Super Bowl Rankings (#21-11 Edition) – Part III of IV

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21. Super Bowl XXXVII: 48 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21 Oakland Raiders MVP Dexter Jackson Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego Favorite – Raiders by 4 Interesting: This “Gruden Bowl” had Oakland QB Rich Gannon throwing a SB record five interceptions.  3-Star Rating – Like the Pats the previous year both Tampa and Oakland came out the tunnel to get introduced as a “team”, but only one left SB XXXVII the way it came in.  The Bucs controlled the game throughout and were up 20-3 at half.  Pro-Bowl S John Lynch emulated Gannon in practice and told his fellow teammates during the game which plays Gannon was calling.  It turned to be out a success as the defense showcased a clinic on how to stop an elite QB.  Oakland’s only lead was at 3-0 and the closest they got was 34-21 after a Jerry Rice TD, as he became the only player to score in four Super Bowls.  Sidenotes: The “beautiful” Beyonce performed for the pregame.  Gruden was traded for draft picks earlier in the year and now the new rules have it that you cannot do that anymore.  Keenan McCardell caught two scores and Tampa returned two, including Dwight Smith’s 50-yarder runback for the SB’s 200th TD.  Oakland ran for just 19 yards.

20. Super Bowl XL: 21 Pittsburgh Steelers 10 Seattle Seahawks MVP Hines Ward Ford Field Detroit – Favorite –  Steelers by 4 Impressive: Pittsburgh becomes the first ever #6 seed to win the Super Bowl 3-Star Rating – Stevie Wonder started things off (pre-game) and the Black & Gold  led by none other than Bill Cowher finished it off by getting “One for the Thumb”.  Steel Curtain nation filled Detroit with “terrible towels” and Pittsburgh felt right at home by beating a sloppy Seattle team.  “Fast Willie” made histroy with the longest TD run in SB history (75 yards) and Antwaan Randle El completed a 43-yard TD pass to MVP Hines Ward in the 4th quarter to seal the deal and rap up the scoring.  Finishing the game off was an easy job for a defense that stifled Hasselbeck, Alexander, and Co, despite giving up more yards than their offense gained.  Sidenotes: Seattle holds on to ball more than six minutes more, gets more first downs, turns the ball over less, and outhrows Pittsburgh by 101 yards.  Steelers finish season on an eight-game winning streak.

19. Super Bowl XXXIII: 34 Denver Broncos 19 Atlanta Falcons MVP John Elway Pro Player Stadium, Miami – Favorite – Broncos by 7.5  Interesting: “Dirty Birds” win NFC Title Game in OT @ Minnesota 30-27.  John Elway becomes the only QB to start in five SB’s.  3-Star Rating – Atlanta jumps out to 3-0 lead but Denver responds with an 80-yard scoring drive to go ahead 7-3.  Rod Smith catches 80-yard TD pass to help Denver go up 17-3 after a 26-yard FG miss by Morten Andersen.  John Elway’s TD run puts team up for good 31-6 before Tim Dwight’s ensuing kickoff return for score (94 yards).  Sidenotes: Terrell Davis goes for 102 yards rushing and 50 receiving, and by going over 100 yards rushing its his 7th consecutive time.  Davis becomes on the third RB to go over the century mark in back-to-back SB’s (Csonka & E.Smith).  Elway calls it a career.

18. Super Bowl XLI: 29 Indianapolis Colts 17 Chicago Bears MVP Peyton Manning Pro Player Stadium, Miami Favorite – Colts by 6.5 Impressive:  Devin Hester “Windy City Flyer” returns opening kickoff 92 yards for TD (only ever in SB history).  3-Star Rating –  What Hester started the Bears couldn’t finish, though Kelvin Hayden of Indy didn’t mind taking care of that with a 56-yard INT return for TD that putting the icing on the cake for a Colts SB win.  Indy had the ball 16 minutes (38:04 to 21:56) more than Chicago, ran the ball 23 more times (42 to 19), and also ran 40+ more plays than the Bears.  Chicago’s downfall was their five turnovers and they only had 11 first downs compared to Indy’s 24.  Addai and Rhodes were consistent in moving the chains and Manning had a strong performance likewise.  Sidenotes: Addai caught a SB record 10 passes and this was the 3rd SB to have two rushers go for over 100 yards (Jones with 113 and Rhodes with 114).  Tony Dungy became only the third man to win as a coach and player (Mike Ditka and Tom Flores).

17. Super Bowl XXXI: 35 Green Bay Packers 21 New England Patriots MVP Desmond Howard Louisiana Superdome Favorite – Packers by 14 Interesting: Howard is the only ever special teams player to win a SB MVP.  Luther Vandross does the National Anthem and James Brown and the Blues Brothers head the halftime show.  3-Star Rating – Reggie White sets a SB record with three sacks and NE’s coach Bill Parcells talks with New York Jets about becoming their Head Coach before SB.  Pats come as close as 27-21 but Favre was too good with three TD’s (1 rush and 2 deep pass scores).  Sidenotes: Favre becomes first winning QB ever to have three TD’s and not be named SB MVP.    

16. Super Bowl IX: 16 Pittsburgh Steelers 6 Minnesota Vikings MVP Franco Harris Tulane Stadium, New Orleans – Favorite – Steelers by 3 Impressive: MVP Franco Harris has more yards rushing (158) than the entire Minnesota offense!  Pittsburgh holds Vikings to 119 total yards of offense and just 17 rush yards!  Steelers hold them to more SB records, giving up just two first downs!  3-Star Rating – Scoring starts off with a Dwight safety, Minnesota scores only points off a blocked punt (missed PAT), and game is played in cold temperatures – what a crazy Super Bowl indeed.  Sidenotes: Game scheduled to be played inside Louisiana Superdome but the dome was not finished.     

15. Super Bowl III: 16 New York Jets 7 Baltimore Colts MVP Joe Namath Orange Bowl, Miami Favorite – Colts by 22 Interesting: Joe Namath guarantees a victory down by the beach against the powerful NFL team, being the starting QB for a team that’s underdogs by 22 points as a weak AFL squad! 3-Star Rating –  Good – WR George Sauer has field day with Don Maynard playing as a decoy -RB Matt Snell goes for 121 yards. Bad – Johnny Unitas comes in at end for late TD. Sidenotes: Joe Namath is the only SB MVP at QB not to throw for a TD.

14. Super Bowl XXX: 27 Dallas Cowboys 17 Pittsburgh Steelers MVP Larry Brown Sun Devil Stadium, Arizona Favorite – Dallas by 13.5 Impressive:  Third time both teams play each other in the Super Bowl 3-Star Rating  Good – Diana Ross and Vanessa Williams take part in festivities at the game and Dallas’ Charles Haley becomes 1st player to win five SB rings.  Bad – Neil O’Donnell throws three costly interceptions.  Sidenotes: Dallas gains just 56 yards rushing and it’s the first SB for an owner to receive the Lombardi Trophy.

13. Super Bowl XXXIX: 24 New England Patriots 21 Philadelphia Eagles MVP Deion Branch Alltel Stadium, Jacksonville Favorite – Patriots by 7 Interesting: Deion Branch becomes just the third player to be named MVP (Biletnikoff, SB XI and Namath, SB III) and not get into the end zone.  4-Star Rating: Good – Rodney Harrison picks off final pass of Donovan McNabb and TE Jeff Thomason signs 1-day contract for SB because of Chad Lewis’ injury.  Terrell Owens plays despite major pain.  Bad – Philly’s run game with just 17 carries.  LB Mike Vrabel scores on the Eagles when everyone knows he’s getting the ball.  Sidenotes: Deion Branch ties SB record with 11 catches (Dan Ross, SB XVI – Jerry Rice, SB XXIII).    

12. Super Bowl XVI: 26 San Francisco 49ers 21 Cincinnati Bengals MVP Joe Montnan Pontiac Silverdome, Detroit Favorite – 49ers by 1 Impressive: 49ers go up 20-0 at half after recovering “wild” squib kick which lead to three points,Bengals could not handle this successful planned (turf helps in aiding the bounce, as they did it to the Lions in the regular season) kick from Ray Wersching, who booted four through the uprights.  4-Star Rating – Good – WR’s Collinsworth and Ross became second teammates to go for over 100 receving yards since SB XIII’s tandem of Stallworth and Swann from Pittsburgh.  49ers make a “stop for the ages” with game-breaking, momentum-changing GL stand holding Cincy to nothing on that drive in the 3rd.  Bad – Bengals outgain (356 to 275) and score more TD’s (only time ever) than 49ers and still lose. Sidenotes:  49ers get to SB with “The Catch” from Montana to Clark, a connection that was vital to the team’s success in ’81.

11. Super Bowl V: 16 Baltimore Colts 13 Dallas Cowboys MVP Chuck Howley (only MVP from losing team) Orange Bowl, Miami Favorite – Dallas by 2 Interesting:  Rookie Kicker Jim O’Brien hits GW FG from 32 yards out. 4-Star Rating –  Good – Unitas hits All-Pro TE Mackey for 75-yard TD on a crazy tipped ball by Mel Renfro.  Bad – Unitas leaves game because of injury afeter INT a drive later – Colts turn the ball over 7 times and Dallas has 4. Sidenotes: “We figured we could win if our offense didn’t put us into too many holes”, said 35-year old Colts lineman Billy Ray Smith, who was playing in his last NFL game, “Let me put it this way, they didn’t put us into any holes we couldn’t get out of”.  Don McCafferty becomes first rookie head coach to win the big game (Seifert and 49ers in XXIV is the 2nd).  

     


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