Best Superbowl ever? Let's talk

trekfan55

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So I decided to start a thread and see if this conversation can get going.

We can nominate them if we get enough traction and vote but otherwise we can just talk.

One important thing is that to some, a blowout SuperBowl counts because it is their team and/or their favorite player lighting it up.

I will go the Super Bowls I have seen, I watched every one since Super Bowl 17 (was in the US equivalent of junior high then and watched them in the US channel the military had here in Panama --we could get the signal through open air antennas). SBs were traditionally blowouts then.

My favorite will always be Super Bowl 23. It was a tight game throughout and came down to Joe Montana driving the team basically the length of the field for the win. It was what the NFL had wanted the entire time. We learned about the John Candy thing much later but there was a point when he was driving that we all knew he was winning the game.
Super Bowl 36 also gets a mention. Before anyone knew who Tom Brady was, no one gave the Pats a chance vs the Rams. This game turned on a holding call that negated a defensive TD by the Rams Pats. I'm not really a Pats fan but I do root for them unless the 49ers are playing.
Don't remember the numbers but Rams-Titans , Steelers Cardinals, Broncos Packers and Packers Seahawks get a mention too. BTW It's amazing what Kurt Warner did in the 3 Super Bowls he played. And he lost two of them.

What say SOSH?
 
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tims4wins

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Someone in the other thread laid out some good criteria IMO, and I will add a few more
- final margin <= 7
- multiple lead changes
- historical significance / narratives
- two teams that were not one year wonders
- both teams playing pretty well
- signature play(s)

The Pats-Carolina and Pats-Atlanta Super Bowls were both all time top 10, but kind of fail on the one year wonder piece. There also wasn't a huge storyline in the Panthers game. Obviously the comeback and 5th title was a huge storyline in the Atlanta one.

Pats-Rams was great (and had a higher ranking at the time), but it's not like either team played all that amazingly (Pats offense did basically zero).

Based on the criteria, Pats-Seahawks gets my vote:
- Seattle was going for back to back titles
- Pats hadn't won in 10 years, but had been a great regular season team for a while
- Brady going for his 4th to tie Montana / Bradshaw
- Legion of Boom at the peak of their powers
- Deflategate
- Multiple lead changes
- Biggest 4th quarter comeback in SB history to that point
- Kearse catch
- Butler pick

Edit: nitpick on your OP, SB 36 turned on an overturned PATS defensive TD that would have put them up 24-3 and ended the game.
 

Shaky Walton

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I have Patriots colored glasses.

So I am going to reply with that in mind and admit my biases.

For me, the win over the Seahawks is way up there. Back and forth game, two incredible teams, ten point comeback, Brady's brilliance, the Kearse redunkulous catch, Bill not taking the TO, Pete's decision to pass and the almost under appreciated play by Malcom, which turned certain defeat to near certain victory, all combine to make it my favorite game.

The game against the Panthers is also sneaky great and was always overshadowed to some extent by Janet Jackson's nipple. But that was a back and forth affair with an exciting ending, too.

And of course the 28-3 comeback aganst ATL where everything had to go right is somewhere up on the list.
 

Oil Can Dan

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You guys will all disagree and I understand why, but SB 52 was pretty entertaining for people that weren't fans of either team and has to rank up there...
 

wibi

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Pete's decision to pass and the almost under appreciated play by Malcom, which turned defeat to near certain victory, all combine to make it my favorite game.
There has been a story for a long time that Wilson audibled out of the run to that quick slant so you cant blame that one on Pete.

And who is under appreciating the play by Butler because that is news to me
 

tims4wins

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You guys will all disagree and I understand why, but SB 52 was pretty entertaining for people that weren't fans of either team and has to rank up there...
Clearly it was also a top 10 all time SB. I would ding it because there was basically no defense played. But from an entertainment perspective, especially to a neutral (or basically all non-Pats fans), I'm sure pretty much everyone loved that game.
 

tims4wins

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There has been a story for a long time that Wilson audibled out of the run to that quick slant so you cant blame that one on Pete.

And who is under appreciating the play by Butler because that is news to me
Under appreciate may be the wrong term, but I think more "blame" has been cast on Seattle for throwing it than "credit" has been given to Butler for the play.
 

trekfan55

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Edit: nitpick on your OP, SB 36 turned on an overturned PATS defensive TD that would have put them up 24-3 and ended the game.
That's what I said. A defensive holding call negated the defensive TD. It was close to the end zone and gave the Rams a new set of downs and they scored. 14 point turn right there.
 

tims4wins

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That's what I said. A defensive holding call negated the defensive TD. It was close to the end zone and gave the Rams a new set of downs and they scored. 14 point turn right there.
"This game turned on a holding call that negated a defensive TD by the Rams. "
 

Shaky Walton

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There has been a story for a long time that Wilson audibled out of the run to that quick slant so you cant blame that one on Pete.

And who is under appreciating the play by Butler because that is news to me
The idea that Wilson audibled out of the run is not widely known, if it's even true.

My take on Butler is that the extreme focus on the decision to pass there inevitably reduces both the focus on Malcom's incredible play and the Pats for having won the game. So many fans and commentators make that whole game about the play call and the "gift" that the Pats got, which inevitably detracts from Butler and the Pats to some extent.

And parenthetically, I'm not entirely convinced it was a bad decision by Carroll and Bevell, but that's not today's topic.
 

luckiestman

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3 is the obvious answer.

Of ones I have watched as they happened:

Of Pats Bowls: Win vs Seahawks and L vs Eagles

Honorable mention: 25. Starts with Whitney and ends wide right

Winner: 32. Elway vs Favre. Favre as Reigning and Defending vs Lion in Winter Elway. Good coaches, good franchises, good game.
 
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54thMA

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I'll go with Giants/Bills, Packers/Broncos and Steelers/Cardinals as my top three.

Patriots/Seahawks and Patriots/Rams (first match up) round out my top five.
 

Seels

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Should ask 2nd best super bowl ever as the first is 49. It had everything you'd want. Star power, story line, dynasties, dramatic ending, action packed, great announcing.

I would say among the ones that I've watched:

49
45 - GB v Pitt
43 - Pitt v Ari
38
36
25

I think the Rams / Titans game is a little overrated, and almost all of the Pats games were better to watch. You could make a reasonable argument any of them could make the top 5 or so.
 

Greg29fan

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13 is the best one ever imo - rematch of the two best teams of the 70s (Steelers and Cowboys), high scoring (35-31) with several significant plays, a great comeback attempt by Staubach that came up just short, and punctuated by the off-field Thomas Henderson v. Terry Bradshaw storyline.
 

bankshot1

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I've seen them all and Pats-SHawks is my favorite reflecting a really well played game between two really good teams, a back and forth game with big plays, and an ending that pivoted between vomit inducing and unadultered joy, tainted slightly by the hint of pre-puke that might have been.

JFC that gme was good.

After that in the non-Pat category, SB1 was pretty cool just to see what was going to happen, and it was a pretty decent game for the first half, SB3 was cool for the AFL notching its belt and Namath's swagger, and the 35-31 Steelers Cowboys game in the late 70s, which maybe was the SB standard for excellence for years.
 

Hoya81

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I'll keep this to non-Pats games:

XXV: Giants-Bills. Tremendous back and forth game going all the way down to the final play. Supercharged atmosphere due to the Gulf War (they bypassed the halftime show for Peter Jennings giving a news update), Whitney and maybe the greatest BB gameplan.

XXXIV: Titans-Rams. Excellent 4th quarter, with 3 scores in the final 7 minutes of play, culminating in One Yard Short.

XLIII: Steelers-Cardinals. Another wild 4th quarter, a late safety brings the Cards back from the dead, the Harrison 100yd return and the Roethlisberger to Holmes TD is one of the great clutch throws ever.

XLVII: 49ers-Ravens. An underrated game, mostly I think due to the blackout and the fact that both franchises kind of faded away in subsequent years.
 

BaseballJones

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Pats-Seahawks is the answer, for reasons I've given before. Checks all the boxes.

The Pats were obviously great for years. Seattle was the defending SB champ on the verge of a dynasty.
The GOAT QB facing one of the best defenses of all time.
Pete Carroll facing his old team - in fact, the HCs in that game were the last two Patriots' HC.
Deflategate controversy
"Haven't won since Spygate"
Can Brady tie Montana with 4 SB titles?
Very well played, incredibly close game.
Featured what was then the biggest comeback in SB history.
So many great players involved in the game.
A bunch of great plays including all-timers in the Kearse catch and the Butler pick.
The Butler pick being the greatest play in Super Bowl (and NFL) history, given everything.
Came down to the last 20 seconds of the game, and literally either team could have won with 20 seconds left in the game; in fact, likely that the team that was BEHIND with 20 seconds left actually had the best chance of winning, but didn't.
The electricity in the crowd was amazing that day. They knew what they were seeing.

Just was epic in every single way. Best Super Bowl ever.
 

bsj

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My first instinct is to say Pats Falcons but I recognize that for 2/3 of the game it was just not good. Best ending yeah, best comeback yeah. prob not best game.
 

Justthetippett

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Pats-Seahawks is the answer, for reasons I've given before. Checks all the boxes.

The Pats were obviously great for years. Seattle was the defending SB champ on the verge of a dynasty.
The GOAT QB facing one of the best defenses of all time.
Pete Carroll facing his old team - in fact, the HCs in that game were the last two Patriots' HC.
Deflategate controversy
"Haven't won since Spygate"
Can Brady tie Montana with 4 SB titles?
Very well played, incredibly close game.
Featured what was then the biggest comeback in SB history.
So many great players involved in the game.
A bunch of great plays including all-timers in the Kearse catch and the Butler pick.
The Butler pick being the greatest play in Super Bowl (and NFL) history, given everything.
Came down to the last 20 seconds of the game, and literally either team could have won with 20 seconds left in the game; in fact, likely that the team that was BEHIND with 20 seconds left actually had the best chance of winning, but didn't.
The electricity in the crowd was amazing that day. They knew what they were seeing.

Just was epic in every single way. Best Super Bowl ever.
This has my vote. God bless Malcom and High. And fuck Chris Collinsworth.
 

Jungleland

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It's funny how much the Steelers winning has tainted my memory of the Pittsburgh/AZ game. Trying to be objective, that's pretty clearly among the best between the pick 6 and the 2 late scores.
 

NortheasternPJ

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There has been a story for a long time that Wilson audibled out of the run to that quick slant so you cant blame that one on Pete.

And who is under appreciating the play by Butler because that is news to me
Not to derail this thread, but really? I'm sure there's stories about a lot of things like JFK coming back to run for President but is there a credible story?

https://sports.yahoo.com/marshawn-lynch-wonders-russell-wilson-audibled-infamous-super-bowl-int-174851487.html

That's one of many where many on the Seahawks have come out and said they were shocked when it was called in.
 

wiffleballhero

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I think as a Pats fan it is hard to not have that bias overwhelming everything else.

Leaving them out of it, I will add another voice to 34 and say that the Titans/Rams SB was so amazing that I still remember being completely blown away by how wild and fantastic that was as a game. Rarely does that happen when I am neutral. And the game was almost like a visual metaphor of the crushing nature of defeat at the end: so close, but just so far away. ....
 

Ed Hillel

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It's overrated because it was the first competitive Super Bowl in like a decade.
Packers-Broncos was quite competitive a couple years before. Outside of that, not much. Pats/Packers was actually one of the better ones of the 90s.

I think the best in my lifetime is 49. That was just a well-played game by arguably the two best Superbowl teams during a given year in recent memory, and it featured maybe the most incredible conclusion to a sporting event in the same span. The talent on the field that night was insane. You had a Seattle team that was on the verge of back to back titles with the most dominant defense since the 00 Ravens against a budding dynasty in the Patriots, which would make 4 of 5 Superbowls, winning 3.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Even without Pats fan bias, 49 checks a lot of boxes as far as storylines coming in (Deflategate, Seattle gunning for two in a row, Brady trying to not go 10 full seasons with a SB drought) and coming out (arguably Seahawks were never the same, Malcolm Butler basically made a career on one play, Brady cements legacy driving for two TD in a row against "Legion of Boom" when he had to have it)
 

j44thor

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I've got to go with the first Rams/Pats and it isn't particularly close. So much history with that game, first major event post 9/11, greatest half-time show of all time. Everyone assumed a Dynasty would be starting that night, little did they know one would but not the "Greatest Show on Turf" The iconic line from Kraft "Tonight we are all Patriots and the Patriots are World champions" and one of Maddens most famous calls when he said Brady should take a knee culminating with one of if not the biggest kick in SB history. The emotion of that night will never be equaled. It might not have been purely the best game though Bill's defense game plan should be in the HOF but when you add up everything surrounding that game and the fact it kicked off an unprecedented run of success for Boston sports teams is the cherry on top.
 

Remagellan

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I rewatched SB XLIX recently, and one thing I noticed which proved to be a big factor at the end. The Seahawks blew their first timeout after an incomplete pass with 1:50 left in the game because they let the play clock run down. Why I think this was important--they use their second TO after the Kearse catch that put them at Pats 5 yard line. That left them one TO with 1:06 to play. After the four yard run by Lynch, they had a second and goal from the one with 26 seconds left and only one TO. That makes throwing there explicable, because to gives you the possibility of three plays to get the yard. (Either TD or incompletion, then run and TO, and then if needed, a final play.) So the result was bad (for the Seahawks, that is), but it was in part understandable given their TO situation.
 

trekfan55

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I am going to defend 23.

The Niners were an incredible dynasty in the 80s (of course Ed DeBartolo spent like crazy before the cap and then got people to try and work around it). While the Bengals were not another dominant team it is important to note that the NFC had a very long streak of Super Bowl wins. 14 straight wins. The AFC was really a notch below. For years the NFCCG meant the championship and teams knew it.

But 23 was different because the Bengals played a very good game and while it was low scoring it was tense throughout. Montana driving the team for the win was something else.

49 was great, and considering I was rooting against the Seahawks and for the Pats makes it better. BTW we all talk about the Butler Int. But his heads up play in pushing Kearse out of bounds was also crucial. He could have walked in since no one touched him (really he should have gone OB himself).

My list is
23 Niners-Bengals
49 Pats-Seahawks
31 Broncos-Packers
36 Pats-Rams
34 Rams-Titans
 

Al Zarilla

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There has been a story for a long time that Wilson audibled out of the run to that quick slant so you cant blame that one on Pete.

And who is under appreciating the play by Butler because that is news to me
I think with the Seahawks second Super Bowl victory in a row right there for the taking, second and goal at the 1 yard line, it would take a lot of chutzpah for the quarterback to change the play that was called in. I've read that Marshawn didn't have the greatest conversion rate getting in from the one, but with at least two chances?
 

Al Zarilla

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My first instinct is to say Pats Falcons but I recognize that for 2/3 of the game it was just not good. Best ending yeah, best comeback yeah. prob not best game.
But the Falcons were playing great, both sides, until Hightower got the huge turnover, and then the Patriots went on to play the most sensational quarter or so in history. If there were a God to judge Super Bowls, I think he'd have 49 and 51 about equal.
 

Marciano490

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I know Rams-Titans had an all time great ending, but was the game itself very good until the end?
 

Ralphwiggum

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This is a predominantly Patriots board so there is going to be some bias, but 49 to me is the answer.

36 was great in that it started the dynasty, had a great finish, and was a great upset. But if great upsets are part of the equation then the Scottish Game has to be in the mix and I reject that game categorically as a great Super Bowl. Great upset? Yes. Great Super Bowl? No. 49 had the two best teams in the league delivering blows all night long, one team looking to become a potential dynasty the other looking to prolong one, and it ended with the most iconic play in Super Bowl history. To me there’s no other answer.
 

tims4wins

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I think with the Seahawks second Super Bowl victory in a row right there for the taking, second and goal at the 1 yard line, it would take a lot of chutzpah for the quarterback to change the play that was called in. I've read that Marshawn didn't have the greatest conversion rate getting in from the one, but with at least two chances?
I believe he was less than 50% on the year on 3rd and 1 / 4th and 1.

And then in the 2015 season opener I think he was also stuffed on 4th and 1 late in the game and the Hawks lost.
 

Jungleland

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Maybe an overly simplistic way of looking at it, but in addition to the historical significance of the Pats ending their epic snake bit run vs Seahawks going for a dynasty, part of why I go 49 over 51 is that you felt like you were watching both teams at close to their best for the full game. You could argue that Avril getting hurt opened the game up for Brady, and I think that’s fair, but you for the most part got 4 quarters of two teams with great offenses and defenses playing great offense and defense. As fun as 51 was, it was only able to be that fun because the Pats sucked out loud for 35 minutes and then the Falcons sucked out loud for 25 minutes. When trying to parse which of the top 5-10 games stands over the rest, the two titans trading blows component is essential in my book. (Part of why I think Sunday was in contention for a near top spot with about 3 minutes to go.)
 

Jungleland

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I would venture to guess that most people outside of New England would put the Scottish Game as #1 on this list.
It’s definitely up there if being objective. Probably the homer in me, but the relative no show by the greatest offense in history at that point taints it a bit. I’m sure that’s not giving the NYG enough credit, the way they got to Brady was incredible that game and of course Eli’s last drive is legendary, but when I’ve had the stomach to think about it I’ve never shaken the feeling that the Pats blew it. Top 5 but not top 1 imo.
 

tims4wins

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I would venture to guess that most people outside of New England would put the Scottish Game as #1 on this list.
It had huge historic significance, but wasn't a great football game, aside from the last 5 minutes. I think 46 was a much more interesting game, but of course was not as important.

Pats-Rams 36 was similar to 42 IMO, with the major difference being that the Rams weren't undefeated.
 

Justthetippett

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I believe he was less than 50% on the year on 3rd and 1 / 4th and 1.

And then in the 2015 season opener I think he was also stuffed on 4th and 1 late in the game and the Hawks lost.
Just be thankful they didn't have the Philly scrum play in their arsenal.
 

Ralphwiggum

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The Scottish Game was not a great football game. Sorry. Incredible upset? Yes. Memorable in that Pats fans wanted 19-0 and everyone else wanted them to lose? Yes. But the iconic play (a) should never have happened if they blow the whistle when Eli was in the grasp, and (b) was a stupid lucky chuck with a luckier catch. Malcolm Go! was a player recognizing what was happening and executing perfectly. And it was literally one play that swung a game from victory to defeat. The helmet catch was critical but not the end of the game, and the Pats were still about 6 inches away from coming back and winning. Plus the Scottish Game was largely boring until the last few minutes. 49 was a heavyweight fight from start to finish, and was (at the time) the largest 4th quarter comeback in Super Bowl history.

Fuck the Scottish Game. There’s no objective argument for it being the best Super Bowl ever unless you are a Giants fan. And even then the Giants - Bills game was a much better game than the Scottish Game.
 

tims4wins

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Fuck the Scottish Game. There’s no objective argument for it being the best Super Bowl ever unless you are a Giants fan. And even then the Giants - Bills game was a much better game than the Scottish Game.
And as I wrote above, 46 was a much more entertaining game too.
 

BigSoxFan

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The Scottish Game was not a great football game. Sorry. Incredible upset? Yes. Memorable in that Pats fans wanted 19-0 and everyone else wanted them to lose? Yes. But the iconic play (a) should never have happened if they blow the whistle when Eli was in the grasp, and (b) was a stupid lucky chuck with a luckier catch. Malcolm Go! was a player recognizing what was happening and executing perfectly. And it was literally one play that swung a game from victory to defeat. The helmet catch was critical but not the end of the game, and the Pats were still about 6 inches away from coming back and winning. Plus the Scottish Game was largely boring until the last few minutes. 49 was a heavyweight fight from start to finish, and was (at the time) the largest 4th quarter comeback in Super Bowl history.

Fuck the Scottish Game. There’s no objective argument for it being the best Super Bowl ever unless you are a Giants fan. And even then the Giants - Bills game was a much better game than the Scottish Game.
Yeah. I was at the game and I don’t remember much of it at all outside of the beginning drive for the Giants and the end. It was a pretty bland game until the end.
 

SoxJox

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My how the greats fade with age.

III, because, guarantee.

Consider:

  1. The Colts were 19-1/2 point favorites (I'd have to go back and check to see if that's the highest spread ever.)
  2. The Colts were 13-1, with an offense that was ranked second in most points scored (402) and a defense that ranked first in fewest points allowed (144 - tying the then-all time record)
  3. The Colts had lost only twice in their last 30 games.
  4. The Colts were inside the 20 five times in the first half and came away with 0 points (leading Bubba Smith to speculate the game was fixed).
  5. The Colts did not score until the 3:19 mark of the 4th quarter.
  6. Being named MVP notwithstanding, Namath was only 17 of 28 for 208 yards, and 0 TDs. But, perhaps most importantly...0 INTs, unlike his counterpart Earl Morrall, who threw 5.
A very subjective assessment could conclude that game saved (or at least legitimized) the AFL. But perhaps it didn't matter, as the 2 leagues merged after the following season.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Pats-Seahawks for me but I'm obviously biased.

I think Broncos-Packers deserves more love in general. That was a great game between two elite teams that was really well played, close the whole way, had many big plays on both offense and defense as well as signature plays like the Elway run, and had all sorts of narratives - GB was a dynasty in the making that got stopped cold, Elway's redemption after the four SB losses, Mike Holmgren vs. Mike Shanahan, etc.