This was the beginning of a dynasty for Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Nobody even really knew who the sixth-round draft pick was before Drew Bledsoe’s injury. However, he stepped up in style and inspired his team to the AFC East title. Bledsoe returned for the Championship Game after Brady sprained his ankle. But Belichick threw his young star back in when it counted (via Boston Globe).
St. Louis were 14-point favorites before this game. However, Brady showed calmness beyond his experience as he inspired his team to victory. This culminated in Adam Vinatieri’s field goal in the dying moments. As Super Bowls go, this was one of the most important because it kicked off the Patriots’ dominance for two decades. Believe it or not, this was a fairytale at the time.
Some Super Bowls throw up fairytales but others serve up agony. Luckily, this was the former for Kurt Warner. His rise in St. Louis is well-documented because he followed an unorthodox path. The Greatest Show on Earth took on the Titans as seven-point favorites. Yes, they won in the end, but they didn’t do it the easy way. It appeared as though were in cruise control after taking a 16-0 lead (via Bleacher Report).
However, Tennessee deserves credit because they didn’t give up. They came back to tie the score late. But this amazing game had more twists. Warner found Isaac Bruce for a 73-yard touchdown before the Titans came back down the other end. They were inches from equalizing it again and sending the game to overtime. But Mike Jones took out Kevin Dyson and made history for the Rams.
The New York Jets haven’t had a lot to celebrate in recent history. But they do have a Super Bowl win to their name. Their quarterback Joe Namath was bullish before this game. He insisted Gang Green would win despite being underdogs. However, his prediction came through as the Jets won the game 16-7. This was a major embarrassment for Baltimore.
This wasn’t a fluke either. The Jets shut Baltimore out for three quarters as they led 16-0 at one point. Several Super Bowls have produced upsets but this was one of the most notorious. ‘Broadway’ Joe outshone Johnny Unitas and entered NFL folklore. It’s also unlikely that Namath would be a Hall of Famer if it wasn’t for this famous victory (via Baltimore Sun).
Cincinnati met the 49ers in Super Bowl XVI. San Francisco came into this game on a high after ‘The Catch’ against the Dallas Cowboys. This was a magnificent season for the franchise but the Bengals pushed them close on the final level. Joe Montana didn’t play particularly well in this game as he went just 14-for-22 for 157 yards. However, it was enough to win the game (via ESPN).
Ray Wersching scored a record four field goals as the 49ers recorded a narrow win. The Bengals were unexpected title contenders and were extremely unlucky in this game. In the end, an onside kick cost Cincinnati the game. That’s because San Francisco was able to hang on until time expired. They clashed again in 1989 but the Bengals couldn’t get revenge.
It was remarkable that the Panthers even made it to the Super Bowl. That’s because this was an average team that scraped its way through games. Yes, they came up clutch as they won multiple times in overtime. However, they were exciting. Meanwhile, the Patriots had a remarkably efficient defense. They were also looking for their second title in just three years (via WCNC).
In the end, the Panthers came up just short but they pushed the Pats all the way. They had a chance to push downfield and put the game to rest. It was down to John Kasay to handle kickoff duties and ignite the drive. Unfortunately, he kicked the ball out of bounds and incurred a penalty. Finally, the Patriots went up to the other end and scored the winning field goal.
This was a brutal moment for Scott Norwood. The Bills kicker had the chance to become a franchise icon. Instead, he sealed his place in NFL folklore after committing one of the worst chokes ever. Buffalo defeated the Giants several weeks earlier before they met again in Super Bowl XXV. Norwood had a 47-yard field goal attempt with eight seconds left but sent it wide.
It was a harrowing moment because it rested entirely on his shoulders. Or rather his foot. Meanwhile, the Bills played in four consecutive Super Bowls but lost them all. Norwood also deserved better because he was a loyal Bills servant. Unfortunately, the NFL is a cruel place and fans have short memories. The All-Pro star even scored a decisive field goal in the AFC Championship game (via Sportscasting).
Some Super Bowls have more dramatic endings than others, but this one is certainly up there with the best. The Seahawks were inches away from securing the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Russell Wilson had two options as he stood four yards from the Patriots’ end zone. Most people expected him to offload the ball to running back Marshawn Lynch.
However, he attempted to pass to Ricardo Lockette. Then, Pats’ rookie Malcolm Butler pulled off one of the most memorable interceptions in NFL history (via Houston Chronicle). This killed off the game and saw the Patriots secure a 28-24 victory. Many people consider this one of the worst choke-jobs ever. But statistically, Seattle made the right call.
Super Bowls should be exciting and this one certainly was. It contained some of the most entertaining players fans ever saw. Of course, Santonio Holmes stole the headlines because of his gravity-defying catch. The Steelers became the first franchise to win six titles after this victory. However, it looked like they were about to choke as the Cardinals almost produced a glorious comeback (via The Guardian).
Arizona came from behind to lead 23-20 late in the fourth quarter. Then, Ben Roethlisberger led the Steelers on an epic 78-yard drive before finding Holmes in the end zone. Finally, an unfortunate Kurt Warner interception saw his team lose the game. It was a case of so close but so far for the Cardinals. James Harrison also returned an interception for an incredible 100-yard touchdown.
The Patriots were a game away from being the greatest football team ever. After they went through the entire regular season unbeaten, they reached the Super Bowl with an 18-0 record. They came up against Eli Manning’s Giants who were major underdogs. But they belied their status to seal one of the most unlikely wins in the big game’s history.
A lot of fans like to disparage Manning but he’s a two-time Super Bowl MVP award winner for a reason. He came up clutch in this game as the Patriots choked badly. Viewers witnessed the iconic ‘helmet catch’ as David Tyree secured the ball against his headgear. Furthermore, New York put Brady under intense pressure and made life very uncomfortable for him (via Boston Globe).
The Steelers vs. Cowboys rivalry continued into the 1978 season. It culminated in an epic game that many analysts still consider one of the best Super Bowls ever. Interestingly, it was the first rematch in the showpiece event’s history. Dallas were defending champions but they came in as underdogs. In the end, the Steelers justified their status as favorites because they won in epic style.
Incredibly, 19 future Hall of Famers were involved in this game. Terry Bradshaw was brilliant because he threw four touchdown passes, including a 75-yard touchdown. The quarterback set multiple records in his awesome display. Meanwhile, Roger Staubach was excellent on the other side with three touchdown passes. But Lynn Swann’s four catches earned him the MVP award and a Pittsburgh win (via 247 Sports).
The main reason why this game didn’t get the top spot is that the Patriots won. However, it was still one of the most dramatic and entertaining Super Bowls ever. Atlanta soared into an amazing 28-3 lead. Dont’a Hightower forced a key fumble on Matt Ryan and the momentum shifted. This was the beginning of arguably the greatest comeback of all time.
It was like an erupting dam. Atlanta was unable to stop the Patriots’ relentless comeback. Finally, they sent the game to overtime for the first time in Super Bowl history. Tom Brady won the toss and was ice-cold as he sent James White into the end zone. This was a traumatic day for the Falcons because they should have won. But they threw it away (via Sporting News).
Nick Foles had the greatest day of his life when the Eagles won Super Bowl LII. He wasn’t even the team’s first-choice starter before Carson Wentz’s injury. However, he found himself in the hot seat and led Philly through the postseason. Everybody wrote him before he performed well enough to win the game’s MVP award. This came after he threw for 373 yards with three touchdowns.
The greatest moment of this game was when the Eagles pulled off the Philly Special. In short, Foles caught a touchdown after a tremendous trick play. Tom Brady was excellent in this game and set a Super bowl record for passing yards but wasn’t able to finish the Eagles. This was a major underdog story but one of the best Super Bowls. In the end, it finished 41-33 in favor of the Patriots (via Business Insider).