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American Football

How often has a Super Bowl losing team claimed revenge in a rematch the following season?

Samuel Rooke
How often has a Super Bowl losing team claimed revenge in a rematch the following season?Getty
Do teams get their revenge in Super Bowl rematches?

The Super Bowl is the culmination of a grueling five month schedule, pitting the champions of the AFC and NFC against each other in one final showdown. 

The way that NFL schedules are determined means that rematches of the big game in the following season are quite rare. 

Only eight times have the two teams that contested the Super Bowl met again in the following campaign. 

With Kansas City set to face Philadelphia on Monday night - a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl - we take a look at the previous rematches and see how often the losing team manages to get revenge. 

One thing to note, we are not considering pre-season match-ups here, so the Cinncinnati Bengals’ revenge win over the Los Angeles Rams in 2022 and the New England Patriots’ win over their Super Bowl victors the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018 don’t count. 

Patriots-Falcons (Super Bowl VI rematch) 

After the Patriots' incredible comeback win in Super Bowl VI, the Atlanta Falcons had started the season well, winning their opening three games. However, their matches against the AFC East had not gone according to plan. Defeats to the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins either side of the bye meant that the Falcons were 3-2 coming into the rematch in New England. The Patriots were 4-2, having suffered a shock defeat to the emerging Kansas City Chiefs in week one and losing a tight game against the Carolina Panthers in week four.  

On a foggy night in New England, the struggling Patriots defence held Matt Ryan to just 233 passing yards and making a handful of key stops. Brandin Cooks' second quarter touchdown reception got the home side going before James White's touchdown right before half-time make it 17-0. Two more Stephen Gostkowski field goals extended the Patriots' lead before a Julio Jones touchdown spared the Falcons the embarrassment of being blanked. 

New England won 23-7 en route to a 13-3 record and an eventual Super Bowl defeat to the Eagles. Atlanta finished 10-6, good enough for a wild card berth, but were beaten in the Divisional Round by those same Eagles. 

Broncos-Panthers (Super Bowl L rematch)

In the first game of the 2016 season, NFL fans were treated to an instant replay of the Super Bowl that had ended the previous one. That Super Bowl had ended with Peyton Manning's walk off into the sunset moment, winning the Super Bowl in his final career game. It had hinged on the infamous "business decision" when Cam Newton failed to dive on a loose ball, instead allowing Von Miller to complete a turnover for the Broncos. 

The Panthers travelled to Denver for the rematch and took an early lead through Kelvin Benjamin's short touchdown catch via Cam Newton. A big touchdown run from Broncos running back Andy Janovich levelled the scores but Cam ran in a touchdown of his own and the Panthers led 17-7 at half time. New Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian found CJ Anderson with a 25 yard pass early in the fourth quarter, and Anderson ran in another touchdown five minutes later to put the home team up 21-17. A Graham Gano field goal brought the Panthers within a point, but they couldn't pull off a revenge win. 

The Broncos would finish third in the AFC West with a 9-7 record and haven't been back to the playoffs since their 2015 championship. The Panthers also had a poor year, finishing with a 6-10 record. 

Seahawks-Broncos (Super Bowl XLVIII rematch)

The Seattle Seahawks handed the Denver Broncos a humiliating 43-8 defeat in the championship decider in 2013 and faced the same team in their opening pre-season game in the following season. 

The Broncos won, 21-16, but we aren't talking about pre-season games.

The two teams also met again in week three of the regular season. The Super Bowl champions welcomed the Broncos to CenturyLink with a 1-1 record after smashing the Green Bay Packers 36-16 in the opener, and losing 30-21 to the San Diego Chargers in week two. The Broncos were 2-0 after wins over the Indianapolis Colts and Kansas City Chiefs in Denver to start the season. 

After swapping field goals in the first quarter, Russell Wilson threw a pair of second quarter touchdowns to Ricardo Lockette and Marshawn Lynch to give his team a big half time lead. Lynch was tackled in the end zone early in the fourth quarter to give the Broncos a safety, before Peyton Manning found Julius Thomas in a short yardage situation for a touchdown. Kicker Stephen Hauschka pushed the Seahawks' lead back to eight points with only 59 seconds left on the clock and seemed to have iced the game. But Peyton Manning isn't a Hall of Famer for nothing, and the former Colts quarterback stepped up and drove down the field, eventually finding Jacob Tamme for a 26-yard touchdown catch. Demaryius Thomas completed the two point conversion to force overtime. 

The Seahawks won the toss and received, driving down the field to win the game with a short Lynch run before the Broncos could even touch the ball.

The Seahawks made it back to the Super Bowl that season season, losing on the infamous Malcolm Butler goal line interception to the New England Patriots. The Broncos also reached the Playoffs but were stunned at home by the Andrew Luck Colts in the Divisional Round. 

Packers-Patriots (Super Bowl XXXI rematch)

Back in 1996, when the New England Patriots were still lovable losers and not the equal-most successful team in NFL history, they they reached the Super Bowl for just the second time in franchise history but ran into the buzzsaw that was the Brett Favre Packers. They lost they lost 35-21 but got a chance at revenge in the following season. 

The Packers came into Foxboro with a 6-2 record and fresh off a bye week. While the Patriots boasted a similar 5-2 record, they had lost two of their last three and were beginning a serious mid-season slide under new coach Pete Carroll. 

Brett Favre got the Packers going early with a touchdown pass to Dorsey Levens. Drew Bledsoe responded with a scoring drive of his own, before Adam Vinatieri's field goal put the home team in front. But Favre added touchdown passes either side of half time, including a long bomb to Mark Chmura to make it 21-10 before Levens ran in another score late to seal the win for the Super Bowl champions. 

The Patriots would pull out of their dive late in the season and reach the Divisional round of the playoffs before being beaten 7-6 by the Steelers in Pittsburgh. The Packers made it all the way back to the Super Bowl, losing 31-24 to the John Elway Denver Broncos. 

Bills-Cowboys (Super Bowl XXVII rematch)

The Dallas Cowboys hammered the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl 27, winning 52-17.  

After being handled by Washington in their opener, the Cowboys hosted the Bills in a week two rematch of the Super Bowl bloodbath. 

With contract holdout Emmitt Smith absent, the Cowboys were missing a key weapon and fell 10-0 behind. At 10-10, kicker Lin Elliott missed two field goals - he was cut the next day - and quarterback Troy Aikman threw two interceptions. Bills kicker Steve Christie made the difference with a decisive fourth quarter field goal and Buffalo got a quantum of solace for their Super Bowl humiliation.

Both sides would return to the Super Bowl that season, where the Cowboys would storm back from a 13-6 half time deficit to win 30-13.

Cowboys-Steelers (Super Bowl XIII rematch)

The 13th Super Bowl ever played is considered among the very best championship games in history. Tom Landry's reigning champion Cowboys were beaten by the Chuck Noll Steelers 35-31 in a game featuring 26 Hall of Famers. 

Both sides came into the rematch the following season with 7-2 records but the rematch fell some way short of their previous meeting. 

The Cowboys lost quarterback Roger Staubach midway through the game, and replacement Danny White threw an interception, while the Boys' running game struggled to make much impact. By contrast, the Steelers' Franco Harris had a big day, running in the only two touchdowns of the game as Pittsburgh won 14-3. 

The Steelers successfully defended their Super Bowl title that season, while the Cowboys lost a squeaker to the Los Angeles Rams in the Divisional round.  

Raiders-Vikings (Super Bowl XI rematch)

The John Madden coached Oakland Raiders are a legendary NFL team, and in the late 1970s they were at their peak. They they made a meal out of the Minnesota Vikings' Purple People Eaters defense in Super Bowl XI, winning 32-14 as they set Super Bowl records for offensive yards gained. 

In the 1977 season, the two teams met again in week 13. The Vikings were at the end of a historic run of Super Bowl appearances (all defeats) and beginning to face as a force. By the time they arrived in Oakland, they were 8-4 and needed a win to go top of the NFC North. Instead, they were blitzed 35-13 by Madden's men. A 21-point first quarter set the tone for the 35-13 humbling. The Vikings won their last game to sneak into the playoffs but lost in the NFC Championship game to the Cowboys. The Raiders were beaten by division rivals the Broncos in the AFC Championship game.   

Minnesota-Kansas City (Super Bowl IV rematch)

The Vikings entered Super Bowl IV as 13.5 point favourites but were stunned 23-7 by the Chiefs. Week one of the following season pitted the two combatants against each other in the first ever Super Bowl rematch. 

After a scoreless opening quarter, the Vikings raced into a 17-7 half time lead. The Chiefs hit a field goal to open the second half, but the Vikings' vaunted defence held them scoreless the rest of the way as the Super Bowl losers found some degree of vengeance with a 27-10 win. 

The Vikings topped the NFC Central that season with a 12-2 record, but lost the Divisional round of the playoffs to the 49ers. The Chiefs had a poor season, missing the playoff altogether with a 7-5-1 record. 

Kansas City-Philadelphia (Super Bowl LVII rematch)

The only rematch on our list that is yet to happen, the Eagles will travel to Arrowhead Stadium and attempt to throw off the weight of history and become just the third Super Bowl loser to beat the champions in a regular season matchup the following season.