The Kansas City Chiefs have already made history ahead of Super Bowl LVII. By virtue of their AFC title game win over the Bengals, the Chiefs have joined a small group of teams that advanced to three Super Bowls over a four-year span.
The Chiefs, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, tight end Travis Kelce and defensive lineman Chris Jones, guided the franchise to its first title in 50 years at the end of the 2019 season. They made it back to the big game in 2020 but were upset by Tom Brady's Buccaneers. Two years later, Mahomes and Co. are hoping to win another ring while getting Andy Reid a Super Bowl victory over his former team.
A win over the Eagles would give the Chiefs a 3-1 all-time record in Super Bowls and a 2-1 record during the Reid/Mahomes era. Here's a look at the teams the Chiefs joined in history and how each one fared on football's biggest stage.
Super Bowl record: 2-1
In just his second year in Miami, Don Shula led the Dolphins to the franchise's first Super Bowl at the end of the 1971 season. Miami's Cinderella season came to a crashing halt in the Super Bowl, however, as the more seasoned Cowboys blasted the "happy to be there" Dolphins, 24-3.
The loss served as motivation for the '72 Dolphins, who made history by becoming pro football's only perfect team. The Dolphins capped off their perfect season by besting Washington in Super Bowl VII. Fittingly, Miami received a stellar defensive performance that day from its "No Name" defense and Super Bowl MVP, safety Jake Scott.
Miami successfully defended its title in 1973. The Dolphins didn't go undefeated, but they lost just two games that season while compiling a two-year record of 32-2. Facing the Vikings in Super Bowl VIII, the Dolphins leaned on fullback Larry Csonka, who won MVP honors after setting then-Super Bowl records with 33 carries for 145 yards and two touchdowns.
They weren't quite perfect as they were the season before. Yet the 1973 @MiamiDolphins were still pretty darn good.— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) January 13, 2023
After going 12-2 in the regular season, Miami clinched its second straight title #OTD in 1974 by defeating the Vikings, 24-7, in Super Bowl VIII.
📹 @NFL pic.twitter.com/bS4RcDnno8
Super Bowl record: 0-3
Bud Grant's Vikings were victims of playing in an era with several other legendary teams. They never won the big one, but Grant's team did win the 1969 NFL title and played in four Super Bowls from 1969-76. Minnesota's rosters back then featured Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton, versatile halfback Chuck Foreman, and the legendary "Purple People Eaters" defense that was anchored by Alan Page, the only defensive player to win league MVP until Lawrence Taylor in 1986.
The first defensive player ever to be named Most Valuable Player? @Vikings legend Alan Page.— NFL (@NFL) November 30, 2019
📺: #NFL100 All-Time Team on @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/3MfbDLNHOY
In their Super Bowls, the '70s Vikings lost to three of the best teams in NFL history: Miami, Pittsburgh and Oakland. They also fell to the Cowboys in the 1975 playoffs on Roger Staubach's legendary Hail Mary heave to Drew Pearson.
Super Bowl record: 1-2
Eight points separated Tom Landry's Cowboys from winning all three of their Super Bowl trips during the late '70s. Sandwiched between their 27-10 win over Denver in Super Bowl XII was two four-point losses to the Steelers, who were crowned the Team of the '70s after winning four Super Bowls in a six-year span.
The Cowboys may have finished behind the Steelers in history, but they played in one more Super Bowl than Pittsburgh during the decade. They were also branded "America's Team" after becoming one of sport's most popular and recognizable teams.
A big reason for the Cowboys' success and popularity was Staubach, a real life version of Captain America who led Dallas to a slew of come-from-behind wins. Staubach was complemented by Dallas' vaunted "Doomsday" defense. He also benefited late in his career by the arrival of 1977 first-round pick running back Tony Dorsett, who helped the Cowboys win the Super Bowl during his rookie season.
Tony Dorsett was ELECTRIC!!— NFL Legacy (@NFLLegacy) April 7, 2019
Happy birthday to the legendary @dallascowboys RB! pic.twitter.com/wFCS3hX4WQ
Super Bowl record: 0-3
While they dominated the AFC, the late '80s Broncos were no match for the NFC's heavyweights. This was during the era that saw the NFC win 13 straight Super Bowls from 1984-96, with three of wins coming against John Elway and Co.
The late '80s Broncos are largely remembered for two things: their epic wins over the Browns in consecutive AFC title games and being on the short end of the most lopsided score in Super Bowl history. What's often forgotten was how great Elway was in leading the Broncos to those Super Bowls.
No. 11: “The Drive” - 1986 Broncos vs. Browns AFC Championship Game (Jan. 11, 1987) #NFL100 @Broncos— NFL (@NFL) October 5, 2019
📺: NFL 100 Greatest Games on @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/BJBLHMR7Xl
Super Bowl record: 0-4
Like the Vikings, Marv Levy's Bills were unable to win the big game. While that is part of their legacy, the Bills' legacy also includes being the only team to play in four consecutive Super Bowls.
Buffalo's roster featured several all-time greats that included quarterback Jim Kelly, pass rusher Bruce Smith, running back Thurman Thomas, wideouts Andre Reed and James Lofton and special teams ace Steve Tasker.
The Bills' best chance at winning a Super Bowl came in their first trip to the big game. Buffalo lost Super Bowl XXV by a point after missing a field goal with eight seconds remaining. A key contributor to the loss was the fact that the Bills' high-powered offense had the ball for less than 20 minutes, which was the plan of then-Giants defensive coordinator Bill Belichick.
Super Bowl XXV#Giants 20, #Bills 19— Kevin Gallagher (@KevG163) January 28, 2023
The closest Super Bowl
This date in 1991 pic.twitter.com/woV86LwtwG
Super Bowl record: 3-0
The Cowboys had fallen on hard times by the time Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson arrived in Dallas in 1989. The new owner and coach were tasked with taking over a franchise that was losing money nearly as fast as they were losing games. But with Jones working on the business side and Johnson working on the football side, the former college teammates made sports history.
Before making history, however, Jones and Johnson first had to endure a 1-15 season. In the midst of that miserable year, Johnson changed the trajectory of the franchise when he pulled off a blockbuster trade that sent Pro Bowl running back Herschel Walker to Minnesota in exchange for a bounty of draft picks.
Johnson used the picks to helped construct a roster that would win dominate pro football in the early-to-mid '90s. He used one of the picks from that trade to draft Emmitt Smith, who would go on to become the NFL's all-time leading rusher.
Johnson, who made a whopping 51 trades in rebuilding the Cowboys, oversaw a historic transformation, as the Cowboys became the first team to win the Super Bowl after winning just one game three years earlier. Dallas successfully defended its title before Johnson left the Cowboys after the 1993 season. The Cowboys won a third title in 1995 with Barry Switzer on the sideline.
The last Super Bowl in Los Angeles was played 29 years ago today— NFL Legacy (@NFLLegacy) January 31, 2022
between the Cowboys & Bills in Super Bowl XXVII. (Jan. 31, 1993) pic.twitter.com/SIbeb7oyjh
Super Bowl record: 3-0
This was the dynasty no one saw coming. New England went 5-11 during Belichick's first season and were 0-2 the following year when then-franchise quarterback Drew Bledsoe suffered a significant injury.
That's when a backup named Tom Brady took center stage, and the rest is history. Brady played well in those early games, but it was Belichick's gusty decision to stick with Brady upon Bledsoe's return from injury that ignited the dynasty. The Patriots would not lose again in 2001 after Belichick named Brady the long-term starter. With Brady at the helm, the Patriots defeated the Raiders and Steelers in the playoffs before upsetting the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI on Adam Vinatieri's game-winning field goal.
New England missed the playoffs the following year and were 2-2 midway through the 2003 season. Similarly to 2001, the Patriots once again shocked everyone by going on an unprecedented 21-game winning streak that wouldn't end until New England added a second Lombardi Trophy to its collection. The Patriots would go on to win the franchise's third title in four years after defeating Andy Reid's Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.
Along with Brady, the early '00s Patriots were led by a punishing defense, led by Richard Seymour, Ty Law, Rodney Harrison and Teddy Bruschi. The group made life difficult for rising stars Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, especially during the 2004 playoffs.
Today in 2005...— Kevin Gallagher (@KevG163) January 24, 2023
The 2004 AFC Championship
The #Patriots exact revenge on the team that, earlier in the season, ended their NFL record 21-game winning streak, topping the #Steelers at Heinz Field, 41-27.
New England wins its second consecutive AFC title, its third in four years pic.twitter.com/MDGuf9HNom
Super Bowl record: 2-1
Many had declared the Patriots' dynasty dead by the fourth week of the 2014 season. By that time, the Patriots were 2-2 and coming off of a 41-14 blowout loss to the Chiefs on "Monday Night Football." It was so bad that Belichick was asked if he had considered benching then 37-year-old Brady.
As they did several times during the previous decade, the Patriots responded by winning games. They would lose just two more times during the 2014 season en route to upsetting the defending champion Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX. Two years later, despite Brady serving a four-game suspension, the Patriots went 17-2 while pulling off the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.
5 years ago today, Tom Brady and the @Patriots were down 28-3 with 2:15 left in the 3rd quarter.— NFL (@NFL) February 5, 2022
We all know how it ended. 🐐 pic.twitter.com/VDRQ7XPEr5
New England lost a shootout with the Eagles in Super Bowl LII, but they made it back to the big game in 2018 while becoming the first team to play in four Super Bowls in a five-year span. They capped off their two-decade long dynasty by defeating the Rams in Super Bowl LIII.
Brady's favorite targets throughout his second championship run was Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman. Gronkowski retired as arguably the greatest tight end in NFL history, while Edelman -- the MVP of Super Bowl LIII -- ranks among the most prolific pass catchers in playoff history.