Wild Card Teams Who Won The Super Bowl


From No Chance To Champions: The Seven Wild Card Teams Who Took Home The Super Bowl 

The NFL playoffs are one of the most exciting and most watched competitions in the world of sport. Some years, it is impossible to predict who is going to win with just one game left, let alone at the start of the competition.

You can find the best NFL lines for next year’s competition here. 

Some teams qualify for the playoffs by winning their division and the others teams are given a wild card entry into the playoffs. A good performance in the regular season will earn you a wild card. 

However, it is very rare that a wild card team ever makes it to the conference finals, let alone win the Super Bowl. In fact, this has only happened 7 times in the 50+ year history of the competition. 

Today, we are going to look at which 7 wild card teams won that trophy. 

What Is A Wild Card Team?

There are two ways to qualify for the NFL playoffs – (1) win your division, and, (2) a wild card invite. 

For each conference, all four division winners automatically make it through to the playoffs. They are named seeds 1-4 based on their win-loss record for the season. 

Then the three teams with the next best win-loss records are given wild cards, they are named seeds 5-7. 

There are 6 wild card teams that enter the playoffs each year, and 8 division winners. 

Oakland Raiders (1981) AFC 

Now the Las Vegas Raiders, the Raiders were the first wild card team to win the Super Bowl. 

They won this back in a time when there were no Northern Divisions. They were the 4th seed in the AFC, they knocked out Houston, Cleveland, and San Diego to get to the Super Bowl – where they beat Philadelphia. 

Denver Broncos (1998) AFC

At this point, there are still no Northern Divisions so the playoffs were shorter. 

There is no better way to win your team’s first Super Bowl than to go in as the wild card and blow away the competition. 

Denver went on to win the Super Bowl again, the next year, but this time as first seed Division champions.

Baltimore Ravens (2001) AFC

The Ravens also won their first Super Bowl title as a wild card. This was the last year before the NFL introduced the AFC and NCF North Divisions. But an extra round of the playoffs had been added by 2001. 

The Ravens had to beat Denver, Tennessee, and Oakland to make it to the Super Bowl Final. There they beat the New York Giants. 

They wouldn’t win the Super Bowl again until 2012, as Division winners. 

Pittsburgh Steelers (2006) AFC 

The Steelers went into the playoffs that year as the 6th seed in the AFC. They were the first bottom seed ever to win the Super Bowl. 

On the way to the Final, they took out Cincinnati and Indianapolis, and they beat Denver in the AFC Conference Championship. 

They met the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl and beat them 21-10. 

The next time they won the Super Bowl, three years later, was as second seeds. 

New York Giants (2008) NFC 

This was the 7th time the Giants had won the league title, but their first as a wild card. They were the first wild card team from the NFC to win the Super Bowl. 

This win is extra impressive because not only did they win this title as a wild card team but they also beat the New England Patriots in the Final when they were at the height of their dynasty. 

Green Bay Packers (2011) NFC 

This was the last of 15 league championships won by the Packers, although they have only won four times since the start of the Super Bowl era. 

They were the 6th seed that year (the lowest seed at the time), and they took out some teams that were in great form to make it to the Final. 

They beat Philadelphia, Atalanta, and Chicago in the playoffs. Then in the Final, they beat Pittsburgh 31-25. 

The Packers have not won a Super Bowl since. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2020) NFC 

Our final, and most recent wild card Super Bowl winners are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

This was a surprising and emotional win for many reasons – most notably for Tom Brady. Brady had left the Patriots after nearly 20 years of winning for the Bucs. Many critics said that Brady’s days of breaking records and winning trophies were done. 

He showed them all up by winning the Super Bowl in his very first year with Tampa Bay. 

Tampa Bay was the 5th seed in the NFC that year. On their way to the Final, they knocked out Washington, New Orleans, and Aaron Rodgers’ Green Bay Packers. 

They met the former champions Kansas City in the Final. The Chiefs were very much the favorite to win. But on the day, Brady outclassed Mahomes and the Bucs won 31-9.