The bar has been set high throughout the years; hopefully the 2023 Super Bowl in Arizona will live up to it
The Kansas City Chiefs came back to the Super Bowl during the pandemic, trying to throw a real wrench in Tom Brady’s dynasty plans by creating their own little party in KC. Then Tom Brady showed up with his new team, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted the Super Bowl and Brady — at the tender age of 344 — won his seventh Super Bowl in fairly boring fashion.
One could even argue it was Brady’s presence and Brady’s age and the sheer dominance of the Bucs over a heretofore unstoppable offense that made this Super Bowl interesting. Because it wasn’t the close nature of the game, the ending or anything drama related to the action on the field.
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The shell-shock nature of what happened created the drama and the talking points. Also: Patrick on the other side led a lot of us to believe “they’ll get going eventually” and they never did. This was a tough Super Bowl to watch and an even tougher one to rank.
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56. Super Bowl XXIX
San Francisco 49ers 49, San Diego Chargers 26
Steve Young threw six touchdown passes and the Niners nearly hung a 50 burger in a Super Bowl, demolishing the Chargers in a game that didn’t even feel this close.
55. Super Bowl XLVIII
Seattle Seahawks 43, Denver Broncos 8
Start to finish the Seahawks defense absolutely dominated Peyton Manning and the favored Broncos’ historic offense. An absolute bludgeoning that no one saw coming.
54. Super Bowl XXIV
San Francisco 49ers 55, Denver Broncos 10
An absolute blasting that was out of hand by halftime (27-3) as an utterly dominant Niners squad that was loaded on both sides of the ball just beat up on an overmatched Broncos team. Dominance is fun but not when you want an epic game. The Broncos were actually the top defensive team in football here.
53. Super Bowl XXXV
Baltimore Ravens 34, New York Giants 7
The Giants had the tables turned on them after demolishing the Vikings 41-0 in the NFC Championship game, getting completely snuffed out by the Ravens in the title game. I always think about the alleged $20,000 preseason bet Phil Mickelson put on the Ravens to win it all when I think of this game.
52. Super Bowl XXXVII
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48, Oakland Raiders 21
The Jon Gruden Bowl sent the Raiders spiraling (they wouldn’t return to the playoffs until 2016!) following a devastating blowout. The Bucs’ defense suffocated the powerful Raiders offense. It’s not fair that Rich Gannon and that offense are remembered by this game. They were incredible.
51. Super Bowl XXII
Washington Redskins 42, Denver Broncos 10
Doug Williams became the first African-American quarterback to start, and after trailing 10-0 in the first quarter, the Redskins responded with an absurd 42 unanswered points, 35 in the second quarter. This was not a thriller in the second half.