Which NFL Teams Have Lost The Most Super Bowls?

Which NFL Teams Have Lost The Most Super Bowls

No US major league is as competitive as the NFL, as each playoff round is decided in a single-game context. This makes it hard for any team to reach the Super Bowl, and even harder to win it. Many teams have reached the Super Bowl, but only a handful have won the big game, and with that, losing is a fundamental part of Super Bowl history for many teams. Let’s find out which teams have lost the most Super Bowls!

Which NFL Teams Have Lost The Most Super Bowls?

  • New England Patriots - 5 Super Bowl losses
  • Denver Broncos - 5 Super Bowl losses
  • Minnesota Vikings - 4 Super Bowl losses
  • Buffalo Bills - 4 Super Bowl losses

New England Patriots - 5 Super Bowl Losses

The New England Patriots are the NFL franchise with the most Super Bowl appearances in the history of the league, and while they are also the winningest Super Bowl team, with six titles, they are also tied with the Denver Broncos for most losses.

The Patriots’ first loss in a Super Bowl coincided with their first-ever championship game in the 1985 season. After a great 11-5 season, the Patriots were blown out by the Chicago Bears by a score of 46-10 in Super Bowl XX.

The Patriots’ next Super Bowl loss occurred 11 years later, when the New England team, led by quarterback Drew Bledsoe, lost 35-21 in the Super Bowl, this time to the Green Bay Packers.

Despite winning six Super Bowl titles in the 21st century, the Patriots also lost three Super Bowls in 10 years after 2000, the first two against the New York Giants (2007 and 2011) and one against the Eagles at the end of the 2017 season.

Denver Broncos - 5 Super Bowl Losses

The Denver Broncos are tied with the New England Patriots for the most losses in the Super Bowl, with five. Their most recent loss came in Super Bowl XLVIII, where the Broncos suffered a 43-8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Led by NFL Coach of the Year Red Miller, the Broncos reached their first Super Bowl in 1977, but saw their dreams shattered when they lost 27-10 to the Dallas Cowboys. In 1983, the Broncos drafted quarterback John Elway, who quickly brought Denver back to the top of the AFC. With Elway under center, the Broncos reached the Super Bowl three times between 1986 and 1989, though they lost on all three occasions. Eventually, however, Elway and the Broncos did win two Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998. The Broncos’ three losses in the 1980s were to the New York Giants (1987), the Washington Redskins (1988), and the San Francisco 49ers (1990).

Minnesota Vikings - 4 Super Bowl Losses

The Minnesota Vikings and the Buffalo Bills are the only two teams to have made it to four Super Bowls, losing all of them. The Vikings reached four Super Bowls in the span of eight seasons when they were led by the “Purple People Eaters,” one of the greatest defensive lines in the history of the league.

The “Purple People Eaters,” featuring defensive tackles Alan Page and Gary Larsen and defensive ends Carl Eller and Jim Marshall, made the Vikings’ defense one of the scariest in the league, and helped the team reach the Super Bowl in 1969, 1973, 1974, and 1976. Besides the first Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Vikings entered each game as the underdog and never managed to score more than two touchdowns in any of those contests.

Buffalo Bills - 4 Super Bowl Losses

Just like the Minnesota Vikings, the Buffalo Bills lost all four Super Bowls they played. The Bills, however, did it consecutively from 1990 to 1993. The legendary “K-Gun,” captained by quarterback Jim Kelly, dominated the AFC for years, but could never bring the Lombardi Trophy to Western New York.

Although they entered their first Super Bowl at the end of the 1990 season as the favorites, the Bills had to endure heartbreak as the Giants won 20-19 on a missed field goal by Scott Norwood. 1991 First-team All-Pro Jim Kelly led the Bills back to the Super Bowl the following season, where they were defeated by Mark Rypien’s Redskins.

The Bills’ final two Super Bowl losses came against the heavily favored Dallas Cowboys, who, led by quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith, and wide receiver Michael Irvin, crushed Jim Kelly's side in 1992 and 1993.


What team has lost the most Super Bowl games?

Two teams are tied for the most Super Bowl games lost with five each: the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos. While both of these teams have experienced the most losses, they have also had much success in the big game. The New England Patriots have won six Super Bowls, while the Denver Broncos have won three.