Here's Why Winning Week 1 Is Crucial For NFL's Super Bowl Hopefuls

There have been 56 Super Bowl winners in league history. Those teams combined to achieve a 45-10-1 record in Week 1 games in their championship seasons.

According to information provided by the league, the Super Bowl LVI champion Los Angeles Rams, who host the Buffalo Bills in the primetime Kickoff Game on Thursday (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC), have won their last five Week 1 games. That is the longest active streak in the NFC. Last year marked the sixth time in the last seven seasons that the eventual Super Bowl winner won the opening game of its title-winning season.

NFL Week 1 Streaks

The Chiefs, who have appeared in four consecutive AFC title games, travel to play the Cardinals in Week 1 (4:25 pm ET, CBS), a matchup of two 2021 playoff teams. Kansas City has won its past seven opening Week 1 games, the longest active streak in the NFL. With a win on Sunday, the Chiefs can become the sixth team in the Super Bowl era to win eight consecutive season-opening games.


On the other side, the Cardinals have won its last two Week 1 games. Their head coach Kliff Kingsbury is one of four active head coaches without a loss on Kickoff Weekend (not including first-year head coaches).

The teams with the most consecutive season-opening wins in the Super Bowl era:

Since 2002, when the NFL expanded to 32 clubs, teams that are victorious in their season-openers are more than twice as likely to reach the playoffs than those that lose an opening game.

On the flip side the longest Week 1 winless streak in NFL history belongs to Cleveland. The Browns currently went winless in 17 straight openers. The next closest team in history only had a streak of nine.

In 2021, the 14 playoff teams compiled a 9-5 record on Kickoff Weekend. And since 2000, the defending Super Bowl champion has gone 19-3 in season openers.