The first-ever Super Bowl took place on Jan. 15, 1967, and saw the Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10. Including that inaugural Super Bowl, there have been a total of 56. In those 56 Super Bowls, we have seen players become legends, teams become dynasties, and plays become immortalized in the football replay vault. Including the Packers who won the first two Super Bowls, we have seen seven teams repeat as Super Bowl Champions on eight different occasions (Miami Dolphins 1973-74, Pittsburgh Steelers 1975-76 & 1979-1980, San Francisco 49ers 1989-90, Dallas Cowboys 1993-94, Denver Broncos 1998-99, New England Patriots 2004-05).
Of the current 32 NFL teams, 20 of those teams have won at least one Super Bowl and 15 of those 20 have multiple titles. The Steelers and Patriots each have the most Super Bowl victories with six, followed closely by the 49ers and Cowboys, who have five each and the Patriots have the most appearances with 11. And while teams like the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals have made multiple Super Bowls but have failed to win one, teams like the Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Detroit Lions remain as the only teams that have failed to reach at least one Super Bowl.
But throughout the history of this great game, we have seen some amazing games. The type of games that had all three things that we mentioned above. Memorable plays, legendary players, and victories cemented into the records of the game. But what games top the rest? Get rid of the blowouts and the ones that made us take a nap and you have quite the list to remember. So, we did our best and ranked our 10 greatest Super Bowls ever played.
10. Super Bowl XXV: New York Giants 20, Buffalo Bills 19
Buffalo Bills fans might want to look as Super XXV was the first of four Super Bowls the Bills lost...in a row. The Bills, known for their no-huddle offense at the time, scored 95 points in their two playoff games leading up to the Super Bowl. But Super Bowl MVP running back Ottis Anderson and the New York Giants slowed that offense down by controlling the time of possession with over 40 minutes, with 22 of those minutes coming in the second half. The Bills had a chance to win but a 47-yard field goal went wide right and the Giants won their second Lombardi Trophy.
9. Super Bowl XXXIV: St. Louis Rams 23, Tennessee Titans 16
The Greatest Show on Turf was held in check for most of Super Bowl XXXIV as the St. Louis Rams had to settle for three field goals in the first half and did not score the game's first touchdown until halfway through the third quarter, which gave the Rams a 16 to 0 lead. But after back-to-back drives consisting of 25 total plays and nearly a quarter's worth of time taken off the clock, the Titans would cut the lead to three and then tie the game at 16 with 2:12 left in the game. But then the gut punch came in as the Rams would finally break free and score on one play that went 73 yards to give them a 23 to 16 lead. The Titans would put together a near-game-winning drive but would find themselves just a yard short as time expired.
8. Super Bowl XLIX: New England Patriots 28, Seattle Seahawks 24
History was decided by one play on the one-yard line in Super Bowl XLIX. If the New England Patriots won, it would become the start of another dynasty for the Patriots. If the Seattle Seahawks won, it would be their second in a row and it would be the third straight Super Bowl appearance that the Patriots would have lost. After a scoreless first quarter, it was a back-and-forth game with each team having a lead. After the Patriots scored 14 unanswered points, the Seahawks had an opportunity to win the game. With the ball on the one-yard line and Beast Mode activated all game long, the thought was the Seahawks would run it in. Instead, the Seahawks decided to throw the ball and cornerback Malcolm Butler intercepted the pass and sealed the Patriots' victory.
7. Super Bowl XXIII: San Francisco 49ers 20, Cincinnati Bengals 16
Super Bowl XXIII was a slow burner that became a second-half back-and-forth affair. At the start of the second half, the score was tied up at three a piece. To open up the second half, the Cincinnati Bengals put together an 18-play drive that took up nine minutes of the third quarter that resulted in a field goal. Two possessions later the San Francisco 49ers made it even once again with a field goal of their own but on the ensuing kickoff, Stanford Jennings ran the ball back for 93 yards and the first touchdown of the game. The Bengals would find themselves with the lead with three minutes left but then Joe Montana put together one of the most legendary drives that was capped off with a 10-yard touchdown pass to win the Super Bowl with 34 seconds left in the game.
6. Super Bowl XLII: New York Giants 17, New England Patriots 14
The 1972 Miami Dolphins are the only team to go undefeated for an entire season but that record has never been tested like it was in Super Bowl XLII. The New England Patriots had not lost a game entering their game against the New York Giants and had one thing on their mind: perfection. The Patriots had a record-setting offense but the Giants' defense came ready to play recording five sacks and one forced fumble. However, their offense was stagnant for most of the game as they began the fourth quarter with just three points. But their offense would come alive in the fourth quarter and trade touchdowns with the Patriots. And then with under two minutes left to play in the game, one of the most memorable Super Bowl catches took place as David Tyree pinned the ball to his helmet and picked up 32 yards on the play. And five plays later, David conquered Goliath as the Giants scored the game-winning touchdown. Champagne bottles were popped in New York AND Miami that night.
5. Super Bowl XIII: Pittsburgh Steelers 35, Dallas Cowboys 31
Super Bowl XIII saw one of the first heavyweight matchups as two teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys, were in the midst of what would put the two teams amongst the teams with the most Lombardi Trophies. The two teams each had Super Bowl victories and had accounted for four of the last seven Super Bowl winners. There was no separation in the first three quarters between the two teams as they swapped leads three times and enter the fourth quarter with the Steelers up 21 to 17. The fourth quarter would then see the Steelers score 14 unanswered points but the Cowboys would score 14 straight of their own to pull back within in four points but that final touchdown came a little too late, as the Steelers recovered the onside kick, ran the clock out, and won their third Super Bowl in franchise history.
4. Super Bowl LI: New England Patriots 34, Atlanta Falcons 28
When you are the New England Patriots and have been to 11 Super Bowls as a franchise, your odds go up on making this list but the Patriots were very close to being on a different list. Tom Brady and the Patriots found themselves down to the Atlanta Falcons 28 to 3 late in the third quarter and many thought that not only was Super Bowl LI over but so was the Patriots' reign. But they forgot that the Patriots had one player that was capable of winning at any moment: Brady. Brady and the Patriots would go on to 25 unanswered points to tie the game and thanks to an incredible catch by Julian Edelman to keep one of the drives alive, the Patriots would send the game into the first-ever overtime period in Super Bowl history. The Patriots got the ball first in overtime and the rest is history as a James White two-yard run became the first walk-off touchdown in Super Bowl History.
3. Super Bowl XXXII: Denver Broncos 31, Green Bay Packers 24
In a Super Bowl that was headlined by the quarterback matchup of John Elway and Brett Favre, it was Terrell Davis who stole the show in Super Bowl XXXII rushing for three touchdowns and 157 yards. The Green Bay Packers were looking to win their second straight Super Bowl when they took on the Denver Broncos in what would be one of the best Super Bowls in the 1990s. From start to finish, these teams traded blows, with each team scoring in all four quarters. On one of the most pivotal drives of the game, John Elway would run the ball on third and six and sacrifice himself as he dove for the first down and was "helicoptered" in mid-air as he picked up the first down. Terrell Davis would score his second touchdown on that drive and then his third and final touchdown of the game with under two minutes left to give the Broncos the lead, and the win. And as everyone knows, this one was for John.
2. Super Bowl LII: Philadelphia Eagles 41, New England Patriots 33
Once again, we see that same familiar face as the New England Patriots took on the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII. With a 15 to 12 lead late in the fourth quarter, Nick Foles and the Eagles ran the "Philly Special" on fourth down which resulted in Foles catching a touchdown pass from tight end Trey Burton. The third quarter would see these two teams trading scores and with nine minutes left in the game, the Patriots took their first lead of the game. Eagles fans were on the edge of their seat but with just over two minutes left, Foles would find Zach Ertz for the go-ahead score. On the ensuing drive, Brandon Graham would strip-sack Tom Brady and inevitably seal the win for the Philadelphia Eagles' first-ever Super Bowl victory.
1. Super Bowl XLIII: Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Arizona Cardinals 23
The greatest Super Bowl of all time is Super Bowl XLIII and it had it all. Big plays on both offense and defense, a safety, a late back-and-forth battle, and a memorable game-winning touchdown. After a low-scoring first half and just a few seconds left until the half, the Pittsburgh Steelers James Harrison intercepted the ball and ran it back for 100 yards to give the Steelers a 10-point lead. That lead would be extended to 13 before the Arizona Cardinals began their comeback. After scoring a touchdown and recording a safety, the Cardinals would find themselves down by four and just two plays into their next drive, a 64-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald would be the Cardinals ahead. But the Steelers would get the last blow as an eight-play, 78-yard game-winning drive was capped off by a six-yard touchdown pass from Big Ben to Santonio Holmes that saw Holmes just barely keep his feet and just barely gave the Steelers their sixth Super Bowl win.
MORE: The 10 Greatest NFL Teams That Didn't Win the Super Bowl
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