How many NFL wild card teams have won the Super Bowl? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Will this be the year of a wild card?
Six wild card teams enter the 2022 NFL playoffs looking to make history – the Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Chargers and Miami Dolphins in the AFC and the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks in the NFC.
While it’s only been a couple of years since a non-division winner won the Super Bowl, there’s an exclusive group of teams that have managed to pull off the feat throughout NFL history.
Could one of those six aforementioned teams join that rare company this postseason by going on a run to Super Bowl 57 and hoisting the Lombardi Trophy?
Before the playoffs get underway, here’s a look at the wild card teams that have made it all the way to the Big Game.
When were wild cards added to the NFL playoffs?
The wild card format was first introduced in 1980, when one more team from each conference could qualify for the playoffs in addition to six total division champions. Two more wild card teams were added in 1978 and then again in 1990, bringing the playoff field to 12 teams.
The NFL realigned to eight four-team divisions when the league expanded to 32 teams in 2002. The playoff field remained at 12 teams, though, with a total of four wild cards.
In 2020, the NFL added a third wild card spot to each conference, awarding a first-round bye to only the No. 1 seeds.
Who is the last NFL wild card team to win the Super Bowl?
Tampa Bay defeated No. 4 Washington, No. 2 New Orleans and No. 1 Green Bay en route to Super Bowl 55, where the Bucs crushed the NFL-best Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 at Raymond James Stadium. The Bucs were the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl at their home stadium.
How many NFL wild card teams have won the Super Bowl?
Tampa Bay was the seventh wild card team to win the Super Bowl. The first team to achieve the feat was the 1980 Oakland Raiders, who took down the Eagles 27-10 in Super Bowl 15 as a No. 4 seed.
Here’s a full look at the seven wild card teams that have hoisted the Lombardi Trophy:
1980 Oakland Raiders, No. 4 seed: 27-10 over Philadelphia in Super Bowl 15
2000 Baltimore Ravens, No. 4 seed: 34-7 over Giants in Super Bowl 35
2005 Pittsburgh Steelers, No. 6 seed: 21-10 over Seahawks in Super Bowl 40
2007 New York Giants, No. 5 seed: 17-14 over New England Patriots in Super Bowl 43
2010 Green Bay Packers, No. 6 seed: 31-25 over Steelers in Super Bowl 45
2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, No. 5 seed: 31-9 over Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 55
How many NFL wild card teams have made the Super Bowl?
In addition to the seven winners, another four wild card teams have lost in the Super Bowl.
The 1975 Dallas Cowboys were the first wild card team to reach the Super Bowl. As a No. 4 seed, Dallas won two playoff games before losing 21-17 to Pittsburgh in Super Bowl 10.
Here are the four wild card teams that fell short in the Big Game:
1975 Dallas Cowboys, No. 4 seed: 21-17 to Steelers in Super Bowl 10
1985 New England Patriots, No. 5 seed: 46-10 to Bears in Super Bowl 20
1992 Buffalo Bills, No. 4 seed: 52-17 to Cowboys in Super Bowl 27
1999 Tennessee Titans, No. 4 seed: 23-16 to Rams in Super Bowl 34