With every team playing four teams from one specific division in the opposing conference every season — and with nearly 50 Super Bowls in the books — rematches of past Super Bowl games are inevitable, and common. This year, the NFL has placed special emphasis on the rekindling of Super Bowls past, since the 50th Super Bowl will be played in Santa Clara to cap the campaign.
The official schedule posted at NFL.com highlights all Super Bowl rematches in gold. In all, 22 Super Bowls will be reprised via 19 games peppered throughout the schedule.
In Week One, the Dolphins travel to Washington for a rematch of Super Bowl VII (won by Miami) and Super Bowl XVII (won by Washington).
Week Two ends with the Jets visiting the Colts, in a renewal not only of a long-time AFC East rivalry but also of Super Bowl III, featuring one of the greatest upsets in league history.
Week Three has the Steelers traveling to face the Rams; Pittsburgh secured its fourth Super Bowl win of the ’70s with a thrilling (as ’70s Super Bowls go) win over the then-L.A. Rams in Super Bowl XIV. Also, the Chiefs and Packers get together on Monday night for a rematch of the first installment of the AFL-NFL Championship Game, before it was known as the Super Bowl.
Week Four has the Giants and Bills getting together in Buffalo for a 25-year reunion of Super Bowl XXV. (Scott Norwood probably won’t be invited to do the coin toss.)
Week Six has three Super Bowl rematches: Cardinals at Steelers (Super Bowl XLIII, one of the greatest Super Bowls ever played); Chiefs at Vikings (Super Bowl IV, the 65 Toss Power Trap game); and Ravens at 49ers (Super Bowl XLVII, which should have been another Harbaugh Bowl but for a “mutual parting”).
Week Seven includes the Saints traveling to Indianapolis for a rematch of Super Bowl XLIV, which the Saints won via a surprise onside kick and an even more surprising pick six from Tracy Porter, who cracked the Peyton Manning code, jumped a pass route run by Reggie Wayne, and sealed the win.
Week Eight has the Packers traveling to Denver, a Super Bowl XXXII rematch that likely won’t include Peyton Manning doing a helicopter move to cap a key scramble late in the game.
In Week 10, the Vikings travel to Oakland for a rematch of the first Super Bowl win for the Raiders — and the last Super Bowl appearance for Minnesota, 39 years ago. Also, the Giants and Patriots get together at MetLife Stadium for a repeat of Super Bowl XLII, the game that kept the Patriots from getting to 19-0.
Week 11 has Dallas traveling to Miami for a rematch of one of the more forgettable Super Bowl in NFL history: Super Bowl VI, a drubbing of the Dolphins that kick-started their 17-0 season of 1972.
Week 12 features the Steelers traveling to Seattle for a Super Bowl XL rematch. If the league has a sense of humor, referee Bill Leavy will be assigned to that game.
Week 13 has Philly traveling to New England for a Super Bowl XXXIX revival, which may or may not involve late-game nausea.
Week 15 includes four Super Bowl rematches in three games: Bills at Washington (Super Bowl XXVI); Packers at Raiders (Super Bowl II, which still wasn’t officially known as “the Super Bowl” when it was played), and Bengals at 49ers (Super Bowl XVI and XXIII).
Week 16 has the last of the rematches, the back-to-back Super Bowl XXVII and Super Bowl XXVIII blowouts by the Cowboys over the Bills, who will get to relive all four Super Bowl losses in 2015 — as they do every four year when they play the teams of the NFC East.