6 NFL Wild Card Teams That Won the Super Bowl
Only four teams remain in this year’s battle for the title of the National Football League’s best. The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks — the top seeds in the AFC and NFC, respectively — remain the favorites to advance to the Super Bowl, as both will be playing at home next weekend. But their opponents, the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers, respectively, won’t make it easy.
Of the teams left, just one of them came into the playoffs as a wild card: the 49ers. Despite San Francisco’s better record in the wild card round, since the Green Bay Packers won the NFC North, San Francisco needed to win twice on the road to get to this point. That’s why winning a Super Bowl as a wild card — especially the lower-seeded wild card — can be so trying.
Winning on the road in the NFL is one thing; winning three consecutive times on the road and then on a neutral site is almost impossible. So while the 49ers have two more games to go, here are the only six wild card teams to win the Super Bowl since the addition of the wild card game in 1978.
[Note: Pictures may not match game described.]
1. 1980 Oakland Raiders
Just two years after the expansion of the playoff system, the Raiders became the first team in the history of the NFL to win a Super Bowl as the wild card. And not only did they make history, but Oakland also had to win back-to-back-to-back road games just to make it to the Super Bowl.
After coming into the season with high hopes, the Raiders took a major hit when starting quarterback Dan Pastorini broke his leg during the fifth week of the season. Without a quality backup, the Raiders’ season seemed to be all but lost. However, 33-year-old veteran Jim Plunkett, who was on the backside of an NFL career, led the team to nine wins in 11 chances en route to a playoff berth and ultimately a Super Bowl championship.