Wednesday, 2 February 2011

7 Biggest Super Bowl Upsets Of All Time

Since the Super Bowl was established in 1967, shocking and unexpected victories (and losses) have rocked and dazzled the football world. Commissioner Pete Rozelle created the Super Bowl as an inter-conference championship between the AFL and NFL. When the Green Bay Packers claimed the title at the first two championship games, many believed AFL teams didn’t stand a chance against the NFL. However, AFL victories at Super Bowl III and Super Bowl IV that rank among the biggest Super Bowl upsets quickly changed these notions.

Electrifying Super Bowl performances of Hall of Famers like Joe Namath and Joe Montana earned them a place in the history books. Although most fans root for their favorite team, the chance for a Cinderella story or an incredible comeback gives the underdogs and their fans something to believe in and keeps the rest of the viewers watching in suspense until the clock runs out.

Below, we give you a quick countdown of, quite possibly, the seven greatest Super Bowl upsets in living memory – feel free to agree or disagree in the comment box at the end of the article:

7. Super Bowl XVI – San Francisco 49ers vs. Cincinnati Bengals

It was 1981 and the San Francisco 49ers with first-year starter Joe Montana ranked as 2-point favorites against the equally matched Bengals. Although the Bengals were arguably the more talented team, the 49ers forced errors and turnovers late in the second half that prevented the Bengals from scoring. While the Bengals fumbled their way through the game, the 49ers decisive defense stopped the Bengals in their tracks for a final score of 26-21.

6. Super Bowl XLII - New York Giants vs. New England Patriots

Set to complete a perfect season, Bill Belichick and the Patriots were 12.5-point favorites entering the game with the Brady-Moss-Welker power trio. The 18-0 unbeaten season for the Patriots was brought to an abrupt end thanks to the strong defense of the New York Giants and the play-making skills of Eli Manning, which carried the underdogs through the fourth quarter. Final score: 17-14.

5. Super Bowl XXXII - Denver Broncos vs. Green Bay Packers

The battle-hardened Broncos’ legendary win over the Bret Favre-led Packers remains one of the biggest Super Bowl upsets in history. Entering the game, the Broncos and aging Quarterback John Elway were 12-point underdogs against the overzealous Brett Favre. Using strategic plays conceived by Coach Shanahan, the Broncos blitzed Favre and brought the Packers to their knees for a 31-24 win in the 1998 championship game.

4. Super Bowl XLIV – New Orleans Saints vs. Indianapolis Colts

The Saints’ unexpected 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in 2009 Super Bowl marked the final steps in the team’s 44-year metamorphosis from the ‘Aints to the Saints. This historic game is one of the biggest Super Bowl upsets, which will be remembered for years to come. Tracy Porter’s 74-yard pick-six return in the fourth quarter sealed the victory for the Saints earning them a place among the NFL greats after decades of failure and embarrassment.

3. Super Bowl IV - Kansas City Chiefs vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Kansas City Chiefs, having suffered a painful 35-10 defeat at the first Super Bowl, which was known as the World Championship Game returned three years later for Super Bowl IV comprehensively crushing the NFL Vikings, who were led by Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton. The Chiefs’ 23-7 victory over the formidable “Purple People Eaters” marked the AFL’s second victory over an NFL team.

2. Super Bowl XXV - New York Giants vs. Buffalo Bills

The Bills’ suffered a humiliating one-point loss due to a last-second 47-yard field goal attempt that went wide right. The errant kick undid the careful planning of Thurman Thomas, Jim Kelley, Kent Hull, Will Wolford and Coach Bill Parcells. Although the Bills kicking error haunted them for years, it was the stellar performance of the Giants’ defense that won the game. The defensive game plan prepared by coordinator Bill Belichick is currently on display in the Pro Football Hall of Fame alongside his coaching jacket and other memorabilia from one of the biggest Super Bowl upsets ever – in fact the second worst upset of all time, we contend.

1. Super Bowl III – New York Jets vs. Baltimore Colts

The AFL/NFL face off of Super Bowl III still ranks as one of the biggest Super Bowl upsets of all-time – the biggest in fact! Going into the game, the Colts ranked as untouchable 18-point favorites. On the other side of the field, Joe Namath brazenly guaranteed a victory against the heavily favored Colts, who had one loss for the season. The Jets’ defensive players forced interceptions and prevented the Colts from completing passes for a final score of 16-7. Namath completed 17 passes for a total of 206 yards earning the game’s MVP title without throwing a touchdown pass. Awesome!!

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