The greatest Super Bowl game ever, in terms of how well it was played and especially in the sheer excitement of it, was the Rams beating the Titans by making a tackle at their own one yard line on the last play of the game. It’s impossible to get any better than that, except perhaps for a touchdown on the last play of the game. But last night’s game was an absolutely superb performance, well played by both teams, with very few errors, an incredibly exciting finish, and one of the three best plays in Super Bowl history. The Super Bowl games it ranks up with are: Giants over Bills on the Bills missed field goal; Steelers over Cowboys (the FIRST ONE, with the two great Lynn Swann catches); the epic Broncos over the Pack in Elway’s long-awaited first championship; Niners over Cincy the second time (the great Montana-led drive that he began by pointing out John Candy in the stands; and the two first Patriots wins, both on last-second field goals by Vinatieri. Other truly exciting Super Bowls were the Colts over Cowboys on Jim O’Brien’s last-second field goal; Pats over Eagles; Steelers over Cowboys for the second time; Niners over Cincy the first time; Steelers over Rams; and, truth be told, the Colts last year over Chicago. And a few others were entertaining even if not edge-of-seat exciting.
And I did that all from memory, without consulting a single source.
Now, as for the greatest plays: A three-way tie, between the Eli-to-Tyree wonderment last night and the two unbelievable catches by Swann in that win over the Cowboys, at least one of which was made while Terry Bradshaw was flat on his back, pounded into the turf just as he let the ball go. Go back and look at the first Swann catch, the one in the middle of the field where he volleyballed it into the air twice, and compare it to Tyree’s. Both of them STILL can’t be believed even after watching them on replay time and time and time again.
Now, for my money, the greatest single GAME ever played in the NFL (not a Super Bowl) was the Raiders over the Dolphins with something like 28 points scored in the last quarter, with Snake Stabler literally falling down at the end but somehow throwing it forward and threading the needle between about four defenders to Clarence Davis in the endzone. And for non-Super Bowl games, another great one was the epic Chargers win over the Dolphins where Kellen Winslow came back onto the field several times from cramps to catch a zillion balls, block a kick, and will the Bolts past the Phins.