Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Top 10 Super Bowls of All-Time: No. 5-1

Continuing on from Part 1, here are my Top 5 Super Bowls of all-time!

#5 Super Bowl XXV - New York Giants 20 Buffalo Bills 19
Image result for scott norwood wide right

This game between the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants was a low-scoring affair dominated by good defense by both teams. Down 17-12 heading into the final quarter, the Bills scored in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter to take a 19-17 lead. With eight minutes remaining, New York answered with a go-ahead field goal.

From then on, the Bills and Giants exchanged punts until Buffalo received one last chance with 2:16 left in the game. Starting from the 10-yard line, Bills QB Jim Kelly operated a masterful two-minute drill as he took the offense 61 yards downfield to set up the game winning field goal.

With eight seconds left and the ball on the New York 29-yard line, Buffalo kicker Scott Norwood stepped onto the field for the biggest kick of his career. This was not like Jim O'Brien's kick before him, or Adam Vinatieri's kicks in the subsequent years. Those kickers had overtime to lean on if they missed. If Norwood missed, it was game over.

Norwood took a deep breath and kicked the ball as the clock wound down. The ball did not come off his foot well and sailed wide right! The game was over. The Giants were Super Bowl Champions! This loss would forever vilify Scott Norwood among Buffalo fans for years to come and kicked off a string of four consecutive Super Bowl losses.

For New York, this was their second Super Bowl championship in franchise history and running back Ottis Anderson was named MVP after rushing 21 times for 102 yards and one touchdown.

#4 Super Bowl XLIX - New England Patriots 28 Seattle Seahawks 24

Image result for malcolm butler interception

In the most recent Super Bowl, the Seattle Seahawks were looking to become the eighth team in NFL history to win back-to-back Super Bowls. Fittingly, they would need to beat the last team to accomplish this feat, the New England Patriots.

Seattle seemed to be in control of the game as the Seahawks owned a 24-14 lead heading into the fourth quarter. However, Seattle's prestigious "Legion of Boom" defense could not contain Brady and the Pats forever.

Brady found wide receiver Danny Amendola with eight minutes left to cut the lead to 24-21. Then, with 2:06 left in the game, Brady hooked up with wideout Julian Edelman to give the Patriots a 28-24 lead. The Seahawks would not go down quietly, however.

Starting from his own 20-yard line, QB Russell Wilson took his offense downfield and ended up on the Patriots' goal line with less than 30 seconds in the game! After running back Marshawn Lynch rushed for four yards to set up second and goal from the one-yard line, the Seahawks made the most questionable decision in NFL history.

With arguably one of the NFL's best running backs in Marshawn Lynch, Seattle chose to throw the ball on second and goal. This decision would prove absolutely disastrous as Russell Wilson's slant pass was picked off by Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler.

To this day, I believe this is possibly the worst play call ever. Seattle head coach Pete Carroll can say whatever he wants about trying to throw off the Patriots' defense but he has to live with the fact that he made the worst coaching call of his career that ultimately cost him a Super Bowl.

Butler's timely goal line interception secured the Patriots' fourth Super Bowl title and MVP honors went to Tom Brady after he completed 37 of 50 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns.

#3 Super Bowl XXIII - San Francisco 49ers 20 Cincinnati Bengals 16
Image result for joe montana 1988 super bowl

This was the second time that the 49ers and Bengals met each other in the Super Bowl, with San Francisco winning the first contest 26-21 back in Super Bowl XIX. This would be another close affair between the two as the 49ers tied it up at 13 all early in the fourth quarter.

After a San Francisco punt and a missed field goal, Cincinnati nailed the go-ahead field goal with less than four minutes remaining in the game. After the ensuing kickoff, San Francisco had the ball on their own eight-yard line with 3:04 left on the clock. From this point on, the spotlight was all QB Joe Montana's as he led one of the most remarkable fourth quarter drives of his career.

Utilizing four different wide receivers and a couple rushes from running back Roger Craig, Montana completed 8 of his 9 passes for 97 yards and effectively killed the clock as he drove the 49ers downfield for the impending go-ahead touchdown. With 34 seconds on the clock and the ball on the Cincinatti 10-yard line, Montana hooked up with receiver John Taylor to give San Francisco a 20-16 lead. The 49er defense held tough and stopped the Bengals' last attempt at a miracle comeback.

This would be San Francisco's third Super Bowl title in franchise history and the third of QB Joe Montana's career. MVP honors, however, would go to his touted wide receiver Jerry Rice as he had 11 receptions for 215 yards and one touchdown. His 215 receiving yards are still an NFL record for most in a single Super Bowl.

#2 SuperBowl XXXIV - St. Louis Rams 23 Tennessee Titans 16
Image result for tennessee titans super bowl

This game is the epitome of heartbreaking, mostly for Tennessee fans. For nearly the entire game, the Titans trailed before rallying to overcome a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

Right after Tennessee tied the game up at 16 with a field goal, St. Louis scored in less than 30 seconds to take a 23-16 lead with 1:54 remaining. With the ball on their own 10-yard line, Titans' QB Steve McNair (God rest his soul) brilliantly used his arm and legs to move Tennessee downfield.

Upon reaching the Rams' 10-yard line after a wonderful showing of pocket awareness and evasiveness by McNair, Tennesse used its final timeout with five seconds remaining in the game. This was it. Tennessee would have to get into the end zone or the game was over.

McNair lined up in the shotgun and took the snap. He dropped back, waited for just a few moments, and fired a bullet to receiver Kevin Dyson on a slant route. Dyson caught it in stride at the three-yard line and made his push for the end zone. But waiting for him was linebacker Mike Jones, who lunged at Dyson and tackled him to the ground. Dyson extend the ball hoping to reach past the goal line, but he was just short at it only reached up to the one-yard line.

The game was over. The underdog Titans could not pull off the comeback. Tennessee stood frozen in disbelief, while St. Louis celebrated their first Super Bowl in franchise history. MVP honors went to QB Kurt Warner as he completed 24 of 45 passes for 414 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for one touchdown on a QB sneak.

#1 Super Bowl XLII - New York Giants 17 New England Patriots 14

Image result for david tyree catch

Coming in at No.1 is possibly one of the greatest upsets in sports history. The New England Patriots were looking to join the 1972 Miami Dolphins in Perfectville as they entered this Super Bowl at an astounding 18-0. It was up to the New York Giants, a wild card team seeded 5 out of 6, to stop them.

The game remained a defensive stalemate through three quarters before the Giants scored their first touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter to take a 10-7 lead. After a three-and-out by both teams, New England took the ball and scored on a Tom Brady pass to wide receiver Randy Moss with 2:42 to go in the game.

Giants' QB Eli Manning now had a very unique opportunity before him that never presented itself to his father, Archie, or his older brother, Peyton. He had a chance to lead a game winning drive in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. With the ball on his own 17-yard line, Eli and company went to work.

After converting a fourth down and one early in the drive via a Brandon Jacobs run up the middle, the Giants were faced with a third down and four on their own 44-yard line. With 1:15 remaining, Eli hiked the ball and avoided a sack by the Patriots' defensive line. After running out of the sack, Eli kept his eyes downfield and chucked the ball up.

In hindsight, it was a bad pass as there were four Patriot defenders in the area compared to just one Giants wide receiver. But that one receiver, David Tyree, was in a good enough position to jump up and catch the ball. As he caught the ball, Tyree pinned it to his helmet and shielded it away from Patriots safety Rodney Harrison as they both came crashing to the turf.

It was an incredible 32-yard reception that gave the Giants a fresh set of downs. After one more third down conversion, Manning hooked up with receiver Plaxico Buress for the go-ahead touchdown with 35 seconds left in the game!

The Giants were not out of the woods yet, however, as the Patriots had three time outs and Tom Brady as their QB. But neither of the two could save the Patriots this time around. The clock on their perfect season had finally struck midnight as the Giants defense stopped them on four straight plays.

After Brady's final pass to Randy Moss fell incomplete, New York began to celebrate. For the third time in franchise history, the Giants were Super Bowl Champions! New England's ticket to Perfectville and a shot at immortality were all gone.

One thing that many people do not remember is that the Patriots did have a chance to seal this game late in the fourth quarter. On the play right before David Tyree's incredible catch, Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel dropped an easy interception thrown right to him. Granted, he did have to jump, so there was some degree of difficulty. But still, Samuel's drop allowed the drive to continue and the Giants capitalized in a very big way.

MVP honors went to none other than Eli Manning after he went 19 for 34 with 255 passing yards and two touchdowns. The lone interception that he threw this game came off of a deflection and was his ONLY pick of the postseason! Also fittingly, Eli won the Super Bowl and MVP honors just a year after his older brother Peyton did against the Chicago Bears (29-17).

As a Dolphin fan, I was ecstatic! The Giants had saved the Dolphins' undefeated season for another year, and it has still stayed that way ever since.

Honorable Mention:
Super Bowl XLVI - New York Giants 21 New England Patriots 17

Super Bowl XXXIX - New England Patriots 24 Philadelphia Eagles 21

I hope you enjoyed the second part of my first ever Top 10 article! I have no idea what I will pursue from here, but in the the meantime keep up with my articles for Hail Florida Hail, the new website I am writing for!

I will still be writing for ZackKnowsSports as the founder and leading (as well as only) writer, it's just now I am also taking advantage of a great opportunity that God has blessed me with! Thank you to all my readers for your continued loyalty and readership! My next article for ZKS will be out sometime in July. Have a great 4th of July everybody!

*All stats accredited to pro-football-reference.com & Wikipedia.com

*All photos accredited to iameviltebow.com, scoopnest.com, totalprosports.com, reddit.com, & masslive.com

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.