Greatest Super Bowl Ever?

WOW!  What a great game!  Super Bowls rarely live up to the hype, but Super Bowl XLIII met and exceeded it.  I’ll make the argument that this was the greatest Super Bowl ever.  Sure, some old timers will probably make an argument for some game from the 70’s and I personally would make a case for the Chicago Bears trouncing of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX, but I digress.

I pulled this list of the most exciting Super Bowls from an old editorial written after Super Bowl XXXVIII.  I’ve added my own for the couple of games since that article:

Super Bowl V, 1970, Baltimore 16, Dallas 13
— This close (biggest lead was seven), hard-fought game was decided by a FG with 0:05 left. But it also had 11 turnovers and 14 penalties.

Super Bowl XIII, 1978, Pittsburgh 35, Dallas 31 — Cowboys comeback to get close. Late TD, onside kick recovery, another TD, onside kick failed.

Super Bowl XXIII, 1988, San Francisco 20, Cincinnati 16 — Seven ties and lead changes, last at 0:34. Superb 49ers’ TD drive answers late Bengals FG.

Super Bowl XXV, 1990, N.Y. Giants 20, Buffalo 19 — 47 yards, wide right.

Super Bowl XXXII, 1997, Denver 31, Green Bay 24 — Six ties and lead changes, last at 1:45.

Super Bowl XXXIV, 1999, St. Louis Rams 23, Tennessee 16 — Comeback, late scores by both teams, one yard from OT.

Super Bowl XXXVI, 2001, New England 20, St Louis Rams 17 — Walk-off 48-yarder.

Super Bowl XXXVIII, 2003, New England 32, Carolina 29 — A schizophrenic game, a wild fourth quarter, a classic ending.

Super Bowl XXXIX, 2005, New England 24, Philadelphia 21– A late comeback and a vomiting Donovan McNabb

Super Bowl XLII, 2008, New York Giants 17, New England 14– The Eli Manning scramble and the David Tyree catch alone made this game an instant classic.  The Giants pulling the upset to keep the Patriots from becoming the first team to go 19-0 cemented it in history.

Here’s why I contend that Super Bowl XLIII had all the elements to make it the greatest ever:

Great Plays

  • James Harrison’s 100-yard INT return for a TD to end the first half was the longest play in Super Bowl history.  What a return!
  • Both of Larry Fitzgerald’s touchdowns were amazing plays, especially the 64 yarder to the late lead!
  • Kurt Warner’s 377 yards and 3 TD’s had to be the most by a QB in a losing effort.  Not to mention that 224 If he wasn’t in before this game, I say he’s in the Hall of Fame with that performance.  By the way, when did Brenda Warner get hot-ish?
  • Santonio Holmes’ game winning touchdown may have been the best touchdown reception in a Super Bowl.


  • The Steelers jump out to a 13-point lead.  The Cardinals appear to have recorded the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history with a HUGE 4th quarter, capped off by a Larry Fitzgerald 64 yard TD with 2:37 left.
  • Big Ben leads the Steelers down the field for a 78 yard game-winning TD drive and Santonio Holmes cements himself in Pittsburgh history with that great catch.  Do you think he’ll after have to pick up a tab in Steel-town again?
  • Even with that amazing Steelers drive, the Cards still had one last gasp as Kurt Warner got the Cards within Hail Mary distance, but couldn’t quite finish it off.


  • Was Big Ben’s knee down on the first Steelers score?
  • Did James Harrison get in for that TD?  It was really close.
  • Was that last Warner fumble really a fumble?  Looked to me like his hand was going forward with the ball.  It would have been nice for the booth to at least review that play.


  • James Harrison’s TD was the longest play in Super Bowl history.
  • The Steelers captured their 6th Super Bowl Championship, most of any team.
  • Pittsburgh Head Coach Mike Tomlin became the youngest to coach and win the Super Bowl.

If you don’t think Super Bowl XLIII was the greatest Super Bowl, which one was?

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Tags: 100 Yard Int Return 100 Yard Td Arizona Cardinals Best Super Bowl Best Superbowl Chicago Bears Football Greatest Super Bowl James Harrison Larry Fitzgerald Longest Play In Super Bowl History Mike Tomlin NFL Pittsburgh Steelers Santonio Holmes Super Bowl 2009 Super Bowl Xliii Super Bowl Xx

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