Every year, at the Super Bowl, the two best teams in the NFC and AFC clash for a chance at becoming champions of the whole NFL.
Just like any other football game, they are sometimes predictable, they are sometimes upsetting, and they are sometimes amazing.
Today we’re looking at the seven greatest NFL championships in the history of the league, in terms of the plays made and how memorable they were.
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1) Super Bowl XIII
Super Bowl XIII (1979) was the first-ever rematch at a Super Bowl. The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys clashed their red-hot 70s rosters, producing many memorable moments. Perhaps the most famous is the Jackie Smith drop, where the Cowboys TE missed Roger Staubach’s pass.
The Cowboys tried bringing it back in the fourth quarter as Terry Bradshaw and his Steelers carved a 35-17 lead. With minutes left, the Cowboys unleashed a series of plays that brought the score to 35-31. Unfortunately, there just wasn’t enough time for the Cowboys to pull it back, but they both put on a Hell of a show in the meantime.
2) Super Bowl XLII
Capping off the 2007 season, Super Bowl XLII is remembered for all the wrong reasons. It is considered one of the NFL’s biggest upsets, though it was a close and compelling game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots.
Coming from a perfect regular season, which hadn’t been achieved since the Miami Dolphins ’72 run, the Patriots were favorites to win. Throw in a desperate but successful fourth-quarter drive, where WR David Tyree made his famous ‘Helmet Catch’ play, and you have an NFL classic. The Giants won 17-14.
3) Super Bowl XLIX
Super Bowl XLIX saw now-retired Tom Brady return to the Super Bowl with the New England Patriots. The Seattle Seahawks stood in their way and, in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks were ahead of the Patriots by 10 points with just 2 minutes left.
However, the Comeback Kid proved himself yet again and led the Patriots offense to 28-24. The best moment of the game was where they had to protect that lead from the Seahawks, who were close to the Patriots’ 1-yard line but were stopped by CB Malcolm Butler.
4) Super Bowl LI
One of the latest Super Bowls on this list, the 2016 season Super Bowl LI saw the New England Patriots face the Atlanta Falcons. That’s right; it’s another Tom Brady game and the first Super Bowl to go into overtime. The Patriots won at 34-28.
There were many memorable moments, but it was RB James White’s game-winning touchdown that sticks in many fans’ minds. Having been tackled by Falcons defenders at the 1-yard line, he scored the winning touchdown.
5) Super Bowl XXV
The 1991 Super Bowl XXV is known for two main things – Whitney Houston’s performance of the Star-Spangled Banner and the Buffalo Bills missing their last-minute field goal that could have won them the game.
The Bills were up against the New York Giants, and the result was a painful one-point difference, the only time that’s happened. At 20-19, a field goal could have stopped the Giants from winning, but placekicker Scott Norwood’s wide right dashed those hopes.
6) Super Bowl III
Super Bowl III was the first to officially use the name on January 12th, 1969. It was a night of other firsts, too, most notably the first-ever AFL victory and the first big upset in the history of the entire NFL.
Going into the night, the New York Jets were held as underdogs by almost 20 whole points. Instead, they crushed the Baltimore Colts with a score of 16-7. It was the first and only time a Super Bowl team won with one touchdown (made by Jets RB Matt Snell) until it happened again in 2018, at Super Bowl LIII.
7) Super Bowl XXIII
On January 22nd, 1989, the Super Bowl returned to Miami with XXIII. This one was yet another rematch game after the Cincinnati Bengals had faced the San Francisco 49ers seven years prior. Having Joe Montana and Jerry Rice heading the 49ers offense, their ‘80s rosters were a force to be reckoned with.
If this game is remembered for anything, it’s the last-minute drive that stole victory from the Bengals. At the 45-yard line with one minute left, Rice received a 27-yard completion and then an 8-yard pass to make the 10-yard line. With 40 seconds left, Montana finished a drive to the TD. This earned Rice the MVP award, though Montana was just as deserving.
Those are seven of the greatest and most memorable Super Bowl games, even if some of them were remembered for their upsets or the impact they had on the industry.
With over 50 years of Super Bowl games, everybody has their favorite, and every new game might become the next best event in NFL history.
Featured Image: Insider