Super Bowl

Achieve the #1 Seed and Super Bowl XLIX is in the Bag… Or is it?

Niala Samnarine

By Niala Samnarine

May 23, 2014

In the infinite wisdom of Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Reese Bobby proclaimed:

“If you ain’t first, you’re last!”

Super Bowl XLIX LogoUnfortunately for Reese, when it comes to football (and life in general) this is simply not true. It seems as though it would naturally follow that the #1 seed in the AFC and NFC would face off in the title match year after year and that one of those #1s would win the title of Super Bowl Champions.

So that’s it right? Just battle it out for #1, achieve home field advantage and Super Bowl XLIX will be in the bag? Well, history and statistics beg to differ.

What are the Facts?

Through a recent article by they aggregated data from the past 37 years of Super Bowls (QuintEvents pulled data for last year’s Super Bowl)—in 1975 the NFL started awarding home-field advantage to #1 seeds, making it advantageous to achieve the #1 seed in each conference.

Broncos Seahawks

  • 21 of the last 38 Super Bowls have been won by No. 1 seeds -- 15 from the NFC, 6 from the AFC 
  • 21 No. 1 seeds have lost the Super Bowl -- 7 NFC, 14 AFC 
  • 14 No. 1 seeds have lost the conference championship game -- 8 NFC, 6 AFC 
  • 21 No. 1 seeds have lost their first playoff game -- 8 NFC, 13 AFC


“…in the past 37 years, winning the Super Bowl or losing your first playoff game has been a 50/50 proposition for a No. 1 seed.”

  • Since 2000, only three No. 1 seeds have won the Super Bowl -- the 2013 Seahawks, 2009 Saints and the 2003 Patriots. 
  • In that same span, four No. 2 seeds, one No. 3 seed, two No. 4 seeds, one No. 5 seed and two No. 6 seeds have won the Super Bowl. 
  • In the first 12 years of the “home-field era” (post-1974), 10 No. 1 seeds won the Super Bowl. 
  • From 1984 to '96, when the NFC won 13 straight Super Bowls, nine of the champions began the playoffs as the No. 1 seed. 
  • Besides the 20 No. 1 seeds to win the Lombardi Trophy, the other 17 winners break down as follows: eight No. 2 seeds, two No. 3 seeds, five No. 4 seeds, one No. 5 seeds and two No. 6 seeds. 
  • The 1980 Raiders were the first wild-card team (a No. 4 seed at that time) to win the Super Bowl. 
  • The 1985 Patriots were the first team to reach the Super Bowl as a No. 5 seed, meaning they had to win three road playoff games. 
  • Since the 1985 season the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants, and Green Bay Packers – managed to achieve the same feat. 
  • The only two No. 6 seeds ever to reach the Super Bowl -- the 2005 Steelers and 2010 Packers -- both won the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Will Another #1 Seed Add to the Record At Super Bowl XLIX?

It’s much too early to tell, but you can be there live and in-person to find out!

Through QuintEvents and NFL On Location get your Official Super Bowl XLIX Ticket Package and witness the biggest football game of the year, in the flesh! With a wide range of options there’s no reason for you to miss out on Super Bowl Sunday. Enjoy the game and all the amenities that come with getting an Official Package. That includes:

  • Super BowlA ticket to the game (obviously!)
  • Entrance into an exclusive hospitality venue
  • Premium beverage and gourmet food options
  • NFL Player and Cheerleader meet and greets
  • Dedicated VIP Security entrance to the Stadium on Game day
  • Official merchandise or a merchandise voucher
  • Staff on site to assist you
  • And so much more!

Choose from the following Package Options:

Touchdown Club
Blue Packages
Red Packages


How Can I Go to Super Bowl XLIX?