Patriots' blowout win just the fourth time a defending Super Bowl champion has pulled this off

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots' 33-3 season-opening victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers wasn't just a statement to the rest of the NFL. It was also a history-making victory for a team that is used to seeing its name in the history books. 

According to ESPN, New England's 30-point victory over Pittsburgh marked the fourth time a defending Super Bowl champion has opened their title defense with a 30-point win. Here are the other three defending champions who have accomplished that feat, along with what they would go on to achieve during the rest of their title defense. 

Year TeamRegular Season RecordPostseason Result


Pittsburgh Steelers


Won Super Bowl X


Dallas Cowboys


Lost Super Bowl XIII


Indianapolis Colts


Lost in divisional round of AFC playoffs

The '78 Cowboys' 38-0 win over the Baltimore Colts remains the largest season-opening victory by a defending Super Bowl champion. The '75 Steelers, the only team on this list that repeated as Super Bowl champion, routed the San Diego Chargers 37-0 in Week 1. The 2007 Colts dismantled the New Orleans Saints 41-0 before being upset by Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers in the divisional round of that year's AFC playoffs. 

New England will join an even more exclusive club if if they can successfully defend their title in 2019. If the Patriots repeat as champion, they will join the Steelers as the only franchises in Super Bowl history to win back-to-back Super Bowls twice. Pittsburgh won Super Bowls IX and X before closing the decade of the '70s with victories in Super Bowls XIII and XIV. New England's dynasty started with wins in Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXIX before winning their three most recent Super Bowls in 2014, 2016 and 2018. The Patriots are also trying to join the 1990s Bills as the only teams to appear in four consecutive Super Bowls. 

Despite their dominant victory over Pittsburgh, Tom Brady, who threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday night, was focused on what New England can do better as they begin preparations for next Sunday's game against the Dolphins in Miami. 

"We got a lot of work to do," Brady told NBC's Michele Tayofa following Sunday's victory. "We can be a lot better -- I think -- than we were tonight. But I thought the defense played great, gave us a lot of opportunities. We made some big plays in the passing game which always helps. But I think we gotta get back to work and do a better job next week."

Brady will be joined next week by Antonio Brown, who is expected to officially become a member of the Patriots on Monday. Brown, who spent his first nine NFL seasons with the Steelers, was released by the Oakland Raiders on Saturday. 

"Everyone comes in here and works as hard as they can to try to establish a great role and it's about getting him up to speed," Brady said of the acquisition of Brown. "He's obviously a great player. I've played against him for a long time. We're excited to have him and to try to incorporate him the best way he can." 

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