Ranking The 15 Worst Teams To Ever Play In A Super Bowl

by 1 year ago
Ranking The 15 Worst Teams To Ever Play In A Super Bowl

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As I mentioned the other day, NFL fans and the media are always very hyped talking about the greatest this and greatest that in Super Bowl history this time of year.

To hell with all that noise. All of those great players and great teams don’t need any more love.

Much like most of the internet, I’d much rather dwell on things that broke bad. So, instead of some kind of “best of…” list, I went and ranked the 12 worst performances by a crucial player in a Super Bowl.

That was way more fun than talking about the NFL players that are someday going to end up with a bust in Canton.

So with that spirit in mind, let’s forget all of the dynasty talk. No 49ers, Steelers, Cowboys, or, dear God, Patriots (at least this iteration) talk here.

Instead, let’s take a fond look back at the XX worst teams to ever, somehow, play in a Super Bowl.

Here we go…

15. 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers
Defeated Seattle 21-10 in Super Bowl XL. Regular season record: 11-5.
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Yes, we are starting out with a team that actually WON their Super Bowl. It doesn’t mean they were good, however. It just means that a single-elimination tournament can sometimes yield an unexpected result. The Steelers entered the playoffs with a 4-3 record in their final seven games as the number six seed. Then they were handed a gift when “idiot kicker” Mike Vanderjagt of the Colts missed a game-tying field goal, badly, in the second round. And almost pulled off a huge upset in the Super Bowl thanks to some horrific officiating mistakes. (Sound familiar?)

14. 2012 Baltimore Ravens
Defeated San Francisco 34-31 in Super Bowl XLVII. Regular season record: 10-6.
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The 2012 Ravens four of their final five games to squeak into the playoffs as a wild-card. They had a medicore offense, a mediocre defense, and in the playoffs took on the indoor Colts outdoors, were the benefit of an inexplicable Peyton Manning interception late in another game, and John Harbaugh beat his brother Jim in the big one where they highlight might have just been when the power went out, causing a very lengthy delay in the game.

13. 1987 Denver Broncos
Lost 42-10 to Washington in Super Bowl XXII. Regular season record: 10-4-1.
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Denver was outgained by their opponents in all three of their playoff games following the 1987 season.

12. 2007 New York Giants
Defeated New England 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII. Regular season record: 10-6.
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Yes, another team that won. And yes, it’s the Giants again, who were helped along the way by a Tony Romo meltdown in their divisional playoff game. (Remember that?) During the season the Giants only outscored their opponents by 22 points combined. They also went 0-4 in the regular season against teams that made the playoffs. But divine intervention, and David Tyree, happend and somehow the 2007 Giants beat the 18-0 Patriots to become one of the unlikeliest NFL champions ever.

11. 1999 Tennessee Titans
Lost to St. Louis 23-16 in Super Bowl XXXIV. Regular season record: 13-3.
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Thanks to the Music City Miracle in the first round of the playoffs, Tennessee hung on to live another day. Then they beat Peyton Manning in his first career playoff game 19-16, then played a Jaguars team that was 15-2, with both losses coming to, you guessed it, Tennessee. So a team that had the same point differential as the 9-7 Chiefs during the regualr season, somehow managed to not only make the Super Bowl. They damn near one, I mean won it.

10. 2011 New York Giants
Defeated New England 21-17 in Super Bowl XLVI. Regular season record: 9-7.
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Giants again! Why? For one, they made the Super Bowl despite being outscored by their opponents during the regular season, making them the first team to ever reach the big game with such a bad point differential. That same year, the Miami Dolphins outscored their opponents and they went 6-10. In fact, there were a total of eight teams that outscored their opponents that year that didn’t even make the playoffs. Also, late in the season, the Giants lost four straight games in November and December and then somehow beat four teams with a combined 51-13 record to win it all. How?

9. 1989 Denver Broncos
Lost 55-10 to San Francisco in Super Bowl XXIV. Regular season record: 11-5.
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The 1989 Denver Broncos were the only team in the entire conference to win 10 or more games. Think about that for a second. Therefore, they entered the playoffs as the AFC’s number one seed and had one of history’s easiest paths to the Super Bowl. They even lost three of their final four games, and were still the number one seed. Reality hit them, hard, in the Super Bowl, however, as San Francisco dropped eight touchdowns on them in the biggest blowout in the game’s history.

8. 2000 New York Giants
Lost 34-7 to Baltimore in Super Bowl XXXV. Regular season record: 12-4.
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Yes, them again. The only score the Giants managed in this Super Bowl came via a kickoff return. That’s because they gained a grand total of 152 yards and turned the ball over five times. At one point during the season, Baltimore went five straight games without scoring a touchdown and still managed to put up 34 on the Giants.

7. 1986 Denver Broncos
Lost 39-20 to New York Giants in Super Bowl XXI. Regular season record: 11-5.
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The 1986 Broncos’ offense gained just 27 more yards on the ground than their defense gave up on the season, which explains why they entered the playoffs with a record of 5-5 in their final 10 games. And if it weren’t for John Elway and “The Drive” against Cleveland, who always failed like that at crucial points playoffs, the Browns might have been the team to get blown out by the Giants in the Super Bowl that year.

6. 1996 New England Patriots
Lost 35-21 to Green Bay in Super Bowl XXXI. Regular season record: 11-5.
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New England was the beneficiary of more of that single-elimination luck as the Jaguars upset a 13-3 Denver, in Denver, meaning instead of facing the Broncos in Denver, the warm-weather Jaguars had to come to New England and play in freezing weather. Talk about paving the way for the Patriots run to the Super Bowl. The Jaguars’ upset of Denver also meant that the Patriots did not have to play them for a second time that season after taking a 34-8 beating from the Broncos in week 11.

5. 2003 Carolina Panthers
Lost 32-29 to New England in Super Bowl XXXVIII. Regular season record: 11-5.
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The 2003 Panthers won just two games in the regular season by more than six points, seven by three points or less. They also went 3-5 during one eight game stretch and only outscored their opponents by a combined 21 points. Their quarterback Jake Delhomme threw 19 TDs with 16 interceptions. How they made it to the Super Bowl is still a mystery. As is why Justin Timberlake showed the world Janet Jackson’s boob at halftime of the game.

4. 2008 Arizona Cardinals
Lost 27-23 to Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLIII. Regular season record: 9-7.
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The Cardinals of 2008 outscore their opponents by one point… total… over 16 games. The other teams in their division combined to win seven games against opponents outside of the division. (Two of those teams won four games or less that year, and combined for a 13-35 record in total.) Arizona also lost three games during the regular season by more than three touchdowns, including being blown out by the Patriots 47-7 in Week 16. And if it weren’t for a legendary Donovan McNabb choke-job they never would have made it to SB XLIII.

3. 1994 San Diego Chargers
Lost 49-26 to San Francisco in Super Bowl XXIX. Regular season record: 11-5.
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The 1994 Chargers were the biggest underdog in the history of the Super Bowl (18.5 points), after entering the playoffs going 5-5 in their final 10 games. And they should have been because the 49ers were up 42-10… in the third quarter before San Diego scored a couple of garbage-time TDs.

2. 1979 Los Angeles Rams
Lost 31-19 to Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XIV. Regular season record: 9-7.
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At one point during the season, the Rams were actually 5-6. By going 5-1 mark against their division foes in the NFC West, they managed to make the playoffs. They also managed to set a “record” by having the worst record of a team to reach the Super Bowl. Later matched by the Giants and Cardinals. And they only outscored their opponents by just 14 points over the entire season.

1. 1985 New England Patriots
Lost 46-10 to Chicago in Super Bowl XX. Regular season record: 11-5.
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The wild-card Patriots of 1985, made it to the Super Bowl thanks to their opponents in the playoffs turning the ball over 16 times combined. In the Super Bowl, New England accumulated a total of 123 yards on offense, seven of those yards rushing, had six turnovers and gave up seven sacks. A game that those outside of New England will always remember fondly.


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