By News Team
4th February 2021
The Super Bowl is one of the great sporting events in global sport – a match where everyone sits up and takes notice.
There have been some fantastic clashes over the years so ahead of this year’s Super Bowl on Sunday, we’ve counted down six of the best.
Super Bowl 42 – 2007
New York Giants 17-14 New England Patriots
The Patriots were perfect on the season and a massive 12-point favourites against unheralded and inexperienced Eli Manning and a Giants side who had limped into the play-offs with a 10-6 record.
Meanwhile, Tom Brady was busy making new records on the road to the final including an incredible 92.9 percent completion rate in the divisional round win.
The Giants defence snuffed out the Brady threat with five sacks but the Patriots led a nail-biter 7-3 going into the fourth quarter.
Manning led the Giants down field in the fourth to put them 10-7 ahead before Brady fired back to put the Pats up 14-10.
Eli then played his part in a miracle play to set up the winning touchdown.
Somehow escaping the grip of several Pats defenders, Manning stepped up in the pocket and heaved the ball down to David Tyree in double coverage who then caught the ball with the help of his helmet as he fell to the ground.
That set up a touchdown throw to Plaxico Burress to end the Patriots perfect season.
Manning also led the Giants to a fourth Super Bowl win, also over the Patriots in 2011, but it was the 2007 ‘Manning to Tyree’ play for which this Super Bowl is remembered for.
The stuff of legends
Super Bowl 43 – 2009
Pittsburgh Steelers 27-23 Arizona Cardinals
The Steelers match New England on six Super Bowl wins and this one over the Cardinals and an inspired Kurt Warner will go down as their most memorable.
The Cardinals somehow scrambled into the play-offs with a 9-7 record whereas the big Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers had been typically dominant winning 12 of their 16 regular season games.
The Cardinals were in their first Super Bowl and so nearly pulled it off despite few giving them a chance. Warner was looking to become the first quarterback in history to win Super Bowls with two different teams having won with the St Louis Rams in 1999.
One of the big moments in this came just before half-time with the Cardinals poised to take the lead only for Warner’s pass to be picked off by James Harrison who then rumbled up field for a touchdown to give the Steelers a 17-7 lead at the break.
Wily Warner wasn’t done there though and led Arizona to 16 straight points in the fourth quarter, including a 64-yard strike from Warner to Larry Fitzgerald to give the Cardinals a late 23-20 lead with over two minutes left.
Roethlisberger was up to the task, though, as he led the Steelers on a 78-yard drive on the next possession that was capped with a touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes.
Holmes made one of the most incredible catches in Super Bowl history, keeping both feet inbounds in the back of the end zone despite being surrounded by three defenders.
Super Bowl 49 – 2015
New England Patriots 28-24 Seattle Seahawks
The ultimate clash of the titans ended up being decided by the most questionable ‘are you kidding me’ call in Super Bowl history.
The Seahawks came into the game looking for a second straight title after demolishing the Denver Broncos the year before while the Pats were empire building as Bill Belichick and Tom Brady hunted a fourth Super Bowl in six.
There was nothing to choose between the teams at the break at 14-14 before Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson led his team to a ten point lead in the third quarter.
Cue Touchdown Tom to orchestrate back-to-back drives into the end zone in the fourth quarter to put them 28-24 up with the two minute warning about to sound.
Wilson drove the Seahawks down the field with a 31-yard opening pass then two more of 11 and 33 yards, and then a four-yard run from Marshawn Lynch put them within a yard of the title.
Then came ‘The Call’.
Was it coach Pete Carroll’s decision not to give the ball to Lynch to blast over for the game-winning score, or was it Wilson who decided to try and be the hero?
Shockingly, Wilson dropped back to pass with just under 30 seconds left to throw the ball through traffic into the endzone and it was picked off by Malcolm Butler to leave Brady leaping for joy on the touchline.
Super Bowl 51 – 2017
New England Patriots 34, Atlanta Falcons 28
Was this the Super Bowl the Falcons threw away or was it Tom Brady’s finest hour?
However you want to look at it many believe this was the greatest Super Bowl of them all as it featured the biggest comeback in history and the first-ever overtime in a final.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan blasted his side to a shock 21-3 lead at halftime and they stretched that to 28-3 at the start of the third before the Brady bunch took over with 25 unanswered points which included a two-point conversion with 57 seconds left.
The Falcons were beaten as they waited for assassin Brady to deliver the coup de grace. He did just that when led his side up the field in overtime for the game winning touchdown and a fifth Vince Lombardi trophy.
Super Bowl 52 – 2018
Philadelphia Eagles 41-33 New England Patriots
This was the game Tom Brady threw for 505 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions – and still lost.
And a lost to unheralded Eagles quarterback Nick Foles who stepped in late in the season to replace a crocked Carson Wentz.
It was David vs Goliath stuff in the final showdown and even included a good old-fashioned Philly Special – a freaky trick play that ended with Foles catching a touchdown on a fourth-down near the goal-line.
The Eagles led 22-12 at the half and it wasn’t until the fourth quarter when the Patriots led for the first time 33-32.
The game-winning touchdown came when Foles threw to Zach Ertz and he was allowed to keep the score under a controversial review.
Even then, right at the death Brady had a Hail Mary throw as he tried to tie the game up and force overtime
Super Bowl 54 – 2020
Kansas City Chiefs 31-20 San Francisco 49ers
Fans and pundits alike seem to have a hard time ranking last year’s Super Bowl but it has to score high enough to make the top six, if only for the fact it was a first of many for Patrick Mahomes.
The Chiefs, hot favourites going into Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay Buccaneers, were down and out by the end of the third quarter when trailing by 20-10.
Up until then the 49ers and their top-ranked defence had played the perfect game but it all fell apart in under five minutes of an incredible fourth quarter when ‘magic man’ Mahomes fired the Chiefs to 21 unanswered points.