Rating one-and-done Tremendous Bowl championship groups: 1985 Bears could not duplicate magical season


On multiple event, sports activities followers both heard or learn a variation of the next assertion: “Get used to what you are seeing proper now, of us. This crew goes to be right here for some time.”

Typically, these predictions have come to fruition. Legendary sportscaster Curt Gowdy mentioned one thing to that impact after the Steelers gained the primary of their first 4 Tremendous Bowls in the course of the Nineteen Seventies. The primary sentence in Paul Zimmerman’s Sports activities Illustrated piece on Tremendous Bowl XXVII started with a foreshadowing of what was to come back for the ’90s Cowboys

Whereas some groups have managed to duplicate their success, different groups have fallen into the one-and-done class of champions that by no means made it again to the top of their sport. And whereas it would not take away from their accomplishment, the truth that these championship groups couldn’t parlay their title into at the very least yet another Tremendous Bowl look has left one thing to be desired. 

Here is our rating of the perfect one-hit wonders in the course of the Tremendous Bowl period: Groups that gained only one title although that they had the expertise for extra (notice: these franchises could have gained different titles in numerous eras, however not with the identical group). Together with a number of bonafides and temporary summaries of what made them champions, we have additionally included the primary the explanation why every crew fell brief within the years after its day within the solar. One crew you will not discover right here is the 2019 Chiefs, on condition that their championship window remains to be very a lot open. 

Honorable point out: 2000 Ravens 

  • 16-4 total file 
  • Featured the league’s top-ranked protection 
  • Outscored their 4 playoff opponents 95-23

Led by Ray Lewis and fellow Corridor of Famer Rod Woodson, linemen Rob Burnett, Sam Adams, Tony Siragusa and Michael McCrary, linebackers Peter Boulware and Jamie Sharper, and defensive backs Duane Starks and Chris McAllister, the Ravens protection set the 16-game regular-season file for fewest factors allowed (165). Whereas their offense went a complete month with out scoring a landing, the unit discovered its footing beneath Trent Dilfer, who went 11-1 because the starter. Baltimore began a modest 5-4 however entered the playoffs on a seven-game successful streak. Baltimore coasted previous a proficient Broncos crew within the wild card spherical earlier than upsetting the mighty Titans within the divisional spherical. Baltimore then went to Oakland, the place they allowed a mere discipline aim in a 13-point win over the Raiders. Baltimore’s protection pitched a shutout in Tremendous Bowl XXXV, with Lewis taking dwelling MVP honors. 

Protection was clearly its energy, however Baltimore had an entire crew. The Ravens scored touchdowns in all three phases of their 34-7 Tremendous Bowl win over the Giants, as Jermaine Lewis’ kickoff return for a rating occurring mere seconds after the Giants scored their solely landing on particular groups. Together with Dilfer’s regular play, the Ravens offense featured the proficient operating again duo of Jamal Lewis and Priest Holmes, receivers Qadry Ismail and Brandon Stokley, Corridor of Fame tight finish Shannon Sharpe and Corridor of Fame lineman Jonathan Ogden. 

Why they did not win extra championships: Baltimore was the primary defending champion to vary quarterbacks. Dilfer’s alternative, Elvis Grbac, threw extra interceptions (18) than touchdowns (15) throughout his first season in Baltimore. Grbac and the offense scored a mere three factors of their 27-10 divisional spherical playoff loss to Pittsburgh. By the point Baltimore upgraded to former Titans quarterback Steve McNair, the Patriots had risen to supremacy. 

10. 2017 Eagles 

  • 16-3 total file 
  • Boasted the league’s third-ranked offense and fourth-ranked protection 
  • Turned the second crew to win the Tremendous Bowl with a backup quarterback 

After league MVP contender Carson Wentz led them to an 11-2 begin, the Eagles went 5-1 after Wentz went down with an damage. With Nick Foles now main the best way, the Eagles joined the 1990 Giants as the one groups to win the Tremendous Bowl with out the quarterback who led them to the vast majority of their regular-season wins. Following a five-point win over the defending NFC champion Falcons within the divisional spherical, the Eagles dominated the Vikings within the NFC Championship Sport. Dealing with the defending champion Patriots in Tremendous Bowl LII, Foles’ 373 yards and three landing passes earned him MVP honors. The Eagles’ “Philly Particular” grew to become an instantaneous Tremendous Bowl traditional. 

Already house owners of arguably the league’s greatest roster, the Eagles grew to become a Tremendous Bowl front-runner after buying and selling for Professional Bowl operating again Jay Ajayi earlier than the deadline. With Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount main the best way, the Eagles boasted the league’s third-ranked dashing assault. The duo mixed to hurry for 147 yards and a rating on 23 carries in Tremendous Bowl LII. Philadelphia’s protection, led by linemen Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham together with security Malcolm Jenkins, allowed the fourth-fewest factors in the course of the common season. They then allowed simply 17 factors in Philadelphia’s playoff wins over Atlanta and Minnesota. 

Why they did not win extra championships: Philadelphia’s title protection ended within the 2018 NFC divisional spherical. Just like the earlier season, Foles once more carried out effectively in reduction of Wentz, whose early damage within the Eagles’ wild card recreation largely contributed to Philadelphia’s 17-9 loss to the Seahawks. The Eagles scored simply 16, 14, and 9 factors of their three playoff video games following Tremendous Bowl LII. 

  • 16-3 total file 
  • Featured the league’s top-ranked offense  
  • Defeated three future Corridor of Fame quarterbacks within the playoffs  

The 2009 Saints roared out to a 13-0 begin earlier than coasting to the NFC’s No. 1 seed coming into the playoffs. Within the playoffs, New Orleans blew out Kurt Warner and the remainder of the defending NFC champion Cardinals earlier than edging previous Brett Favre and the Vikings in a traditional convention title recreation. The Saints overcame a 10-point deficit to defeat Peyton Manning and the Colts to win the franchise’s first Tremendous Bowl. Drew Brees gained MVP honors after throwing for 288 yards and two scores whereas finishing 82% of his passes. The Saints’ profitable onside kick (the earlier-attempted onside kick in Tremendous Bowl historical past) arrange the Saints’ go-ahead landing. Tracy Porter’s 74-yard pick-six with three minutes left sealed New Orleans’ 31-17 win. 

Brees acquired stellar safety all season from an offensive line that featured Professional Bowlers Jonathan Goodwin, Jahri Evans and Jon Stinchcomb. The Saints’ offense, predicated on spreading the wealth whereas holding defenses on their heels, additionally featured operating backs Reggie Bush, Mike Bell and Pierre Thomas, receivers Marques Colston, Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem, and tight finish Jeremy Shockey. Defensively, the Saints had been led by Professional Bowlers Jonathan Vilma, Roman Harper and Darren Sharper together with Porter, defensive finish Will Smith and linebacker Scott Fujita. 

Why they did not win extra championships: Brees and Co. had been the victims of a number of heartbreaking playoff losses in the course of the 2010s. It began with their wild card loss to the seven-win Seahawks in 2010. It continued with a four-point loss to the 49ers within the 2011 divisional spherical. There was additionally the “Minneapolis Miracle” within the 2017 playoffs in addition to the missed go interference name that contributed to the Saints’ three-point loss to the Rams within the 2018 NFC Championship Sport. The Saints’ protection additionally contributed to New Orleans’ incapacity to make it again to the Huge Sport, because the unit completed within the backside 5 of the NFL in factors allowed 5 occasions in the course of the 2010s. 

  • 15-4 total file 
  • Included three Corridor of Famers on protection 
  • Scored a file three defensive touchdowns in Tremendous Bowl XXXVII 

After a number of disappointing finishes, the Buccaneers lastly broke by in 2002, successful the franchise’s first championship behind a proficient protection and Jon Gruden’s artistic offensive thoughts. In reality, a mismatch Gruden discovered in the course of the Eagles protection led to a key 71-yard completion from Brad Johnson to Joe Jurevicius in Tampa Bay’s 27-10 over the rival Eagles within the NFC Championship Sport. In Tremendous Bowl XXXVII, Gruden’s understanding of the Raiders offense (he was Oakland’s head coach from 1998-01) helped his protection intercept league MVP Wealthy Gannon a Tremendous Bowl-record 5 occasions. 

The Buccaneers’ star-studded protection featured Corridor of Famers Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, John Lynch, perennial Professional Bowlers Simeon Rice and Ronde Barber, 2002 Professional Bowler Shelton Quarles and Tremendous Bowl XXXVII MVP Dexter Jackson. Whereas overshadowed by their protection, the Buccaneers offense had some stable gamers in quarterback Brad Johnson, fullback Mike Alstott, receivers Keyshawn Johnson and Keenan McCardell and heart Jeff Christy. 

Why they did not win extra championships: Whereas their protection remained top-notch, Tampa Bay’s offense floundered within the years after their championship. From 2003-07, the Buccaneers offense completed 18, 23, 20, 31, and 18 within the league in scoring, respectively. Tampa Bay made the playoffs simply twice throughout that span and did not win a playoff recreation. 

7. 2006 Colts  

  • 16-4 total file
  • Featured the HOF connection of Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison 
  • Gained 4 playoff video games that included a come-from-behind win over the Patriots 

This was removed from Manning’s first rodeo, because the Colts had endured a number of disappointing playoff losses earlier than lastly breaking by in 2006. However the Colts had been nonetheless set as much as have a number of championship runs coming into the 2006 season. At 30, Manning was on the high of his recreation; he gained Tremendous Bowl MVP two weeks after outdueling Tom Brady in what was an epic AFC Championship Sport. Harrison was 34, however 28-year-old Reggie Wayne (whose 47-yard landing catch jump-started the Colts offense in Tremendous Bowl XLI) had blossomed into one of many recreation’s high receivers. The combo of Dominic Rhodes and Joseph Addai — a duo that gained 264 whole yards in Tremendous Bowl XLI — had crammed the void left by Corridor Fame operating again Edgerrin James. Indianapolis’ protection was stacked with good gamers largely of their prime, a bunch that included 2007 Defensive Participant of the 12 months Bob Sanders, defensive ends Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney, linebackers Gary Brackett and Cato June, and defensive backs Antoine Bethea and Marlin Jackson

The Colts’ essential kryptonite — they completed final within the league in run protection in the course of the common season — was remarkably one of many crew’s strengths in the course of the postseason. The Colts held NFL dashing chief Larry Johnson to only 32 yards of their 23-8 wild card win over the Chiefs. Indianapolis’ protection then stored the Ravens out of the top zone within the divisional spherical earlier than arising with a last-minute interception of Brady to finish the Colts’ thrilling 38-34 comeback win over the Patriots within the AFC Championship Sport. After permitting the Bears to leap out to a fast 14-6 lead, the Colts protection allowed simply three factors in the course of the last 45 minutes of Tremendous Bowl XLI. 

Why they did not win extra championships: Manning was outdueled by Philip Rivers within the Colts’ 28-24 loss to the Chargers within the divisional spherical of the 2007 playoffs. The Colts had been once more upset by Rivers and the Chargers within the wild card spherical of the 2008 playoffs in what was the ultimate recreation on the sideline for Corridor of Fame coach Tony Dungy. Indianapolis made it again to the Tremendous Bowl in 2009 in opposition to the Saints however was bedeviled by the earliest-attempted onside kick in Tremendous Bowl historical past, a dropped go at an important level within the recreation and a choose six with the Colts down by a rating and threatening to tie the sport. The Colts’ declining protection contributed to a 10-6 file and eventual upset loss to the Jets within the 2010 wild card spherical. Manning’s season-long damage in 2011 abruptly ended his illustrious run in Indianapolis. 

6. 1968 Jets 

  • 13-3 total file 
  • Featured the league’s second-ranked offense and fourth-ranked protection 
  • Defeated 18-point favourite and NFL champion Colts in Tremendous Bowl III 

Soccer followers can thank Broadway Joe and the remainder of the Jets for serving to make the game the spectacle that it’s immediately. After a 3-2 begin, Corridor of Fame coach Weeb Ewbank (who led the Colts to back-to-back titles within the late ’50s) led his crew to a 10-1 end. Within the playoffs, Namath’s landing go to Don Maynard gave the Jets a come-from-behind victory over the defending AFL champion Raiders within the league title recreation. Namath then assured victory over Don Shula’s Colts, the NFL champions who misplaced only one recreation in the course of the ’68 season. 

Namath was the headliner, however the Jets had been hardly a one-man present. They proved that in Tremendous Bowl III, because the Jets protection — a unit that featured 4 Professional Bowlers in linemen Gerald Philbin, John Elliott, Verlon Biggs, and linebacker Al Atkinson together with defensive backs Johnny Pattern, Randy Beverly and Jim Hudson — compelled 5 Colts turnovers that included three interceptions off of NFL MVP Earl Morrall. The Colts obtained one other interception off of legend Johnny Unitas, who led the Colts to their solely rating. With Maynard blanketed by the Colts, Namath appeared early and infrequently to George Sauer, who caught eight passes for 133 yards. Corridor of Fame left deal with Winston Hill anchored a Jets line that gave Namath sturdy safety whereas additionally opening up operating lanes for Matt Snell, who rumbled for 121 yards that included the Jets’ solely landing. 

Why they did not win extra championships: Namath and the Jets offense failed to attain a landing in opposition to the Chiefs‘ mighty protection of their 13-6 loss to Kansas Metropolis (who in the end grew to become the second and last AFL crew to defeat the NFL within the Tremendous Bowl) within the ’69 playoffs. The AFL – NFL merger and Namath’s ailing knees rapidly closed the Jets’ championship window. 

5. 2013 Seahawks 

  • 16-3 total file 
  • Featured the league’s top-scoring protection 
  • Outscored their three playoff opponents 89-40 

Seattle appeared poised to host a number of Tremendous Bowl parades after the Seahawks’ dismantling of the Broncos in Tremendous Bowl XLVIII. After outlasting the Saints and defending convention champion 49ers within the NFC playoffs, Seattle soared previous the favored Broncos in what was one of the vital surprising outcomes in Tremendous Bowl historical past. The tone was set on a security on the sport’s first play, because the Seahawks raced out to a 15-0 lead lower than 18 minutes into the sport. Sport MVP Malcolm Smith’s 69-yard choose gave Seattle a commanding 22-0 halftime lead. Percy Harvin’s 87-yard kickoff return for a rating firstly of the second half successfully ended the competition. The 43-8 victory confirmed the 2013 Seahawks’ standing as one of many Tremendous Bowl period’s best champions. 

When summarizing the ’13 Seahawks, It could be sacrilegious to not first point out the “Legion of Increase” protection that was spearheaded by Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Bobby Wagner, Ok.J. Wright, Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril. The league’s top-ranked protection was complemented by Seattle’s bruising dashing assault that featured Marshawn Lynch, aka “Beast Mode.” Seattle’s offense additionally acquired a Professional Bowl season from Wilson, who took full benefit of a Seattle receiving corps that included Kearse, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin. Professional Bowl heart Max Unger presided over a Seattle offensive line that routinely opened passing lanes for Russell and cleared holes for Lynch. 

Why they did not win extra championships: Malcolm Butler’s interception of Wilson on the finish of Tremendous Bowl XLIX prevented the Seahawks from turning into the primary crew in a decade to repeat as champion. The 2015 Seahawks had been ambushed by the eventual NFC champion Panthers (they trailed 31-0 lower than 25 minutes into the sport) within the divisional spherical. Lynch’s retirement after the 2015 season largely contributed to the Seahawks’ dip in offensive productive in 2016, as Seattle fell to the eventual NFC champion Falcons within the playoffs. In recent times, Seattle’s protection that has typically been the difficulty, as Pete Carroll has needed to rebuild that aspect of the ball. 

  • 16-3 total file
  • Featured league MVP Brett Favre and HOF go rusher Reggie White 
  • Gained 10 video games by at the very least 21 factors 

The preseason favorites to win Tremendous Bowl XXXI, Favre and the Packers stormed out to an 8-1 begin earlier than accidents (particularly to Professional Bowl receiver Robert Brooks) quickly decimated Inexperienced Bay’s receiving corps. After consecutive setbacks, the Packers gained their last eight video games that included blowout wins over the 49ers and Panthers within the NFC playoffs. Matched up in opposition to a worthy competitor in New England, the Packers acquired massive performances in all three phases to roll to a 35-21 win in Tremendous Bowl XXXI. White recorded three sacks of Drew Bledsoe, who threw 4 passes that ended up within the arms of Packer defenders. Favre scored three touchdowns that included a 54-yard bomb to Andre Rison to open the sport and an 81-yard completion to Antonio Freeman that gave the Packers the lead for good. Desmond Howard, far and away the NFL’s greatest return man in the course of the season, scored the sport’s last factors on a 99-yard kickoff return close to the top of the third quarter. 

An entire crew, the ’96 Packers completed first within the NFL in whole offense and protection. Favre, who gained his second of three consecutive MVP awards, took benefit of a deep receiving corps that was led by Freeman, Brooks, Rison, Professional Bowl tight finish Keith Jackson, Don Beebe, and Mark Chmura. The passing recreation was complemented by operating backs Edgar Bennett and Dorsey Levens, who mixed to tally 1,907 all-purpose yards and 13 touchdowns in the course of the common season. Inexperienced Bay’s protection featured a giant, bodily line led by White, Gilbert Brown, Santana Dotson and Sean Jones. The Packers additionally possessed a dominant secondary that was led by All-Professional security LeRoy Butler and fellow defensive backs Craig Newsome, Doug Evans and Eugene Robinson. 

Why they did not win extra championships: Inexperienced Bay sorely missed Howard’s particular groups prowess after he signed with the Raiders in the course of the ensuing offseason. Poor discipline place was one of many the explanation why the Packers had been upset by the Broncos in Tremendous Bowl XXXII, 31-24. The Packers additionally fell sufferer to 2 first half turnovers by Favre that led to 10 Broncos factors. Inexperienced Bay’s protection additionally had no reply for Broncos operating again Terrell Davis, who rumbled for 157 yards and three touchdowns regardless of lacking many of the second quarter. Two losses to then-rookie Randy Moss and the Vikings compelled the ’98 Packers to begin the postseason in opposition to the 12-win 49ers within the wild card spherical. After his landing go to Freeman gave the Packers a four-point lead, Favre might solely watch as Steve Younger hit Terrell Owens for the game-winning rating with eight seconds left. Coach Mike Holmgren departed for Seattle that offseason, as Inexperienced Bay would miss the playoffs the following two years. 

3. 1969 Chiefs 

  • 14-3 total file 
  • Featured eight Corridor of Fame gamers 
  • Defeated the earlier two AFL champions and the NFL champion Vikings within the playoffs 

Three years after falling brief in Tremendous Bowl I, the Chiefs joined the ’68 Jets as the one AFL groups to defeat an NFL crew. A double-digit underdog, Hank Stram’s crew dominated a supremely proficient Vikings crew in Tremendous Bowl IV. His protection, anchored by a slew of future Corridor of Famers in linebacker Willie Lanier and Bobby Bell, defensive tackles Buck Buchanan and Curley Culp, and defensive backs Emmitt Thomas and Johnny Robinson, held the Vikings to a mere 13 first downs and 239 yards whereas forcing 5 turnovers. Offensively, Corridor of Famer and recreation MVP Len Dawson accomplished practically 71% of his throws in opposition to Minnesota’s “Purple Folks Eaters” protection. Elusive operating again Mike Garrett scored the sport’s first landing, whereas star receiver Otis Taylor’s 46-yard rating put the sport away. 

Earlier than beating the Vikings, the Chiefs held Namath and the defending champions to only six factors within the divisional spherical. Per week later, dealing with a Raiders crew that beat them twice in the course of the common season, Kansas Metropolis held Oakland to only seven factors and 207 whole yards. With the sport tied and the Chiefs backed up close to their very own finish zone, Taylor’s balletic, 35-yard catch arrange the Chiefs’ go-ahead rating. 

Why they did not win extra championships: Age and the AFL – NFL merger largely contributed to the Chiefs’ abrupt fade. Stram’s crew did have one final hurrah in 1971, because the Chiefs made it again to the playoffs earlier than falling to Don Shula’s Dolphins within the longest recreation in NFL historical past. Miami would go on to look within the subsequent three Tremendous Bowls, whereas the Chiefs would not make it again to the Huge Sport till the 2019 season. 

2. 1999 Rams 

  • 16-3 total file 
  • Featured the league’s top-ranked offense and fourth-ranked protection 
  • Scored a then-NFL file 526 factors in the course of the common season 

Kurt Warner and the Rams loved a storybook season in 1999. The previous grocery retailer clerk and enviornment league star rapidly rose to fame after changing injured starter Trent Inexperienced in the course of the preseason. The 28-year-old Warner led a high-scoring St. Louis offense that additionally featured future Corridor of Famers Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce and Orlando Tempo. Warner took dwelling his first of two league MVP awards, whereas Faulk (the MVP of the 2000 season) grew to become the NFL’s second participant to run and receiver for greater than 1,000 yards. The Rams offense additionally featured then-rookie Torry Holt, who caught the primary landing of Tremendous Bowl XXXIV. 

The Rams offense obtained many of the headlines, however their protection was additionally one of many league’s greatest. Led by Professional Bowlers Kevin Carter and Todd Lyght together with defensive linemen D’Marco Farr and Grant Wistrom, linebackers Mike Jones and London Fletcher and cornerback Dexter McClendon, the Rams allowed simply two discipline targets of their 11-6 win over the Buccaneers within the NFC Championship Sport. In Tremendous Bowl XXXIV, Jones’ deal with of Titans receiver Kevin Dyson simply in need of the top zone preserved the Rams’ 23-16 win. Warner’s 73-yard landing go to Bruce moments earlier gave St. Louis the lead for good. 

Why they did not win extra championships: The Rams had been by no means fairly pretty much as good as they had been beneath 1999 NFL Coach of the 12 months Dick Vermeil, who retired shortly after Tremendous Bowl XXXIV (solely to return to the sidelines because the Chiefs coach in 2001). Their offense continued to set information for the following a number of years, however the Rams protection sagged to thirty first within the league in 2000 and was one of many essential the explanation why St. Louis was upset within the wild card spherical. They managed to make it again to the Tremendous Bowl in 2001 however had been upset by Tom Brady and the Patriots. Steve Smith’s landing in time beyond regulation within the Panthers‘ 2003 divisional spherical win in St. Louis successfully ended the “Best Present on Turf’s” thrilling but abbreviated run. 

  • 18-1 total file 
  • Featured the league’s top-ranked protection and second-ranked offense 
  • Allowed one landing in the course of the playoffs 

The ’85 Bears had been a juggernaut. Chicago’s vaunted “46” protection, led by Corridor of Famers Mike Singletary, Dan Hampton and Richard Dent alongside and fellow Professional Bowlers Steve McMichael, Otis Wilson and Dave Duerson, compelled 4 shutouts that included two (in opposition to the following two Tremendous Bowl champions) in the course of the playoffs. Solely Dan Marino discovered a strategy to greatest Buddy Ryan’s protection, a unit that wreaked havoc over opposing offenses. In opposition to the Patriots in Tremendous Bowl XX, the Bears protection allowed a Tremendous Bowl-low seven yards dashing and 123 whole yards. 

Complementing the Bears protection was an offense that featured arguably the best operating again in NFL historical past in Walter Payton, who at age 31 rushed for 1,551 yards whereas gaining over 2,000 all-purpose yards. Quarterback Jim McMahon led a stable passing assault that additionally featured speedy receiver Willie Gault, who caught 4 passes for 129 yards in Tremendous Bowl XX. The Bears’ ability gamers acquired stellar blocking from Corridor of Fame left deal with Jimbo Covert and Professional Bowl heart Jay Hilgenberg. Talking of linemen, you’ll be able to’t point out the ’85 Bears with out mentioning William “The Fridge” Perry, whose 1-yard landing run put a thunderous stamp on Chicago’s 46-10 win over New England. 

Why they did not win extra championships: Ryan’s departure to change into the Eagles coach was a giant blow to Chicago’s title protection. McMahon’s season-ending damage six video games into the 1986 season — together with Mike Ditka’s determination to begin Doug Flutie for the crew’s playoff loss to Washington — was the nail within the coffin. Chicago’s declining offense led to 2 extra disappointing dwelling playoff losses to Washington and San Francisco.   



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