All 49 potential Super Bowl matchups, ranked

Every Super Bowl is a gem, but not all Super Bowls are created equal. For every last-minute victory or thrilling comeback, there’s a total blowout waiting to happen.

And with 14 teams in the playoffs, there are 49 possible matchups; we’ve ranked them using a highly scientific formula combining statistics, narrative, history and general gut feelings. Sorry about this, Packers fans:

49. Cleveland vs. Green Bay: There’s no such thing as a “bad” Super Bowl, just like there’s no such thing as a bad slice of pizza after midnight. But some Super Bowls, like some slices, are better than others, and some will leave you regretting the time you spent with them.

48. Pittsburgh vs. Tampa Bay: I mean, the ads are always worth watching.

47. Baltimore vs. Green Bay: I mean, Lamar Jackson is always worth watching.

46. Pittsburgh vs. Los Angeles Rams: Super Bowl XIV rematch! That game’s lead changed hands seven times, a Super Bowl record, ending with a Steelers victory.

45. Buffalo vs. Green Bay: Yeah, the Packers are pretty low on this list. Sorry, Green Bay fans. But it could be worse. You could be Chicago right now.

44. Houston vs. Philadelphia: The Texans are one of the season's great stories, a rocket ship with a bright future. The Eagles are one of the season's late frustrations, with a nosedive and a faceplant into the playoffs. Is this where their franchise fates cross?

43. Pittsburgh vs. Green Bay: Super Bowl XLV rematch! In that one, the Packers won thanks to quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Whatever happened to that guy, anyway?

42. Houston vs. Tampa Bay: C.J. Stroud is going to get to the Super Bowl one day. Houston fans can only hope it’ll be against an opponent as gettable as the 2023 Bucs.

41. Miami vs. Los Angeles Rams: America’s warring Botox fiefdoms meet on the field of battle at last.

40. Baltimore vs. Tampa Bay: Lamar Jackson on the big stage, whenever it comes, is going to be a sight to see.

39. Miami vs. Green Bay: Admit it, you want Miami in the Super Bowl just to see what kind of madness Tyreek Hill can pull off before, during and after a touchdown catch.

38. Cleveland vs. Los Angeles Rams: The Rams notched a fairly convincing 36-19 win over the Browns in December, despite the presence of Joe Flacco.

37. Houston vs. Green Bay: How funny would it be if, in his first year as a starter, Jordan Love matched the number of Super Bowl rings Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre each won?

36. Pittsburgh vs. Detroit: Two blue-collar fan bases that will absolutely tear up Vegas. This has to happen.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 07: Head coach Dan Campbell of the Detroit Lions goes to shake hands with head coach Kevin O'Connell of the Minnesota Vikings after the game at Ford Field on January 07, 2024 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions fans are hoping Dan Campbell can lead the franchise to its first ever Super Bowl. (Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

35. Kansas City vs. Los Angeles Rams: This matchup still stands as one of the great regular-season games of all time; if the Super Bowl could match that one from 2018 …

34. Buffalo vs. Tampa Bay: Which Josh Allen will show up this postseason? Good Josh can hoist a Lombardi. Bad Josh could lose even to a team that barely scrambled its way out of the woeful NFC South.

33. Houston vs. Los Angeles Rams: Former Ohio State Buckeye Stroud gets a chance to exact some form of revenge against former Georgia Bulldog Matthew Stafford.

32. Cleveland vs. Philadelphia: Remember, if you’re hosting a Super Bowl party, make sure there are plenty of napkins, otherwise your guests will be wiping their hands on your couch. You know, like Eagles fans do.

31. Kansas City vs. Green Bay: Super Bowl I rematch! If we can get a shot of Patrick Mahomes smoking in the locker room like Len Dawson did back in Super Bowl I, well, that’ll be the best photo of 2024.

30. Buffalo vs. Los Angeles Rams: The Rams’ quiet return to respectability is one of the season’s under-told stories. They’ve got a tough road in the NFC, but a return to the Super Bowl just two years after winning it would be some kind of whiplash.

29. Kansas City vs. Philadelphia: Super Bowl LVII rematch! Oh, how the fortunes of both teams have slid since this time last year.

28. Miami vs. Tampa Bay: Winner faces Florida State for Sunshine State superiority.

27. Baltimore vs. Los Angeles Rams: The Ravens outlasted the Rams just a few weeks ago as part of Lamar Jackson’s late-season tour of destruction.

26. Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia: Time to decide once and for all which is the real capital of Pennsylvania. (Sorry, Harrisburg.)

25. Cleveland vs. Tampa Bay: The Battle of Baker Mayfield would be one hell of a storyline.

24. Buffalo vs. Philadelphia: Back around Thanksgiving, the Eagles got what seemed to be a season-defining win over Buffalo. Philadelphia has won exactly one game since then.

23. Cleveland vs. San Francisco: How will the league’s best defense (Cleveland) handle one of the league’s most talented and multi-pronged offenses?

22. Houston vs. San Francisco: The Brock Purdy Express hit a hard wall with a four-interception Christmas performance against Baltimore, but a good strong postseason run could get that train humming once again.

21. Cleveland vs. Detroit: The American League Central showdown we’ve all been clamoring for.

20. Miami vs. Philadelphia: The Dolphins have the game’s best passing attack. The Eagles have the second-worst passing defense in the entire NFL. This could get ugly.

19. Kansas City vs. Tampa Bay: Super Bowl LV rematch! And no Tom Brady around to stand in Mahomes’ way.

18. Cleveland vs. Dallas: LeBron James will be very conflicted over this one.

17. Baltimore vs. Philadelphia: The War of I-95. Loser has to repair the winner’s highways.

16. Pittsburgh vs. San Francisco: Death, taxes, Mike Tomlin staying above .500 and the 49ers finding their way back to the Super Bowl.

15. Miami vs. Detroit: Look, seriously, how great would a Detroit Lions Super Bowl be? Regardless of who they ended up playing, the entire country would be pulling for them.

14. Kansas City vs. San Francisco: Super Bowl LIV rematch! San Francisco controlled much of the game before Mahomes became Mahomes. A dynasty-in-the-making began that night.

13. Houston vs. Detroit: Two of the year’s great feel-good stories meeting in the Super Bowl would be the NFL’s dream.

Football: Super Bowl XXX: Aerial view of Dallas Cowboys Emmitt Smith (22) in action, rushing vs Pittsburgh Steelers at Sun Devil Stadium.
Tempe, AZ 1/28/1996
CREDIT: Robert Beck (Photo by Robert Beck /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)
(Set Number: X50012 )
Dallas and Pittsburgh have met three times in the Super Bowl. Could a fourth be on the way? (Robert Beck /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

12. Pittsburgh vs. Dallas: Super Bowl X, XIII, XXX rematch! Two of the NFL’s most storied franchises meeting in the Super Bowl for the fourth time? Sure, let’s do it.

11. Baltimore vs. Detroit: This one is going to be a battle in the trenches. Baltimore has the NFL’s top rushing attack, while the Lions have the league’s second-best rushing defense. Something’s gotta give.

10. Kansas City vs. Dallas: Look, nobody whose job doesn’t depend on it needs to care about Super Bowl ratings. That said, this one will be an absolute ratings monster.

9. Houston vs. Dallas: Loser must admit, in writing, that the other one is “more Texas.”

8. Kansas City vs. Detroit: Taylor Swift vs. Eminem, who ya got?!

7. Buffalo vs. Detroit: Bills fans bemoan four lost Super Bowls. Lions fans bemoan eight lost decades. Advantage, Lions fans.

6. Miami vs. Dallas: Super Bowl VI rematch! Tom Landry’s Cowboys whomped Don Shula’s Dolphins 24-3 in that game. This one would probably be a whole lot closer.

5. Buffalo vs. San Francisco: Could be the first Super Bowl with 4,000 yards of offense.

4. Baltimore vs. Dallas: This is Dallas’ best chance to snare a ring since the Aikman/Emmitt/Jimmy Johnson days. So naturally, they’ll probably have to go through one of the most vicious AFC maulers in years.

3. Miami vs. San Francisco: Super Bowl XIX rematch! That game was a Montana-Marino throwfest that ended in a San Francisco victory. This one could be every bit as good.

2. Baltimore vs. San Francisco: Super Bowl XLVII rematch! Christmas Day rematch! The 49ers played one of their worst games in years against Baltimore, and they’re hoping they won’t have another power outage like on Christmas — or like in the Super Bowl the last time these teams met there.

1. Buffalo vs. Dallas: Super Bowl XXVII and XXVIII rematch! This would be a monster Super Bowl rife with both storylines and talent — and a gift from heaven for ‘90s nostalgia buffs.