7 Closest Super Bowls Ever (All Within 3 Points!)

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7 Closest Super Bowls Ever (All Within 3 Points!)

7 Closest Super Bowls Ever (All Within 3 Points!)



The Super Bowl is annually the most-watched television event in the world, and that is no surprise.  There is no better sport than football, right?  Fast-paced games, big hits, and some of the world’s best athletes evidence why the NFL has become the popular sport in the US and many international markets. The Super Bowl, though, has not traditionally been the closest game with the average point differential being 14.8 points.  With the exception of last year’s Seahawks/Broncos blowout, recent years have proven that NFL talent is closer than ever.  Here are the seven closest Super Bowls to date.


7. Super Bowl V

Baltimore Colts – 16

Dallas Cowboys – 13

January 17, 1971 was the closest Super Bowl of the NFL’s short life and the first Super Bowl of the NFL-AFL merger. This game is often called the “Blunder Bowl” because of the game’s poor play, excessive penalties, and bad officiating.  With 11 combined turnovers, the Colts and Cowboys both remained in the game until the bitter end.  To win the game, the Colts kicker, rookie Jim O’Brien, kicked a 32-yard field goal, setting a precedence for last second field goal wins that run throughout this list.


6. Super Bowl XXXVI

New England Patriots  – 32

St. Louis Rams – 29

Super Bowl XXXVI Logo.svg

The first Super Bowl to be played in February (due to the 9-11 attacks), the Patriots faced the Rams, the Greatest Show on Turf.  Tom Brady, then in his second year, led the Patriots against former-bag boy and All Pro QB Kurt Warner in one of the best Super Bowls in NFL history.  The Rams offense did not disappoint as it racked up 427 yards, but the Patriots defense was too much for them forcing three turnovers.  The game was won off of an Adam Vinatieri 48-yard field goal as time expired thus starting the beginning of the Patriots Dynasty.


5. Super Bowl XXXVIII

New England Patriots – 32

Carolina Panthers – 29

Super Bowl XXXVIII.svg

In the most watched Super Bowl at that point, the Patriots won their second championship in three years.  The game has become most famous and memorable for the infamous Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction, but the game itself was worth watching even without the added entertainment.  Peter King called this game the “Greatest Super Bowl of All Time,” and the fans agreed.  A defensive first half and an offensive second half ended with (another) Adam Vinatieri field goal with seconds left to win the game.


4. Super Bowl XXXIX

New England Patriots – 24

Philadelphia Eagles – 21

Super Bowl XXXIX.svg

The two best records in the NFL met in Super Bowl XXXIX.  The Patriots (14-2) and the Eagles (13-3) entered the game as two powerhouses, but the Eagles could not beat the Patriots in the midst of their dynasty.   Donovan McNabb led the Eagles on a comeback that took them to the last seconds of the game, but they were not enough for the Patriots defense and running attack led by Corey Dillon. The Super Bowl MVP was Deion Branch with his 11-catch 133 receiving yards breaking an NFL Super Bowl record.


3. Super Bowl XLII

New York Giants – 17

New England Patriots – 14

Super Bowl XLII logo

One of the biggest Super Bowl upsets in NFL history, the Giants broke the Patriots dynasty and made a huge comeback with the most impressive catch I’ve ever seen.  The Patriots were undefeated and had one of the best offenses ever.  Tom Brady and Randy Moss were the NFL’s most dangerous duo.  Well, there were a lot of “best evers” in this game.  What made this game special, though, was the Giants “David against Goliath” story.  A 10-6 record and a Wild Card playoff spot put the Giants in direct contrast with the Patriots.  The score was 14-10 with 2:39 left in the fourth quarter, and the Giants had the ball.  In order to win the game, the Giants would need a miracle, and David Tyree provided that miracle.  On a clutch play that kept the drive alive, Tyree, an underused bench player, caught a 32-yard pass with the crown of his helmet that led to a Plaxico Burress 13-yard touchdown reception.


2. Super Bowl XLVII

Baltimore Ravens – 34

San Francisco 49ers – 31

Super Bowl XLVII logo

The Battle of the Two Brothers (John and Jim Harbaugh) was the most recent 3-point differential Super Bowl.  Super Bowl XLVII is also referred to as The Black Out Bowl after a power outage paused the game for 34 minutes.  Both teams were also undefeated in Super Bowls (Ravens 1-0 and 49ers 5-0).  It was also Ray Lewis’s, the last remaining member of the Ravens inaugural roster,  last game before retirement.  It’s safe to say that this game was pretty big.  The Ravens quickly built a 28-6 lead that looked like a crushing defeat of the 49ers, but the 49ers had a big comeback in them.  Scoring 17 unanswered points, the 49ers looked like they were going to pull out the win, but the Ravens were too much for them.  The Ravens won their second championship, delivering the 49ers their first Super Bowl loss.


1. Super Bowl XXV

New York Giants – 20

Buffalo Bills – 19

Super Bowl XXV.svg

Often considered one of the NFL’s greatest games, Super Bowl XXV between the Giants and the Bills was the closest championship game ever.  The Bills led the NFL’s best offense (with 428 points scored) and the Giants brought the NFL’s best defense (with only 211 points allowed), but the Bills were favorites after beating the Giants 17-13 earlier that season.  Unfortunately for the Bills, the last field second field goal attempt to win the game has become infamous.  Kicker Scott Norwood’s field goal, to win the game, went wide right, thus handing the Giants the win.  To make this one-point loss even worse, Norwood’s missed kick has loomed over the Bills as a curse, serving as a precursor for the three more Bills Super Bowl losses.


Related topics Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, closest games, football, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Ray Lewis, San Francisco 49ers, St Louis Rams, Super Bowl
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