The Super Bowl is the annual American football game that determines the champion of the National Football League (NFL). The game culminates a season that begins in the previous calendar year, and is the conclusion of the NFL playoffs. The winner receives the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The contest is held in an American city, chosen three to four years beforehand, usually at warm-weather sites or domed stadiums. Since January 1971, the winner of the American Football Conference (AFC) Championship Game has faced the winner of the National Football Conference (NFC) Championship Game in the culmination of the NFL playoffs.
Before the 1970 merger between the American Football League (AFL) and the National Football League (NFL), the two leagues met in four such contests. The first two were marketed as the "AFL–NFL World Championship Game", but were also casually referred to as "the Super Bowl game" during the television broadcast. Super Bowl III in January 1969 was the first such game that carried the "Super Bowl" moniker in official marketing; the names "Super Bowl I" and "Super Bowl II" were retroactively applied to the first two games. The NFC/NFL leads in Super Bowl wins with 27, while the AFC/AFL has won 26. 20 franchises, including teams that have relocated to another city, have won the Super Bowl.
The New England Patriots (6–5) and Pittsburgh Steelers (6–2) have won the most Super Bowls with six championships, while the Dallas Cowboys (5–3) and the San Francisco 49ers (5–1) have five wins. New England has the most Super Bowl appearances with 11, while the Buffalo Bills (0–4) have the most consecutive appearances with four (all losses) from 1990 to 1993. The Miami Dolphins (1971–1973) and New England Patriots (2016–2018) are the only other teams to have at least three consecutive appearances. The Denver Broncos (3–5) and Patriots have each lost a record five Super Bowls. The Minnesota Vikings (0–4) and the Bills have lost four. The record for consecutive wins is two and is shared by seven franchises: the Green Bay Packers (1966–1967), the Miami Dolphins (1972–1973), the Pittsburgh Steelers (1974–1975 and 1978–1979, the only team to accomplish this feat twice and the only team with four wins in six consecutive seasons), the San Francisco 49ers (1988–1989), the Dallas Cowboys (1992–1993), the Denver Broncos (1997–1998), and the New England Patriots (2003–2004). Among those, Dallas (1992–1993; 1995) and New England (2001; 2003–2004) are the only teams to win three out of four consecutive Super Bowls. The 1972 Dolphins capped off the only perfect season in NFL history with their victory in Super Bowl VII. The only team with multiple Super Bowl appearances and no losses is the Baltimore Ravens, who in winning Super Bowl XLVII defeated and replaced the 49ers in that position. Four current NFL teams have never appeared in a Super Bowl, including franchise relocations and renaming: the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Houston Texans, though both the Browns (1950, 1954, 1955, 1964) and Lions (1935, 1952, 1953, 1957) had won NFL Championship Games prior to the creation of the Super Bowl in the 1966 season.