Which past Super Bowl games do we wish would be erased from existence? Adrian Hasenmayer relives the worst of them.
Super Bowl XVIII: Raiders 38, Redskins 9
Washington entered as big favorites, understandable with their league-best 14-2 record and regular season win over the Raiders. But it was quickly apparent that the 'Skins were overmatched. The Raiders blocked a punt for a first-quarter TD and lead they would not relinquish. The crusher came with seven seconds left in the first half, when deep in its territory Washington did not run out the clock, instead throwing a screen pass that Raiders LB Jack Squirek picked off and trotted in for a game-clinching touchdown. The Raiders' 38-9 win set then-Super Bowl records with most points scored and biggest margin of victory.
Super Bowl V - Colts 16, Cowboys 13
While it may seem strange to include a three-point game decided by a field goal in the final five seconds, this game joins the list thanks to poor play and execution. In the first Super Bowl played on artificial turf (a bummer for football purists and players), both teams combined for 11 turnovers in a sloppy game that featured a missed extra point and an injured Johnny Unitas (pictured). Add the fact that Baltimore's only TD was more luck than skill — a 75-yard catch-and-run by TE John Mackey that deflected off players on each team — and this game overall was a dog. Someone had to win the game, but that doesn't make it great.
Super Bowl XXXIII - Broncos 34, Falcons 19
Normally two 14-2 teams in the Super Bowl would bring serious Super Bowl hype. Not so much for Broncos-Falcons. It was already a letdown that Atlanta had upset the high-scoring 15-1 Vikings in the NFC title game. For fans and Falcons players alike, this was one Super Bowl that lived down to its billing. Atlanta's offense proved a big tease, moving the ball with ease — but scoring just one TD and two field goals on seven possessions inside Denver's 30-yard-line (two INTs, one missed field goal, once turned ball over on downs). Those missed chances along with John Elway's MVP swan song combined for a 31-6 early fourth quarter lead before the game's lazy finish.
Super Bowl XXVII - Dallas 52, Bills 17
The AFC had lost eight straight Super Bowls, with Buffalo losing the previous two. But there still was heavy hope for Bills QB Jim Kelly (pictured) to dump Dallas. Buffalo fed the hype briefly by scoring the game's first TD, but things unraveled quickly. First a Kelly pass was picked off, leading to Dallas' tying score. On the game's next play, Kelly was sacked and fumbled at the Bills' 2-yard-line, with the Cowboys recovering for a TD. It got worse, as Kelly (who Dallas later knocked from the game) and the Bills turned the ball over a record nine times, leading to 35 Dallas points in one of the most one-sided Super Bowl in history.
Super Bowl VIII - Dolphins 24, Vikings 7
If there was an NFL equal to a "Championship of Watching Paint Dry", Super Bowl VIII would qualify. The outcome was a given immediately as the Dolphins scored TDs on their first two possessions. Miami's ground machine, led by RB Larry Csonka (pictured) and his then SB-record 145 rushing yards, pounded the Vikings with over 250 rushing yards — as the game's winning QB Bob Griese threw only seven passes the entire game. Minnesota blew their one shot at paydirt when trailing late in the first half 17-0, the Vikes were stuffed on a goal-line stand after driving almost 80 yards, and the game turned into a bunch of 4-5 yard runs the rest of the way.
Super Bowl XXII - Redskins 42, Broncos 10
This was one of a trio of Super Bowl stompings that Broncos QB John Elway suffered in the '80s, as the Redskins set a slew of Super Bowl records in destroying Denver — thanks to one of the most amazing quarters in football history. The Broncos actually led 10-0 after the first quarter, but Washington erupted for 35 points in the second quarter with TDs on five straight possessions. Incredibly, QB Doug Williams (pictured) and the Redskins scored those five touchdowns on just 18 overall plays and 5:47 possession time. Needless to say or write, Denver was finished by halftime.
Super Bowl XXXV - Ravens 34, Giants 7
One could argue American society has grown more violent over the past few decades, but not so bloodthirsty as to enjoy watching Kerry Collins (pictured) run for his life for three hours. That's what played out in front of the bored world audience as the Ravens staked their claim as one of football's best all-time defenses. Ray Lewis and Co. turned Collins' dream day into a nightmare, forcing five turnovers, recording four sacks and limiting the Giants' flustered offense to just 152 yards for the game.
Super Bowl XXIX - 49ers 49, Chargers 26
This game was over as soon as it started. The powerful 49ers — led by future Hall of Famer Steve Young (pictured), on a personal crusade for his first Super Bowl ring as starting QB — was unstoppable. Three plays into the game, Young found Jerry Rice for a 44-yard TD pass. Four minutes later, Young made it 14-0 by hitting Ricky Watters on a 51-yard catch-and-run and the blowout was on. By the end of the first half, Young already had four TD passes and a 28-10 lead. The only remaining drama was whether Young could break Joe Montana's Super Bowl record for TD passes in a game. Young did, with 1:11 remaining in the third quarter, making the entire final quarter a Super exercise in garbage time.
Super Bowl XX - Bears 46, Patriots 10
It's not like the world didn't see this one coming. Not surprisingly, the 1985 Bears and their vaunted "46" defense pummeled the Patriots from start to finish. The Bears shuffled and strutted their way to the Super Bowl with a legendary defense that had shut out four of its previous eight opponents, including the 49ers and Rams in the NFC playoffs. The Patriots were a wild-card team with a second-year starting QB (Tony Eason, pictured) who crumpled under Chicago's heavy pressure that forced seven sacks and held New England to a record-low 7 rushing yards. By halftime, the Bears had outgained the Pats 236 to minus-19 in building a 23-3 lead that become 44-3 through three quarters.
Super Bowl XXIV - 49ers 55, Broncos 10
Ever been trampled to death for 60 minutes? That's what Super Sunday must have felt like for Broncos QB John Elway (pictured) against the 49ers in the Super Bowl's biggest all-time blowout. The Niners' offense marched over the Denver defense, scoring two TDs in every quarter. Coming out of a 27-3 halftime deficit, Elway instigated further moans by throwing picks on Denver's first two second-half drives. By the end, nearly every viewer watching began feeling sorry for Elway, a great player who was building a rep for being humiliated in the biggest games until he won two Super Bowl rings in 1997 and '98. — Adrian Hasenmayer