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Sports Then and Now

Ranking the Super Bowls: The 15 Greatest Games in Super Bowl History 29

Posted on January 31, 2010 by A.J. Foss
Super Bowl XLII

This improbable catch by David Tyree in the final minutes of Super Bowl XLII led to victory for the underdog Giants in one of the greatest upsets in football history.

This is Part 3 of the ranking of Super Bowls I-XLIII from 43rd to 1st.

This installment is the top 15 Super Bowls of all time and most of all them are truly classic games that are revered in the history of the National Football League.

Which is the Greatest Super Bowl of All-Time?

  • Super Bowl XLII (30%, 27 Votes)
  • Super Bowl XLIII (20%, 18 Votes)
  • Super Bowl XXXIV (13%, 12 Votes)
  • Super Bowl XIII (11%, 10 Votes)
  • Super Bowl XXV (11%, 10 Votes)
  • Super Bowl XXXII (9%, 8 Votes)
  • Super Bowl XXXVI (6%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 90

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So, here is 15-1:
15. Super Bowl XXXIX Patriots-24 Eagles-21
This game was close throughout as the Patriots won their third Super Bowl in four years, all by the margin of three points, though this time they did not need a last-second field goal by Adam Vinatieri.

Two performances turned in by wide receivers stand out from this game; Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch who tied a Super Bowl by making 11 receptions for 133 yards to be named MVP and Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens who caught 9 passes for 122 yards, six weeks after breaking his leg.

14. Super Bowl XVII Redskins-27 Dolphins-17

One of the Super Bowl’s most famous plays occurred with ten minutes left in the fourth quarter and the Miami Dolphins clinging to a 17-13 lead.

With a fourth-and-one at the Miami 43, the Redskins called for “70 Chip”, a short yardage run for running back John Riggins.

Riggins took the handoff from quarterback Joe Theismann and ran to the left side, then broke the tackle of Dolphins cornerback Don McNeal at the line of scrimmage, and ran the rest of the way untouched for a 43-yard touchdown run that gave the Redskins a 20-17 lead, their first lead of the game.

Washington added a touchdown in the final two minutes to clinch their first Super Bowl title.

Riggins was named the game’s MVP as he ran a record 38 times for 166 yards and one touchdown. Read the rest of this entry →

Ranking the Super Bowls: Counting Down From 30 to 16 9

Posted on January 28, 2010 by A.J. Foss
Butch Johnson's acrobatic catch in Super Bowl XII helped lift the Cowboys to a title, but it would not have been ruled a catch based on today's rules.

Butch Johnson's acrobatic catch in Super Bowl XII helped lift the Cowboys to a title, but it would not have been ruled a catch based on today's rules.

Welcome to Part 2 of the series that ranks the Super Bowls from 43rd to 1st.

In this installment, we take a look at 30 through 16 with some Super Bowls that competitive for about a half or were not put out of reach until the final minutes of the game.

There are also some blowouts included in this installment that are more memorable because of a historic individual or team performance.

So, here is part two:

30. Super Bowl XII Cowboys-27 Broncos-10
The first half of this Super Bowl was perhaps the most bizarre 30 minutes in Super Bowl history.

Broncos quarterback Craig Morton was intercepted four times as Denver turned the ball over seven times in the first half but only trailed 13-0 at halftime as Cowboys kicker Efren Herrera missed three field goals in the half.

It took two spectacular touchdowns in the second half for Dallas to put the Broncos away; a 45-yard diving, fingertip catch by Butch Johnson in the third quarter to make it 20-3, followed by a halfback option pass from running back Robert Newhouse to wide receiver Golden Richards for a 29-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.

29. Super Bowl IX Steelers-16 Vikings-6

This game marked the first of four Super Bowl championships in the 1970s for the Pittsburgh Steelers and their famed “Steel Curtain” defense.

Of the four Super Bowl wins, this was the best performance by the “Steel Curtain” as they recorded the first safety in Super Bowl history and limited the Vikings to 119 yards of total offense, 17 rushing yards, nine first downs, and did not allow an offensive touchdown (Minnesota’s touchdown came on a blocked punt).

However, it took until 3:31 to go in the game for the Steelers to put the Vikings away as quarterback Terry Bradshaw found tight end Larry Brown for a 4-yard touchdown that put the game out of reach. Read the rest of this entry →

Ranking the Super Bowls: Counting Down From 43 to 31 6

Posted on January 25, 2010 by A.J. Foss
Considering how easily Larry Csonka and the Dolphins dismantled the Vikings in Super Bowl VIII, is this the worst Super Bowl of all-time?

Considering how easily Larry Csonka and the Dolphins dismantled the Vikings in Super Bowl VIII, is this the worst Super Bowl of all-time?

With it being Super Bowl week (so big that it is actually two weeks), many writers or bloggers tend to look back at the previous Super Bowls to compile a list of the best plays, performances or games.

I decided to take this one step further by ranking all 43 Super Bowls from worst to best, with 43 being the worst and 1 being the best.

The criteria that I used to rank these Super Bowls was how competitive the game was, plus the amount of memorable moments or great plays that occurred, and the individual or team performances in the games.

This means that some blowouts would be ranked higher than others because something historic happened in that game, even though the game was not very competitive.

So without further adieu, I present to you a ranking of all 43 Super Bowls, starting with 43-31.

What was the Worst Super Bowl of All-Time?

  • SB XXXV - Ravens vs. Giants (46%, 13 Votes)
  • SB XXXVII - Buccaneers vs. Raiders (21%, 6 Votes)
  • SB XXIV - 49ers vs. Broncos (18%, 5 Votes)
  • SB VI - Cowboys vs. Dolphins (11%, 3 Votes)
  • SB XXIX - 49ers vs. Chargers (4%, 1 Votes)
  • SB VIII - Dolphins vs. Vikings (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 28

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43. Super Bowl VIII Dolphins-24 Vikings-7
This was the most boring Super Bowl of all time because the Dolphins ran the ball on 53 of 60 plays and scored two touchdowns on their first two drives of the game to build a 14-0 lead and eventually built a 24-0 lead in the middle of the third quarter.

Fullback Larry Csonka was the MVP of the game as he rushed for 145 yards on 33 carries and scored two touchdowns.

42. Super Bowl XXXV Ravens-34 Giants-7
Both teams combined for 396 yards of total offense, the lowest in Super Bowl history, and a record 21 punts.

What saved this game from being the absolute worst was the three touchdowns in a span of 26 seconds in the third quarter: a 49-yard interception return by Ravens defensive back Duane Starks, followed by a 97-yard kickoff return by Giants kick returner Ron Dixon, and ending with a 84-yard kickoff return by Jermaine Lewis of the Ravens.
Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

      Read more »

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