We as NFL fans have been spoiled over the last decade with incredible Super Bowl games. This wasn’t always the case as there was a time when seemingly every Super Bowl game seemed to be a blowout, making the commercials all the more better. In fact the NFC had so many blowouts during a 13-year span in which they won every Super Bowl game, that most the time we stopped paying attention to the game in the 3rd quarter (thanks Buffalo.) The Super Bowl is the mecca of them all, the most watched sporting event. Millions gather around, often holding parties. To be honest, I think the next presidential debate to declare this a holiday would win the election in a cake walk! Just kidding. Anyway here is your top 10 best Super Bowl games ever:
Green Bay Packers Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (Super Bowl XLV)
Miami Dolphins Vs. Washington Redskins (Super Bowl VII)
Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Dallas Cowboys (Super Bowl X)
10.) New England Patriots Vs. Carolina Panthers (Super Bowl XXXVIII)
This was a Super Bowl of two stories. The first 26 minutes of the game there was no scoring. Then suddenly a combined 24 points were scored in the final four minutes in the first half. That wasn’t all the scoring that would take place, as the half-time show featured the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake.
Fast forward to the second half, with both teams going back and forth with the lead changing seemingly every time the other team touched the ball. Jake Delhomme would hit Ricky Proehl for a 12-yard touchdown pass with 61 seconds left to play. As we have learned this was far too much time for Brady, as a botched kickoff out-of-bounds didn’t hurt setting the Pats up at the 40-yard line. Five plays later the Super Bowl would end with a game winning Adam Viniatieri field goal.
9.) Denver Broncos Vs. Green Bay Packers (Super Bowl XXXII)
“This one’s for John,” was the theme of this Super Bowl. Elway getting towards the end of his run and after previous failures and disappointments in the big game, he finally won the big one. The signature play of this game was Elway at the end of the 3rd quarter going head first into a crowd of Packers defenders. He would be catapulted into the air sideways which later would become known as the “Helicopter.”
This was one of the first instances where the defensive team let the offensive team score on purpose. The Packers were tied with the Broncos with time ticking down, and decided to let the Broncos score so they would have a chance to come back and force overtime. Didn’t pan out thus this was one of the most memorable Super Bowl games ever!
8.) Dallas Cowboys Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers ( Super Bowl XIII)
These two teams seem to be a fixture in Super Bowls. They have played each other three times during the Super Bowl tenure. Big plays were the theme in this game. Terry Bradshaw slung touchdown passes all over the field in this Bowl.
Jackie Smith would be a scapegoat in some ways from this game, as he dropped a sure touchdown grab that would have tied the game late in the 3rd quarter. This would be his last game he ever would play. The Cowboys were getting ripped midway through the fourth quarter by the score of 35-17. Then nearly pulled off one of the greatest comebacks off all time, but ultimately fell short 35-31.
7.) San Fancisco 49ers Vs. Cincinnati Bengals (Super Bowl XXIII)
I love watching ESPN Classic and without fail hearing Joe Montana talk about how he saw “John Candy” eating popcorn in the opposite end zone before he embarks on the eventual game winning 92 yard drive to capture another Super Bowl. Priceless
Poor Cincy had the Super Bowl in their grasp but as fate would have it, Montana, possibly the game’s best ever quarterback, would not be denied.
Jerry Rice garnered 11 receptions for 215 yards in this game, simply incredible. Talk about a dream team paring Rice with Montana.
6.) New England Patriots Vs. St Louis Rams (Super Bowl XXXVI)
Probably could be higher on this list. Huge underdogs, the Patriots would jump out to a stunning 17-3 lead over Kurt Warner and the heavily favored St. Louis Rams. I remember thinking anytime now the Rams are going to put it together and come back and win this game. Well they came back and it looked like this would be the first ever Super Bowl overtime game.
Then the famous words uttered out of the great John Madden’s mouth, “I would kneel it here if I were the Patriots.” Well not only did Bill Belichick have enough faith and confidence in his second-year quarterback Tom Brady, he led them into field goal range as once again Adam Vinatieri would nail the game winning kick that would crown the Patriots Super Bowl champions!
5.) St. Louis Rams Vs. Tennessee Titans (Super Bowl XXXIV)
One-yard short! That’s my memory of this Super Bowl. The Rams came in as “The Greatest Show on Turf” would dominate the Titans in offensive yardage, but it didn’t lead to touchdowns. Field goals rather, and that kept the Titans in the game. Another tied score late in the game was busted open by a 73 yard play to Isaac Bruce to put the Rams up by seven.
Then came one of the most dramatic plays the Super Bowl has ever seen. After Steve McNair led the Titans on an epic drive, the last play of the game the Titans called a quick slant, which was completed to Kevin Dyson, but as he was stretching in for the touchdown Mike Jones of the Rams held on to his leg causing him to fall short by one-yard. High climactic moment for sure!
4.) Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Arizona Cardinals (Super Bowl XLIII)
This game featured two of the greatest Super Bowl plays ever! James Harrison’s 100 yard interception return for a game momentum changing touchdown just before half time. Then if that wasn’t enough Big Ben Roethlisberger completed an epic “are you kidding me” touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes into triple coverage. The play was reviewed and was incredible that Holmes somehow grazed the grass with his cleats.
This back and forth paced game was epic as Warner used his whole arsenal of weapons including a lead-taking touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald to crawl the Cards back into the game. This game could have been headed for OT had Holmes not made “The Catch.”
3.) Buffalo Bills Vs. New York Giants (Super Bowl XXV)
This game had a little bit of everything featured in it. Add to the fact that we had our US troops overseas in a time of war, this game was all the more emotional. The Bills had one of the first high-octane no huddle offenses commonly known as the “K-gun.”
The Giants had two mastermind coaches in Bill Belichick and Bill Parcells that would play keep away from Jim Kelly and their explosive offense. The Bills were no doubt the better team, but sometimes it pays to have brains over brawn.
I feel strongly that Thurman Thomas was no doubt the games MVP but it was instead given to Ottis Anderson. One of the biggest scapegoats to date, Scott Norwood who wasn’t that bad of a kicker, just struggled on grass and missed the Super Bowl winning 47-yard field goal try. Wide Right, the worst words Western New York has ever heard.
2.) New York Jets Vs. Baltimore Colts (Super Bowl III)
The Jets were huge underdogs in this game, which made Joe Namath’s proclamation of guaranteeing victory all the more shocking.
The game may have been relatively boring, but the NFL was teams were the big boys during this time and the Jets gave the AFC some credibility with this victory. However, let’s not forget that superstar Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas didn’t even play until the fourth quarter; leading them to their only touchdown in a 16-7 loss.
Regardless this game became one of the most meaningful in NFL history, and set off the legend of Broadway Joe. Still the New York Jets only Super Bowl win in their history.
1.) New England Patriots Vs. New York Giants (Super Bowl XLII)
The best Super Bowl hands down. The undefeated New England Patriots who were wiping teams out all year, in fact rubbing it in a lot of the time, came in as heavy favorites.
They met the last game of the year, in which game meant nothing to both teams outside of the Patriots having a shot of going undefeated during the regular season. The game was tight with the Giants losing a close one.
The Patriots high-powered offense was stymied by the Giants front four, as they would wreak havoc on Tom Brady all game long. The Giants defense would come up huge limiting the Patriots offense to an unheard of 14 points.
The helmet catch would grab the headlines in this game as Eli Manning appeared sacked, but pulled some magician stuff as he escaped; he then launched the ball up for what appeared to be a prayer, but David Tyree would come down with it. Well his helmet. I’m still shocked this play wasn’t reviewed.
Many people also forget this game could have been over if Asante Samuel didn’t drop a sure interception. The final straw came when Eli tossed a fade into the corner of the end zone for Plaxico Burress that would be the game’s deciding points. Wow, one of the best games ever!