winning teams with the best records make it to the playoffs as “wild card teams”.

How many wild card teams have beaten those division winning teams who usually have better records and went on to win the Super Bowl?

The answer is: 4 (Updated to now 6)

The first to do it was the 1980 Oakland Raiders; it wouldn’t be accomplished again until 17 years later in 1997 when the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl as a wild card team. There would be a short wait for it to happen the next two times as the Baltimore Ravens accomplished this feat in 2000, followed by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2005.

Update: As pointed out by Tom, shortly after this post was written, the 2007 New York Giants accomplished the same feat in February of 2008 with their victory over the favored New England Patriots.

Second Update: The 2010 Green Bay Packers became the 6th team to win the Super Bowl as a wild card team by defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl.


  1. kelly says:

    ok tell me how many wild card teams have made it to the super bowl and not won.

  2. Mark says:

    Kelly – great question and sorry we didn’t answer that in the original post. Your answer is included in our latest post about the history of wild card teams making the Super Bowl located here: http://iqfb.com/2008/02/03/lets-look-at-the-history-wild-card-teams-making-the-super-bowl/

  3. Tom says:

    What about the 2007 NY Giants.

  4. Mark says:


    Very good point. Actually that post was written a few weeks before that Super Bowl victory by the Giants. I’ve edited it now to include them in the list.


  5. derian martinez says:

    what about the packers in 2011

  6. Larry says:

    what about 2010 GREEN BAY PACKERS?!!!!!!!!

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