On Sunday, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will be attempting to win their sixth Super Bowl together. Where does that rank among the greatest achievements in major sports?
The Super Bowl has become a national holiday. Every year, countless amounts of families and friends gather together for this event. Since 2001, the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick, and Tom Brady have made their presence known like no other franchise and player since the AFL and NFL decided to play the very first championship game back in January 1967.
The Patriots are attempting to win their sixth Super Bowl on Sunday. If they do so, they will tie the Steelers for the most in NFL history.
|Team||Super Bowl Championships|
|New England Patriots||5|
|San Francisco 49ers||5|
But they’re the only team on that list to have accomplished the feat with the same head coach/quarterback duo.
Can the Patriots win and separate themselves even further from the pack when it comes to dominance?
In the other major sports, Bill Russell and Red Auerbach won nine titles together with the Boston Celtics. Yogi Berra and Casey Stengel won seven championships together with the New York Yankees. Henri Richard and Jean Beliveau won eight Stanley Cups with Toe Blake.
|Coach/Star(s) Combo||Sport||Team||Championships Won||Reg. Season Winning Percentage|
|Red Auerbach/Bill Russell||NBA||Boston Celtics||9||.719|
|Toe Blake/Jean Beliveau/Henri Richard||NHL||Montreal Canadiens||8||.643|
|Yogi Berra/Casey Stengel||MLB||New York Yankees||7||.622|
|Bill Belichick/Tom Brady||NFL||New England Patriots||5||.780|
Just for longevity and consistency, the pair of Brady and Belichick have reached heights no other pair has in major pro sports. Brady and Belichick have a regular season win percentage of .780 over 16 seasons. In the NHL Jean Beliveau and Henri Richard had a winning percentage of .643 with head coach Toe Blake over 13 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens.
Brady and Belichick have won titles over the span of 15 seasons. If they win on Sunday, it will be 16 seasons (not counting 2008, when Brady missed all but one quarter). Russell and Auerbach won their titles over a span of 10 seasons, including winning eight straight. Berra and Stengel won their titles over a span of 10 seasons, winning their first in 1949 and last in 1958.
In the NBA, the Celtics duo of Russell and Auerbach finished with a regular season win percentage of .719 over 10 seasons. Lastly, the Yankees’ combination of Berra and Stengel finished with a regular season win percentage of .622 over 12 seasons.
Super Bowl 52
*The following includes stats from ESPN Stats & Info and the Elias Sports Bureau
This is the sixth time in Super Bowl history that teams are meeting for the second time. Only once has the team that lost the first matchup come back to win the second – the Washington Redskins beat the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl 27 after losing 10 years earlier.
Brady has won 27 career playoff games. Nick Foles has won 24 career starts in the regular season and postseason combined.
Super Bowl 52 will be the third matchup this postseason where Brady enters with more career postseason wins than the opposing starting quarterback has regular-season wins. No other quarterback in the Super Bowl era has started more than one game in the same postseason where he had more postseason wins than the opposing quarterback had regular-season wins.
It’s the third matchup in Super Bowl history where one starting quarterback had more career postseason wins than the opposing starting quarterback had career regular-season wins. Terry Bradshaw defeated the less experienced Vince Ferragamo and the Rams in Super Bowl 14, and Joe Flacco defeated the less-experienced Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers in Super Bowl 47.
Foles will be the third quarterback to start the Super Bowl after starting three or fewer games in the regular season. The previous two both won.
|Quarterback||Team||Year||Reg. Season Starts||SB Result|
|Nick Foles||Philadelphia Eagles||2017||3||?|
|Jeff Hoestetler||New York Giants||1990||2||Won|
|Doug Williams||Washington Redskins||1987||2||Won|
Brady has thrown touchdown passes to 12 different receivers in his seven previous Super Bowl appearances. In his entire 49-game regular season career, which covers three teams, Foles has thrown touchdown passes to 22 different receivers.
The Patriots are trying to beat a team they have previously defeated in the Super Bowl for the first time in their eight appearances with Brady and Belichick. New England has defeated five different teams in winning their five Super Bowls.
The Eagles are the third straight NFC team to reach the Super Bowl after easily winning their championship game. The previous two teams lost in their Super Bowl appearance.
|Team||Year||Margin of Victory in NFC Championship Game||SB Result|
Chris Long and LeGarrette Blount will be the second-and-third players in history to win a Super Bowl for one team and then face that team in the Super Bowl the following season. Preston Pearson won Super Bowl 9 with the Steelers and then lost in Super Bowl 10 with the Cowboys against the Steelers.