What Is The Greatest Goodell-Era Super Bowl?

Check out Gridiron Gab Senior Editor Matt Loede’s ranking of all the Super Bowls.

Here’s my ranking of all the Goodell (2006-on) era Super Bowls. Since Roger Goodell became commissioner, he’s overseen 6 Super Bowls, and they’ve all had either Ben Roethlisberger or a Manning in them.

1. Super Bowl XLIII: Steelers 27, Cardinals 23. This one may be the best ever. The controversial calls and non-calls – the block in the back on Harrison’s TD, the Fitzgerald TD where the ball appeared to move when it hit the ground, and Harrison not getting tossed for punching Aaron Francisco multiple times – might have impacted the outcome a little. In many ways – for non-Cardinals fans – those moments could add to the legend of this game. Roethlisberger overcame a rather quiet start against an inspired Cardinals defense to have one of the best drives in Super Bowl history, and Santonio Holmes made the most amazing TD catch in Super Bowl history…just moments after it looked like Fitzgerald had won the Super Bowl for the “worst playoff team in history” Cardinals. There was such an energy to this game, with so many defensive players making big plays. This is unlikely to be the last Steelers Super Bowl win, but it will go down as the most thrilling, down to the last play.

2. Super Bowl XLII: Giants 17, Patriots 14. If you were to go back and watch this game now, it might not have much replay value, and not just due to the bottom-of-the-barrel Joe Buck call (for the record, I think he’s above average in regular season games, but I really like a play-by-play guy with more excitement for a Super Bowl; Troy Aikman is the weaker half). However, I must rank this #2  because it was one of the most shocking upsets in NFL history. You just felt like, whatever the Patriots problems were, they got them out of their system earlier in the season against the Ravens, and in the Championship Game vs. San Diego. You just thought, this Patriots team is indestructible. There weren’t a lot of great plays in the game. It was pretty low-scoring. It just ended up being so thrilling because I – like many – really didn’t think New York would be able to do it. At that point, the Patriots were 18-0 that season and Belichick was 3-0 in Super Bowls. There was just this fantastic tension every Patriots punt and when the Tyree catch happened, and that tension was underneath the Burress TD catch.

3. Super Bowl XLVI: Giants 21, Patriots 17. While Saints-Colts was probably a more tightly-played and exciting game (no 12 men on the field penalties, fewer drops, fewer miscommunications) for 3 quarters, it kind of ended on a whimper after the Peyton pick 6.

4. Super Bowl XLIV: Saints 31, Colts 17. This is remembered for the Hank Baskett dropped onsides kick recovery, but it was a decent duel for awhile with both teams trying desperately to get to the other team’s quarterback (1 sack between the two teams).

5. Super Bowl XLV: Packers 31, Steelers 25. I wanted to rank this one higher because of how flawless Aaron Rodgers played. He was out of his mind out there, but the game wasn’t close long enough for this game to be ranked high.

6. Super Bowl XLI: Colts 29, Bears 17. A rainy atmosphere made for a sloppy offensive game for the Bears. Peyton took advantage of a defensive breakdown for one TD, and the Colts defense shut down the Bears in the second half.

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