Football’s year end showcase is once again upon us. The Super Bowl is here! Fans across the globe will convene in Miami for the 54th edition of the big game. Which begs the question, what were the greatest contests so far in Super Bowl history? Here we have attempted to rank the absolute best.
The Best Super Bowl No. 5: Super Bowl I
The game that started it all has to be included on this list. If not only for the simple fact that it began the fantastic tradition we are so obsessed by today. Super Bowl I featured Hall of Famer Bart Starr leading an unforgettable Packers team, coached by the eventual name sake of the Super Bowl trophy, Vince Lombardi. Green Bay destroyed the Len Dawson led Chiefs 35-10, behind 250 yards and a pair of touchdowns from Starr. Legendary beginnings.
The Best Super Bowl No. 4: Super Bowl XLIII
This game was, in a word, epic. Nobody will ever forget James Harrison’s 99-yard interception to end the first half just as the Arizona Cardinals were driving to take the lead. In the second half it was another legend; Larry Fitzgerald put the team on his back, racing through the Pittsburgh secondary for a late touchdown to seemingly wrap up the MVP award and the game for his team. But Ben Roethlisberger had other ideas. Orchestrating a clinical drive and throwing a dart to Santonio Holmes in the corner of the endzone for the win. The game was the stuff that dreams are made of.
The Best Super Bowl No. 3: Super Bowl XXV
Jim Kelly led the Buffalo Bills and their explosive no-huddle offense to the Super Bowl. Buffalo had scored an astronomical 428 points in the regular season, and their offense was thought to be unstoppable. Then they ran into a defense coached by Bill Belichick.
Belichick’s defense hit and harassed Kelly and his receivers the entire game. While the offense held the ball for a record 40 minutes and 33 seconds. Still Kelly led his troops down the field late in the fourth quarter with a chance to win the game. Bills kicker Scott Norwood was set up with a 47-yard field goal try for the win, and then Al Michaels took over the game. “Wide Right!”, Michaels exclaimed and the Giants were victorious.
The Best Super Bowl No. 2: Super Bowl XLIX
After being tied at 14 entering halftime, the Seattle Seahawks established a 10-point lead at the end of the third quarter. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady led perhaps the greatest comeback in the history of the game to that point.
Brady surgically dissected the preeminent defense of the decade; Tom “Terrific” completed 13 of 15 passes in the 4th quarter to put his team in front. The drama, however, was far from over. Little known cornerback Malcom Butler famously intercepted Russell Wilson at the one-yard line, providing one of the most indelible moments in an integral game in Super Bowl history.
The Best Super Bowl Game of All-Time: Super Bowl LI
The Atlanta Falcons famously led the New England Patriots 21-3 at halftime. The outlook looked bleak for the Patriots. Then the Falcons scored another touchdown to infamously go up 28-3. But with a little more than two minutes remaining in the third quarter, Tom Brady morphed into “Super Bowl Brady.”
He and the Patriots offense found some life with a James White TD reception and they continued to make all the right plays while Kyle Shanahan’s Atlanta offense failed to cement the game away. New England made just enough plays with a strip sack by Dont’a Hightower swinging momentum to the Pats. However, another Belichickian defensive stand and sack by Trey Flowers pushed the Falcons out of field goal range and gave the Patriots the tiniest of room to mount the most epic comeback in football history.
With the Patriots driving down eight just before the two-minute warning, a Brady pass intended for Julian Edelman was deflected into the air. With two Falcons defenders surrounding him, Edelman somehow used the feet of the Falcons defenders and the quickest of quick twitch muscles to make an outrageous catch and force the Falcons to burn a challenge. The Patriots continued the impossible drive with a big gainer to Danny Amendola and finally scored on a TD run by James White. With the Patriots needed their second two-point conversion of the quarter, they executed a perfect wide receiver screen to Amendola to knot the game at 28-28.
The first Super Bowl to ever head to overtime, this game had it all. Of course, a James White toss sweep won the game for New England as Brady (wrongfully, according to Brady) was awarded the Super Bowl MVP.