Super Bowl 47 seems to split people evenly. No one’s really sure who will win. But could a game so evenly matched turn into one of the greatest ever?It’s got a chance to be great in New Orleans tonight, but what about the great games that have come before?
There have been 46 Super Bowls to date. What was the best Big Game of all time? Here are seven strong contenders:
Super Bowl XXXVIII: New England Patriots vs Carolina Panthers
A game that featured a little bit of everything. 0-0 through a quarter and a half. Physical defense. Long passes, bruising running, great coaching and QB’s. Last second heroics. Underrated game.
Super Bowl XXXVI: New England Patriots vs St. Louis Rams
Clear “Don’t mess with destinty” game. HUGE underdog. Blossoming of an NFL Legend. Greatest Show on Turf. individual intros vs team unity. 9/11. Last second FG to win. Last ever Madden/Summerall game (think about that for a minute). Also, 10 years to the DAY today that this game was played. Rams fans don’t like this game, but it was fantastic.
Super Bowl V: Dallas Cowboys vs Baltimore Colts
Birth of Dallas Cowboys as “America’s Team”. First Super Bowl after AFL-NFL Merger. Baltimore vindication after SB III. Great Baltimore teams. SB record 11 turnovers. Not the prettiest game, but featured 10 point comeback by Baltimore in 4th. Overlooked.
Super Bowl XXXII: Denver Broncos vs Green Bay Packers
Two Elite QB’s (mid prime-3 straight MVP Favre/37 year old Elway). Packers going for back-to-back. Denver 14 point underdog. Reggie White. Elway in 4th Super Bowl. Terrell Davis migraine game. This play. Last play decided. Probably lowest on this list, but one of the best games in SB era.
Super Bowl XLIII: Pittsburgh Steelers vs Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals? Kurt Warner in 3rd SB with 2nd team. Legend of Steelers. Roethlisburger. 100 yard INT return. Larry Fitzgerald SHOULD have been the MVP. Holmes’ catch in the end zone. Again, underrated in how good it was.
Super Bowl XXV: New York Giants vs Buffalo Bills
Phil Simms out -> Jeff Hosteltler in. Bills offense: Reed, Lofton, Beebe, Kelly, Thurman Thomas (!!!). Lawrence Taylor. No huddle offense. The Mark Ingram first down. Scott Norwood (watch this clip carefully. It’s got everything from why Norwood might have missed to just how good the team was). Also, greatest National Anthem ever by Whitney Houston (It’s fact). Game has absolutely EVERYTHING.
Super Bowl XXIII: San Francisco 49ers vs Cincinnati Bengals
If Super Bowl XXIV was Montana’s SB finale, this was his masterpiece. Jerry Rice, John Taylor, Roger Craig, Ronnie Lott, Brent Jones, and more. Cincinnati with Esiason and Icky Woods (ICKY SHUFFLE!). John Candy game (watch the video and Harris Barton tells the story). Final drive one of beauty. Solidified Montana’s place in NFL history. Best of the Niners’ SB wins.
Super Bowl XXXIV: St. Louis Rams vs Tennessee Titans
Kurt Warner story. Dick Vermil looking for redemption. Titans in first year from Houston. Greatest Show on Turf. Punishing defense by Tennessee. Mike Jones. Jeff Fisher’s mullet. You know the story. Easily top 5 all time in Super Bowl history.
Here’s to hoping today’s game has the same kind of excitement.