Home Sports The Super Bowl has seen way more blowouts than close games. Here’s a breakdown

The Super Bowl has seen way more blowouts than close games. Here’s a breakdown

The Super Bowl has seen way more blowouts than close games. Here’s a breakdown

The first two Super Bowls were largely unentertaining games.

Green Bay dominated both, beating Kansas City 35-10 and Oakland 33-14.

After 56 Super Bowl, more games have been blowouts — in this case won by 17 points or more — than have been close games have — won by four points or less.

Twenty games have been won by 17 or more points, while 14 games have been won by four or less.

This year’s Super Bowl is expected to be close, with the Eagles favored by 1.5 points over the Chiefs.

Here’s a breakdown of the biggest blowouts and closest games.

Games won by more than 17 points

Joe Montana celebrates after winning Super Bowl 24, his fourth and final championship.

Super Bowl XXIV: San Fran 55, Denver 10 (45 points)

It was the 49ers’ second consecutive Super Bowl triumph. The 55 points remains the highest point total by a team in the Super Bowl, and it also marked the first time a team won back-to-back Super Bowls with different coaches – Bill Walsh and George Seifert. San Francisco quarterback Joe Montana was named the Super Bowl MVP, his third award in his fourth Super Bowl victory. He completed 22 of 29 passes for a total of 297 yards and a Super Bowl record 5 touchdowns.

Mike Ditka is carried off the field after the Chicago Bears defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX.

Super Bowl XX: Chicago 46, New England 10 (36 points)

Regarded as one of the best defenses in league history, the Bears, aka “Da Bears,” were every bit as good as they were flashy, as evidenced by “The Super Bowl Shuffle.” In their victory over the Patriots, the Bears set or tied Super Bowl records for sacks (seven), fewest rushing yards allowed (seven), and margin of victory (36 points), which has since been eclipsed.

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy the Cowboys won Super Bowl XXVII against the Buffalo Bills in Pasadena, Calif., in Jan. 1993.

Super Bowl XXVII: Dallas 52, Buffalo 17 (35 points)

The Cowboys scored 35 points off of a Super Bowl-record nine Buffalo turnovers, including three first half touchdowns. Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman was named Super Bowl MVP, completing 22 of 30 passes for 273 yards and four touchdowns for a passer rating of 140.6. The Bills became the first team to lose three consecutive Super Bowls, and just the second of three teams to play in three straight.

Feb. 2, 2014: Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl XLVIII against the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium. Seattle Seahawks won the game, 43-8.

Super Bowl XLVIII: Seattle 43, Denver 8 (35 points)

The Seahawks defeated the Broncos by the largest margin of victory for an underdog heading into the game. The game was played on Feb. 2, 2014, at MetLife Stadium at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the first Super Bowl played outdoors in a cold-weather city and the first Super Bowl to be played on Feb. 2. Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith, who returned an interception 69 yards for a touchdown, recovered a fumble and made nine tackles, was named Super Bowl MVP.

FILE - In this Jan. 31, 1988, file photo, Washington Redskins quarterback Doug Williams prepares to let go of a pass during first quarter of Super Bowl XXII against the Denver Broncos in San Diego.  Brock Purdy's bid to join the select group of quarterbacks to go from a backup for most of the season to a Super Bowl starter got derailed when he suffered his own injury in the NFC championship game. There have been several examples of backups leading a team to the big game.  (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

Super Bowl XXII: Washington 42, Denver 10 (32 points)

The game was played at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, California, which was the first time that the Super Bowl was played there. It was the second consecutive Super Bowl loss for the Broncos, who had lost to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl the year before. QB Doug Williams was named the Super Bowl MVP, completing 18 of 29 passes for a Super Bowl record 340 yards and four touchdowns, with one interception. He also became the first player in Super Bowl history to pass for four touchdowns in a single quarter, and four in a half. Williams was the first African American starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl.

The rest of the blowouts:

  • Super Bowl XVIII: LA Raiders 38, Washington 9 (29)
  • Super Bowl XXXV: Baltimore 34, NY Giants 7 (27)
  • Super Bowl XXXVII: Tampa Bay 48, Oakland 21 (27)
  • Super Bowl I: Green Bay 35, Kansas City 10 (25)
  • Super Bowl XXIX: San Fran 49, San Diego 26 (23)
  • Super Bowl XIX: San Fran 38, Miami 16 (22)
  • Super Bowl LV: TB 31, KC 9 (22)
  • Super Bowl VI: Dallas 24, Miami 3 (21)
  • Super Bowl II: Green Bay 33, Oakland 14 (19)
  • Super Bowl XXI: NY Giants 39, Denver 20 (19)
  • Super Bowl XI: Oakland 32, Minnesota 14 (18)
  • Super Bowl VIII: Miami 24, Minnesota 7 (17)
  • Super Bowl XII: Dallas 27, Denver 10 (17)
  • Super Bowl XV: Oakland 27, Philadelphia 10 (17)
  • Super Bowl XXVIII: Dallas 30, Buffalo 13 (17)

Games decided by four points or fewer:

FILE - New York Giants quarterback Jeff Hostetler (15) celebrates a second quarter touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during Super Bowl XXV in Tampa, Fla., in this Jan. 27, 1991 photo. Brock Purdy's bid to join the select group of quarterbacks to go from a backup for most of the season to a Super Bowl starter got derailed when he suffered his own injury in the NFC championship game. There have been several examples of backups leading a team to the big game.   (AP Photo, File)

Super Bowl XXV: NY Giants 20, Bills 19 (1)

Poor Scott Norwood. All he needed to do was make a 47-yard field goal. He didn’t. It sailed wide right and started a streak of futility that saw the Bills make four consecutive Super Bowls, losing them all. It was the first Super Bowl in which neither team committed a turnover. The Giants set a Super Bowl record, holding possession of the ball for 40 minutes and 33 seconds.  Giants running back Ottis Anderson, who carried the ball 21 times for 102 yards and one touchdown, was named Super Bowl MVP.

Jerry Don Logan celebrates an interception that helped seal the Super Bowl V victory for the Baltimore Colts against the Dallas Cowboys. Logan was a three-time Pro Bowl pick and led the nation in scoring as a senior at West Texas State in 1962. He will be inducted into the Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame as part of the 2020 class.

Super Bowl V: Baltimore 16, Dallas 13 (3)

Definitely not the prettiest game to watch. The two teams combined for a Super Bowl record 11 turnovers, with five solely in the fourth quarter. The Colts’ seven turnovers remain the most committed by a Super Bowl champion. Dallas also set a Super Bowl record with 10 penalties, costing them 133 yards. It was settled when Colts rookie kicker Jim O’Brien made a 32-yard field goal with five seconds to play in the game.

New England Patriots cornerback Otis Smith (45) celebrates on the back of teammate cornerback Ty Law (24) after the Patriots beat the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI at the  Louisiana Superdome Sunday, Feb. 3, 2002 in New Orleans.  (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Super Bowl XXXVI: New England 20, St. Louis 17 (3)

This game officially began the Tom Brady era as he helped upset the favored “Greatest Show on Turf.” It was New England’s first Super Bowl championship, and the franchise’s first league championship of any kind.  Adam Vinatieri’s 48-yard field goal as time expired won the game. Brady, who completed 16 of 27 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown, was named Super Bowl MVP.

FILE - New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the Patriots beat the Carolina Panthers 32-29 in Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston, Feb. 1, 2004. Tom Brady has retired after winning seven Super Bowls and setting numerous passing records in an unprecedented 22-year-career. He made the announcement, Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022, in a long post on Instagram. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)

Super Bowl XXXVIII: New England 32, Carolina 29 (3)

Brady’s second Super Bowl title had a lot in common with his first. Adam Vinatieri kicked a 41-yard field goal with four seconds left to propel the Patriots to victory. Tom Brady was again named Super Bowl MVP, the second time in his career.

Deion Branch runs with the ball during the Patriots' win over the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.

Super Bowl XXXIX: New England 24, Philadelphia 21 (3)

Brady’s third Super Bowl title also was won by three points, but in much less dramatic fashion. The Eagles scored a late touchdown to bring the score close, but in the end Brady won again. Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch was named Super Bowl MVP for recording 133 receiving yards and tied the Super Bowl record with 11 catches.

New York Giants' David Tyree #85 catches a pass against the New England Patriots' Rodney Harrison #37 during the Super Bowl XLII football game at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008, in Glendale, Ariz.

Super Bowl XLII: NY Giants 17, New England 14 (3)

They win by three, they lose by three. Brady was involved in his fourth three-point Super Bowl, but he was on the losing end of this one. The Patriots were undefeated heading into the game and heavily favored against the 10-6 wild card Giants. The game is regarded as one of the biggest upsets in the history of professional sports. After wide receiver David Tyree made as spectacular a catch as you’ll ever see on the final drive, pinning the ball to his helmet on third down, wide receiver Plaxico Burress scored the winning touchdown on a 13-yard reception with 35 seconds remaining and QB Eli Manning was named the game’s MVP.

Super Bowl XLVII: Baltimore 34, San Fran 31 (3)

This was the 49ers’ first Super Bowl loss in franchise history. For the first time in Super Bowl history, the game featured two brothers coaching against each other — Jim and John Harbaugh. Some called it the Har-Bowl. A partial power outage in the Superdome suspended play for 34 minutes, earning the game another nickname – the Blackout Bowl. Joe Flacco completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns to be named Super Bowl MVP.

Super Bowl LVI (Rams 23, Bengals 20): Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp catches the game-winning touchdown pass as Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Eli Apple defends at SoFi Stadium.

Super Bowl LVI: LA Rams 23, Cincinnati 20 (3)

The Bengals had it – until they didn’t. Trailing 20–16 in the fourth, the Rams scored a touchdown to take the lead with under two minutes remaining and stopped Cincinnati’s final drive on downs. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who converted a fourth down on the Rams’ final drive and scored the game-winning touchdown, was named Super Bowl MVP.

The rest of the close games

  • Super Bowl X: Pittsburgh 21, Dallas 17 (4)
  • Super Bowl XIII: Pittsburgh 35, Dallas 31 (4)
  • Super Bowl XXIII: San Fran 20, Cincy 16 (4)
  • Super Bowl XLIII: Pitt 27, Arizona 23 (4)
  • Super Bowl XLVI: NY Giants 21, New England 17 (4)
  • Super Bowl XLIX: New England 28, Seattle 24 (4)


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