What makes a Super Bowl “great”?
In doing my research and looking back at the best Super Bowls of All-Time it was tough to choose the Top 10 and rank them in the order that I did. You have to consider that the reason these Super Bowls are the best and separated from all the rest is because they have “certain qualities” making them “5-star rated Super Bowls”. You want see if they possess these three things in determining the Top 10. I. Fantastic Finishes – Super Bowls are remembered by the final play or drive that made a team a winner and champion not to be forgotten. II. Turning Points/Clutch Moments – Super Bowls can be linked back to by momentum changing plays and clutch moments were you just shook your head and could not believe what you just saw. III. Quality of the Game and Team’s Stars – The game has to have the both teams playing at their best battling each other and the team’s best players have to shine and make the difference, coming through when the game is on the line, though it’s not always the most likely of sources (unsung heroes, ex. John Taylor).
What makes Super Bowl XXXII (31 Denver Broncos 24 Green Bay Packers) Stand Out the Most and why is it #1?
John Elway’s run for a first down when he scrambled out of the pocket and got lit up by three defenders, as #7 spun up into the air like a “helicopter” was pure brilliance. Elway, with three embarrassing, disappointing, and humiliating losses in past Super Bowls etched in his mind, took it upon himself to win the game and to do whatever it took to win, one play at a time. Everyone remembers that play and it’s a play of a “Champion”. Also, look at the QB match-up
of Elway & Favre, that was an unbeatable head-to-head superstar battle just right there. Green Bay was favored by two scores and jumped out to an early lead and then Denver fought them back and forth in an epic and one-of-a-kind Super Bowl. Terrell
Davis scored three TD’s and ran for 157 yards and played through a time where he lost his vision! The game was close the whole way through and did not know who was going to be victorious until Davis’ final score with just minutes left in the 4th! To see it come down to Favre driving on 4th down and for Denver finally to win a Super Bowl and to just have about everybody pulling for them, except for GB of course, rooting for them on their side, it was a thrilling SB filled with 60 minutes of entertainment – and that’s what Super Bowls are about!
Rank the Best Defining Moments/Plays of the Top 10 Super Bowls:
X. Super Bowl XIII: Jackie Smith’s dropped TD pass in the end zone falling down (wide open) right before halftime trying to tie up the score. The 4-point swing was the difference with a final score of 35-31.
IX. Super Bowl XXXVIII: Another Kicker’s mistake, Why does it always come down to that Kicker: Another Blunder- Carolina’s John Kasay kicks the ball out of bounds and grants New England possession at the 40 yard line. Patriots go on to win with another GW FG kick by none other than Adam Vinatieri from 41 yards out. Tom Brady leads the final drive up to that point once again and it caps off a 4th quarter in which five touchdowns were scored (only quarter in SB history to have both teams score two TD’s)! Scott Norwood might not feel that bad after all…
VIII. Super Bowl XIV: 3rd and 8 with his team down 19-17 in the all-important 4th quarter to the LA Rams (11.5 favorites), Bradshaw went play action and then threw a spiral downfield to John Stallworth, who was running a fly route. Stallworth caught the ball without breaking stride and took it all the way to the house for a 73-yard go-ahead touchdown to make the score 24-19 for the Pittsburgh Steelers. 2 Hall of Famers hooking up for a game-changing connection! Ain’t nothing like that in the biggest game of the year at the biggest stage ever!
VII.Super Bowl XXXVI: Adam Vinatieri is the unsung hero knocking home a 48-yard FG with no time left on the clock to complete one of the biggest sports upsets ever! Brady leads ’em down the field and Vinatieri finishes off the most shocking Super Bowl victory – in dramatic fashion!
VI. Super Bowl XXXII. John Elway’s 1st Down Run Going for it All (see above)
V. Super Bowl XVII: John Riggins’ TD on 4th & 1 in which he dragged a defender (CB Don McNeal) off of him en route to paydirt and a 20-17 lead at the time. Coach Gibbs makes a bold choice by giving it to their “money maker” on 4th down and let’s the “hogs” do the rest, as Riggins gallops into Super Bowl history with that legendary 43-run that ultimately won the game for Washington. “70 chip” got the job done and made the list at 5 because the famed run showed that one single play and turn a game 360 degrees.
IV. Super Bowl XXXIV: LB Mike Jones stops WR Kevin Dyson one yard short of a game-tying TD that would sent the game into overtime! Another one of those “shoulda coulda’s” or “what if’s” as no Super Bowl has gone into OT. You can’t get any better than this with the game on the line and the clock ticking, as Super Bowl 34 ends in a finish that I’ve never seen before! I wonder why it wasn’t a route going into the end zone, anyways, McNair, Warner, and that final play made people forget about that boring 1st half.
III. Super Bowl X: Lynn Swann making the best catch in NFL, not just Super Bowl, History – as the circus act in tipping the ball to himself with a defender all over him was spectacular. It got Pittsburgh out away from their own end zone and this play just great to look back on and watch.
II. Super Bowl XXIII: John Taylor seals the deal by capping off a 92-yard drive (less than 3 minutes) with a 10-yard scoring strike from “Joe Cool”. Montana goes to Rice and Craig exclusively and finds Taylor open for the GW score! Ends the best drive in Super Bowl history and wins the game forthe best SB dynasty ever! Bill Walsh retires after the game and Montana shows us why he is one of the best to ever play the game.
I. Super Bowl XXV: Sorry Buffalo Bills fans. Scott Norwood kicks the potential game-winner wide right from 47 yards out to let the Giants off the hook with a 20-19 Super Bowl victory. This is the best and most dramatic moment/play to finalize a Super Bowl that was the 2nd best of all-time! To see celebration on one side and anguish, shock, and defeat on the other side of the frustrated Buffalo Bills was just truly a Classic picture. Super Bowl 25 was the closest, the only SB to end on a missed FG for the win, and one were their was either pure silence or loud joy and jubilation after Norwood’s FG try went wide right barely! Whoever said Football is a game of inches, must’ve known what he was talking about!
Top Super Bowls Review/Recap – What was Learned
Now that you know why these are the Top 10 Best Super Bowls Ever, give some comments/feedback if you disagree or just agree with the SB Expert. You have found out what makes a Super Bowl great, what separates the Top 10, and what are the most defining moments in Super Bowl history. Hopefully Super Bowl XLIII will give us some excitement, make the list, and provide us with one of those plays that will give you “goosebumps” every time you revisit and re-watch it! “The greatness of a Super Bowl lies within the finish, closeness of the game and dramatic ending in which it gives you excitement!”