Super Bowl Repeat Winners: What Decade Had The Most?

How many Super Bowl repeat winners have there been over the years?  Why is it so difficult for teams in this day and age to repeat as Super Bowl Champions? It rarely happens more than once every one and a half to two decades anymore. But in the glorious decade of the 1970s, two different teams accomplished the feat, and one of them managed to do it twice! Why is there such a disparity for the difference between then and now? Is there more than just one reason?

Please note – This article from Pigskin Past focuses on the incredible 3 times a Super Bowl repeat winner hoisted the Lombardi during the 1970s.  First we will give you the other “5” teams to repeat as Super Bowl Champs.

  • 1966-1967 Green Bay Packers
  • 1988-1989 San Fransisco 49’ers
  • 1992-1993 Dallas Cowboys
  • 1997-1998 Denver Broncos
  • 2003-2004 New England Patriots

Super Bowl Repeat Winners: Miami Dolphins

The most reasonable place to try to answer this question is to go back to the wonderful pro football decade of the 1970s, where winning more than just one Super Bowl was much more common than the current decade. In 1972, the Miami Dolphins achieved the unexpected, a perfect 17-0 season and a Super Bowl VII victory. If you ask any members of that team, to a man, they would say that the 1973 Miami team was a better team than what they were in their undefeated season of 1972.

The ’73 Dolphins managed to lose twice during the regular season. And they had a tougher schedule of opponents in 1973 than they had in 1972. But the ’73 Dolphins repeated to win Super Bowl VIII.  They were thus the first team since the 1967 Green Bay packers to repeat as world champions.

How did they do it? Well, the one thing that head coach Don Shula insisted on was for his team to play mistake-free football.  And they did that better than anyone else. Their defense in 1973 gave up only 150 points, which was the best mark in the entire league, and which was 21 fewer points than what the No-Name Defense surrendered in the previous year…the undefeated year. Miami made the most of their opportunities throughout the ’73 season.

They played smart football. They did not allow the league standings or their opponents dictate how they played the game. They played the way that Shula wanted them to play…mistake-free, which gave them a second straight world title.

Super Bowl Repeat Winners: Pittsburgh Steelers

The most reasonable place to try to answer this question is to go back to the wonderful pro football decade of the 1970s, where winning more than just one Super Bowl was much more common than the current decade. In 1972, the Miami Dolphins achieved the unexpected, a perfect 17-0 season and a Super Bowl VII victory. If you ask any members of that team, to a man, they would say that the 1973 Miami team was a better team than what they were in their undefeated season of 1972.

The ’73 Dolphins managed to lose twice during the regular season. And they had a tougher schedule of opponents in 1973 than they had in 1972. But the ’73 Dolphins repeated to win Super Bowl VIII. They were thus the first team since the 1967 Green Bay packers to repeat as world champions. How did they do it? Well, the one thing that head coach Don Shula insisted on was for his team to play mistake-free football.

And they did that better than anyone else. Their defense in 1973 gave up only 150 points, which was the best mark in the entire league, and which was 21 fewer points than what the No-Name Defense surrendered in the previous year…the undefeated year. Miami made the most of their opportunities throughout the ’73 season.

They played smart football. They did not allow the league standings or their opponents dictate how they played the game. They played the way that Shula wanted them to play…mistake-free, which gave them a second straight world title. A couple of years later, the Pittsburgh Steelers were facing the same challenge. They were built a little differently than Miami.

The Steelers made great use of the annual college draft and built their roster up to include numerous future Hall of Famers at many different positions. Pittsburgh’s defense was the most impressive part of their team in 1974 when they captured their first world title. Their defense was very good in 1975 also, but it was really their offense which improved much more than their offense in 1974. The Steelers were strong in 1974, but they did suffer from occasional letdowns.

Join the newsletter

Learn more about the Sports History Network

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

    They peaked at exactly the right time, especially their defense against opposing rushing attacks. They permitted only a meager amount of ground yards to all three of their postseason foes in ’74, the Bills, Raiders, and Vikings in Super Bowl IX. In 1975, the Steelers limited those letdowns from the previous year to a much smaller amount. True, their opponents played them tough, but the Steelers just proved that they were tougher.

    They swept all of their divisional games, which allowed them to win their division with only a limited challenge from Cincinnati. In the 1975 AFC Title Game, both the Raiders and the Steelers made numerous mistakes. The difference was that Pittsburgh was able to take advantage of more of Oakland’s miscues, which was enough for a Steeler win. In Super Bowl X, it took everything that Pittsburgh had in order to beat the tougher-than-expected wildcard Dallas Cowboys. In this game, it was their character and their refusal to fold which led the way to a 21-17 comeback win for the Steelers, their second straight world championship.

    A few years later, the Steelers once again were the defending world champions, having beaten Dallas again, in Super Bowl XIII.  But how would they repeat? The pro game had undergone many different rules changes in the past year, and even though Pittsburgh was able to adapt to those new rules better than any other NFL team, they still faced an enormous challenge in 1979.

    If there was ever a team during the decade that would suffer from complacency, it would be the 1979 Steelers. Furthermore, in that season, Pittsburgh’s offense committed an incredible number of turnovers. Their quarterbacks threw a total of 26 interceptions, and they fumbled the ball 26 times, the greatest number of fumbles in the league. A grand total of 52 turnovers. Now to be fair, the Steelers had quite a few newer players and rookies handling the ball in 1979, which might explain the high number of turnovers.

    You could tell that this 1979 Pittsburgh team just was not as dominant as those of previous years heading into the postseason. Yet they managed to beat Miami in the divisional playoffs. Then thanks to a controversial call, they managed to beat Houston again in the AFC Title Game. In Super Bowl XIV, the Los Angeles Rams gave them one heck of a fight before finally bowing to Pittsburgh’s overall experience and the wide receiving prowess of John Stallworth.

    So the 1970s saw its share of Super Bowl repeat winners, much more so than the teams of today. The overall verdict? The teams of that previous era were seemingly just built stronger than today’s teams. They were also able to take advantage of whatever situation befell them better than today’s teams. That’s my take on it. Thanks for listening to this edition of The Pigskin Past.

    Throughout his days, Joe spent some time as a sportswriter and has been a member of the Pro Football Researchers Association since the mid-1980s.  Joe is also a proud member of the Pro Football Writers of America.

    Also, if you’re interested in picking one of Joe’s books up, all three are listed below.

    Here, you can learn more about Joe and Pigskin Past.

    Joe Zagorski
    Joe Zagorski

    Please Note – As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

    More Posts From Pigskin Past

    Leave a Comment

    Win your copy of the NFL Films All-Time Team 6-show box set.  There are many ways to earn entry to the contest.