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Gametime
Published: Aug. 30, 2021

Top 5 Dramatic Super Bowl Matches


If you’ve ever been lucky enough to get your hands on Super Bowl tickets, you know that it’s usually a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Unfortunately, not every game lives up to the hype surrounding the game. Some Super Bowl matches turn into absolute duds. But sometimes, the game is just as good as advertised, giving those in attendance and watching TV a memory that will last forever. Out of all of the Super Bowls that have been compelling games with unbelievable plays and dramatic finishes, we thought it’d be interesting to do a countdown of the five most dramatic games in Super Bowl history. Of course, you are allowed to disagree because that’s also part of the fun with a list like this.

Super Bowl 43, Steelers 27, Cardinals 23

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This game is often overlooked as one of the best in Super Bowl history, but it was a thriller, particularly in the second half. The excitement started at the end of the first half when James Harrison returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown. The play gave the Steelers a 17-7 halftime lead rather than the Cardinals having a chance to take the lead at the half. Pittsburgh lengthened the lead to 20-7 in the third quarter before things got crazy in the fourth quarter. The Cardinals scored 16 unanswered points on two Larry Fitzgerald touchdowns with a safety by the Arizona defense sandwiched in between. But with the Steelers trailing for the first time 23-20, Ben Roethlisberger orchestrated a 78-yard drive in just over two minutes that finished with Santonio Holmes in the end zone with 35 seconds left in the game to give Pittsburgh the last-minute win.

Super Bowl 42, Giants 17, Patriots 14

The majority of this game was as ugly as it gets. However, the fourth quarter drama more than made up for it. The Giants put together an 80-yard drive early in the fourth quarter with David Tyree catching a touchdown pass. However, that would only be the second most important catch Tyree would make in that game. After being stifled for most of the game, Tom Brady put together a brilliant drive late in the fourth quarter that ended in a Randy Moss touchdown to give New England a 14-10 lead. However, that left 2:42 on the clock for Eli Manning and the Giants to put together a game-winning drive. The most famous play of the game involved Manning nearly getting sacked but escaping trouble long enough to throw a wishful pass over the middle of the field. Despite being well-covered on the play, Tyree caught the pass by pinning it against his helmet, giving the Giants a 32-yard gain and a first down. The drive ended with a Plaxico Burress touchdown with 35 seconds left to give the Giants the win.

Super Bowl 34, Rams 23, Titans 16

When all was said and done, there was exactly one yard keeping the Titans from forcing overtime in this Super Bowl. Heading into the game, the Rams were dubbed as “Greatest Show on Turf.” Yet, they were limited to three field goals in the first half. Of course, they would eventually find the end zone midway through the third quarter to take a 16-0 lead. That’s when the Titans started fighting back, as a pair of Eddie George touchdowns and a field goal tied the game at 16 with 2:12 left in the game. That’s when the Rams finally showed their big-play ability with Kurt Warner hitting Isaac Bruce for a 73-year touchdown. But with the Tennessee offense finally clicking, the Titans marched back down the field. On the final play of the game, Kevin Dyson caught a short pass with a path to the end zone, only to be tackled by Mike Jones from behind. Dyson reached out the ball as far as he could but still came a yard short of the goal line, securing the win for the Rams.

Super Bowl 49, Patriots 28, Seahawks 24

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The first 59 minutes and change of this game made for an intriguing Super Bowl. The game went back and forth the entire way, with Tom Brady uncharacteristically throwing two interceptions to give the Seahawks a chance. Seattle also took a 24-14 lead into the fourth quarter, only for Brady to throw two of his four touchdown passes in the final eight minutes to put New England up 28-24. But the Seahawks managed to drive back down the field, getting to the one-yard line with 26 seconds left. It came down to one play with everyone expecting Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch to get the ball. Instead, Russell Wilson tried to pass for the game-winning touchdown, only for Malcolm Butler to read the play perfectly and intercept the quick slant, giving the New England defense the stop it needed to win the game.

Super Bowl 51, Patriots 34, Falcons 28

It will be difficult for any team to top this as the best comeback in Super Bowl history. Of course, no team will want to trail 28-3 midway through the third quarter of a Super Bowl. That was the predicament the Patriots found themselves in against Atlanta. But over the last quarter and a half of the game, Tom Brady and the Patriots kept chipping away at the lead while the Atlanta offense stalled out. The Pats finished off a 10-play, 91-yard drive with a touchdown with 57 seconds left on the clock to send the game to overtime. The Falcons never got that one extra score or that one defensive stop they needed to finish off New England. When the Patriots got the ball to start overtime, there was no doubt that they would go on to win the game.


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