The most-watched sporting event of the year does not always result in the most entertaining game. Here are the 10 worst Super Bowls of all time.
February 03, 2014
1 of 10Bob Rosato; John Biever
10. Super Bowl XXXIII — Broncos 34, Falcons 19
Falcons safety Eugene Robinson earned the Bart Starr Award, which honors players of distinguished character. Then he was arrested the night before the game for solicitation of prostitution. That was an omen for Atlanta. Broncos quarterback John Elway put on an awe-inspiring performance in the final game of his illustrious career, with 336 passing yards and a rushing touchdown, The sentimentality of his farewell only slightly made up for the overwhelmingly bad game on the field.
2 of 10Peter Read Miller
9. Super Bowl XXIX — 49ers 49, Chargers 26
Just because there were some significant moments doesn't mean it was a good show. Steve Young emerged from Joe Montana's shadow with a record six passing touchdowns, but this game was really just a dominant, unflappable team running it up on an overwhelmed foe that was just happy to be there.
3 of 10Walter Iooss Jr.
8. Super Bowl VIII — Dolphins 24, Vikings 7
When a team doesn't need to pass more than seven times, you know it's in total control. The Dolphins surely were with bruising running back Larry Csonka leading the way with 145 rushing yards.
4 of 10John Iacono; Andy Hayt
7. Super Bowl XVIII — Raiders 38, Redskins 9
The Redskins were heavily favored after going 14-2, but Raiders running back Marcus Allen made the oddsmakers look dumb while rushing for a Super Bowl-record 191 yards on 20 carries. It was the most lopsided score in Super Bowl history at the time.
5 of 10John W. McDonough
6. Super Bowl XXXV — Ravens 34, Giants 7
While there was a certain awe inspired by the Ravens defense, for most fans this game was two boring teams with no real glamour playing boring football. Trent Dilfer and Kerry Collins were the starting QBs. `Nuff said? The game went pretty much as everyone expected, with the Ray Lewis-led Ravens D dominating Jim Fassell's Giants.
6 of 10V.J. Lovero
5. Super Bowl XXVII — Cowboys 52, Bills 17
What we had here was a dynasty playing its best football against a team achieving the infamy of four successive Super Bowl defeats. The Bills struggled and pressed all afternoon, turning the ball over nine times. NINE: five fumbles and four interceptions.
7 of 10Richard Mackson
4. Super Bowl XX — Bears 46, Patriots 10
The Bears did their Super Bowl shuffle all over the Patriots in a display of pure domination. Buddy Ryan's vaunted 46 Defense limited the Pats to just 123 yards for the game and New England made only one of their 10 third-down conversions. Fans weren't even treated to the great Walter Payton rushing for a touchdown. Jim McMahon, Matt Suhey and even defensive tackle William "The Refrigerator" Perry did the honors instead.
8 of 10Heinz Kluetmeier
3. Super Bowl XLVIII — Seahawks 43, Broncos 8
What was hyped as a classic matchup between an unstoppable offense and a miserly defense turned into a rout. Things went sour for Peyton Manning and the Broncos from the very first scrimmage play when a bad snap flew into the end zone for a safety, and by halftime they were down 22-0 — their biggest deficit of the season and the only time they didn't score in a half. A mere 12 seconds in, Seattle led 2-0 with the quickest score in Super Bowl history. That masterful defense, the NFL's stingiest, never let the five-time MVP get going, disarming the highest-scoring offense in league history. Seattle was too quick, too physical and just too good for Denver.
9 of 10John Biever; John Iacono
2. Super Bowl XXII — Redskins 42, Broncos 10
It was historic and historically bad. Doug Williams became the first African-American quarterback to start and to win the Super Bowl. He also put this one out of reach early while the Redskins scored a record 35 second-quarter points. The Broncos were so bad that a rookie named Timmy Smith, who was rarely seen before or since, rushed for 204 yards and the Redskins scored five touchdowns in a span of 18 plays. Not even advertisers were happy. TV ratings plummeted in the second half.
10 of 10Heinz Kluetmeier
1. Super Bowl XXIV — 49ers 55, Broncos 10
If one team epitomized the era of bad Super Bowl games, the Broncos were it. And if one game was the worst of the bunch, this was it. Wide receiver Jerry Rice ran free in Denver's secondary as the 49ers did virtually anything they wanted against Wade Phillips' defense. The game set records for most points scored and largest margin of victory.
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