Sunday in Foxboro and Philadelphia, we’ll find out who will represent each conference in Super Bowl LII. Broadly and historically speaking, here’s what’s at stake for the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings.
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are gunning for their eighth Super Bowl appearance. No quarterback has played in eight Super Bowls, no head coach has coached in eight Super Bowls. No quarterback-coach duo has done it together, obviously. Hell, only the Patriots, Steelers, Cowboys and Broncos have been to eight Super Bowls in total.
If the Patriots win, they’ll have appeared in 19 percent of all the Super Bowls ever played. The Steelers, Cowboys and Broncos are at 15 percent each, while the 49ers are 12 percent. Nobody else is above 10 percent.
If the Patriots win, Bill Belichick will have coached in 21 percent of all the Super Bowls ever played. Eleven in total, including two as a defensive coordinator with the Giants and one as a defensive assistant with the 1996 Patriots. He’s been a coach in the NFL for 33 years.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars, Eagles and Vikings have won a combined zero Super Bowls in a combined 124 seasons. Fifty-one each for the Eagles and Vikings (Philly is 0-for-2, Minnesota 0-for-4), and 22 for the Jaguars, who have never been to a Super Bowl. The Eagles have won three NFL Championships, the latest of which came in 1960. The Vikings, who were born in 1961, have never won a championship.
Eight NFL teams have been active for the entire Super Bowl era without winning a Lombardi Trophy: Bills, Falcons, Chargers, Titans, Cardinals, Lions, Vikings, Eagles. The Vikings or Eagles will have a shot in a couple weeks.
— Brad Gagnon (@Brad_Gagnon) January 18, 2018
The Vikings, Eagles or Jaguars would have a chance to become the 20th team to win a Super Bowl. The Jags have a chance to become the 29th team to appear in one, leaving just the Lions, Browns and Texans.
It’s been 27 years since a Minneapolis-St. Paul team played for a championship in any of the four major North American professional sports. The Vikings lost their last Super Bowl in 1976. The Minnesota North Stars never won a Stanley Cup, nor have the Minnesota Wild. The Minnesota Timberwolves have never been to the NBA Finals. The Minnesota Twins won the World Series in 1991.
Last time a Minneapolis-St. Paul pro sports team appeared in a championship, the Twins won the 1991 World Series. No city with at least three teams has gone that long without an appearance in a championship game/series.
— Brad Gagnon (@Brad_Gagnon) January 17, 2018
The city of Philadelphia is seeking its first big-four championship appearance since 2009. That’s when the Phillies lost to the Yankees in the World Series.
Boston-based teams have been to 14 championships since the turn of the century. Seven for the Pats, seven combined for the Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins. They’re 10-4 in those championship appearances. Come on!