WhatIfSports Super Bowl runner-up power rankings: Falcons vs. other silver medalists

The Atlanta Falcons couldn’t hold on to their 28-3 advantage in Super Bowl LI, dropping the game to the New England Patriots 34-28 in overtime. With the loss, the Falcons join a fraternity of Super Bowl runner-ups, teams that fell just short of their ultimate goal.

But where do the Falcons rank among fellow silver medalists? Using WhatIfSports.com’s NFL simulation engine, we played a round robin tournament with the 2016 Falcons, the 2015 Carolina Panthers and every other team to suffer a Super Bowl defeat. Every team in the field played every other team 101 times. Check out the results, ranked by winning percentage:

Ranking Every Super Bowl Runner-Up
Rnk Team Win % Avg. PF Avg. PA Simulate
1 2007 New England Patriots 77.3 31.5 21.8 Sim >
2 2013 Denver Broncos 75.2 32.1 23.4 Sim >
3 2010 Pittsburgh Steelers 71.5 27.2 19.7 Sim >
4 2001 St. Louis Rams 70.7 30.4 23.0 Sim >
5 2005 Seattle Seahawks 66.1 27.7 22.0 Sim >
6 2004 Philadelphia Eagles 64.0 27.6 22.9 Sim >
7 2012 San Francisco 49ers 62.2 25.4 21.1 Sim >
8 2014 Seattle Seahawks 61.6 26.2 22.4 Sim >
9 2011 New England Patriots 60.5 30.5 26.8 Sim >
10 1983 Washington Redskins 60.4 26.6 23.0 Sim >
11 1997 Green Bay Packers 59.2 25.8 22.8 Sim >
12 2002 Oakland Raiders 58.9 26.4 23.5 Sim >
13 1988 Cincinnati Bengals 56.3 27.6 25.2 Sim >
14 1978 Dallas Cowboys 55.9 23.3 21.3 Sim >
15 2015 Carolina Panthers 55.8 24.8 22.9 Sim >
16 1980 Philadelphia Eagles 54.0 23.3 21.8 Sim >
17 2009 Indianapolis Colts 53.9 26.4 25.4 Sim >
18 1992 Buffalo Bills 53.3 25.0 24.0 Sim >
19 1991 Buffalo Bills 53.3 27.3 26.1 Sim >
20 1984 Miami Dolphins 52.6 27.1 26.1 Sim >
21 1968 Baltimore Colts 52.4 23.2 21.8 Sim >
22 1981 Cincinnati Bengals 52.0 24.5 24.0 Sim >
23 2016 Atlanta Falcons 51.2 27.6 27.6 Runner-Ups
24 1967 Oakland Raiders 50.1 21.3 21.1 Sim >
25 1998 Atlanta Falcons 49.1 24.0 24.3 Sim >
26 1966 Kansas City Chiefs 48.6 24.4 24.8 Sim >
27 1971 Miami Dolphins 47.3 24.6 25.2 Sim >
28 1995 Pittsburgh Steelers 46.6 22.9 24.2 Sim >
29 1990 Buffalo Bills 46.2 23.8 24.7 Sim >
30 1987 Denver Broncos 45.6 24.7 26.6 Sim >
31 1985 New England Patriots 45.5 21.6 23.3 Sim >
32 1970 Dallas Cowboys 45.0 23.9 25.5 Sim >
33 1973 Minnesota Vikings 44.3 22.2 24.2 Sim >
34 2006 Chicago Bears 43.9 21.5 23.8 Sim >
35 1999 Tennessee Titans 43.8 22.5 25.1 Sim >
36 2000 New York Giants 43.6 21.2 23.2 Sim >
37 1976 Minnesota Vikings 43.0 20.8 23.1 Sim >
38 1975 Dallas Cowboys 42.9 21.3 23.6 Sim >
39 1996 New England Patriots 42.6 22.0 24.5 Sim >
40 1969 Minnesota Vikings 41.8 18.3 21.0 Sim >
41 2008 Arizona Cardinals 41.8 24.3 27.5 Sim >
42 1994 San Diego Chargers 41.4 23.0 26.1 Sim >
43 2003 Carolina Panthers 41.3 21.8 24.9 Sim >
44 1986 Denver Broncos 40.2 21.4 24.9 Sim >
45 1979 Los Angeles Rams 39.5 20.8 24.4 Sim >
46 1977 Denver Broncos 37.2 19.4 23.3 Sim >
47 1989 Denver Broncos 36.3 19.8 24.7 Sim >
48 1993 Buffalo Bills 33.7 20.7 26.7 Sim >
49 1974 Minnesota Vikings 33.2 20.1 25.6 Sim >
50 1982 Miami Dolphins 29.7 18.4 25.6 Sim >
51 1972 Washington Redskins 27.3 18.0 25.8 Sim >

The Falcons ranked in the middle of the pack, winning 51.2 percent of the time and scoring as many points per game (27.6) as they surrendered. The 1998 Falcons finished two games behind the 2016 team in the standings, which is consistent with their head-to-head performance.

No franchise had more participants in the tournament than the Denver Broncos. Of the Broncos’ eight Super Bowl appearances, five ended in a loss. Their most recent runner-up finisher, the 2013 team, came up just short in the simulation with a second-place showing. Three Denver teams, the 1977, 1986 and 1989 runner-ups, placed in the bottom 10 of the tournament.

Two franchises, the Minnesota Viking and Buffalo Bills, are 0-4 in Super Bowl trips. The Vikings’ best team, their 1973 squad, finished 33rd in the simulation, while two Bills teams, from the 1991 and 1992 seasons, snuck into the top 20.

The New England Patriots also had four teams in the runner-up tournament. The 2007 Patriots, which went 16-0 before falling to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII, had the highest winning percentage of any team in the field, coming out on top in 77.3 percent of games. The ’07 Patriots also led all teams in point differential, with +9.7. The 2011 Patriots, which also lost to the Giants, finished ninth in the tournament.

More: Super Bowl champion power rankings

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