The Super Bowl is the pinnacle of the American Football season and one of the biggest events in the sporting calendar.
It is not just the biggest sports event in America. Globally, it attracts millions of viewers from around the world. Reflecting the global passion and love for Gridiron.
There are also extensive NFL futures betting markets available all year round.
It is of course the Super Bowl that we are focusing on here and in particular, the most dramatic moments in the history of the event.
So, let’s kick off this top five with a look at one massive shock, that didn’t even have anything to do with American Football, but which made the front pages of all the newspapers the following day.
The 5 Most Dramatic Super Bowl Moments in History
Before we start our rundown of the top 5 most dramatic Super Bowl moments in history – Here’s some amazing moments which just didn’t quite make it into the quintet.
- Super Bowl XXV – NY Giants 20-19 Buffalo Bills
Bills Kicker Scott Norwood missed a 47-yard field goal as time expired to hand the Giants an unexpected win. The defeat was the first of four consecutive Super Bowl losses for the unfortunate Bills. Buffalo still holds the record for most appearances in a Super Bowl without winning the Lombardi Trophy (4).
- Super Bowl XXXIV – St Louis Rams 23-16 Tennessee Titans
Trailing the Rams by 16 points in the third quarter, the Titans scored 16 points straight to tie the game. Then St.Louis WR Isaac Bruce scored a 75-yard touchdown for the Rams. On the last play of the game as time expired, the Titans threw the ball to Receiver Kevin Dyson who seemed set to score. But he was tackled just 1 yard short of the end zone by Mike Jones, handing the Rams the victory.
- Super Bowl XLVII – Baltimore Ravens 34-31 San Francisco 49ers
In the 3rd quarter, Baltimore comfortably led the 49ers by 28 points to 6. Then a blackout halted the game for 34 minutes. The 49ers roared back but fell short on their final drive, allowing the Ravens to clinch the win. This was the Super Bowl that also featured the return of Destiny’s Child as Beyonce reunited with her former bandmates during the half-time show.
5. Janet Jackson’s Wardrobe Malfunction – Super Bowl XXXVIII
The actual game of Super Bowl XXXVIII was dramatic enough. It saw a last gasp Adam Vinatieri field goal snatch the win with four seconds left for the New England Patriots over the Carolina Panthers. As amazing as this game was, it was overshadowed by the infamous “Nipplegate” incident during the half time show.
Justin Timberlake was performing alongside Janet Jackson. As they reached the end of the song, uttering the line “Gonna have you naked at the end of this song…” Timberlake pulled on Janet Jackson’s outfit. In doing so, briefly exposing her breast (complete with nipple guard). Broadcast live across the US and around the world, the incident overshadowed the game itself and made front page news the day after.
It led to subsequent broadcast delays of a few seconds of future half-time shows and even a debate on the lack of morality in the US. It was dubbed a “wardrobe malfunction” later by Timberlake during an interview. However, it doesn’t appear to look like an accident when the footage is viewed.
4. Santonio Holmes Last Gasp Touchdown Grab Steals Win For Pittsburgh – Super Bowl XLIII
For a long time in Super Bowl XLIII, it looked like the Steelers would enjoy an easy win over the Arizona Cardinals. However, an incredible comeback from the Cardinals, led by Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald, saw them take the lead late in the game.
The Steelers had 2.37 left to try and win the game, or at least tie it with a field goal. They drove down the field and had a chance to win when Roethlisberger should have connected with Santonio Holmes. The pass for a TD looked a certainty only for Holmes to inexplicably drop the pass.
On the very next play, Roethlisberger once again looked for Holmes. But this time the receiver caught it at the far corner of the end zone. Incredibly, keeping both toes in play for an amazing catch that put the Steelers in front.
The Steelers defense held out against the Cardinals. The defense strip-sacking Warner to recover the ball with five seconds left to clinch a dramatic win.
3. Malcolm Butler Interception Breaks Seahawks Hearts And Hands Super Bowl To Patriots – Super Bowl XLIX
Malcolm Butler’s play to win the Super Bowl for the Patriots against the Seattle Seahawks was stunning. But he should never have been given the opportunity to make this Lombardi Trophy winning catch.
A year after they blew out the Denver Broncos 43-8, the Seahawks were going for back-to-back Super Bowl victories. Pete Carroll’s elite team was led by a rock solid defense “the Legion of Boom”. They combined well with an offence that included Russell Wilson at QB and the beast Marshawn Lynch at running back.
In a to and fro game, the Patriots clawed back a 10-point deficit. New England took the lead in the fourth quarter with back-to-back touchdowns. But the Seahawks drove down to the Patriots one yard line with time close to expiring.
Marshawn Lynch was surely the man to go to, but Pete Carroll inexplicably called a pass play. The pass for Ricardo Lockette was intercepted by Butler on the 1-yard line. Then New England took advantage of a couple of Seahawks penalties to take the knee and see out the final 26-seconds.
2. The Helmet Catch – David Tyree’s Improbable Grab Ends Patriots Quest For Perfection – Super Bowl XLII
In Super Bowl XLII the New England Patriots were going for perfection. A 16-0 regular season had been followed by two wins in the post season and a place in the Super Bowl against Tom Coughlin’s New York Giants. The two teams had met in the final game of the regular season with the Patriots winning a high-scoring contest 38-35.
What followed was a tight game which saw only one touchdown scored across the first three quarters as the Patriots led 7-3 heading into the fourth quarter. David Tyree, one of the Giants least heralded wide receivers put the Giants 10-7 in front, before the Patriots responded with Tom Brady finding Randy Moss in the end zone to take a 14-10 lead with 2.42 left in the game.
Facing third and five on the Giants 44-yard line, Quarterback Eli Manning was seemingly set to be enveloped by the Patriots pass-rush, but somehow Manning escaped and launched the ball down the centre of the field.
David Tyree leapt for the ball and under severe pressure managed to catch it using one hand and his helmet to wedge the ball in place. It was an incredible catch to keep the drive going. A few plays later Manning found Plaxico Burress to score the winning touchdown to cap a 12-play, 83-yard drive and end the Patriots quest for perfection.
1.Patriots Make Incredible Comeback From 28-3 Deficit Midway Through The Third Quarter To Win Super Bowl LI
What makes the Patriots famous comeback win over the Falcons THE most incredible moment in Super Bowl history? Simply, it is that it really should not have happened. There were several plays, any of which could have turned out differently. But which all seemed to indicate that this Patriots win was serendipitous to say the least.
For 3 and a half quarters, the Falcons had bossed the game and led 28-3. They were looking like Super Bowl winners in waiting. But they’d forgotten one thing. Tom Brady was playing quarterback for the New England Patriots.
However, what makes this comeback special was that it wasn’t one player or even one unit that turned this game around. The Patriots offense, defense and special teams all stepped up to the mark. The offense, in particular unheralded RB James White, put up points, while the defense kept forcing either turnovers or the Falcons to punt.
28-3 became 28-9 after the Patriots scored their first touchdown but missed the extra point. Gostkowski made amends on the next drive, nailing a field goal to make it 28-12.
- Defense Stands Tall
Then Dont’a Hightower sacked Matt Ryan and forced a fumble which Alan Branch recovered for the Patriots and a short time later, Brady hit Danny Amendola for a 6-yard pass and White then added a two point conversion to make it 28-20.
However, on their next drive, Ryan connected with Julio Jones to put the Falcons in field goal range. A perfect chance to make the game a two-score match once again. However a combination of negative plays, a sack and a penalty moved the Falcons out of field goal range. Then an incomplete pass on third and long gave New England the ball back with 3.30 left on the clock.
After barely making a conversion on a third and long early in the drive, Brady once again threw into coverage. Falcons corner Robert Alford got a hand to the ball and deflected it into the air. Despite being surrounded by three Falcons players, Patriots receiver Julian Edelman managed to catch the ball in his fingertips. He kept it off the ground, completed the catch and kept the drive going.
The Patriots scored, through a White rush again with 58 seconds left. They then converted a 2-point attempt to tie the game with just seconds remaining.
The Falcons were in shock and after winning the toss in overtime, the Patriots drove downfield on their first play. James White then capped a 3-TD performance to go over into the endzone and give the Patriots the most remarkable and surprising of wins.