The Blowouts: When the Super Bowl didn’t deliver

The Blowouts: When the Super Bowl didn’t deliver
Reading Time: 4 minutes.

The blowouts in the Super Bowl are the games where one team has dominated another. Sure, it’s fun for supporters of the winning team. Watching your team cruise to an NFL title must be a great feeling.

But this is the ‘Super Bowl’. And that’s just what the neutrals want it to be. If your team isn’t there you want a close, exciting and entertaining game.

So far there have been plenty of those great, close matchups. They are balanced out however by some real one sided contests – the blowouts.

It took until Super Bowl V to have a contest decided by less than a 2 score margin so the early games may not have been that ‘Super’ from an entertainment perspective. In fact the first of the blowouts arguably came in Super Bowl I when the Packers bested the Chiefs by 25 points.

When Channel 4 first started showing the NFL in the UK we got used to seeing blowouts too. Between the 1983 and 1987 seasons for example we saw the winning Super Bowl teams post five straight blowouts by a points margin of 203 points to 65. So we have been very lucky to see some close games in recent years. But what were the biggest blowouts? Let’s take a look.

The Blowouts

The plan was to list the top five most one sided games in Super Bowl history. As it turns out that amounts to 6 games. Because two of the blowouts, whilst reached by different scores had the same margins of victory.

So let’s take a look at them in reverse order.

5 – 29 point margin of victory

Super Bowl XVIII saw the then Los Angeles Raiders defeat the then Washington Redskins by a score of 38-9.

The Raiders ground game was the difference. Los Angeles running back Marcus Allen, named the game’s MVP, rushed for 191 yards and two touchdowns, including a then-Super Bowl record 74-yard carry which gave the Raiders a 35–9 lead in the third quarter.

4 – 32 point margin of victory

Washington fans will definitley remember this one more fondly. This time they were the ones doling out the punishment as they beat the Denver Broncos 42-10 in Super Bowl XXII.

The Broncos led 10-0 after one but Doug Williams threw four touchdown passes in the second quarter to give Washington a 35–10 lead entering halftime. Washington added another in the second half for the 42-10 win but Denver never really recovered from a record setting second quarter outburst.

3 – 35 point margin of victory

This is where we find two blowouts achieved in two different ways.

In Super Bowl XXVII the Buffalo Bills led the Dallas Cowboys 7-0 after scoring first, but they never led again as they were outscored 52-10 the rest of the way. The Bills turned the ball over a Super Bowl record nine times, including five fumbles, which led to 35 of the 52 points the Cowboys scored. Jim Kelly suffered a knee injury in the first half of the contest. But given his poor Super Bowl passing form it’s debatable how much of a difference that made. Dallas walked away 52-17 winners.

In Super Bowl XLVIII it was billed as the unstoppable force (Broncos Offence) against the immovable object (Seahawks Defence). As it turned out it wasn’t much of a contest as the Seahawks Defence, led by its “Legion of Boom” secondary featuring Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Brandon Browner, proved more than up to the task. The Seahawks forced a safety on Denver’s opening drive and never really looked back. They were up 36-0 before the vaunted Broncos attack made its only real mark of the game. Seattle won out 43-8.

2 – 36 point margin of victory

For some the 1985 Chicago Bears were arguably the best single season team in NFL history. Their ’46’ Defence has certainly attained legendary status.

Like Buffalo above, the Patriots actually scored first in Super Bowl XX, taking a 3-0 lead. Chicago would then score the next 44 points without reply.

The Patriots managed 123 total yards on offence. Including just seven yards rushing on eleven attempts. The Bears vaunted D forced six turnovers (4 fumbles, 2 interceptions) and recorded seven sacks. The 46-10 win was the biggest in Super Bowl history at this time.

1 – 45 point margin of victory

The 49ers had the highest-scoring offence in the league during the 1989 season. San Francisco’s legendary offence was led by quarterback Joe Montana, receivers Jerry Rice and John Taylor, and 1000-1000 man, running back Roger Craig.

The 14-2 Niners became back to back Champions after this demolition of the Denver Broncos which saw them win Super Bowl XXIV 55-10. Joe Montana had one of the highest passer ratings for any Super Bowl game.

San Francisco went into halftime ahead 27–3 courtesy of three Montana touchdown passes. Then piled on another 28 in the second half. They scored 8 touchdowns in the game. And they were incredibly consistent about it scoring 2 in each quarter. This would actually be a 46 point margin of victory if Kicker Mike Cofer hadn’t missed on one of his eight XP attempts.

San Francisco followed their 24-8 back to back Super Bowl run by going 14-2 for the second year in a row in 1990. They were one game away from going for the threepeat too.

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