Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers Top List of All-Time Greatest Super Bowl Winners

Published on December 10th, 2019 1:45 am EST
Written By: Dave Manuel



The best ten teams to were ever put together in history.  Enjoy! There have been some great Super Bowl teams over the course of the history of the NFL, and some not-so-good ones as well.

Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers. The Miami Dolphins. The "Steel Curtain", aka the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. All parts of Super Bowl lore. All great. But where do they rank in the list of the greatest Super Bowl teams of all time?

Here is our list of the top 10 Super Bowl teams of all time:

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1. The 1972 Miami Dolphins.

This one is pretty easy, and I think that most people would agree that the 1972 Miami Dolphins were the greatest Super Bowl winning team of all time.

After all, how can you deny the 1972 Dolphins when they are the ONLY team to have ever run the table and won EVERY regular and post-season game? The New England Patriots came close, though ended up succumbing to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.

The 1972 Miami Dolphins, coached by the legendary Don Shula, had a very well-rounded team.

Their offence was great, anchored by a very strong running game that produced two 1,000 yard rushers (Larry Csonka, Mercury Morris). The running game was obviously helped by having three future Hall of Famers on the offensive line - Jim Langer, Larry Little and Norm Evans.

The Dolphins were strong on the defensive side of the ball as well, as their "No-Name Defense" had the number one defensive unit in the league.

The Dolphins had nine Pro Bowlers in the 1972 season, which is a testament to just how good they were.

After running the table 14-0 in the regular season, the Dolphins beat the Browns 20-14 in the Divisional Playoffs, the Steelers 21-17 in the AFC Championship and the Redskins 14-7 in the Super Bowl.

They certainly didn't blow teams away in the playoffs, though the fact the Dolphins never lost in the 1972 season makes them the greatest team of all time.


2. The 1984 San Francisco 49ers.

What a team this was. Anchored by the legendary Joe Montana, the 1984 San Francisco 49ers were practically unbeatable, compiling a regular season record of 15-1 before stampeding their way through the playoffs.

In the 1984 regular season, the San Francisco 49ers had a QB that threw for 28 TDs, a running back (Wendell Tyler) that rushed for 1,262 yards and 7 TDs, and a WR combo (Dwight Clark, Freddie Solomon) that combined for 17 touchdowns.

While people talk about Joe Montana and the 49ers offence, it was actually the defense that stood out in 1984.

The 49ers defensive unit allowed just 14.2 points/game in the 1984 regular season, which was first in the league. This carried over into the playoffs, where the 49ers' defense allowed just 26 points over the course of three games.

After winning a divisional round game against the Giants 21-0, the 49ers savaged the Bears 23-0 in the Conference Championship before demolishing the Miami Dolphins in the Super Bowl game by a score of 38-16. Roger Craig had three touchdowns in this game as the 49ers beat Dan Marino and the Miami Dolphins.

If you want to know just how good the 49ers' defense was in 1984, look no further than the NFC Championship game, when the 49ers allowed just 37 passing yards and sacked the Quarterback nine times.


3. 1985 Chicago Bears.

Some people will want to put the 1989 San Francisco 49ers here, and I'd have no problem with that.

I give the 1985 Chicago Bears the edge based on two reasons - Walter Payton (he rushed for 1,551 yards in 1985) and the Chicago Bears' defense, which was stifling, allowing just 12.4 points per game.

The 1985 Chicago Bears had multiple Hall of Famers on their squad, including Walter Payton, Mike Singletary and Richard Dent.

The team easily ran its way through the regular season, compiling a record of 15-1. The offence, led by Jim McMahon, was clicking, scoring more than 28 points per game, and the defense was practically unstoppable.

The defense was especially stifling in the playoffs, allowing just 10 points over the course of three games. In fact, in the Divisional playoff and Conference Championship games, the Bears' defense allowed zero points. The Bears allowed just 19 first downs and 300 total yards over the course of two games, which is ridiculous.

The Super Bowl was a lopsided affair, with the Bears demolishing the New England Patriots by a score of 46-10. Again, the Bears' defense was amazing, allowing just 123 total yards and forcing 6 turnovers. The Patriots managed a paltry 6 yards of rushing on the day.

The 1985 Chicago Bears were certainly one of the most dominant teams of all time, as they made a mockery of their opponents, especially in the playoffs.

The Bears were seen as a potential dynasty at the time, though things would go seriously awry in 1986 after they were bounced by the Redskins in the divisional playoffs after compiling a regular season record of 14-2. The team would never be the same again.


4. 1989 San Francisco 49ers.

The 1989 San Francisco 49ers' roster was filled with legends - a prime Joe Montana at quarterback, a 27 year-old Jerry Rice, Roger Craig in the backfield and a back-up quarterback by the name of Steve Young.

Joe Montana was exceptional in 1989, throwing for 3,521 yards and 26 passing touchdowns while leading the 49ers to a record of 14-2 and another Super Bowl title. Montana had two 1,000 yard receivers that year - Jerry Rice (1,483 yards) and John Taylor (1,077 yards). Jerry Rice had an eye-popping 17 receiving TDs in 1989.

In addition to having the top-rated offence in the NFL, the 49ers also had the third-best defence. Their underrated defence in 1989 allowed just 15.8 points per game.

The 49ers were exceptionally dominant in the postseason, as they obliterated the Vikings, Rams and Broncos by scores of 41-13, 30-3 and 55-10, respectively.

John Elway and the Denver Broncos were humiliated in the Super Bowl, as they gave up an unbelievable eight touchdowns over the course of the game. Joe Montana threw for five touchdowns in the game, with Jerry Rice going for 148 yards and 3 touchdowns.

The 49ers' defense held John Elway and the Denver Broncos offence to just 103 net passing yards and 167 total yards at Super Bowl XXIV - now THAT is impressive.


5. 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers.

The "Steel Curtain" had one of the greatest defenses in the history of the NFL, allowing just 12.2 points per game during the 1978 season.

The team, which was led by nearly a dozen future Hall of Famers such as Terry Bradshaw and Lynn Swann, battered and bludgeoned their way to a Super Bowl in 1978.

Despite the fact that the team was best-known for their defense, the offence was nothing to laugh at, with the Steelers averaging over 22 points per game in the regular season, which was the fifth best total in the NFL.

The Steelers breezed their way through the divisional and conference games, beating the Denver Broncos and Houston Oilers by a combined score of 77-15. The "Steel Curtain" was in full display in the Conference Championship game, as the Steelers forced an eye-popping NINE turnovers and allowed just 142 yards of total offence.

The Super Bowl was one of the toughest games of the season for the Steelers, as they managed to eke out a narrow 35-31 win over the Cowboys. The Cowboys scored two late touchdowns but just couldn't pull off the miracle comeback.

The 1978 Steelers, along with the 1985 Chicago Bears, possessed arguably the two most fearsome defenses in the history of the NFL.


6. 2004 New England Patriots.

This is the year that truly solidified the New England Patriots as a dynasty, as they managed to repeat as champions.

The Patriots were already great heading into the 2004 season, but they also managed to add Corey Dillon to the squad, who ran for an eye-popping 1,635 yards in the 2004 regular season.

While many will point to Tom Brady and Corey Dillon in the 2004 season, the New England Patriots' defence was excellent, as they were the #2 ranked unit in the league. The Patriots compiled a record of 14-2 in the regular season before defeating the Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles in the playoffs to win the Super Bowl.

The biggest story of the playoffs was the Patriots' defense, which produced 11 turnovers in three games, including four in the Super Bowl game against the Eagles. Deion Branch was named the MVP of the Super Bowl, as he caught 11 passes for 133 yards, though you likely could have given the MVP to the entire Pats' defense, which picked off Donovan McNabb three times and also forced a fumble.

Tom Brady was just 27 years old at the time and was just entering his prime. Brady through for 3,692 yards and 28 passes during the 2004 regular season. He was efficient in the Super Bowl, passing for 2 TDs and 236 yards while avoiding any interceptions.

Many people would write off the Patriots at the end of the 2005 season after they were eliminated by the Denver Broncos in the divisional playoff game. Little would these people know that Brady and the Patriots would continue their winning ways long into the future.


7. 1996 Green Bay Packers.

The 1996 Green Bay Packers are perhaps one of the most well-rounded teams in the history of the NFL. The team, which finished 13-3 in the regular season, possessed the best offence in the NFL, averaging over 28 points per game. Despite their explosive offence, the Packers also had the best defense in the NFL as well, allowing just 13.1 points per game.

The Packers were led by young gunslinger Brett Favre, the future Hall-of-Famer who was just 27 years old at the time. Favre was absolutely fantastic during the 1996 season, passing for nearly 4,000 yards and almost 40 TDs.

The Packers had multiple offensive weapons that they could rely on, including Antonio Freeman, Edgar Bennett and Don Beebe, all of whom made valuable contributions to the Super Bowl run.

The Packers effortlessly made it to the Super Bowl in 1995, tossing aside the San Francisco 49ers 35-14 and the Carolina Panthers 30-13 before making it to the Super Bowl, where they defeated the New England Patriots 35-21.

The Packers' defense was the story of their postseason run, as they forced 12 turnovers in their three games, including four in the Super Bowl.

While everyone will talk about Brett Favre when it comes to the 1996 season, the real story, in my opinion, was the play of the defense.

As we've seen with the previous teams mentioned in this list, you will have a very hard time winning the Super Bowl without a great defense.


8. 1993 Dallas Cowboys.

The 1993 Dallas Cowboys deserve this spot on the list based on how they finished out the season, which was, in one word - electric.

The Cowboys started the season in lacklustre fashion, going 2-2 in their first four games of the season. After their first 11 games, the Cowboys were 7-4 - not exactly putting on the type of pace expected from a reigning Super Bowl champion.

After that, however, the Cowboys went wild, winning their last nine games of the year, which carried over into the Super Bowl. The Cowboys were dominant during this time, winning games by an average of more than two touchdowns.

The Dallas Cowboys had the second best offence in the league, as well as the second best defence. There were a number of Hall-of-Famers on the squad, including Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin. Emmitt Smith had a particularly great year in 1993, rushing for 1,486 yards and 9 TDs, as well as 414 receiving yards.

The Cowboys thumped their competition in the playoffs, winning by no less than 10 points in any of their three playoff games. The Super Bowl was particularly easy for the Cowboys, as they beat the hard-luck Buffalo Bills by a score of 30-13.

Despite their starting quarterback throwing for an underwhelming 3,100 yards and 15 TD passes, the Cowboys rode their way to another Super Bowl on the backs of a strong running game and opportune defence.

While other teams were more dominant over the course of a full season, the Cowboys got hot at just the right time and finished their season in spectacular fashion.


9. 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers.

This version of the Pittsburgh Steelers wasn't quite as dominant as the 1978 version, which is why they are a bit down the list. Their defense was still spectacular, however, allowing just 11.6 points per game, which was good for second in the NFL.

The 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers were led by Franco Harris, who rushed for 1,246 yards on 262 rushing attempts. This produced 10 rushing touchdowns - in fact, rushing was the centerpiece of the 1975 Steelers' attack, as they combined for a total of 22 rushing touchdowns over the course of the regular season.

While the 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers mercilessly bludgeoned their way through the playoffs, the 1975 Steelers narrowly got past the Oakland Raiders 16-10 in the Conference Championship game before beating the Dallas Cowboys 21-17 in the Super Bowl. The defence was the key to their playoff victories, as the Steel Curtain allowed just 750 yards of total offence over the course of their three playoff games. They were also forcing many turnovers, including 5 in the Conference championship game against the Raiders.

As was the case with the 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers, the 1975 version of the team was teeming with future Hall of Famers.


10. 1966 Green Bay Packers.

Some people will have this team further down their list, though I had to put them in the top 10 for one simple reason - their defence.

The 1966 Green Bay Packers had, perhaps, the greatest defence in the history of the NFL. Better than the 1985 Chicago Bears. Better than the 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers. The 1966 Green Bay Packers were absolutely lethal on defence.

The Packers, who went 12-2 in the regular season, allowed just 11.6 points per game.

Of the team's 14 regular season games, the Packers held their opponents to a touchdown or less in six of them.

The team had three games in which they produced five turnovers, and another four games in which they produced four.

In the Super Bowl game against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Packers' defence held the Chiefs to just 239 yards of offence, including just 72 yards of rushing offence.

The Packers' offence, while not the flashiest unit around, was led by Hall of Famer Bart Starr. Starr, 32 years of age at the time, provided a steady and unflappable presence on offence - Starr was intercepted just three times over the course of the regular season.

The 1966 Packers team rarely made mistakes and forced their opponents to make many.

Again - the strength of the defence commanded me to include the 1966 Green Bay Packers in this list.


Honorable mentions: 1992 Dallas Cowboys, 1991 Washington Redskins

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