Denver Broncos (1997). The Broncos were the first AFC team to win two Super Bowls in a row since the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s, defeating the Packers for their first title and the Atlanta Falcons for their second.
They are also the only team to win consecutive Super Bowls with different head coaches - Mike Shanahan was fired as coach after the 1996 season but returned as a senior advisor under general manager John Elway - and thus make it three straight titles for Denver. The last time two teams won back-to-back Super Bowls was in 1975 when the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Washington Redskins both times at home. The Patriots are now seeking their third title in four years.
The Broncos joined the NFL in 1959 and have never finished outside the top two of its Western Division. They have made the playoffs every year except one (1972), when they went 11-4 but lost in the first round to Miami. From 1995 to 1997, they went 36-10 and won three straight Super Bowls - America's game - before losing last year to New England.
Denver has the best regular season record in the NFL over that period (195-33).
The Broncos were the first AFC team to win two Super Bowls in a row since the 1970s Steelers, defeating the Packers in their first and Atlanta Falcons in their second. They are only the third team to do so (the 1948 Chicago Bears and 1956 New York Giants being the others).
They accomplished this by going 16-1 during the regular season and winning the AFC West for the fourth time in five years. The last team to repeat as Super Bowl champions was the Pittsburgh Steelers, who did it back-to-back from 1978-79.
Denver is also the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls after losing their first game. The last team to do so was the Steelers, who won three in a row from 2005-07 before falling to New England Patriots in the 2008 title game.
Pittsburgh's loss came one year after they defeated Dallas in Super Bowl X. The Broncos' victory came two years after they lost to Oakland in Super Bowl XVII. This is the first time that has happened with different teams winning each year's Super Bowl.
There have been other teams who have tried but failed to duplicate Denver's success. The San Francisco 49ers came closest when they went 9-7 in 1994 but lost to Buffalo Bills in the first round of the playoffs.
However, the Broncos were defeated by the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII by a score of 43-8. This was the Broncos' first Super Bowl appearance since winning back-to-back titles in 1997 and 1998. The last time two different teams won back-to-back Super Bowls was when the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers did so in 1999 and 2000.
Since that time, no team has been able to do it again. The St. Louis Rams came close in 2004 when they lost to the Patriots 16-13 in Super Bowl XXXVI. However, this was still considered successful retooling as most thought they would be relegated to perennial also-ran status after losing their star quarterback Trent Green during the preseason. Instead, they managed to find a replacement in Drew Bledsoe and continued to play at a high level while also making the playoffs every year from 2004-08. In addition, they reached the top spot in the draft twice (04, 06) over this period and acquired several key players including Pro Bowlers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce.
The next season, they faced off against the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXVII. Although they were heavy underdogs, they managed to come out on top 17-14 thanks in large part to some excellent defensive play by the Rams.
Back-to-back The winners of the Super Bowl The next season, the Broncos won their second Super Bowl, defeating the Atlanta Falcons (headed by Elway's longstanding head coach, Dan Reeves) 34-19. This was also the first Super Bowl victory for John Elway in his third and final season as a player-coach.
In addition to Reeves, two other former Denver players have won Super Bowls: Terrell Davis and Champ Bailey. Davis won in his debut with the New York Giants, while Bailey won with the Washington Redskins. Both men played for Elway during his three seasons as a quarterback/wide receiver with the Broncos.
Elway led the Broncos to the playoffs each year from 1997-1999, finishing first in each of their division titles. He also threw for over 10,000 yards during that time. However, he never won a playoff game until he took over as the full-time starter in 1995. By 1999, when Reeves retired after 14 seasons with the Broncos, Elway had already won two Super Bowl rings.
During Elway's three years as the starting quarterback, the Broncos made the playoffs all three seasons. They went 16-0 in 1994 and were ranked #1 for most of the year before losing at home to Baltimore in the season finale. Elway himself was voted NFL MVP that season.