I was reading an article by ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley and Mike Sando about the best and worst Super Bowl losers of all-time. It’s a great piece and I really suggest you all checking it out. You can click here to do that. As I was reading this I was thinking how great to re-do their list. I’m guessing you guys would have a different list than theirs and mine, too.
So, let’s look at the best teams to lose in the Super Bowl today and tomorrow we will check out the worst to grace the best game of the year. Also, we will go over the 2 Super Bowls that were played on February 3rd. So, let’s get crackin’.
The Greatest Teams to…ugh, not….Win The Super Bowl
- 1968 Baltimore Colts - Honestly, can anyone pick a different team. The Colts roared to a 13-1 record. The Colts then destroyed their competition in the NFL playoffs, which included the Cleveland Browns, the only team to beat them that year, 34-0. The biggest disappointment is that they had the ultimate bulletin board material in Joe Namath’s legendary guarantee. There is no greater upset that football, and maybe all sports, have ever seen as the #2 offensive and #1 defensive team went down to Broadway Joe’s Jets.
- 1978 Dallas Cowboys - How good was this Cowboys team? They had the #1 offense and #3 defense that year. They lost to a Pittsburgh Steelers team that had the #5 offense and #1 defense. Super Bowl XIII is considered one of the greatest Super Bowls of all-time. A team that lost to one of the best teams during arguably the greatest dynasty the NFL has ever seen has to be in this discussion. Remember, if Jackie Smith had caught that pass in the end zone, this game probably would have been won by the Cowboys.
- 1983 Washington Redskins - One of the greatest teams of all-time was absolutely dominated in the Super Bowl. No team in NFL history, until 1998, had a more prolific offense than this Redskins team. All I have to say is thank God I was almost 2 years old at that time. I still won’t watch Super Bowl XVIII highlights and I was too young to remember it. I don’t want to talk much more about this horrible memory as all I hear right now is John Facenda saying, “On came Marcus Allen, running with the night.” Ugh.
- 1969 Minnesota Vikings - How in the world did the Purple People Eater’s not win a Super Bowl? This team was the very best of those teams. This was the #1 offense and defense in the league. But, as great as the Vikings were, they ran into a greater team in the Kansas City Chiefs. And thank God the Chiefs won, because we get to enjoy beautiful clips from the man, Hank Stram. (check them out here)
- 2007 New England Patriots - Yeah, that’s right. What ESPN and the rest of the media were declaring “the greatest team ever” is all the way down to #5 on my list. First, teams of today would get absolutely annihilated by teams of the past. With free agency and the cap, you just can’t build teams like you used to. Go figure that the 1974 Steelers were the same team as the 1979 Steelers but there are only like 5 guys on this year’s New England Patriots that were on the field in 2007 for the Pats. So, while there is more talent throughout the NFL, it just can’t come together on one team, especially for any length of time. The 2007 Patriots were hurt by 2 things: an aging defense and an ego-maniac of a head coach. Bill, you should have stopped trying to run up the score on every team like this was college football in the 90′s and ran the ball more. Maybe, Brady would have had an extra couple of seconds to be able to make all of the throws. Just sayin’.
- 2001 St. Louis Rams - I have to admit, and you need to too, that I never saw this coming. The Patriots, led by a back-up QB that could barely beat out Drew Henson at Michigan, are going to beat “The Greatest Show on Turf”…and they’re playing this game on turf? Wow! But, now that we know who really won this game (can anybody say a video camera taping the Rams’ walkthroughs) is anyone surprised the best team in 2001 lost? I say the NFL destroy the Pats’ Lombardi Trophy right with the evidence they destroyed.
- 1990 Buffalo Bills - Poor Bills fans. They had to hear the jokes (Do you know what Bills stands for? No, what? Boy-I-Love-Losing-Super Bowls) and the teasing. But, this was one of the best teams of the 1990′s. Four Super Bowls in a row? Even the 70′s Steelers couldn’t do that…although they did win all of their four trips. Marv Levy was just out-coached. But, that is hardly a cutdown. He was facing Bill Parcells. One thing that has always gotten to me was that the Giants don’t get more credit. It is always like the Bills lost to a nobody. Has anyone seen tape of that defense? They shut down the 2-time defending champions 49ers the week before…and both Hall-of-Fame QB’s (Montana and Young) couldn’t do anything about it. The Bills shouldn’t be ashamed of losing to such a good team. The only problem was, in hindsight, this was their only shot at a ring.
- 1997 Green Bay Packers - Brett Favre was leading the Packers to back-to-back Super Bowl titles, just like Bart Starr had done 30 years before. Problem was, they were running into one of the last truly great teams led by an even better QB than “Mr. Retire-or not”. John Elway and Co. stole the show, but this was a very close affair. Brett Favre even had a chance to win it in the last minutes. The Packers came up just 7 points short as they had no answer for Terrell Davis, who would go on to have a 2,000 yd. season the very next year in what would be Denver’s 2nd straight title.
- 1973 Minnesota Vikings - I have to say I like the QB better on this Vikings team than on the ’69 team. But they were a stronger unit on the ’69 team. This Vikings team had the 2nd best defense in the league. Problem was, they were facing the #1 defense in Miami’s “No Name” Defense.
- 1991 Buffalo Bills - This was the 2nd best Bills team they had. They just ran into one of the best Super Bowl Championship teams. The Bills talked a big game, but when it came down to it Thurman Thomas, Jim Kelly, James Lofton, Andre Reed, Bruce Smith, Cornelius Bennett, Darryl Talley, Shane Conlin and Co. just couldn’t get it done on the field. You look at those Bills teams and really wonder…how in the world did they not win just 1 Super Bowl. I guess that’s why they’re on this list twice.
Now onto the Super Bowls of the past:
February 3, 2002 – New England Patriots 20, St. Louis Rams 17 – Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA - Tom Brady led the upstart Patriots to a massive upset in one of the best Super Bowls of all-time. Adam Vinatieri became a Patron Saint in New England. Tom Brady earned MVP honors as he passed 16-27 for 145 yards and a touchdown. The Patriots mugging the Rams’ wideouts was a big reason why the Patriots were able to hold on and win this game. Also, there was something about a video camera, too. The Patriots won their 1st Super Bowl title.
February 3, 2008 – New York Giants 17, New England Patriots 14 – University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ - This Super Bowl is in the top 3 Super Bowls of all-time. The Giants, who barely got into the playoffs, scored a massive upset agains the 18-0 New England Patriots. Eli Manning and David Tyree gave us the greatest play in Super Bowl history. Manning earned MVP honors with 19-34 255 yards and 2 TD’s. But, it was the Giant’s D-line who were the true MVP’s as they never let Brady get in a rhythm. The Giants won their 3rd Super Bowl title.