While every Super Bowl winner deserves to be held in high esteem, there is also stiff competition among the worst Super Bowl winning teams of all-time.
After all, the Lombardi Trophy has to be won by somebody every season, so not every team that wins it is one of the all-time greats. Some of the worst Super Bowl champions ever just got hot at the right time or got a little lucky that there weren’t more quality teams standing in their way.
Worst Super Bowl winning teams of all-time
For what it’s worth, it didn’t feel good looking back at the weakest NFL champions of all time. However, even among championship teams, some deserve to be held in high esteem while some can easily be overlooked.
We’re not trying to discount how hard it is to win a championship, especially in the NFL. Nevertheless, we thought it was appropriate to count down the worst Super Bowl winning teams ever.
10. 2010 Packers
Even though Aaron Rodgers was able to win a Super Bowl this year, this is far from the best team he played on in Green Bay. They were just 8-6 until late in the season when they won two in a row to close out the regular season and then four in a row in the playoffs. Rodgers wasn’t even a Pro Bowler this year.
However, he got it rolling in the playoffs and played great in the Super Bowl, helping the 2010 Packers end up in a far better place than what they were for most of the season.
9. 1980 Raiders
Early in the season, this team was 2-3 and miles from a Super Bowl. Somehow, Jim Plunkett came in to save the day for the Raiders, helping them to get on track. But Plunkett is remembered as one of the worst Super Bowl-winning QBs of all time and the 1980 Raiders are one of the worst teams to win a Super Bowl.
“By the definition, [they] were a team. They played best as a group.”
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) November 9, 2019
They didn’t win their division and they were a little fortunate to survive a couple of playoff games before dismantling the Eagles in the Super Bowl.
8. 2012 Ravens
It’s hard to pick on Joe Flacco because he had a long and solid career. But he never should have won a Super Bowl and this team shouldn’t have either.
One of the great Hail Mary mistakes allowed the Ravens to beat the much better Broncos in the Divisional Round, opening the door for the Harbaugh Bowl in the Super Bowl. The Baltimore defense this year wasn’t particularly compelling either with just two Pro Bowlers.
While this team was good and Flacco did enough with help from his supporting cast, it’s not a team that should have had a chance to win a Super Bowl.
7. 2007 Giants
As we’ll see, 2007 was not the first year that the Giants got things rolling in the playoffs after a somewhat underwhelming regular season. For the record, most of the league was grateful that they were able to prevent the Patriots from going 19-0.
To their credit, the Giants did finish 10-6 and won six games in a row at one point.
However, they didn’t win their division and didn’t exactly have championship-level talent on the roster.
Yet, with a little bit of magic and luck, they beat the mighty Patriots, becoming one of the worst Super Bowl-winning teams and one of the best championship stories at the same time.
6. 2005 Steelers
The Steelers were a rather ordinary 7-5 team until the stretch run and certainly didn’t look anything like a Super Bowl winner until late in the season. In their defense, they did win three road playoff games to get to the Super Bowl, which is never easy to do.
The @steelers executed this play against the Browns three months before running it again in @SuperBowl XL. (Nov. 13, 2005)@TheRealRandleEl | @mvp86hinesward | @steelers #PITvsCLE: Thursday (8pm ET) on @nflnetwork | @NFLonFOX | @PrimeVideo pic.twitter.com/vlp6ungubT
— NFL Legacy (@NFLLegacy) November 13, 2019
However, they got some good fortune when Indy’s Mike Vanderjagt had a dreadful game kicking field goals against them. They didn’t exactly dominate the Seahawks in the Super Bowl either with Ben Roethlisberger completing nine passes for 123 yards with two interceptions.
This is an example of the Super Bowl needing to go to someone, and it just happened to go to Pittsburgh this year.
5. 2001 Patriots
This season is remembered as the start of a dynasty and the year that the world was introduced to Tom Brady. But with a sixth-round backup like Brady taking over for the injured Drew Bledsoe, this was not supposed to be a championship team.
New England ranked 24th in defense during the regular season, so it’s not as if the Patriots were good on that side of the ball either. Plus, the Pats caught a huge break from the “Tuck Rule” in the playoffs; otherwise, they don’t even get to the Super Bowl and who knows what becomes of Brady.
For whatever reason, the Patriots found the formula for slowing down “The Greatest Show on Turf” during the Super Bowl and got a pick-six to help put them ahead early in the game.
Eventually, Brady’s flair for the dramatic helped to set up the game-winning field goal. But this was an 11-5 team with a backup quarterback that lucked its way through the playoffs and had no business winning the Super Bowl.
4. 1990 Giants
Once Phil Simms got hurt in the playoffs and Jeff Hostetler took over at quarterback, this wasn’t a good team. Granted, the defense was good, but not necessarily the type of defense you’d expect to win a Super Bowl behind a backup quarterback.
Of course, this team never should have won the Super Bowl in the first place.
If Scott Norwood could have made that field goal, a much better Buffalo team would have won the Super Bowl and the Bills wouldn’t have to feel as bad for losing three more Super Bowls. Alas, it was the Giants winning this Super Bowl in an unceremonious fashion.
3. 1968 Jets
Do you ever think about why the Jets were 19-point favorites in Super Bowl III? On paper, they were nowhere near as good as the Colts. If they had played 10 times, the Jets are probably going to lose at least eight of those games.
The biggest win in pro football history.
The 1968 New York Jets delivered. pic.twitter.com/5P4gQjsULw
— New York Jets (@nyjets) January 12, 2019
But they only played one game and the Jets got the job done after Joe Namath’s guarantee.
To their credit, the Jets were a solid 11-3 during the regular season that year. However, Namath wasn’t anything special and a bad day by the Baltimore offense is the only reason the Jets won this Super Bowl.
2. 2011 Giants
Nobody will deny that the 2011 Giants had one of the greatest postseason runs in NFL history.
The G-Men found a way to win the Super Bowl for the second time in five years, once again proving to be New England’s Kryptonite. But before they got hot in the playoffs, this was a 9-7 team that was lucky to get into the playoffs by virtue of the rest of the NFC East being terrible, giving New York the division title.
This was a team that lost four in a row at one point, dropping to 6-6 before getting their act together down the stretch.
After that losing streak, nobody would have envisioned them going on to win the Super Bowl. However, sometimes you just have to get hot at the right time, which is why the 2011 Giants made a great postseason run, won a compelling Super Bowl but are still one of the worst Super Bowl-winning teams ever.
1. 1970 Colts
The 1970 Colts are clearly the weakest NFL champions of all time, at least if we’re talking about how they played in the championship game.
It’s a wonder how the Colts even beat the Cowboys 16-13 in Super Bowl V after committing seven turnovers.
Obviously, losing Johnny Unitas to an injury didn’t help matters, and the Colts deserve some credit for scoring the last 10 points of the game in the fourth quarter. But this was one of those rare Super Bowls where neither team deserved to be crowned a champion at the end of the day.