Watch the top plays in Super Bowl history ahead of clash between New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons.
What is the greatest ever Super Bowl?
Can Sunday’s clash between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles make it on to our list of the top 10 greatest?
But, before we guide you through our countdown, and pick of the bunch, here are some honourable mentions for three of the perhaps most glaring omissions…
Super Bowl XXIII: Not quite the most impressive, but certainly the most memorable, of the San Francisco 49ers’ five Super Bowl wins as Joe Montana marched them down the field, and toward John Candy, for the game-winning touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Super Bowl XXXIV: The Tennessee Titans are stopped on the one-yard line to lose to the ‘Greatest Show on Turf’ St Louis Rams, after having recovered from a 16-point deficit.
Super Bowl XLIV: The New Orleans Saints’ 31-17 – (don’t let the scoreline fool you, this was close) – win over the Indianapolis Colts, courtesy in large part to a surprise second-half onside kick recovery.
10) Namath ‘guarantees’ it
Perhaps the biggest upset in Super Bowl history only just sneaks onto our list, largely due to the low-scoring nature of Super Bowl III – the 18-point underdog New York Jets beating the Baltimore Colts 16-7.
Despite two heavy defeats for the upstart American Football League – which had merged with the NFL – in the first two Super Bowls, Jets quarterback Joe Namath ‘guaranteed’ victory, and true to his word, delivered it.
9) Battle of the brothers
This is another game that does not perhaps get the love, or recognition, it deserves. That’s in large part due to the subsequent lack of success for either franchise, particularly the 49ers following the departure of their then head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Harbaugh was up against brother John, head coach of the Baltimore Ravens, in Super Bowl XLVII, and despite leading his team back from a 28-6 deficit – and stadium blackout – in the third quarter, San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick could not find Michael Crabtree in the end zone for a game-winning touchdown on the very last play.
8) ‘This one’s for John!’
Don’t be distracted purely by the sentimental value of Denver Broncos’ John Elway finally earning a ring aged 37, and at the fourth attempt, Super Bowl XXXII was a truly great game too.
It had two quarterbacks at the top of their game going toe to toe, with Elway up against Brett Favre and the reigning champions, Green Bay Packers. Though it was actually a running back who outshone both – Terrell Davis putting in an MVP-worthy three-touchdown performance to see the Broncos to a 31-24 triumph.
7) Norwood misses wide right
Perhaps one of the greatest disappointments in sport, let alone just the Super Bowl era, as poor old Buffalo Bills kicker, Scott Norwood, missed the game-winning field goal from 47 yards out as time expired.
The Bills’ 20-19 defeat to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXV was the first of four straight defeats in the biggest game of them all, but was easily the toughest of the lot to take – a certain defensive coordinator called Bill Belichick masterminding the Giants’ victory over the best offense in football.
6) Belichick and Brady dynasty begins
Given the upward trajectory that both Belichick and Tom Brady’s careers have taken since, it is easy to forget that the Patriots were 14-point underdogs for Super Bowl XXXVI, when they were the next team tasked with taking on the ‘Greatest Show on Turf’ after the Rams’ win over the Titans the previous year.
Belichick’s Pats restricted the explosive St Louis offense to just three points in as many quarters until the Rams finally found some form in the fourth, scoring two touchdowns to tie the game up at 17. But step forward Vinatieri, who nailed a game-winning kick from 48 yards out in this one to earn New England the first of their four championship titles.
5) Steelers topple Cowboys in classic
One for the footballing purists, Super Bowl XIII is considered by many to be the greatest of all time, played out between two of the game’s greatest franchises, led by truly great quarterbacks, and it was close too.
The Steelers stretched out a 35-17 lead in the fourth quarter thanks to a four-touchdown pass performance by Terry Bradshaw, but then Roger Staubach threw a second and third of his own to bring the Cowboys back to within four, but Pittsburgh held on, getting the better of the defending-champion Dallas for the second time in three years.
4) Santonio Holmes in the dying seconds
Another Steelers success, this one in Super Bowl XLIII, securing a record sixth title. And done in the most dramatic of fashion too, with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger finding Santonio Holmes in the back of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown with seconds remaining.
A monster 127-yard and two-touchdown outing by wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, had helped the Arizona Cardinals overcome a 20-7 deficit in their first ever Super Bowl appearance before Big Ben’s late touchdown strike broke their hearts.
3) Giants stun undefeated Patriots
It was supposed to be a procession, as the 16-0 Patriots took on the 10-6 Wild Card Giants in Super Bowl XLII, but Eli Manning and co had not read the script.
In an ultra-tight, low-scoring affair, the Giants quarterback marched his team down the field in the dying seconds – thanks in huge part to that David Tyree catch – and for the game-winning score to Plaxico Burress. The Patriots, and the watching world, were left stunned by what they’d just witnessed.
2) Butler’s interception
Following that defeat to the Giants, and another to the same team four years later, Super Bowl XLIX too seemed to be slipping from New England’s grasp. Another circus catch, this one from Jermaine Kearse, helped the Seattle Seahawks reach the goalline with seconds to spare.
Trailing by four, surely all the Seahawks had to do was give the ball to ‘Beast Mode’ running back, Marshawn Lynch, to punch it in from a yard out? Nope. In one of the craziest play-calls in football history, Seattle opted to pass, and quarterback Russell Wilson was picked off by rookie Malcolm Butler in this crazy finish.
1) Patriots’ crazy comeback
New England Patriots completed the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, finding themselves 28-3 down, to win 34-28 in overtime.
How can we not crown New England’s incredible comeback from 28-3 down to the Atlanta Falcons in last year’s Super Bowl LI the best of all time? It was the first ever to go to overtime, for a start.
It took the Patriots till the final two seconds of the first half to register their first points, a field goal, while the explosive Atlanta offense scored three touchdowns. They then stretched that lead further in the third quarter, before back came Brady! Two passing TDs from No 12, plus a James white run – and a couple of clutch two-point conversions – helped the team tie things up late, before clinching a stunning fifth Super Bowl title with another White TD in overtime.
Super Bowl LII is live on Sky Sports Action, on Sunday, February 4, from 10pm. You can follow all the build-up on Sky Sports NFL and at @skysportsNFL on Twitter.