Ranking the 43 Super Bowls: Part 1

February 02, 2010 | Dwayne Showalter

Everyone has a weakness.  Besides saying “Sure, I’ll have one more beer”, mine might just be a small obsession with the Super Bowl.  I have recorded every game since we picked up our first VCR back in 1982.  I record the games replayed on NFL Network.  I watch all the NFL Films game capsules on DVD with my son.  I can recite all the games in order, get within a few points either way of the final score, and tell you where each game was played.

The only thing I’m missing is an actual first person experience at the Super Bowl.  I’ve tried the ticket lottery, hinted to my friends in low places… I should hit up Nestor one year!  But with this year’s game just days away, i decided to rank each game, from worst to first, based on general entertainment value with a bit of bias thrown in. 

I’ll start tonight with games 43 through 31 and release the rest of list between now and Friday morning.  So brush up on your Roman numerals.  Here we go. 


43.  Super Bowl XXIV  49ers 55, Broncos 10.   Denver trailed 41-3 five minutes into the second half.  Montana was at his best.  Elway lost for the third time in 4 years.  The most lopsided final score ever and the fact that this game was played in a dome makes it the worst Super Bowl ever.  I even watched the commercials…which I never do.

42.  Super Bowl XXVII  Cowboys 52, Bills 17.  Buffalo scored first, but trailed 28-10 at the half.  It was Buffalo’s third loss in a row, each one uglier than the previous.  It was getting tiresome.  The Leon Lett blooper showed at least some of the Bills didn’t quit.  On the plus side, it was the last Super Bowl held at one of the greatest venues ever, the Rose Bowl.

41.  Super Bowl XX  Bears 46, Patriots 10.   Another blowout where the loser scored first.  The Bears led 23-3 at the half and it got worse from there.  It started the trend of NFC teams blasting the AFC.  The Fridge scored, but Walter Payton never did.  That alone puts you toward the bottom of this list.

40. Super Bowl XXXVII  Bucs 48, Raiders 21.  Guess what, the Raiders scored first, but trailed 20-3 at the half.  Tampa Bay returned THREE picks for touchdowns and Dexter Jackson won the MVP by snagging two other Raider passes.  Jerry Rice scored for Oakland in his last Super Bowl but the rest of the Raiders didn’t show. 

39.  Super Bowl VI  Cowboys 24, Dolphins 3.   The Doomsday Defense surrendered just  185 yards and 10 first downs on the day.  Meanwhile, the Cowboy running attack netted 252 yards.  The Dolphins had no answer.  Hall of Famers Lance Alworth and Mike Ditka both scored on 7-yard passes from fellow Hallmate Roger Staubach.

38.  Super Bowl XXXV  Ravens 34, Giants 7.  The Ravens choked the Giants offense into submission.  They picked off Kerry Collins 5 times.  The only score  for New York was a kickoff return sandwiched between a Raven pick-six and a Baltimore kickoff return of its own by Jermaine Lewis.  Could it be ranked worse, sure, but this is Baltimore and its all i can do not to rank it No.1!

37.  Super Bowl XVIII  Raiders 38, Redskins 9.  The game had everything if you were a Raiders fan.  Marcus Allen scored on the longest rushing TD at that time.  They blocked a punt for an early score.  They picked off a Theismann screen pass for a score to close the 1st half.  Allen rolled for two scores and 191 yards.  And it was the Redskins.  It could easily be No. 2!

36.  Super Bowl XI  Raiders 32, Vikings 14.  Oakland led 20-0 by the time the Vikings cracked the scoreboard late in the 3rd quarter. The Raiders responded with two TDs to bury the Vikings.  Oakland outrushed Minnesota 266 to 71.  This was the first Super Bowl I remember watching from start to finish.  Maybe its why I love the Rose Bowl.

35.  Super Bowl XXII  Redskins 42, Broncos 10.  It must sound like a cruel joke to Denver fans.  They led after the 1st quarter 10-0.  By halftime, they trailed 35-10.  In one magical quarter, Doug Williams threw four TD passes.  Timmy Smith added another score in the quarter and tacked one on late en route to a record 204 yards rushing.

34.  Super Bowl XXIX  49ers 49,  Chargers 26.  This was Steve Young’s day.  Living in the long shadow cast by Joe Montana in San Fransisco, he finally got the Niners back on top of the NFL.  His six TDs are still a record.  The fact that Jerry Rice scored three times is almost an afterthought.  You need to give the Chargers a little credit though.  They beat the Steelers in the AFC title game at Three Rivers to make it to Miami.

33.  Super Bowl XXXIII  Broncos 34, Falcons 19.  John Elway’s final game was anti-climactic compared to Denver’s upset victory Green Bay the year before.  Denver tore through the regular season and playoffs.  This game was supposed to be a formal coronation for Elway.  Denver held a 17-6 lead into the 4th quarter before scoring twice to lead 31-6.  Elway, the game’s MVP, was 18 of 29 for 336 yards.

32.  Super Bowl II  Packers 33, Raiders 14.  The AFL’s Raiders were supposed to get killed by the NFL’s Packers…and they pretty much were.  Oakland trailed 33-7 before tacking on a meaningless TD late.  It looked like the NFL (or at least Green Bay) was that much better than the AFL.

31.  Super Bowl I  Packers 35,  Chiefs 10.  Again, the  AFL’s Chiefs were supposed to be killed by the NFL’s Packers…and they pretty much were.  But it was only 14-10 at the half.  The Packers stuffed the Chiefs running game, made Len Dawson to run for his life and forced some key turnovers in the first “Super Bowl”.  At this point it was just known as the AFL-NFL Championship Game.

Click the links below to view the rest of the list
Games ranked 21-30
Games ranked 11-20
Games ranked 6-10