Each Super Bowl brings about the best two teams in the NFL, well, usually that is. The last 10 Super Bowls we have no doubt seen not just good Super Bowls, but some of the best and most competitive Super Bowls of all time. The final scores have been relatively close, for the most part, with many of these Super Bowls coming down to the final moments in the 4th quarter. But which of these last 10 Super Bowls triumph over one another? Let’s take a look, shall we?
10. Super Bowl 50
Denver Broncos 24, Carolina Panthers 10
The hype for any Super Bowl is going to be high, but it seemed like the anticipation was at an all-time high for the 50th Super Bowl. After all, this game featured one of the greatest QBs of all time in Peyton Manning playing in perhaps his final game of his professional career, and the MVP QB in Cam Newton who has been labeled as the new face of the NFL, not to mention this game featured the two best defenses in the NFL as well. This game figured to be memorable, but it ended up being anything but.
Although this game solidified the notion that defense win championships, no one said that great defense brings about an exciting game. This game featured sloppy play with a combined six turnovers, two of the NFL’s best QBs having mediocre games, WRs (especially Carolina’s) dropping key passes, and just a total lack of big, exciting plays.
Although the Broncos winning brings about a great story in Peyton most likely capping off an amazing career with his second Super Bowl victory, the game itself didn’t necessarily bring out the best in both teams like a Super Bowl usually should.
9. Super Bowl XLVIII
Seattle Seahawks 43, Denver Broncos 8
Sorry Broncos fans, but y’all were apart of the two worst Super Bowls of the last ten years, but at least one of them went your way though. This one, not so much.
Denver featured the best offense in the NFL, with Peyton Manning in his second year in Denver having one of the best seasons of his illustrious, while the Seahawks featured the NFL’s best defense led by Richard Sherman and the “Legion of Boom” (L.O.B.). But, with Seattle QB Russell Wilson in just his second season and playing in his first Super Bowl, many believe that the experience of Peyton would a huge factor in a Broncos victory.
But alas, we forgot defense wins championships, as the Seahawks defense stifled the best offense in the NFL and made Peyton Manning look like he was the one playing in his first Super Bowl, not Russell Wilson who kept his cool and composure throughout the game.
This game began with a bad snap resulting in a safety for the Broncos on the first play from scrimmage, which was only a sign of things to come. The Seattle defense forced four turnovers and didn’t let the Broncos score until the final play of the 3rd quarter. Both the Seattle secondary and their front seven manhandled the Denver offense.
Although many would assume by such a wide margin of a score that this would be the worst Super Bowl of the last 10 years, I decided to bump it about Super Bowl 50, just based on the fact that we saw more exciting plays in this Super Bowl (interception returned for TD, kickoff return for TD) then in Super Bowl 50.
8. Super Bowl XLI
Indianapolis Colts 29, Chicago Bears 17
Dare I say more than the Bears starting QB was Rex Grossman?
Look, there’s not much to say on this one. Although this game saw an exciting first quarter what with Devin Hester taking the opening kickoff back for a TD and the Bears taking a 14-6 lead into the 2nd quarter, the next three quarters were fairly routine for Peyton and company, outscoring the Bears 23-3.
Yes, the game was 22-17 entering the 4th quarter, but with how mediocre the Bears offense looked (not just in this game, but throughout the season), the thought of them getting a TD and holding Peyton Manning’s offense scoreless was hard to fathom.
After many great regular seasons that included two MVPs, but struggles in the post-season due to Tom Brady’s New England Patriots, Peyton had finally found himself in his first Super Bowl, and nothing was going to hinder him from adding the last missing piece to his already impressive resume. No way did he want to claim the title of the best to never win a championship (which Dan Marino still holds to this day).
Yes, defense does indeed win championships, but you at least need an adequate offense.
7. Super Bowl XLV
Green Bay Packers 31, Pittsburgh Steelers 25
The fact that this game ranks seventh on this list is truly a testament to the amount of great Super Bowls we’ve seen these past 10 years.
The Packers became just the second sixth seed to find themselves in the Super Bowl (the 2005 Steelers being the other) led by their QB Aaron Rodgers whose playoff performances were solidifying him as the next best QB in the NFL. Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers on the on the other hand, were searching for their third Super Bowl victory in the last six years.
This game saw the Packers jump out to a 21-3 lead late in the second quarter, and although it seemed like Green Bay was going to run away with things, it’s silly to doubt a 2x Super Bowl winning QB in Roethlisberger, who chipped away and got his team within three points as the Packers lead was cut to 28-25 with just over seven minutes left.
A Mason Crosby field goal made it 31-25 with just over two minutes left, giving Big Ben another chance to lead a game-winning touchdown drive to win a Super Bowl. But, the Packers secondary stiffened up, forcing three straight incompletions and giving Green Bay its first Super Bowl win since Brett Farve’s in 1997 and their fourth overall.
6. Super Bowl XLIV
New Orleans Saints 31, Indianapolis Colts 17
It hurts me to put this one fairly low, because seeing the Saints win a Super Bowl just a couple years after New Orleans was ravished by Hurricane Katrina was truly one of the best moments in NFL history. We aren’t focusing the best Super Bowl moments though, but rather the games themselves. And although this game is ranked sixth on this list, it was by no means a bad game, in fact, it was a great game.
The Colts led 10-0 after the first quarter, and the Saints were able to tack on two fields goals in the second to make it a 10-6 game heading into halftime. Momentum seemed to still ride with the Colts though, especially since they were getting the ball to start the second half, or at least they thought they were. The Saints pulled off one of the most gutsy and memorable plays in Super Bowl history, as they went with an onside kick to begin the second half, which they recovered.
The Saints took advantage in recovering the onside kick and took a 13-10 lead, but Manning and company responded right back with a TD drive off their own, and with the Saints adding a field goal, the score was 17-16 heading into the 4th quarter. After a Colts missed field goal, the Saints got the ball back on their 41 yard line, and Drew Brees proceeded to lead his team down the field and find his tight end Jeremy Shockey from two yards out for a TD. After getting the two-point conversion, the Saints led 24-17 with just over five minutes remaining.
Peyton Manning seemed primed to lead his team down the field to tie the game, but Saints cornerback Tracy Porter jumped a Manning throw, intercepting it and took it 74 yards for the game sealing TD. Its one the most memorable moments in Super Bowl history as it wasn’t just the Saints that won, the city of New Orleans won as well.