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Super Bowl History
by Larry Ness - 02/01/2005
It hardly seems like it was almost FORTY years ago when Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers squared off vs Hank Stram's Kansas City Chiefs in what was then called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game, not the Super Bowl. Ironically, that first game was played in Los Angeles, a city that has not had an NFL team since 1998. Jacksonville, a city that only joined the NFL family with the Jaguars in 1995, hosts this year's edition of the NFL's "ultimate game", Super XXXIX.
The AFC dominated its NFC counterparts in this year's interconference games during the regular season going 44-20 SU and 41-21-2 ATS, so it's easy to see why the Patriots are a seven-point choice over the Eagles. Of course, New England won last year's Super Bowl over Carolina and is trying to become the EIGHTH team to win consecutive Super Bowls. New England also won SB XXXVI against the Rams and a win would make them just the SECOND franchise to win three Super Bowls in a four-year span (Dallas did it following the 1992, 1993 and 1995 seasons).
While the AFC has won FIVE of the last seven Super Bowls, it wasn't all that long ago when the Super Bowl was considered the 'property' of the NFC! Here's a little history.
Green Bay won the first two Super Bowls for the NFL but the AFL behind Joe Namath's 'guarantee' and Hank Stram's "Offense of the 70's" won the following year. The two leagues merged after that with the AFC winning NINE of the next 11 Super Bowls. While Dallas was the only NFC team to win during that span (in Super Bowls VI and XII), what is often overlooked is that FIVE of the nine AFC wins came via former NFL teams.
When the two leagues merged, NFL teams Baltimore, Cleveland and Pittsburgh agreed to become members of the AFC, NOT the NFC. Baltimore won the first post-merger Super Bowl (V), while Pittsburgh won four Super Bowl titles! So actually, that perceived AFC-dominance, was NOT so huge.
However, what followed the next the next 16 years, was COMPLETE DOMINANCE by the NFC! Beginning with SB XVI, the NFC won 15 of 16 Super Bowls. The LA Raiders were the only AFC team to win during that span, beating the Redskins in SB XVIII. Following the Raiders' win, the NFC won 13 straight Super Bowls.
During that 13-year winning streak, NFC teams won by an average score of 37.7-to-16.8, going 10-2-1 ATS! NFC teams averaged 148.1 YPG rushing in those 13 wins while their AFC counterparts averaged just 74.5 YPG rushing. NFL QBs combined to throw 33 TD passes and just THREE interceptions, while AFC QBs had a combined 11 TD passes and 30 interceptions! Now that's DOMINANCE!
The Broncos ended the NFC's 13-game Super Bowl winning streak when they beat the Packers 31-24 in SB XXXII and as mentioned earlier, the AFC has now won five of the last seven.
Tomorrow, I'll look at the championship game history of both the Eagles and the Patriots plus how they got here.