This weekend, the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers will be battling it out in Miami as they try to win the coveted Lombardi Trophy. The 54th Super Bowl is set to be a phenomenal game between two teams that completely dominated the NFL regular and postseasons. While it remains to be seen who will win, we’re sure to be treated to an entertaining game, unlike that mess we got last year.
There are a lot of factors that go into what makes a good Super Bowl. You need intrigue, a game that goes down to the wire, big plays, otherworldly individual performances, and even some upsets to throw a wrench in the mix. With this in mind, we decided to make a top 10 list, counting down the ten best Super Bowls of all-time. When constructing this list, entertainment was certainly a factor, however, it’s not the be-all, end-all. Instead, we have used the criteria above to construct a top 10 that takes a look at all of the moving parts. Having said that, let’s get into it, shall we.
10. Super Bowl LII – Philadelphia Eagles 41, New England Patriots 33
Coming into this Super Bowl, the Eagles were clear underdogs. The Patriots came into this match as one of the greatest dynasties of all-time while the Eagles were playing with an unproven back up quarterback in Nick Foles. Somehow, the Eagles defied all expectations and defeated the Patriots in a 41-33 shootout. This game was defined by the infamous Philly Special that occurred at the end of the first half. For Eagles fans, this was a momentous occasion as the team finally won its first Super Bowl.
9. Super Bowl XLVII – Baltimore Ravens 34, San Francisco 49ers 31
There were plenty of stories to go around in this game. Jim and John Harbaugh were coaching against each other. Colin Kaepernick was looking to cement himself as a starter while Joe Flacco wanted to prove he was truly elite. Meanwhile, Ray Lewis was looking to end his career with one last hoorah. In the end, we got a huge treat for a game. After taking a huge lead in the first half, the Ravens began to implode. A lengthy power outage gave the 49ers plenty of time to prepare for a comeback. Eventually, the Ravens were able to hang onto the lead, with some help from the officials.
8. Super Bowl XXXII – Denver Broncos 31, Green Bay Packers 24
John Elway Vs. Brett Favre. This was a quarterback matchup for the ages. Favre had already won a Super Bowl by this point while Elway was known for losing in the big game. The Broncos legend was nearing the end of his career and was looking to finally get the weight off of his shoulders. Elway put together an incredible performance capped off by a valiant running effort to get a first down when the game was on the line. His performance will forever be considered one of the best in Super Bowl history. Not to mention, this win kicked off back-to-back Super Bowls for the Broncos.
7. Super Bowl XLIII – Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Arizona Cardinals 23
There were two moments that made this game so memorable. Of course, we are talking about the James Harrison 100-yard pick-six and the Santonio Holmes catch in the corner of the end zone. These two plays helped propel the Steelers to their sixth Super Bowl victory. Ben Roethlisberger won his second title of his young career which instantly made him one of the most successful quarterbacks of the decade. This was also the first and only time the Arizona Cardinals had made the Super Bowl which made it extra special.
6. Super Bowl XLIX – New England Patriots 28, Seattle Seahawks 24
This game is memorable because of the final play. I mean, who can really forget it? “The Seahawks should have ran the ball” became a rallying cry that is still said to this day. After a questionable first half, Tom Brady led a huge second half comeback that had the Patriots leading late in the game. In the final minutes, Russell Wilson and company began driving down the field and were just yards away from a game-winning touchdown. Instead of giving the ball to running back Marshawn Lynch, Wilson threw an interception in the end zone and the rest was history. The finale was spectacular and made for one of the best Super Bowls in modern day history.
5. Super Bowl III – New York Jets 16, Baltimore Colts 7
Many of you reading this probably weren’t even alive for this game. Hell, I wasn’t either. The score itself is fairly meager and in terms of pure entertainment value, it’s definitely not the greatest. With this in mind, you may be asking why this is even on the list to begin with? Well, it’s one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history. Joe Namath was considered a young QB with a big mouth. Meanwhile, Johnny Unitas was a behemoth of a quarterback and was favored to win by a significant margin. Somehow, Namath led his team to victory in what would become a career-defining moment. Jets fans haven’t had a lot to cheer for over the years but at least they can cling to Super Bowl III.
4. Super Bowl XXXIV – St. Louis Rams 23, Tennessee Titans 16
The sight of Kevin Dyson being tackled on the one-yard line with no time left will always haunt Tennessee Titans fans. It’s a moment that will forever be one of the best in Super Bowl history as the Rams won their first title. Sure, the game itself wasn’t anything spectacular but this one play made it one of the best championship games in sports history. Leading up to this game, the Titans got lucky with the Music City Miracle while the Rams were enjoying the success of young quarterback Kurt Warner. These were two teams few people saw going to the Super Bowl and it made the matchup that much more intriguing.
3. Super Bowl XIII – Pittsburgh Steelers 35, Dallas Cowboys 31
Fumbled punt returns, dropped touchdown passes, and back and forth offensive performances made this game an instant classic. The Cowboys were led by Roger Staubach while the Steelers were captained by Terry Bradshaw. Bradshaw put on a show as he went on to win Super Bowl MVP. At the time, the Cowboys and Steelers were two of the best franchises in the league and every single time they hit the field, it was box office. Cowboys vs Steelers was like the Lakers vs Celtics of the 80s. If you were around for this era, you could truly appreciate what this game meant for the rivalry and the NFL’s stranglehold on popular culture.
2. Super Bowl LI – New England Patriots 34, Atlanta Falcons 28
28-3. Quite frankly, that is all that needs to be said. We still can’t believe the Falcons blew that lead.
1. Super Bowl XLII – New York Giants 17, New England Patriots 14
Pretty well everyone in the world thought the New England Patriots were going to win this game. They finished the season with the first ever 16-0 record in NFL history and were trying to have the best perfect record the league has ever seen. Tom Brady was on the cusp of tying Joe Montana for four Super Bowls. In the end, the Giants were able to put on a defensive clinic. The game was capped off by one of the most incredible catches in NFL history, courtesy of Davis Tyree. Plaxico Burress scored the final touchdown and Eli Manning got his first ever Super Bowl. This was one of the biggest upsets in sports history and it remains a sore spot for Patriots fans, despite their six other Super Bowl wins.
What was your favorite Super Bowl? Let us know in the comments below
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