The Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event in the world that signifies the annual battle between the best teams from the AFC and NFC. With a lot on the line, athletes are focused and determined to get their hands on this incredible trophy, which often leads to disappointment for the losing team.
Every couple of years, the matchup heading into the Super Bowl doesn’t make sense, since there is a heavy favorite on one side. However, with the stakes of the Super Bowl being at an all-time high, athletes are giving everything they got on the field which means anything is possible.
In most cases, the favorite team is justified and ends up winning the Super Bowl. However, there are sometimes when such an uneven scale opens up many opportunities for a historic upset.
So, check out the 5 greatest upsets in Super Bowl history.
5. Denver Broncos vs Green Bay Packers –Super Bowl 1998
Even though most people considered the Denver Broncos as underdogs, at that time, they’ve proved their capabilities in the regular season after a record of 12-4 in won games.
On the other hand, the Green Bay Packers entered the Super Bowl as defending champions and with a regular-season record of 13-3, which moved the odds to their favor. It was all going well for the Packers until the last quarter when things started to shift in Broncos’ favor.
Terrel Davis took the victory for the Broncos after running 157 yards and had a record of three rushing touchdowns, including the game-winning touchdown in under two minutes left. This is one of the rare times when we see a double-digit favorite lose the game.
4. New York Giants vs Buffalo Bills –Super Bowl 1991
This game is engraved in the history of the NFL for a couple of different reasons – First, this was the start of the miserable four-year Super Bowl run for the Bills, the wide-right kick with seconds to go, and by being one of the closest championship games ever.
The Buffalo Bills entered the championship game with a 13-3 record and the leading offense in the NFL at that time, scoring an unbelievable 428 points.
On the other hand, they were going up against the best defense in the league, led by Lawrence Taylor for the Giants. However, at that time most people thought that the Giant’s defense would be no match for the fierce offense of the Buffalo Bills. On top of that, the Giants were starting the match with their backup quarterback Jeff Hostetler, who took the leading spot after Phil Simms suffered from a broken foot.
The Giants went back and forth with their fast and explosive counterparts, and after a missed 47-yard field goal, the New York Giants won the Super Bowl.
3. New England Patriots vs St. Louis Rams – Super Bowl 2002
This was the first time we were ever introduced to Tom Brady and his incredible quarterback skills in clutch moments. This was a time when the feared Patriot dynasty on the Super Bowl was just starting, but they were going up against the Rams who had an incredible offense including Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, Kurt Warner, and Marshall Faulk.
This was also the second time in three seasons where the Rams reached the Super Bowl, which is why the odds for them winning the championship were small.
However, the ball was put in the unproven hands of Tom Brady who managed to set up a 48-yard pass to Adam Vinatieri’s field goal that went through the uprights in the closing moments of the match.
2. New York Jets vs Baltimore Colts – Super Bowl 1969
Sometimes the passion for the win can lead to many mind games before the match. This was the time when Joe Namath placed a public guarantee that he will help the New York Jets defeat the Baltimore Colts, which at that time were the heavy favorite.
He cemented his guarantee with an MVP performance and managed to pull an incredible win even when all odds were against the New York Jets.
1. New York Giants vs New England Patriots – Super Bowl 2008
It is hard to talk about the Super Bowl without mentioning Tom Brady’s New England Patriots, but this time with an upset story for him and his team. After a stunning 16-0 performance from the New England Patriots in the regular season and two wins in the playoff games, they were only one game away from becoming the first-ever 19-0 Super Bowl champion in NFL history.
However, Eli Manning and the Giants had other ideas. This is one of the most memorable plays in Super Bowl history when Eli Manning escaped the grasp of several Patriots defenders as he gets up in free space to get the ball out.
The game ended up with New York Giants taking the Super Bowl trophy which was well deserved for both teams since there was little to set them apart.