Super Bowl Rankings (#31-22 Edition) – Part II of IV


31. Super Bowl XIX: 38 San Francisco 49ers 16 Miami Dolphins MVP Joe Montana – Stanford Stadium Favorite – 49ers by 3 – Interesting:  First SB in which both QB’s threw for over 300 yards and Miami and SF combined for a record at the time (XXII & XXXVIII broke record) of 851 offensive yards.  Ronald Reagan gets inaugurated for second presidential term on the same day of SB and does coin toss via satellite.  2-Star Rating – Along with rushing for the most yards as a QB in SB history (59 yards), Joe Montana piled up four touchdowns (1 rush) to go along with 331 passing yards, going 24 for 35.  While both teams came in with a SB record 33 victories (17-49ers, 16-Dolphins) compared to just 3 losses on the season, the game was a mismatch from the 2nd quarter on, as the 49ers outscored Miami 31-6 following the 1st quarter.  Miami jumped out to their only lead of the day, with an early Marino short TD pass to TE Dan Johnson, then quickly Montana and the lethal 49er offense responded with three TD’s unanswered, with versatile and multi-threat weapon RB Roger Craig reaching the end zone on 2 of the 3.  The 49ers defense was just as good as they held the Dolphins to just 25 rushing yards on only nine carries total (SB record low).  They sacked Marino four times and picked him off twice.  Sidenotes:  Roger Craig scored three TD’s (2 receiving) and the 49ers tallied up 537 yards on offense.  Montana had his own reasoning for the win. “As far as my own game, well, I’d have to admit it was pretty close to the best I’ve ever played. I didn’t throw anything I didn’t have confidence in. We got in sort of a groove. Once you get going like that you gain confidence, and it carries over to the defense, and then back to the offense. It’s a snowball kind of thing.”  This was ABC’s first Super Bowl and this was Frank Gifford only time as Play-by-Play guy for the SB.  Clips of this game can be seen in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Teri Hatcher was a 49er cheerleader at the time. 

30. Super Bowl I: 35 Green Bay Packers 10 Kansas City Chiefs MVP Bart Starr  L.A. Memorial Coliseum Favorite – Packers by 14 – Impressive: Both CBS & NBC broadcasted the game live and CBS got the better ratings with Ray Scott leading the show.  This was the first and only Super Bowl not to sell out with an attendance of just under 62,000.  The postgame trophy presentation ceremony was handled by CBS’ Pat Summerall and NBC’s George Ratterman. Summerall and Ratterman were forced to share a single microphone.  In the week prior to the game, Chiefs CB Fred “The Hammer” Williamson got massive attention by bragging how he would use his “hammer”(forearm blows to the head) to pummel the Packers’ receivers, stating “Two hammers to (Boyd) Dowler, one to (Carroll) Dale should be enough.”  2-Star Rating – Both teams came into the game extremely nervous, while Packers coach Vince Lombardi was shaking in nervousness, his team was not.  On the other hand, Chiefs players came literally out of the locker room throwing up, along with wetting their pants, as they were scared to death (Chiefs LB EJ Holub)!  It showed in their game and proved to be a testament on how poorly KC played and how well GB performed, as the Packers took care of business, as MVP Bart Starr connected with back-up WR Max McGee for two spectacular scores.  During the regular season, McGee had only caught a total of 4 passes for 98 yards and 1 touchdown, but he ended up recording 7 receptions for 138 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Super Bowl. McGee later said after the game that he spent the previous night out on the town, was in no condition to play the game, and was counting on not playing that day.  The biggest play and turning point came during the first drive early in the 2nd half when Chiefs QB Len Dawson was picked off by S Willie Wood for 50 yards, thus giving GB the momentum along with the game at that moment on, by capitalizing on the turnover with a TD on the play after by RB Elijah Pitts (5 yards).  KC had just one play in the 2nd half past midfield.  Sidenotes: There is no known complete videotape of either the CBS or the NBC telecast of the game, as both networks eventually taped over their copies.  Paul Hornung was asked to come into the game (4th Qtr.) by Lombardi but he decline because he did not want to aggravate a pinched nerve in his neck.    

29. Super Bowl VII: 14 Miami Dolphins 7 Washington Redskins MVP Jake Scott – L.A. Memorial Coliseum Favorite Washington by 1 – Interesting: The lowest SB point total ever.  Miami had to go on the road to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in order to get to the big game.  Coach George Allen of Washington pushed the players so hard in practice that they joked about leaving him back home.  2-Star Rating – From Billy Kilmer’s pass that was interfered with by the goal posts to kicker Garo Yepremian’s blunder that allowed the Redskins to put points up on the scoreboard, this SB was a typical snooze fest and a defensive struggle with the MVP going to a defensive back.  It was fitting that the last play of the game was a sack by Miami’s DE Bill Stanfill, fitting for the “No-Name Defense” and for ineffective ‘Skins QB Billy Kilmer (3 INT’s).  Sidenotes: While Scott got the MVP, DT Manny Fernandez dominated the battle in the trenches by picking up an unheard of 17 tackles from his lineman position!  The award for Most Valuable Player was selected by Dick Schaap.  As coach Shula was being carried off the field after the end of the game, a kid who shook his hand stripped off his watch. Shula got down, chased after the kid, and retrieved his watch.  The “Over The Hill Gang” gave up over 100 yards to Larry Csonka, a TD to Jim Kiick, and 34 more rushing yards to Mercury Morris, while getting only 72 yards on the ground from star RB Larry Brown.

28. Super Bowl XVIII: 38 Los Angeles Raiders 9 Washington Redskins MVP Marcus Allen – Tampa Stadium – Favorite – Washington by 2.5 – Interesting: Big faces at the big game were a big thing in this Super Bowl.  Coin Toss: NFL pioneer and legend/Chicago Bear great Bronco Nagurski.  National Anthem: Barry Manilow.  Marcus Allen became just the third Heisman winner to be named Super Bowl Most Valuable Player.  2-Star Rating – Joe Gibbs’ troops were favored to win because of their dynamite offense, their number one rated defense against the run, and they lost only two games all year – both by a single point.  Washington beat LA earlier in the year 37-35, scoring 17 points in the final six minutes, so they had their advantages heading into the game.  With that being said, none of that really helped the ‘Skins out and factored into the game, as LA scored more non-offensive touchdowns (2) than Washington could score on offense (1).  Washington led the league in scoring, yet only scored nine points, and their #1 rated defense against the run was overmatched by former USC legend Marcus Allen for 191 yards and 2 TD’s (9.6 ypc), including a 74-yard “around the world and back” TD scamper.  The game was all Raiders from the beginning went Derrick Jensen rushed into to block and pick up the Redskins punt in the end zone less than five minutes into the contest.  LA’s defense was all over the field and dominated from start to finish, making Washington just the second team ever to lose a SB as defending champs (Dallas in XIII).  Sidenotes:  Raiders LB Jack Squirek intercepted a Theismann pass intended for speedy Joe Washington on a “Rocket Screen” for a score to give the Raiders a 21-3 lead heading into halftime.  The best to ever use his “voice” in the National Football League, NFL Films great John Facenda, did his last work in SB XVIII before passing away less than eight months after the game.          

27. Super Bowl XX: 46 Chicago Bears 10 New England Patriots MVP Richard Dent – Louisiana Superdome Favorite Bears by 10 – Interesting:  Bart Starr does the famous Super Bowl Coin Toss.  The Patriots were held to negative yardage (-19) in the first half, and just 123 total yards in the entire game, the second lowest total in Super Bowl history.  The Bears set Super Bowl records for sacks (7) and fewest rushing yards allowed (7).  2-Star Rating – From the opening possession and early minutes into the game, NE took the second quickest lead in Super Bowl history after linebacker Larry McGrew recovered a fumble from Walter Payton at the Chicago 19-yard line on the second play of the game, answering the mistake with a FG.  “I looked up at the message board,” said Chicago All-Pro linebacker Mike Singletary, “and it said that 15 of the 19 teams that scored first won the game. I thought, yeah, but none of those 15 had ever played the Bears.”  After those three points were scored, the Bears went on to rack up 44 points unanswered!  From starting QB Tony Eason’s 0-6 for 0 yards passing, William Perry’s plunge into the end zone, Chicago had fun at the expense of NE and pounded them into submission, throuoghly dominating the game not only defense but on offense also.  Sidenotes: Bears are still the only team (and will be forever) in NFL history to shut own their playoff opponents.  Jim McMahon ran in for a SB QB record two scores.  The Super Bowl Shufflin’ Crew scored a record 21 points in the third quarter and is still a record for the most points scored in that period.

26. Super Bowl IV: 23 Kansas City Chiefs 7 Minnesota Vikings MVP Len Dawson – Tulane Stadium – Favorite Minnesota by 12.5 – Impressive: Many sports writers and fans fully believed that the Vikings would easily take care of the Chiefs.  The night before the game, Ed Sabol of NFL Films met with Stram and convinced Stram to wear a hidden microphone during the game so his comments could be recorded for the Classic NFL Films Super Bowl IV film. They agreed the microphone would be kept secret. This would be the first time that a head coach had worn a microphone during a Super Bowl.  The SB IV halftime show was pure brilliance and was way beyond its years with a planned hot-air balloon race that eventually crashed into the stands in the end zone.  2-Star Rating – Jan Stenerud’s SB record 48-yard FG started things off for KC, as Minnesota did not even expect the attempt from that long of a distance.  Minnesota was slowed throughout the entire contest because of two fumbles, three interceptions, six costly penalties, and a lack of a rushing attack, being unable to run with a combined 24 rush yards from Dave Osborn and Joe Kapp.  KC did not need much offense because of a stifling defense, as RB Mike Garrett and WR Otis Taylor got into the end zone, to along with three Stenerud FG’s.  Sidenotes: CBS did the game with a cast trio of Jack Buck, Frank Gifford, and Pat Summerall.  The victory by the AFL evened the Super Bowl series with the NFL at two games apiece.

25. Super Bowl XXVIII: 30 Dallas Cowboys 13 Buffalo Bills MVPEmmitt Smith  Georgia Dome, Atlanta Favorite – Dallas by 10 Impressive:  The terrific 1-2 punch of NBC’s Dick Enberg and Bob Trumpy did the live call in SB XXVIII.  The Coin Toss nominee went to SB III MVP Mr. Guarantee himself, Joe Namath.  Dallas scored 24 unanswered points in the second half.  This was the last time in which both #1 seeded playoff teams from each conference met in the Super Bowl.   2-Star Rating – From the looks of it at halftime I had some hope and indication that Buffalo would finally get the Super Bowl Title they deserved, earned, and were due.  The city went through so much and they were just 30 minutes away from having their beloved Bills crowned champions, with the rings and winners coming back home to celebrate.  Buffalo’s lead and control over the game turned out to be as realistic as coach Marv Levy’s approval rating after three previous SB losses, as the Cowboys outplayed the Bills in the second half. Forty-five seconds into the third quarter, Leon Lett forced a Thurman Thomas fumble, which S James Washington returned 46 yards for a touchdown to tie the game.  From that point it seemed like Buffalo crumbled like a cookie and let the game slip away moment by moment.  MVP Emmitt Smith took the ball 30 times for 132 and 2 TD’s.  The turnovers and the big edge in favor of Dallas’ rushing attack over Buffalo’s were the difference makers.  Sidenotes & Quotes: “This (Super Bowl loss) is the worst, we should have won. Then they come up with 24 unanswered points. That last fumble was once in a million. These things always happen to the Bills. It rips the heart out of you.” –Buffalo receiver Andre Reed“We were high in the first half, and then — boom! — the turnover. It took a big chunk out of our confidence. We had to change the momentum. When you have big-game players, you can do it, but they did it, and we couldn’t get it back.” –Buffalo Center Kent Hull“Dallas didn’t wear us down in the second half, I fumbled. I cost us the game.” –Buffalo running back Thurman Thomas“In the immediate future we’ll be thought of as losers, But one day down the road, when I’m no longer playing, they’ll say, ‘Wow, they won four straight AFC championships. They must have been good.'” –Kent Hull  Steve Christie’s 54-yard FG is a SB record and QB Jim Kelly is the only passer to throw for over 50 times in two SB’s.

24. Super Bowl XXIX: 49 San Francisco 49ers 26 San Diego Chargers MVP Steve Young Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami – Favorite – 49ers by 18.5 – Interesting: Kathie Lee Gifford does the National Anthem and her husband Frank Gifford does color commentary for ABC.  NFL legends take part in the Coin Toss: Gale Sayers, “Mean” Joe Greene, Otto Graham, and Ray Nitschke.  2-Star Rating – Steve Young “got the monkey off his back” with a SB record six TD passes, leading SF to a one-sided, lopsided victory over their in-state San Diego Chargers.  Young and Jerry Rice hooked up for a 44-yard TD pass on the third play of the game and they didn’t look back.  As they became just the second team in SB history to take the opening kickoff and drive for a touchdown on offense since Miami in SB VIII.  SD’s Natrone Means ran in a TD and Andre Coleman returned a kick 98 yards to pay dirt.  The only thing SD accomplished that was noteworthy would be they were the first team to ever score off a two-point conversion.  Jerry Rice and Ricky Watters each got into the end zone three times.  Sidenotes: Ken Norton Jr. became the first player in to win three straight Super Bowls.  QB Gale Gilbert lost his fifth straight SB in a row.  49ers OC Mike Shanahan (Denver Broncos) and DC Ray Rhodes (Philly Eagles) found head coaching positions the following season.

23. Super Bowl XII: 27 Dallas Cowboys 10 Denver Broncos MVP Harvey Martin/Randy White – Louisiana Superdome (1st SB inside a dome) Favorite – Dallas by 5.5 – Impressive:  The Cowboys defensive unit rolled most of the game, forcing 8 turnovers and allowing only 8 pass completions by the Broncos for just 61 yards.  Super Bowl XII sparked a chance for Craig Morton to not only defeat his former team, but also to seek revenge for his Super Bowl V loss and the loss of his starting job Roger Staubach.  RB Tony Dorsett became the first player to win an NCAA championship one year and a SB title the following year.  Dallas was the only NFC team to win the Super Bowl in the 1970s.  3-Star Rating – The familiarity between these two teams might have hurt Denver (seeing all the turnovers), as this SB marked the first time teams had played against each other in the regular season (14-6 Dallas).  Dallas surprisingly started off a bit shaky with three near cough-ups (miscues) in their first two opening possessions.  They started off with a double-reverse, maybe too early for “trickeration”, though later in the game they pulled off a fancy TD off of a RB option pass.  Denver’s second drive of the game resulted in a Morton pick that ended up in the hands of the Cowboys, as five plays later Dallas scored on a Dorsett TD run.  By halftime, the Broncos had committed 7 turnovers, with 4 picks and 3 fumbles by Morton.  Norris Weese came in and got the only Broncos TD, only to later turn the ball over once again.  Dallas’ “Doomsday Defense” was more frightening than the “Orange Crush” Defense of Denver in SB XII and that’s all that mattered in the sloppiest, yet one of the most action-packed Super Bowls – if you like mistakes.  Sidenotes: Morton was just 4 of 15 for just a dismal 39 yards!  Robert Newhouse became the only RB to throw for a TD pass.  This was the first SB to played at nite.  Former Bear great Red Grange became the first non-referee to do the Coin Toss at the Super Bowl.  This was the last year of the infamous 14-game schedule.

22. Super Bowl XXI: 39 New York Giants 20 Denver Broncos MVPPhil Simms – Rose Bowl, Pasadena – Favorite Giants by 9.5 – Interesting: 1st ever “Gatorade Bath” takes place when OL Brad Benson and Bart Oates “cool off” coach Bill Parcells – “I think it was very appropriate to cool the guy down,” Oates explained, “as hot as he was in the game.”  MVP Phil Simms was the first athlete to appear in a “I’m Going to Disney World” television ad.  The postshow was supposed to present the song “One Shining Moment” but with the postgame interviews taking so long, CBS never aired it. They officially changed the lyrics from “The ball is kicked” to “The ball is tipped”, and now it’s featured at the end of their NCAA Hoops Championship Coverage.  Pregame and National Anthem: Beach Boys head the pregame while Neil Diamond perform the National Anthem.  NY gives up only three points in Playoffs while John Elway leads Denver to close OT victory in the thrilling “Drive“.  3-Star Rating – Early on the “Big Blue Wrecking Crew” gives up ten points to Elway’s gang, but during the key, crucial turning point of SB XXI, the defense seizes the moment by sizing up the offense, clamping down and coming up with one of the biggest (49ers vs. Bengals in SB XVI) goal line stands in SB history, thus changing the momentum in their favor heading into halftime.  In total, the Broncos ran 3 plays from the 1-yard line and backpedaled 5 yards. Denver tried to get points out of the drive with a 23-yard field goal attempt, but Karlis’ kick was no good (made a then SB record 48-yarder earlier in the 1st), making it the shortest missed field goal in Super Bowl history.  With Denver only up 10-9 at half, the Giants came out like gangbusters, storming towards 24 unanswered points, outlandishly outscoring Denver 30 to 10 in the 2nd half!  Phil Simms completes 88% of his passes for a Super Bowl record that still stands (never will be broken) and engineering five straight scoring drives to start the 2nd half.  New York used some “trick & gadget” plays to jumpstart their offense via a successful fake punt conversion and a flea flicker to get Denver’s defense off-track and to get the rampage rolling.  Sdienotes: Elway’s 47-yard TD pass to WR Vance Johnson is the 100th TD in Super Bowl history.  The bare-footed kicking Karlis missed yet another FG just before half from only 34 yards out. “Both times I didn’t get my hips all the way through the kicks. I was steering the ball, and I know better than that. I felt the team unravel after that. I really hurt them.”  Elway finished with more passing yards than Simms with 304 to 268. 

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