The 2011 Giants have the most losses of any Super Bowl champion. New York went 9-7 during the regular season before defeating the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. Before that, the 2007 Giants and 1988 49ers were tied for the most losses among Super Bowl champions. Both teams compiled 10-6 regular season records before winning the Super Bowl. The 1979 Rams became the first seven-loss team to reach the Super Bowl. A double-digit underdog, Los Angeles held a 19-17 fourth quarter lead before falling to the defending champion Steelers in Super Bowl XIV.
Joe Burrow and the rest of the Cincinnati Bengals can match the Giants' "record" if they are able to defeat the Rams in Super Bowl LVI. The Bengals went 10-7 during the regular season before defeating the Raiders, Titans and Chiefs in the AFC playoffs. Cincinnati's last loss, however, occurred in Week 18 when Burrow and several other starters sat with the AFC North division title already secured. The Bengals nearly defeated the Browns despite sitting a signifiant portion of their starters.
There are some similarities between the '11 Giants and '21 Bengals. Like the Giants, Cincinnati possesses a formidable defensive front, led by Sam Hubbard, Trey Hendrickson and B.J. Hill. And similar to Manning, Burrow possesses a calmness while being able to deliver in critical moments. Burrow's calmness under pressure was on display during the Bengals' road playoff wins in Tennessee and in Kansas City. His 19-yard completion against the Titans put Evan McPherson in position to kick the game-winning field goal. Among Burrow's clutch plays in Kansas City included a pair of key runs that helped Cincinnati overcome an 18-point deficit.
Along with joining the '11 Giants in Super Bowl lore, the Bengals would also join the 1981 49ers in history if they win the Super Bowl. Cincinnati would join San Francisco as the only franchise's in history to win the Super Bowl two years after owning the NFL's worst record. Ironically, the 49ers' historic win came at the Bengals' expense, as Joe Montana led San Francisco to a 26-21 win over Cincinnati in Super Bowl XVI.
With a win in Super Bowl LVI, Cincinnati would also remove themselves from the list of teams that have never won a Super Bowl. The Bengals are one of a dozen NFL franchises that are still without a Vince Lombardi Trophy.