Super Bowl grades (cont.)
Super Bowl VII (1972), Miami 14, Washington 7.
The lowest-scoring Super Bowl was short on action but long on history, as Miami recorded the NFL's first perfect season (17-0). The Redskins avoided becoming the first Super Bowl shutout victim by returning a blocked field goal attempt for a TD after kicker Garo Yepremian foolishly tried to throw the ball. Dolphins defensive tackle Manny Fernandez was the best player on the field, with 11 solo tackles and six assists.
Super Bowl XIX (1984) San Francisco 38, Miami 16.
Billed as a battle between quarterbacks Dan Marino of the Dolphins and Joe Montana of the 49ers, the game had the makings of a thriller, with three lead changes in the first 20 minutes. But two 49ers TDs late in the second quarter and another at the start of the third put the game away. Game MVP Montana was brilliant, completing 24 of 35 passes for 331 yards and three TDs and rushing for 57 yards and another TD. Marino, who had thrown an NFL-record 48 TD passes in the regular season, was limited to just one.
Super Bowl IX (1974), Pittsburgh 16, Minnesota 6.
This was a football game for fans who like defense -- four lost fumbles, three interceptions, a safety and a blocked punt. Pittsburgh's "Steel Curtain" defense dominated play, holding Minnesota to a Super Bowl-record-low 119 yards of total offense. In New Orleans' last outdoor Super Bowl played at Tulane Stadium, and a Super Bowl-low of 39 degrees at kickoff, the Steelers offense featured MVP Franco Harris, who rushed for a record 158 yards and a TD.
Super Bowl XXI (1986), New York Giants 39, Denver 20.
This was a close game -- at least for a half when Denver led 10-9, which would have been more if not for two missed field goals and a Giants' goal-line stand. The Giants broke the game open with a 30-point second-half that featured the precision passing of QB Phil Simms. His 22-for-25 (88 percent) performance remains a Super Bowl record for accuracy.
Super Bowl XXIX (1994), San Francisco 49, San Diego 26.
The game wasn't competitive, but there was plenty of action, including more than 800 yards of total offense and a Super Bowl-record 75 points combined. Steve Young's six TD passes set a Super Bowl record, as the 49ers became the first five-time Super Bowl champ.
Super Bowl XXX (1995), Dallas 27, Pittsburgh 17.
Most of Dallas' five Super Bowl wins were blowouts, but this game was competitive. Indeed, if not for Steelers QB Neil O'Donnell's three interceptions, the Steelers might have pulled the upset. Pittsburgh outgained Dallas 310-254, but the Cowboys had no turnovers and Emmitt Smith ran for two TDs. It was Dallas' third championship in four years and fifth overall.
Super Bowl XL (2005), Pittsburgh 21, Seattle 10.
In a game best remembered for questionable officiating, Seahawks fans can only wonder what might have been had a few key calls gone their way. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was awful (9-for-21, two interceptions), but Willie Parker's Super Bowl-record 75-yard TD sprint and MVP Hines Ward's five receptions for 123 yards and a TD led the offense.
Super Bowl XLI (2006), Indianapolis 29, Chicago 17.
The Colts rallied from a 14-6 deficit, outscoring the Bears 23-3 the rest of the way. Instead of solely riding the arm of All-Pro quarterback Peyton Manning, the Colts ran right at the Bears, rushing for 191 yards and outgaining Chicago 430-265.
Super Bowl I (1966), Green Bay 35, Kansas City 10.
The game wasn't much, and the L.A. Coliseum was only two-thirds filled -- but this was history. After a six-year bidding war for top college players, the NFL and AFL made peace in 1966 and the first AFL-NFL Championship Game was the result. A Bart Starr-to-Max McGee 37-yard pass was the first Super Bowl TD, and the Packers outscored the Chiefs 21-0 in the second half.
Super Bowl XXXIII (1998), Denver 34, Atlanta 19.
John Elway ended his Hall of Fame career in style, throwing for 336 yards and a touchdown as the Broncos overcame an early 3-0 deficit to beat Atlanta in the Falcons' only Super Bowl appearance. The Denver defense forced four Atlanta turnovers.
Super Bowl II (1967), Green Bay 33, Oakland 14.
The Raiders were slightly more competitive than the Chiefs a year earlier, but the Packers dominated, winning an unprecedented third-straight professional football championship of the playoff era (since 1933). It was also the last game for famed coach Vince Lombardi on the Green Bay sideline.
Super Bowl IV (1969), Kansas City 23, Minnesota 7.
A forgettable game other than the over-the-top observations of Chiefs coach Hank Stram, who wore a mike for NFL Films. "Sixty-five toss power trap," which preceded Mike Garrett's 4-yard TD run, is probably the best-remembered quote from the contest that saw the AFL make it two in a row over the NFL.
Super Bowl VIII (1973), Miami 24, Minnesota 7.
The Dolphins powered to a 24-0 lead behind the bull rushes of Larry Csonka, who ran for a Super Bowl-record 145 yards and two TDs. The unbeaten 1972 Miami team won its three playoff games by a total of 17 points. The '73 Dolphins won their three playoff games by an average of 17 points.
Super Bowl XV (1980), Oakland 27, Philadelphia 10.
A tight Eagles team was no match for the relaxed Raiders, who forced four turnovers, including a Super Bowl-record three interceptions by linebacker Rod Martin. Jim Plunkett, who resurrected his career in 1980, threw for 261 yards and three TDs.
Super Bowl XVIII (1983), L.A. Raiders 38, Washington 9.
The Raiders' defense short-circuited the high-scoring Redskins, who had scored an NFL-record 541 points during the regular season. Marcus Allen rushed for a Super Bowl record 191 yards, including a brilliant 74-yard TD dash.
Super Bowl XXVI (1991), Washington 37, Buffalo 24.
The greatest of all Redskins teams sent Buffalo to the second of four straight Super Bowl defeats, forcing five turnovers and outgaining the Bills 417-283.
Super Bowl XXVIII (1993), Dallas 30, Buffalo 13.
Dallas actually trailed 13-6 at halftime, but James Washington recovered a Thurman Thomas fumble and returned it 46 yards for the tying TD. Emmitt Smith's two TD runs saddled Buffalo with its fourth straight Super Bowl loss.
Super Bowl VI (1971), Dallas 24, Miami 3.
Perhaps the most boring Super Bowl. The powerful Cowboys ran the ball at will (252 yards rushing) and the Bob Lilly-led Doomsday Defense held Miami to a Super Bowl-low three points.
Super Bowl XI (1976), Oakland 32, Minnesota 14.
Raiders announcer Bill King's calls ("Look at old man Willie") were more fun than the game. Coach John Madden won his only Super Bowl, while the Vikings lost the big game for the fourth time in eight years.
Super Bowl XII (1977), Dallas 27, Denver 10.
About the only memorable element was that this was the first indoor Super Bowl at New Orleans' Superdome. The Dallas defense hounded Denver QB (and former Cowboy) Craig Morton into a horrid 4-for-15 showing with four interceptions, while forcing eight turnovers overall.
Super Bowl XX (1985), Chicago 46, Patriots 10.
To Bears fans, Jan. 26, 1986, is what St. Crispin's Day was to Shakespeare's England, a day of glory in the battle that the "good man shall teach his son." Super Bowl XX continues to resonate with Bears rooters worldwide, but the game itself was a mismatch. Chicago scored 44 unanswered points and held the Patriots to 123 yards of total offense, second-lowest in Super Bowl history.
Super Bowl XXII (1987), Washington 42, Denver 10.
The Broncos led 10-0, and then: catastrophe. The Redskins scored a Super Bowl-record 35 points in the second quarter behind four TD passes from Doug Williams and a 58-yard TD dash by Timmy Smith.
Super Bowl XXIV (1989), San Francisco 55, Denver 10.
Joe Montana threw a Super Bowl-record five TD passes and the Niners scored a Super Bowl-record of 55 points. It was 27-3 at halftime. Anything else?
Super Bowl XXVII (1992), Dallas 52, Buffalo 17.
Ugly. Very ugly. A Super Bowl-record nine Bills turnovers says it all.
Super Bowl XXXV (2000), Baltimore Ravens 34, N.Y. Giants 7.
The Ravens' defense was awesome. New York was limited to 152 yards, third-lowest in Super Bowl annals. Baltimore scored touchdowns by running, passing, an interception return and a kickoff return.
Super Bowl XXXVII (2002), Tampa Bay 48, Oakland 21.
The Raiders grabbed a 3-0 lead, but a 34-0 Buccaneers burst ended this contest early. The savage Tampa Bay defense forced five turnovers and returned three interceptions for TDs. Bucs coach Jon Gruden, who wore a mike, seemed more manic than Hank Stram.