How many times has the # 3 seed won a Super Bowl? Advantages bye seed

It is most likely the Lions are the #3 seed. This got me thinking. How many times has the #3 seed won a Super Bowl?

In the NFC and AFC it’s happened just once. The 1988 Redskins and the 2007 Colts.

Surprisingly the #4 Seed has had far more success than the 3 seed. It’s happened 6 times. Twice in the NFC and 4 times in the AFC.

NFC #4 Seed

2012 - Giants
2022 - Rams

AFC #4 Seed

1981 - Raiders
1998 - Broncos
2001 - Ravens
2013 - Ravens

The 5th and 6th seeds have done it once each conference.

NFC #5 Seed 2008 - Giants

AFC #5 Seed 2021 - Buccaneers

AFC #6 Seed 2006 - Steelers

NFC #6 Seed 2011 - Packers

Here is a percentage breakdown by seed:

#1 Seed - 53.2%
#2 Seed - 21.3%
#3 Seed - 4.3%
#4 Seed - 12.8%
#5 Seed - 4.3%
#6 Seed - 4.3%

Obviously this shows how important it is to win the #1 or #2 Seed. I don’t think the number 2 seed is the advantage it once was without the bye factor. So I assume moving forward the #1 Seed will statistically continue to grow in advantage.

I am feeling more and more that the Lions need to win out.

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How many times have they reached the SB

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Those percentages, though, are a bit off given that there are now 7 teams in the initial playoff round.

It used to be both the No. 1 & No. 2 seeds got a first round bye.

No. 3 vs. No. 6 and No. 4 vs. No. 5.

The No. 1 would play the winner of 3 vs 6 while No. 2 would play the winner of 4 vs 5.

Now, No. 2 hosts No. 7, No. 3 hosts No. 6, and No. 4 hosts No. 5.

With No. 2 having to play an extra game instead of having a bye, the No. 2 seed’s path is a bit harder (more exposure to injuries during an extra game, players getting worn down a little more, etc.).

Eventually, those percentages are going to change as there are more 7 team playoffs.

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Very good post. Thank you for sharing.

Not having a bye week with the 2 seed sucks, but we would still have home field advantage through the first 2 rounds.

You are right, we need to win out.

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496ddfac-1186-442c-ad43-051bfcfc8d02_text
giphy (8)

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I think we will see the 2 fall in percentage and the other lower seed, all of them, rise…. To get to play the one seed at home specifically

So let it start with us!

It will be fun to see if the one seed drops at all now

I wonder how the number 2 seed data will trend without the bye.

Cuz seeding isn’t at all correlated with how good the team is

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I looked at the last 10 years earlier this year.

17 of the 20 teams that made Super Bowl had a bye. What is ironic is that the 3 that did not have a bye re since they went with only 1 team having a bye.

So it used to be that the 1-2 seeds had a huge advantage.

And now it does not appear to be so.

The theory of being rusty after 2 weeks off sure got thrown out the window.

True …. Which is why I made this statement.

So far no 7th seed has won it but I’d say the odds are really low and the teams with the #1 seeds odds are rising.

But the NFL got 2 extra playoff games!!

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They sure did. This gif is all they care about

Vince Mcmahon Money GIF

That is the percentage of times those seeds have won a Superbowl.

Having 7 teams has nothing to do with how many times each seed has won a Superbowl.

I would suppose it would change the percentage for number 2 due to the fact that they no longer get the bye and would also play 1 extra game.

I took a look back myself and I see a disturbing pattern for the #3 seed. I think anytime we use “Super Bowl winner” as the only criteria, we do not get an accurate look at the bigger picture. Particularly since the Patriots owned the Super Bowl for over a decade. So they skew the results to whatever it is they were at the time. So I decided to look at both Super Bowl participants as well as the championship game participants. Then I looked specifically at the 3 seed to see what happened to them. As @Air2theThrown has already noted, the 3 seed pretty much never gets to the Super Bowl. If the 3 seed was in the conference championship, I am not going to repeat it. I will just say what happened to the “other 3” seed. When I say “3 lost to 6,” it means they lost the opening game because that is the matchup.

2022
1 vs 1 Super Bowl
1 vs 3 and 1 vs 2 Conference Championship
Other 3 lost to 6 seed (Minny was the 3 last year)

2021
4 vs 4 Super Bowl
2 vs 4 and 4 vs 6 Conference Championship
One 3 lost to 6…other 3 advanced and lost to 2

2020
1 vs 5 Super Bowl
1 vs 2 and 1 vs 5 Conference Championship
Both 3’s lost to 6

2019
1 vs 2 Super Bowl
1 vs 2 and 2 vs 6 Conference Championship
Both 3’s lost to 6

2018
2 vs 2 Super Bowl
1 vs 2 and 1 vs 2 Conference Championship
Both 3’s lost to 6

2017
1 vs 1 Super Bowl
1 vs 2 and 1 vs 3 Conference Championship
Other 3 lost to 6

2016
1 vs 2 Super Bowl
1 vs 3 and 2 vs 4 Conference Championship
Other 3 advanced and lost to 2
Note: The Lions were one of the rare 6 seeds to lose to 3

2015
1 vs 1 Super Bowl
1 vs 2 and 1 vs 2 Conference Championship
Both 3’s lost to 6

2014
1 vs 1 Super Bowl
1 vs 2 and 1 vs 4 Conference Championship
One 3 lost to 6…other 3 advanced and lost to 2

2013
1 vs 1 Super Bowl
1 vs 2 and 1 vs 5 Conference Championship
Both 3’s lost to 6

2012
2 vs 4 Super Bowl
1 vs 2 and 2 vs 4 Conference Championship
Both 3’s advanced and lost to 2

2011
1 vs 4 Super Bowl
1 vs 2 and 2 vs 4 Conference Championship
Both 3’s advanced and lost to 2

The 3 seed is starting to look like a death sentence. They lose to the 6 seed a majority of the time. And even if they get passed the 6 seed, they get shit on by the 2 seed.

I don’t think the bye week is the thing that is pushing the 1 seed into so many conference championships and Super Bowls. I think its the matchups (always facing the lower ranked team) and the home field advantage. The 2021 postseason was the biggest outlier, and a case can be made to put 2020 as the next. Both seasons had compromised stadium situations.