SPORTS CHART OF THE DAY: The Best Record No Longer Guarantees Super Bowl Success

In the last few years, more underdogs are breaking through to win the Super Bowl. In fact, it has been eight years since the Super Bowl was won by the team that finished the regular season with the best record.

From 1990 through 2004 (15 seasons) the eventual Super Bowl champ had the best record during the regular season or had just one win less than the best record in 13 of those seasons. And the team with the best record won it all six times. However, in the last six seasons, there have been four Super Bowl champs that finished the regular season with a worse record than at least three other teams.

In the chart below, the numbers represent the number of teams that had a regular season record that was better than the eventual Super Bowl champion. The colours represent how much better those records were. For example, in 2006, three teams had a better regular season record than the Indianapolis Colts (12-4). Two teams had 13 wins (+1), and one team had 14 wins (+2)…

Best Record in NFL and the Super Bowl

All data via