Which Super Bowls were the worst ever?

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Prisoners of the moment would say that Super Bowl LIII was the worst ever. While it wasn’t as exciting as recent games, it was far from the worst ever.

We demonstrated that point on Friday’s PFT Live, with a draft of the worst Super Bowls ever.

Dan Katz a/k/a Big Cat and yours truly picked three each (he finagled a fourth), and once you hear it, you’ll agree that Super Bowl LIII isn’t close to being one of the worst ever.

If there are any we missed (other than LIII), chime in via the comments. And if you missed any of PFT Live, the entire show can be found via the PFT Live podcast.

58 responses to “Which Super Bowls were the worst ever?

  1. Lowest scoring = the worst for me in addition to one of the teams not deserving of participation in the game

    *SB LIIIE

  2. XXXV (Ravens over Giants), XL (Steelers over Seahawks) plus pick any of the blowouts in the 80’s. Also XLVI Giants over Patriots was meh.

    LIII isn’t in the top 10 in worst SBs.

  3. While I am a life long Baltimore sports fan I think the worst “played” super bowl was number 5 between the Colts and the Cowboys – won by the Colts despite the fact that they turned the ball over SEVEN times. The Cowboys turned the ball over FOUR times for a total of ELEVEN turnovers!!! The Colts even had another fumble that they recovered!!. Very sloppy game. But even though the Cowboys were the beneficiaries of 7 turnovers they still only managed 215 years of offense and only scored 13 points. The Colts’ defense was spectacular in that game.

  4. Chiefs Rams from MNF is definitely in my top 5 worst games I’ve ever seen. Maybe even top 3. Lots would disagree with that but that to me was not football.

  5. Worst ever? Shouldn’t that be defined by a lack of competitiveness in the game? So you would discover the “worst ever” by choosing from the largest margins of victory and going from there. Low scores doesn’t equal bad football.

  6. packers291 says:
    February 8, 2019 at 2:22 pm
    Worst ever? Shouldn’t that be defined by a lack of competitiveness in the game? So you would discover the “worst ever” by choosing from the largest margins of victory and going from there. Low scores doesn’t equal bad football.
    _______________________________________________________________

    So are you suggesting that the Pats/Rams was well played? I really hope not. I enjoy low scoring games, but that was a garbage crap game.

  7. GoodellMustGo says:
    February 8, 2019 at 2:17 pm
    Chiefs Rams from MNF is definitely in my top 5 worst games I’ve ever seen. Maybe even top 3. Lots would disagree with that but that to me was not football.

    —–

    They never played a SB on MNF. Reading comprehension much?

  8. Hard to say, as a Patriots fan, how bad the Pats/Bears game was, but it seems that it was non-competitive as long as any of them. I don’t know if there were mitigating factors for non-Bears fans, but that was definitely not a good game.

    49ers/Broncos was as bad through 1 quarter score-wise (13-3) and worse at half time.

  9. For the longest time you just wished for a great game. It was when the Broncos beat the Packers is when the AFC started to give the NFC some trouble. The spread of the NFC over the AFC was almost always double digits in the mid to late 80s.

  10. patsfan1820 says:
    February 8, 2019 at 2:39 pm
    Super Bowl 48 even if Manning got pounded I wanted to see at least some kind of game before he blew it.
    —-
    I actually enjoyed that one. No it was not competitive but it all about one team making a loud statement of defensive dominance.

  11. The worst has to be the Chicago vs. New England in SB XX. That was about as exciting as watching the paint dry. New England scored a TD in garbage time, but before that they just couldn’t move the ball worth a damn. I wanted to see “Sweetness” in action, but the great Walter Payton had a lousy game, which left the highlights to the under-talented but over-hyped Jim McMahon.

  12. zonkerharris213 says:
    February 8, 2019 at 2:51 pm
    The worst has to be the Chicago vs. New England in SB XX. That was about as exciting as watching the paint dry. New England scored a TD in garbage time, but before that they just couldn’t move the ball worth a damn. I wanted to see “Sweetness” in action, but the great Walter Payton had a lousy game, which left the highlights to the under-talented but over-hyped Jim McMahon.

    —-
    Patriots 10 points were the only 10 the Bears allowed all postseason. Go figure.

  13. Yes, 43-8 (aka Seahawks/Broncos) was by far the worst of my lifetime. Complete and utter mismatch featuring one of Peyton’s finest meltdowns, back when people still said he was the GOAT with a straight face despite his many and varied one-and-dones. Still, it provides a nice context for the following year when the actual GOAT beat that same defense with the then biggest comeback in SB history (until his next one).

  14. floriosnuts says:
    February 8, 2019 at 2:53 pm
    I forget what year it was but the worst I can recall was when the 49’ers with Steve Young cleaned the San Diego Chargers clock big-time.


    Yeah, that was 94 – when Stan Humphries was QB.

  15. It’s a silly debate. When your team is crowned, you don’t care how the game went. All that matters is the title of Super Bowl Champs. It’s just the last step of the journey. When I reflect on my favorite team’s Super Bowl victories, I think about the entire seasons, not just the one game. The beauty is in the struggle and journey.

  16. Super Bowl XXXV Baltimore vs NY Giants for my money. For all the reasons Big Cat and Florio discussed. And honestly who was excited for the Trent Dilfer vs Kerry Collins quarterback matchup?

  17. The reason why I mentioned that MNF game (I thought it was obvious why but I guess it wasn’t) is because I bet 80% of people who are whining like babies about how bad this game was loved that game. That game sucked big time. It was a mockery of the sport I love and I never want to see it again.

    Gimme 10 more Super Bowls like this last one. 🙂

  18. aarons444 says:
    February 8, 2019 at 2:45 pm
    Any Super Bowl that had the Patriots in it.

    —-
    I take it you missed some great games then. 🙂 Even the Packers-Patriots game in 96 was a really good game.

  19. It’s hilarious that people actually put this in their top 10 worst Super Bowls.

    And very revealing too. They probably loved that KC-Rams abomination on MNF. So did Goodell.

  20. This is what you want. All the marbles decided at the end of the game. I was expecting one big play by the Rams to tie it up until the missed FG sealed it. Far from the worst. The overhype and failure of their offense is what disappointed. And the season of insane numbers lulled people into thinking that every game would be 40-35. I enjoyed watching defenses shine and finally seeing one team break through.

  21. weepingjebus says:
    February 8, 2019 at 2:55 pm
    Yes, 43-8 (aka Seahawks/Broncos) was by far the worst of my lifetime. Complete and utter mismatch featuring one of Peyton’s finest meltdowns, back when people still said he was the GOAT


    And Brady lit them up the following year, despite the cloud of a completely fabricated cheating scandal put there by the league hanging over the team to derail their chances.

    Go figure. 🙂

  22. All of the Bronco losses were the WORST….
    They got destroyed by the Giants 39-20 and score wasn’t that close.
    Blasted 55-10 by 49ers. Disgusting.
    and Boat raced by the mighty Seahawks 43-8.
    Garbage games. Non-competitive. snooze fest laughers.

  23. sigbouncer says:
    February 8, 2019 at 3:06 pm
    Super Bowl XXXV Baltimore vs NY Giants for my money. For all the reasons Big Cat and Florio discussed. And honestly who was excited for the Trent Dilfer vs Kerry Collins quarterback matchup?

    —-
    Montana probably would have gotten destroyed in that game.

    😉

  24. Miami had a great team, but all three of those Super Bowls (the loss to Dallas, the wins over Washington and Minnesota) were really tough games to watch unless you had a strong rooting interest.

  25. For me it wasn’t the worst super bowl during my lifetime. Cowboys vs Bills both were bad. The 49ers vs Charges, the Broncos vs. Falcons, the Ravens vs. Giants, the Buccaneers vs. Raiders, Colts vs. Bears, and Seahawks vs. Broncos. With this past super bowl, the game was any ones up until the last field goal by the Patriots to seal it.

  26. ibillwt says:
    February 8, 2019 at 3:08 pm
    grossman vs manning – two losers in a chokers-only match up.

    —-
    The league in the AFCCG making up a penalty (face-guarding) that didn’t exist put Manning in that game. Haven’t trusted the league ever since. Coincidence or not, Goodell was in his first year as commissioner.

  27. “So are you suggesting that the Pats/Rams was well played? ”

    Both defenses played extremely well. Pats offense played ok moved the ball but until they tossed out the game plan couldn’t strike home.

    But yes, the defenses played not just well, but great. I realize to the younger fantasy football crowd you hate defensive games because your fake football teams don’t score fake points, but most older football fans appreciate defense much more than the ff people.

  28. hoops737 says:
    February 8, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Lowest scoring = the worst for me in addition to one of the teams not deserving of participation in the game

    =============

    So which team deserved to get in instead? The one that scored no points in the first half of their conference championship game, or the one that choked away their game despite having a 13-0 lead, the ball with less than 2 minutes left, a lead with less than a minute left, and the ball first in overtime?

    You can think some other team would have done better, but by every standard of who “deserved” to be there, the deserving teams were there.

  29. So subjective. A close game is good for the casual fan. A high scoring game is good for the millennial fan. A blowout is good for a real fan of the team that blows up the other, thereby showing how great their favorite team is. And any game that covers is a good one for bettors.

  30. carloswlassiter says:
    February 8, 2019 at 2:17 pm
    Steelers Seahawks hands down.
    Worst officiating of any SB hands the game to Pitt despite an embarrassingly bad performance by Reothlisberger.

    The head ref apologized to the city of Seattle and the Seahawks for – and I quote – “kicking calls” and “impacting the result of the game”. Such an apology hasn’t happened before or since.

    If that Saints lawsuit was successful, it would have been very interesting to see what else would have come out of that. 🙂

  31. This is still the worst Super Bowl? Rams defense played well Patriots stopped the run and cover 2 and cover 3 looked like 15 players on the field to Goff.

    Hekker is the one of the best punters in football and he was terrible in this game.

  32. zoneread510 says:
    February 8, 2019 at 3:20 pm
    For me it wasn’t the worst super bowl during my lifetime. Cowboys vs Bills both were bad. The 49ers vs Charges, the Broncos vs. Falcons, the Ravens vs. Giants, the Buccaneers vs. Raiders, Colts vs. Bears, and Seahawks vs. Broncos. With this past super bowl, the game was any ones up until the last field goal by the Patriots to seal it.

    —-
    Good examples. Gannon getting intercepted a whole bunch of times was bad, as was the Bills turning the ball over 9 times in the Cowboys SB.

  33. LIII was quite boring to me for a lot of the game – not because of the defensive dominance, which is fine, but the poor execution on so many offensive drives. It’s rare to have both offense and defense in top form duking it out, but I was getting pretty tired of botched 3rd-down plays and errant throws.

    What redeemed the game for me was how that ponderous start created more tension in the end. Something had to give eventually, and when it did, it could decide the game. That was edge-of-your-seat viewing in the latter part of the game, and once something *did* start to happen, the drama was high and the outcome appropriate.

    It’s worse when a team is really supposed to be competitive and isn’t. A lot of ’80s-’90s Super Bowls had that happen (hello, Broncos & Bills), but the most recent example of that dreary kind of game was the Broncos crumbling against the Seahawks. At least the Rams defense showed up and kept the game close to the end. Manning’s Broncos didn’t bother to show up that day.

  34. harrisonhits2 says:
    February 8, 2019 at 3:24 pm
    “So are you suggesting that the Pats/Rams was well played? ”
    Both defenses played extremely well. Pats offense played ok moved the ball but until they tossed out the game plan couldn’t strike home.
    But yes, the defenses played not just well, but great. I realize to the younger fantasy football crowd you hate defensive games because your fake football teams don’t score fake points, but most older football fans appreciate defense much more than the ff people.

    —-
    Well said. And the Patriots offense played better than people think. 416 yards of offense in total, including 155 on the ground plus a clutch drive at the end to win. Just like old times. 🙂

  35. These come to mind:
    Niners 55, Broncos 10
    Redskins 42, Broncos 10
    Cowboys 27, Steelers 17

    All were hyped a ton, and all were pretty boring and one-sided.

  36. A truly bad game would have tons of fumbles, picks, penalties and self inflicted miscues. Repeat ad infinitum over the 60 minutes.

    That’s how you know this game was about good defense, and one team did it a bit better than the other.

  37. SB XXIV – 49ers sacrificed Denver at the temple of Montana 55-10
    SB XXVII – Dallas 42 Bills 17 – was boring fast.
    SB XXIX – 49er 49 Charger 26 – see above
    SB XL – Steelers 21 Seahawks 10 – Refs seemed to stop ever Seahawks play – One sided & Ugly

    Sidenote: I actually like this one
    SB XLVIII Seahawks 43 Broncos 8 – 1) Seahawks see XL 2)I thought they had a chance to shutout the greatest O of all time. Which would have been hilariously

  38. I didn’t think this year’s game was well played but I wouldn’t say it was boring because you kept wondering when something would happen that would make one team the winner. Any championship game that has no drama is what I would consider a bad game.

    The best Super Bowl of my lifetime was Super Bowl XXXIII between Atlanta and Denver. Even though I was hosting a Super Bowl party, I didn’t see one second of the game because I spent the entire game talking to the woman who would become my wife.

  39. “Any game thar has the Patriots in it” is not an answer. You have no right.

    You OWE the Patriots for the best entertainment. Circus catches. Close finishes. Tense, mentally stimulating chess moves. Storylines that would make female soap fans blush. Strategies that educate and inspire.

    How braindead does one have to be not to appreciate the contributions of this franchise to sports lure and entertainment.

  40. The Patriots haters got 11 superbowls to choose from and according to their calculation that’s more than half of all the superbowls played. So they have a 75% chance of being right.

    Forgot to say “book it or bank on it”… Their catch phrase when they made a Patriots prediction.

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