Super Bowl 57 will mark another meeting between No. 1 seeds when the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles compete for the championship on Feb. 12.
Though teams with the No. 1 seed in the playoffs in theory have the best shot at making it all the way, as they have earned a first-round bye as well as home-field advantage, top-seeds meeting in the final game isn’t as common as one would think.
In the 48 Super Bowls, since the NFL implemented playoff seeding, which began in the 1975 season, 13 Super Bowls have featured the top seeds from each conference.
Since 1990, when the NFL expanded the playoffs to 12 teams, 32 of the 64 No. 1 seeds advanced to the Super Bowl, with 14 of those teams going on to win the game.
The last time No. 1 seeds advanced to the big game was when the Philadelphia Eagles met the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 52. Following are all 13 Super Bowl clashes between the top seeds and how they turned out.
Let’s check the latest Super Bowl picks, stats, injury reports, and Super Bowl odds. We’ve got plenty of Super Bowl lines for you to consider.
Super Bowl 11: Raiders vs Vikings
The Raiders and Vikings met as top seeds in the 1976 season, a year after the NFL started playoff seeding. The two competed at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA, with Oakland winning 32-14.
After both teams went scoreless in the first quarter, the Raiders took a 16-0 lead at halftime. The Raiders recorded two interceptions in the fourth quarter, including a 75-yard touchdown return from cornerback Willie Brown that put the Raiders up 32-7 and the game out of reach.
Wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff was named Super Bowl MVP and the Raiders won their first Super Bowl.
Super Bowl 12: Cowboys vs Broncos
Top teams returned to the championship the following year when the Cowboys and Broncos met at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans for the conclusion of the 1977 season. Dallas won its second Super Bowl by defeating Denver 27-10.
Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach was set to face former Dallas QB Craig Morton, as the two previously competed for the starting Dallas role. Though both teams had dominant defenses, Dallas with its “Doomsday Defense” and Denver with its “Orange Crush Defense,” only one prevailed, as the Cowboys forced eight turnovers and allowed eight pass completions for 35 passing yards.
Defensive tackle Randy White and defensive end Harvey Martin were named co-Super Bowl MVPs, the first and only time two players have been given the honor.
Sept. 23, 1979 — QB Craig Morton came off the bench and led the Denver Broncos back, from a 34–10 2nd half deficit, to defeat Seattle 37–34, which included 3 TDs in a 2:34 span! Denver’s defense had three picks in the 2nd half as well. Mile High Magic and Mania at its finest! pic.twitter.com/3vYbsWGWtq
— Mile High Moments (@MileHighMoments) September 23, 2022
Super Bowl 16: 49ers vs Bengals
The 49ers and Bengals each earned their first Super Bowl appearance following the 1981 season. Super Bowl 16 was also the first time the host city had a “cold-weather” classification, with Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, MI, hosting.
The 49ers began the game with a fumble on the opening kick. However, after the Bengals drove it to the 5-yard line, San Francisco got a goal-line stand courtesy of an interception from safety Dwight Hicks, Cincinnati’s first of five turnovers. Quarterback Joe Montana led San Francisco to a 20-0 halftime lead, but the Bengals raced back in the second half, cutting the lead to 20-14 in the fourth quarter. The 49ers hit a pair of field goals and went on to win 26-21. The game marked the only time the losing team had more touchdowns than the winner, 3-2, as San Francisco’s field goals secured the win.
Montana was named the Super Bowl MVP and the 49ers went from a 2-14 record two seasons prior to Super Bowl champions.
Super Bowl 18: Raiders vs Redskins
Tampa Stadium in Tampa, FL was the site of Super Bowl 18 following the 1983 season. Washington was looking to be back-to-back champions, but the game finished in a one-sided affair as Los Angeles dismantled Washington 38-9.
Though Washington was favored to win, the Raiders quickly took control of the game, taking a 21-3 halftime lead. Los Angeles’ scores on offense, defense and special teams in the first half made it the first team to score two non-offensive touchdowns in a Super Bowl. Washington scored on its opening drive of the second half, missing the PAT, but the Raiders dominated the remainder of the game on offense and defense.
Running back Marcus Allen was named Super Bowl MVP off his performance of 20 rushes for 191 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the third Heisman Trophy winner to also win Super Bowl MVP.
Super Bowl 19: 49ers vs Dolphins
The 49ers and Dolphins both returned to the Super Bowl at the end of the 1984 season on the arms of respective quarterbacks Montana and Dan Marino. Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, CA was the host, and San Francisco grabbed its second Super Bowl victory with a 38-16 win.
With Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks leading the teams, both teams had strong offenses coming into the game. However, it was Montana’s experience that prevailed over two-year starter Marino, as San Francisco went into the half up 28-16. The 49ers’ defense then took over in the second half, sacking Marino four times and intercepting him twice, helping to secure the win.
Montana was named Super Bowl MVP for the second time behind 331 passing yards, three touchdowns and one rushing touchdown, and the game was the first where both starting quarterbacks threw for over 300 yards.
Super Bowl 24: 49ers vs Broncos
The Super Bowl at the end of the 1989 season was held at the Louisiana Superdome once again and finished with lopsided results. Both the 49ers and Broncos were No. 1 seeds, but it’s hard to tell with the 55-10 San Francisco win.
The 49ers were on a quest to win back-to-back Super Bowls, and behind Montana’s five touchdown passes, it didn’t prove to be a difficult feat. Wide receiver Jerry Rice was on the receiving end of three of those, while San Francisco also rushed for three scores. The Broncos had no answer for the 49ers, as they finished with 461 total yards and eight total touchdowns while turning Denver over four times.
Montana was named Super Bowl MVP, setting five Super Bowl records in the win while also becoming the third player to win the Super MVP and AP MVP in the same season.
Super Bowl 26: Redskins vs Bills
The NFL expanded the playoffs to 12 teams in 1990, and Washington and the Bills were the first teams to both make the Super Bowl as the No. 1 seed after the 1991 season. The two met at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, MN, where the Redskins won their third Super Bowl.
Both teams started the first quarter scoreless, but Washington turned it on in the second by scoring 17 unanswered points, taking that lead into halftime. Washington got right back to it in the second half, but the Bills found some footing as well. Washington took a 37-10 lead, but Buffalo kept it respectable, scoring back-to-back touchdowns to end the game 37-24.
Washington quarterback Mark Rypien picked up the game MVP, finishing 18-for-33 for 292 yards and two touchdowns.
January 26th, 1992
Mark Rypien hits Ricky Sanders for 41 yards, and Earnest Byner finishes for the first TD of the game #Redskins win Super Bowl XXVI 34-17 pic.twitter.com/kYzUH8C9aR
— ESPN630 DC (@espn630dc) January 26, 2023
Super Bowl 28: Cowboys vs Bills
The Cowboys and Bills met in the Super Bowl for the second year in a row, but this time, both entered as the No. 1 seed. The Georgia Dome in Atlanta was the host site of the Super Bowl for the 1993 season, and Dallas got the better of Buffalo once again, winning 30-13.
The Bills were playing in their fourth straight Super Bowl still seeking a win, and they got out to a solid start with a 13-6 lead at halftime. However, the Cowboys came roaring back in the second half. Dallas scored 24 unanswered points, beginning with a fumble return for a touchdown from safety James Washington that tied the game. Running back Emmitt Smith led the following touchdown drive to give Dallas a lead it wouldn’t surrender.
Smith won the Super Bowl MVP behind his performance of 132 rushing yards, two touchdowns and 26 receiving yards, helping Dallas secure its fourth Super Bowl title.
Super Bowl 44: Saints vs Colts
Years went by before the top seeds met again in the Super Bowl, not happening again until the end of the 2009 season. Top quarterbacks competed when the Saints’ Drew Brees and Indianapolis’ Peyton Manning clashed at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL.
Though the game featured two elite quarterbacks in Brees and Manning, the first half started off tame offensively, with the Colts leading 10-6 at halftime. New Orleans opened the second half with an “ Ambush,” an onside kick that changed the game’s momentum. The Saints recovered and completed a 58-yard touchdown drive to go up 13-10. Indianapolis responded with a touchdown drive of its own, but the Saints took control of the game the rest of the way. A New Orleans pick-six capped the game for the Saints to win 31-17.
Brees won the game’s MVP behind 288 yards and two touchdowns to help secure the Saints their first Super Bowl victory.
Super Bowl 48: Seahawks vs Broncos
MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, became the first outdoor stadium in a cold-weather city to host a Super Bowl, doing so at the end of the 2013 season. Super Bowl 48 featured another unequal finish as the Seahawks, 2.5-point underdogs, defeated the Broncos 43-8.
With both team’s No. 1 seeds and Seattle boasting the top-ranked defense to Denver’s top offense, the game was supposed to be an exciting one, however, it was the Seahawks’ defense that won out. Seattle began the game with a safety and recorded a pick-six and fumble recovery on the way to taking a 36-0 lead late in the third quarter. The Broncos managed to score one touchdown, but it was too little too late.
The Seahawks won their first Super Bowl and linebacker Malcolm Smith was named the game’s MVP with a pick-six, fumble recovery and nine tackles.
Super Bowl 49: Patriots vs Seahawks
The Seahawks returned to the Super Bowl the following year seeking back-to-back championships, but this time, they faced the No. 1 Patriots. The two met at the conclusion of the 2014 season at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ.
Although the Seahawks dominated their opponent the year prior, the matchup against the Patriots proved to be a battle. Each team went scoreless in the first quarter before ramping it up in the second. Both teams reached the end zone twice to mark a 14-14 tie at the half. Seattle scored 10 unanswered following the break, but the Patriots responded with two touchdowns in the final quarter, taking a 28-24 lead late. Quarterback Russell Wilson led Seattle to the one-yard line, but an interception from Malcolm Butler saved the Patriots’ 28-24 win.
Throwing for 328 yards and four touchdowns, quarterback Tom Brady earned his third Super Bowl MVP and fourth Super Bowl title.
Super Bowl 50: Broncos vs Panthers
The Broncos returned to the Super Bowl two years after getting manhandled in Super Bowl 48 to take on the Panthers. Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, was the location of the game following the 2015 season, and Denver avenged its last loss, winning 24-10.
Peyton Manning was Denver’s QB, but it was the top-ranked defense that led the way. Though Cam Newton and Carolina led the league in scoring, the Broncos made it difficult for the Panthers to get on the board. Denver sacked Newton six times, stripping him twice, with one returned for a score and the other setting up the game-sealing touchdown.
Linebacker Von Miller was named the game’s MVP with six tackles, 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles, and Manning became the first QB in NFL history to start and win a Super Bowl for two different teams.
Super Bowl 52: Eagles vs Patriots
The last time teams were ranked No. 1 in the Super Bowl was at the end of the 2017 season, when the Eagles and Patriots met at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. The game was a shootout until the end, but the Eagles were the final victors, winning 41-33.
Although the game was a matchup between five-time winner Brady and Eagles backup QB Nick Foles, both quarterbacks led their respective offenses in a slugfest. Both teams found the end zone in the first half, but it was Philadelphia that took a 22-12 halftime lead with the use of the “Philly Special.” The two came out of the break hot, with the Patriots getting within one at the beginning of the fourth. However, Foles led a 75-yard touchdown drive with a little over two minutes remaining. The Eagles hit one more field goal after strip-sacking Brady to earn their eight-point win.
Foles won Super Bowl MVP with this 373-yard, three-touchdown performance, and Philadelphia won its first title.
The Eagles return to the Super Bowl for the first time since their win looking to claim their second, but they’ll have to face another No. 1 team in Kansas City, With two top offenses, Super Bowl 57 is sure to be another good one.
The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.