The 1972 Miami Dolphins did something else that year of interest, something almost as rare as going undefeated: returning to the Super Bowl the year after losing it and this time winning it. In the Super Bowl era only seven Super Bowl losing teams have returned to the Super Bowl in the following season. Here’s the list:
As we can see, only two teams have ever come back from a Super Bowl loss to win it all the next season, the 1971 Dallas Cowboys and the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins. Strangely, those were the first two teams to ever immediately return to the Super Bowl after losing it. The five teams since then to have come back the next season lost again. Of course the Buffalo Bills managed to lose four in a row and skew the list. So in addition to remaining the NFL’s last (and only) team to go undefeated, the ’72 Dolphins also remain the last team to come back and win the Super Bowl the year after losing it. Can New England do what Miami did in 1972? We’ll find out but coming back from possibly the most devastating loss in NFL history won’t be easy.
What about winning teams that have returned? Here’s that list:
Two things jump out: (1) More Super Bowl-winning teams, eleven, have returned the Super Bowl the following season than Super Bowl-losing teams, seven, have. (2) Super Bowl-winning teams are far more likely to win in their return appearance than the Super Bowl-losing teams.