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The 9 Biggest Super Bowl Blowouts of All-Time

by: Esteban On  Monday, February 3, 2014

biggest super bowl blowouts

I don’t know about you, but last night my Facebook newsfeed was completely dominated by people whining about Super Bowl XLVIII. The gist of these complaints? That this was the “worst” and/or “most boring” Super Bowl ever. 

Now, my immediate reaction to these complaints was that none of these people remembered the 80s and 90s, when pretty much every Super Bowl was a blowout. But then the Seahawks just kept on scoring, and the sad Broncos kept on not scoring, and pretty soon it became clear that these people were in fact right. In terms of shear competitiveness, this really was one of the worst Super Bowls of all-time. Sure, if you’re a hardcore football fan with an appreciation for history you might have enjoyed the game, because man was that Seattle defense impressive. For everyone else, though, Super Bowl XLVIII was a dud.

But just how bad was it? Where does the 2014 game rank on the list of biggest blowouts in Super Bowl history? Take a look at the list and find out.


Dishonorable Mentions

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The nine Super Bowl blowouts that made this list are bad, but before we get started let’s have a quick moment of silence for some of the really crappy games that didn’t quite make the cut. Please quietly hum “Taps” to yourself…

Super Bowl XI – Raiders 32, Vikings 14

Super Bowl XXI – Giants 39, Broncos 20

Super Bowl II – Packers 33, Raiders 14

Super Bowl VI – Cowbows 32, Vikings 14

Super Boxl XXIX – 49ers 49, San Diego 26

Okay, now let’s take a look at the Super Bowls that really sucked…


9. Super Bowl I – Packers 35, Chiefs 10

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Margin of Victory: 25 points

Who knows what would have happened if the Chiefs had blew out the Packers in the very first Super Bowl? Maybe the AFL would have ended up absorbing the NFL instead of the other way around, and we’d all be watching Fox AFL Sunday every week.

Of course, we’ll never know the answer to that question because it was most definitely the NFL’s Packers who did the pummeling on January 15, 1967. Though the Chiefs kept things close at first and only trailed 14-10 at the half, Packers safety Willie Wood kicked off a 21-0 run with a 50-yard pick six (pictured) early in the third quarter, and the NFL went on to thrash the AFL by 25 points.


8. Super Bowl XXXV – Ravens 34, Giants 7

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Margin of Victory: 27 points

Super Bowl XXXV is better remembered for it’s halftime show—the one that featured Aerosmith, ‘N Sync, Britney Spears, Nelly, and Mary J. Blige—than the actual game. And the reason for that was that the actual game was boring. The Ravens were not an exciting team to watch, but they were fantastic on defense and they suffocated the Giants. Hell, Ray Lewis was the MVP of the game and he only had three solo tackles, two assisted tackles, and four blocked passes. At least the MVP of Super Bowl XLVIII, Malcolm Smith, had 10 tackles and a pick six. 


7. Super Bowl XXXVII – Buccaneers 48, Raiders 21


Margin of Victory: 27 points

Anyone who remembers this game probably picked the Seahawks to beat the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. The Oakland Raiders scored 450 points during the 2002 NFL season, which was the second-most in the league. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, meanwhile, allowed just 196 points, which was a whole 45 points better than anyone else. The Raiders were 4-point favorites heading into the game, but the Bucs intercepted league MVP Rich Gannon five times and returned three for touchdowns.

Apparently defense really does win championships.


6. Super Bowl XVIII – Raiders 38, Washington 9

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Margin of Victory: 29 points

Here we have the Raiders on the winning side of a blowout. In 1983, with former coach John Madden up in the TV book calling the game for CBS, the Raiders obliterated the defending Super Bowl champions—the team that was a league-best 14-2 that year. Marcus Allen won the MVP award for his 191 rushing yards against what had been the league’s best rushing defense.


5. Super Bowl XXII – Washington 42, Broncos 10

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Margin of Victory: 32 points

And now it’s Washington’s turn to be on the winning side of a Super Bowl blowout. And look who’s on the losing side—it’s Denver!

The poor Broncos probably didn’t think the Super Bowl could go any worse for them in 1988 than it did in 1987, when they lost to the Giants by 19 points. However, it actually got much worse when they faced Washington in 1988, as quarterback Doug Williams torched them for 340 yards and four touchdowns.

After that, the Broncos probably said, okay, now the Super Bowl can’t get any worse. But, um…


4. Super Bowl XLVIII – Seahawks 43, Broncos 8

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Margin of Victory: 35 points

Here we are. Super Bowl XLVIII: the fourth-biggest blowout in the history of the big game. And do you want to know what’s really sad? This isn’t the last time we’ll see the Broncos on the list.

That’s right. The Denver Broncos suffered three of the nine biggest blowouts in Super Bowl history. That’s 33%.

You have to feel a little sorry for their fans, don’t you? Yes, they won back-to-back Super Bowls in 1998 and 1999, but when it rains for these people, it pours.


3. Super Bowl XXVII – Cowboys 52, Bills 17


Margin of Victory: 35 points

Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irving created a dynasty in Dallas that won three Super Bowls in four years. The most impressive of those victories? Undoubtedly it was the first, in which they shellacked the hapless Buffalo Bills to hand them their third consecutive Super Bowl loss.

How bad was this one? So bad that it actually made the Cowboys’ 30-13 win over the Bills in the Super Bowl the following year seem entertaining by comparison.


2. Super Bowl XX – Bears 46, Patriots 10

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Margin of Victory: 36 points

Believe it or not, there was a time when NFL fans didn’t particularly enjoy watching the Patriots lose the Super Bowl. You see, in 1985 the Chicago Bears were an NFL-best 15-1 and sported the league’s #1 defense and #2 offense. For that reason, they were 10-point favorites against the Patriots, who were just 11-5. As a result, anybody who didn’t have a horse in that race was rooting for the scrappy underdogs.

Of course, the Bears wound up Super Bowl shuffling all over the Patriots, winning what was at the time the biggest blowout in the history of the Super Bowl.


1. Super Bowl XXIV – 49ers 55, Broncos 10

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Margin of Victory: 45 points

The biggest Super Bowl blowout of all-time belongs to the San Francisco 49ers. Facing the (literally) defenseless Broncos on January 28, 1990, the Niners were 12-point favorites. However, once the game started they just completely ran amok. Joe Montana, who was the NFL MVP in 1989, also earned Super Bowl MVP honors by throwing for 297 yards and a ridiculous five touchdowns while finishing with a 75.9 completion percentage.

So while nobody trumps Bills fans when it comes to understanding the agony of Super Bowl defeat, I’d say Broncos fans are a close second.