Super Bowl LI(51) has concluded! The New England Patriots defeated the Atlanta Falcons for their fifth Super Bowl win in franchise history. This ranking will be very similar to my World Series ranking(Here).
Excitement: This is the number one key component. How engaging, exciting, thrilling, and fun is it to watch the Super Bowl? Were there great plays? High scoring games? Were they intense defensive performances? Or were they dull games with no real crucial plays?
Suspense: A close Super Bowl is almost always a good one. This is why blowouts don't engage the public. Also, were the games themselves close? Did they keep you holding your breath? Were they tedious?
Shock-Factor: Did the players do anything outrageous? Was there a surprise ending? Surprise comeback? Surprise injury? Did a drought end?
The Winner: This is the least important thing of ranking, but I must include it. If my favorite team wins the Super Bowl, it would obviously be better than my worst team winning-Regardless of how exciting the series was or not.
While I love a good halftime show, it will not be a factor in how I rank a Super Bowl.
13. Super Bowl XLIX(2015): Patriots defeat Seahawks 28-24.
Let me get this off of my chest right now: The Patriots are my absolute worst team in the NFL. They have been caught in two cheating scandals, thanks to the classlessness of Bill Belicheck, and Tom Brady. If the Patriots win a Super Bowl, it's going to be nearly impossible for me to enjoy the Super Bowl, regardless of how quintessential the Super Bowl game was(Yes, even THAT game...).
The suspense factor was prevalent the entire game, and this is the only positive thing for the whole Super Bowl. Both teams' defense shined in the first quarter, as they were scoreless. Seahawks Quarterback Russel Wilson shined, and Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady shined in the second quarter, which sent both teams tied at 14 going into halftime. Seahawks Running Back Marshawn Lynch ran like crazy, and the Seahawks took a ten point lead going into the fourth quarter. Finally, the Patriots rallied to take the lead 28-24. With 26 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks had one yard to go to score a Touchdown-Essentially making them the winners of the Super Bowl. They also have a future Hall of Famer, Marshawn Lynch. So, what do they do? Pass the ball for an Interception, losing the Super Bowl! Not only did it kill me to see my worst team take home a fourth Super Bowl title, but I witnessed the biggest fluke I'll probably see in my life, thanks to the worst coaching decision in Super Bowl history. The worst part is, this was probably the most exciting play the entire Super Bowl. This is one Super Bowl that I wish I would have skipped.
12. Super Bowl XLVIII(2014): Seahawks defeat Broncos 43-8
2014's Super Bowl looked a lot like 2015's Super Bowl: The Seahawks going against one of the best Quarterbacks.
Except this game had the exact opposite problem of the Patriots/Seahawks game: It wasn't a fluke at all, and it wasn't the least bit suspenseful. Normally, I would rank a Super Bowl high on the list due to the fact we saw a team win their first title-And I was rooting for the Seahawks. But this game was such a washout, it was a total disappointment. It follows the narrative of the fact Peyton Manning is arguably the best Quarterback of all time, yet, chokes in key postseason games. On top of this, the only true exciting play was Percy Harvin's Kickoff Return. Other than that, it was just a dominant run, and pass combination between Russel Wilson, and Marshawn Lynch. On top of this, the game was played in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which is why it snowed during the game. Why, NFL, why?
11. Super Bowl XL(2006): Steelers defeat Seahawks 21-10
In my World Series ranking list, I found the two World Series I saw the Tigers compete in were among the worst. For this ranking, there is a parallel to the Tigers: Seahawks.Because if the Seahawks make another Super Bowl appearance, I'm already going to dread the game.
As a Bengals fan, it won't come as a surprise the Steelers are one of my worst teams in all of the NFL(Second-worst at that). On top of this, Ben Roethlisberger shouldn't even be allowed to play(And I don't need to explain why), but thanks to a combination of white, and class privilege, he is another "teflon man" in the NFL.
But even the game itself wasn't that great. We saw a lackluster offense by the Seahawks, and the only reason the Steelers even won was due to their legendary Wide Receiver, Hines Ward. The plays weren't that exciting. Most of us knew the Steelers would win, since the Seahawks were asleep. This is a very forgettable game, and pretty much nothing happened.
10. Super Bowl XXXIX(2005): Patriots defeat Eagles 24-21
If you're going to convince a 14/15 year old teenager to begin watching football, you need to convince him that Super Bowls are the best game of the season. Well, my first two Super Bowl games I indulged in were quite a disappointment, so you needed to be a convince-specialist at this point.
At the time, I had nothing against the Patriots. After all, it was my first football season I actually watched, and the only teams I didn't like were the Steelers, and Ravens, and this is because I was forced to hate them as a Bengals fan. However, I didn't want to see a repeat winner for my first Super Bowl, and I wanted to see the Eagles win their first Super Bowl.
One thing I did see was a close game. This was before Tom Brady made biased news headlines. Instead, most of the focus was on the Patriots Running Back Corey Dillon, and their legendary Wide Receiver Deoin Branch. However, the Eagles had the Donovan McNabb-Terrell Owens connection, which is why this game was so tight. The suspense factor was prevalent in this game, and I can't deny that. I boiled down to where McNabb had a minute left, but couldn't pull off the Touchdown pass to win the game. The Patriots' defense forced four turnovers in the game as well.
Interestingly enough, this is the only time the Patriots won the Super Bowl, and Tom Brady wasn't the Super Bowl MVP.
9. Super Bowl XLIII(2009): Steelers defeat Cardinals 27-23.
This is such a hard Super Bowl for me to rank. While the game itself had everything which makes a Super Bowl great-The ending was a huge let-down. The entire country wanted to see the Cardinals take out the Steelers, and end their epic 61 year title drought, but unfortunately, with a last quarter comeback, the Steelers ruined all hope.
The first half was a show between Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Linebacker James Harrison, and Wide Receive Santonio Holmes, which put them in a 17-7 lead during halftime. However, the Cardinals answered back with pure offense, largely due to their Hall of Fame Quarterback Kurt Warner. With 2:36 to go in the fourth quarter, it was looking like a certain Cardinals win, since they had taken a six point lead-That was until the comeback.
No, not the comeback which is making our headlines for nearly a week now. This was the original "Comeback" in the Super Bowl. Despite the fact the Steelers had 90 yards to get down field, and score a Touchdown, they...still scored a Touchdown with 35 seconds left in the game. Yep, the Steelers ruined everyone's sweet dreams again. While this game featured exciting offensive plays, and an epic drive to comeback, I just hate the Steelers. Plain, and simple.
8. Super Bowl XLV(2011): Packers defeat Steelers 31-25
Let me guess, you were thinking that just because the Steelers lost, that this Super Bowl would be ranked higher? Well, this Super bowl wasn't all too bad, but the score is misleading in the first place.
It started off with a 21-10 Packers lead during halftime, which was going to be a Packers easy win. Basically, the game was a shootout between Ben Roethlisberger, and Aaron Rodgers. Strangely enough, despite the fact it was a suspenseful game, and ended up being close-It wasn't that exciting. The game consisted of basic Touchdowns, and Field Goals. After the Packers' Mason Crosby kicked a Field Goal, the Packers-Unlike the Cardinals-Were able to easily hold the Steelers off to take home the trophy. Yeah, it was a so-so game, but nothing that great.
7. Super Bowl XLI(2007): Colts defeat Bears 29-17.
Are you just sick, and tired of seeing the same teams, every single year, compete in the number one watched sports game in the world? Well, this is the Super Bowl for you!
As a matter of fact, this is the only Super Bowl I initially missed while I was working, and I had to watch in when it was uploaded on Youtube(At the time, before Youtube got these pesky little things called legal rights, and stuff).
A mid-tier Super Bowl it was. Many people wanted to see the "GOAT" Peyton Manning finally win a ring, and if anything else, we got to see this. It was the first Super Bowl to be played in the rain, which made things interesting, but also a little less exciting. The Colts were trailing 14-6 in the half, but the Colts' defense stepped it up, forcing five turnovers. In all actuality, Peyton Manning wasn't truly the most valuable player in the game, but he won the Super Bowl MVP nonetheless. The game featured a great comeback(NO, not THAT great of a comeback, not THAT comeback), and was suspenseful, we finally got to see Peyton Manning win his first ring. However, due to the lack of truly exciting moments, I can't rank this higher. However, Devin Hester, a rookie at the time, ran a Kickoff Return back for a Touchdown to start the game, and that's a way to start off a Super Bowl with a bang.
6. Super Bowl 50(2016): Broncos defeat Panthers 24-10
Ah, the first Super Bowl in history to not go by Roman Numerals, due to the lack of visual appeal.
Of course, Roman Numerals matter about as much as cheaters in the NFL matters. What we had here was a sweet result no matter how you looked at it. We were either going to see a storybook ending-Peyton Manning take home one final ring for his final season, OR we were going to see the Panthers take home their first title in their short franchise history.
Many people predicted the young stud Cam Newton would lead his team to their first title, and they were actually favored by everyone-But what was saw here was a bit of a lopsided upset. This was arguably the most defensive matchups in Super Bowl history, and this made it so exciting for me. We several turnovers by each team, and the longest Punt Return in Super Bowl history.
5. Super Bowl LI(2017): Patriots defeat Falcons 34-28(OT)
I had to. I just had to. I hate that I had to, but I had to, and you know what's it's like to have to do something that you hate.
What we witnessed last week was a jaw-dropping Super Bowl. First of all, the Falcons completely annihilated the Patriots in the first half of the Super Bowl-Going into halftime with a 21-3 lead. This was largely due to the explosive offense from the Falcons, and the fact Tom Brady was playing like Trent Dilfer. We saw Matt Ryan make bomb passes down the field, Davonta Freeman soar down the field, and an Interception to score a Touchdown. This was appearing to be like a mirror image of the 2016-17 NFL postseason. Boy, were we wrong.
Suddenly, in the second half, the Patriots got some magic in them-Despite the fact they missed the Point After Attempt. Whether they cheated, or not(Nothing surprises me with this team anymore), they were able to erase a 25 point lead to send the game into Overtime-Yes, the first Overtime in Super Bowl history. This was due to the fact Tom Brady started playing like Joe Montana, and the Falcons' defense looked like the Jaguars' defense. There was also the astounding fact the Patriots were able to convert two 2-Point conversions near the end of the fourth quarter. It was the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. It was also the first Super Bowl where a Quarterback has won five Super Bowl rings.
Yes, I've realized one thing: It will go down as my top five Super Bowls for a very very long time, but because the Patriots won, I can't rank it top three. If you read my World Series list, you'll see why it was tough for me to rank the 2011 World Series higher than what I had it.
4. Super Bowl XLVII(2013): Ravens defeat 49ers 34-31
This was a strange Super Bowl altogether. First of all, it is still the only Super Bowl in the past 13 seasons to not have Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, or Ben Roethlisberger as the AFC Quarterback. Second of all, it is also the first Super Bowl to have brothers coaching the opposing teams-Jim, and John Harbaugh are identical twin brothers. Third of all, it was the first Super Bowl in history to have a power outage occur at the stadium. The Ravens are my third-worst team, and are facing an underdog team who made a huge comeback-Wait, this sounds like Super Bowl LI, right? Well, not quite.
It was also unusual to not see the Patriots, Steelers, Packers, or a Peyton Manning team in the Super Bowl. Instead, we saw an unlikely Ravens team face an unlikely 49ers team(Wow, it's starting to sound like the MLB). However, this game was exciting! Even though the Ravens began with a 21-6 lead going into Halftime. Then, the power outage occurred in the third quarter, after the Ravens took a 28-6 lead! After this, the 49ers went on an explosion, by scoring 19 unanswered points.
Similar to what I posted above, due to my passionate rancor for the Ravens, I can't rank this higher(WHY DOES IT SEEM ALL THE TEAMS I DESPISE WIN IN GREAT SUPER BOWLS)? It also disgusted me to see Ray Lewis get one more ring in his final season, especially since he paid his way out of homicide chargers.
3. Super Bowl XLVI(2012): Giants defeat Patriots 21-17
Once again, the Patriots lose to an unlikely Giants team! The Giants became the team with the worst regular season record(9-7) to win a Super Bowl!
That wasn't the only reason I have it ranked this high, and you already know one reason why: The Patriots lost, and this is sweet. However, the sheer suspense in this game makes it an underrated Super Bowl which seemed to avoid our memories.
First of all, it initially looked like history repeated itself. The Giants pulled off arguably the greatest upset in Super Bowl history to slay Goliath in the 2008 Super Bowl, ending the Cheatriots perfect run. Second of all, the game had everyone holding their breath the entire game(The only game with a better suspense factor was Super Bowl LI). In this game, it was a seesaw affair as it was the Giants' preventative defense versus the Patriots explosive offense. However, it was the fourth quarter's epic drive which made this Super Bowl the game it was. The Giants went 88 yards down the field, just in the nick of time for their Running Back Ahmad Bradshaw to rush it in for a game winning Touchdown with 57 seconds remaining in the game.
...And for some reason, this is the game you forgot about. Perhaps the media was distraught the Deflatriots lost another Super Bowl.
2. Super Bowl XLII(2008): Giants defeat Patriots 17-14
This is that upset I know you remember. An unlikely 10-6 Giants team, whom had a struggling offense, taking on the 16-0 Patriots who were seemingly unstoppable. Yikes!
The Patriots entered the game as 12-point favorites after becoming the first team to complete a perfect regular season since the 1972 Miami Dolphins, and the only one since the league expanded to a 16-game regular season schedule in 1978. The Giants, who finished the regular season with a 10–6 record, were seeking to become the first NFC wild card team to win a Super Bowl, and were also looking for their third Super Bowl victory and first since they won Super Bowl XXV seventeen years earlier. This Super Bowl was also a rematch of the final game of the regular season, in which New England won, 38–35.
The game is best remembered for the Giants' fourth-quarter game-winning drive. Down 14–10, New York got the ball on their own 17-yard line with 2:39 left and marched 83 yards down the field. In the drive's most memorable play, David Tyree made a leaping one-handed catch pinning the football with his right hand to the crown of his helmet for a 32-yard gain. Wide receiver Plaxico Burress then scored the winning touchdown on a 13-yard reception with 35 seconds remaining. The game was tight throughout. Only 10 total points were scored in the first three quarters. The Giants consumed a Super Bowl record 9 minutes and 59 seconds on their opening drive, but could only manage a field goal. The Patriots then responded with running back Laurence Maroney's 1-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter. After a scoreless third quarter, the fourth quarter saw a Super Bowl record three lead changes, including New England wide receiver Randy Moss making a 6-yard touchdown reception with 2:42 left to play before New York's game-winning drive. Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who completed 19 of 34 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception, was named Super Bowl MVP. Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who retired following the victory, had two tackles and one sack. This game was the first since Super Bowl IX (a 16-6 Steelers win over the Vikings) that neither team scored at least 20 points.
This is one of the few Super Bowls which had every component of a great Super Bowl: A bizarre upset, the Patriots losing, slick suspense, one exciting play after another, and so on.
1. Super Bowl XLIV(2010): Saints defeat Colts 31-17
Anyone would agree the following ingredients are a recipe of a great Super Bowl: Exciting plays, gutsy calls, underdog victors, killer suspense, future Hall of Fame Quarterbacks, explosive offense, yet, great defense as well, and an awesome halftime show(Not in my ranking, but still, you know). However, everyone agrees this is unrealistic, and would never happen in real life.
Until 2010 came. And it did. Which left, us thinking, is this a precedent of how NFL in the new decade was going to be"?
Many people were rooting for the Colts because everyone thought Peyton Manning deserves another ring, and it astounds people he only had one ring. However, a huge bulk of the country wanted to see the Saints win their first Super Bowl in their franchise history, and Drew Brees get his well-deserved ring as well. Here is the good news: The latter occurred. Here is the better news: This was only the icing on the cake.
The final score doesn't tell half of the story. Believe it or not, it was a suspenseful game, and a see-saw affair. Peyton Manning bombed some passes to take an early 10-0 lead for the Colts in the first quarter, but the Saints scored a pair of Field Goals right before the half. To begin the half, the Colts were slated to get the ball back, which means the Saints had to think fast. At first I thought my mind was playing tricks on me, but the Saints began the second half with an Onside Kick. It may have been the greatest coaching call in Super Bowl history, because the play tricked the Colts' Special Teams, and it worked. This allowed the Saints to roar for ten points, and take the lead, largely due to Drew Brees' stellar passes. However, Peyton Manning answered back.
When the fourth quarter came, the Saints took off, and didn't stop. Drew Brees had a thrilling opening drive with tedious passes to easily score a Touchdown. Later on in the quarter, Tracy Porter intercepted the football to run it 74 yards to score a Touchdown, which essentially crowned the Saints Super Bowl champions!
So, after several years, the Saints finally won a Super Bowl! As a 19 year old college freshman, it was one amazing way to end the season, especially during a very stressful schoolyear.