The Top 10 Greatest Super Bowl Games of All-Time
The Super Bowl is the biggest event in all of American sports. These are the best NFL teams on the grandest stage with everything on the line in a one-game elimination. Over the years, there have been some truly unforgettable games, with moments that have become etched in NFL history. This article takes a retrospective look at the top 10 greatest Super Bowl games of all-time, as determined by a combination of competitiveness, drama, and historical significance.
#10 – Super Bowl III – Colts 16 vs Jets 7
Super Bowl III is widely considered the greatest upset in NFL history. The New York Jets were heavy underdogs against the Baltimore Colts. Not just any underdog either. The Jets were an astounding 19.5 point underdogs going into the game. Nobody had them winning. Not a single person. But that didn’t stop Joe Namath from making the most outrageously bold claim up to that point. He promised the world both a Super Bowl victory and the Super Bowl MVP. Legendary stuff. Making promises like this in a fur coat and delivering is nothing short of electric.
Jets took the field with a chip on their shoulder, determined to prove their doubters wrong. From the opening kickoff, it was clear that the Jets were in it to win it. Namath played with a poise and confidence that belied his young age, methodically leading his team down the field with a mix of short passes and runs.
The Jets went into halftime with a commanding 16-0 lead, but the Colts were not about to go down without a fight. The Colts came out of halftime with renewed energy, scoring a touchdown to close the gap. But the Joe Namath led Jets had their sights set on the upset and controlled the clock to win the game.
The Jets’ victory in Super Bowl III was not just a win for the team and its fans, it was a win for all of professional football. It was the first time that a team from the AFL had defeated a team from the NFL in the Super Bowl, and it helped pave the way for the merger of the two leagues, which took place just a few years later.
#9 – Super Bowl XIII – Steelers 35, Cowboys 31
The Steelers, led by their quarterback Terry Bradshaw, came into the game as the favorites with a 14-2 season record. The Cowboys, led by their quarterback Roger Staubach, were the defending Super Bowl champions and had history against this Steelers team. It was only three years before that they fell short against the Steelers in the Super Bowl. Not only that, both teams were determined to become the first team in NFL history to win three Super Bowls.
The game was a closely contested battle, with both teams on fire offensively. This type of high scoring contest was uncommon for this era of football.
The Steelers took an early lead with a touchdown strike to legendary John Stallworth, but the game was tied 10-10 by halftime. But we all know games are won in the second half, more specifically in the fourth quarter.
The Steelers took a 20-17 lead in the fourth quarter. But the Cowboys were able to mount a comeback and scored a touchdown to tie the game with just 22 seconds left on the clock. The common folk view Terry Bradshaw as a game manager, but this is one of the best Quarterbacks in NFL history as proven with this performance. On top of scoring four passing touchdowns, he was able to lead his team to a game-winning field goal in the last seconds of the game.
This marked the third consecutive Super Bowl victory for the Steelers, and it solidified their status as one of the greatest NFL teams of all-time. The high scoring nature of this Super Bowl was far from common in this era making it one of the best Super Bowl games ever.
#8 – Super Bowl XXXIV – Rams 23, Titans 16xxxxxx
Rest in peace Steve McNair. Air McNair was one of the original best running Quarterbacks in the NFL and nearly defeated the heavily favorited Rams with his highlight performance.
The Rams, who were known as the “Greatest Show on Turf”, had a high-powered offense led by Kurt Warner, nearly won the NFL MVP award that season.
The game was a back-and-forth battle. The Rams took an early lead, but the Titans fought back and tied the game at 16-16 by halftime. The fourth quarter featured all the excitement, with the Rams taking a 23-16 lead. But the Titans were able to mount a comeback and score a touchdown to tie the game with just six seconds left on the clock. The Rams, led by Warner, were able to drive the ball down the field and score a game-winning touchdown with no time left on the clock, winning the game by a score of 23-16.
The win in Super Bowl XXXIV was significant for the Rams, as it marked the franchise’s first Super Bowl victory, and it cemented Kurt Warner’s status as one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. Warner, who was named the Super Bowl MVP, had a great performance, throwing for 414 yards and two touchdowns. The game is widely considered one of the closest and most exciting Super Bowls in history, and its legacy lives on to this day.
Fun fact: After the game Jeff Fisher told reporters, “I’m gonna go home and hug my wife and my kids and my dog and my cat”.