The Green Bay Packers are favoured in Sunday’s Super Bowl by 2.5 points over the Pittsburgh Steelers. And with two great quarterbacks, and two finalists for Defensive Player of the Year, this game has all the ingredients for a nail biter.
But before you get excited for a close, edge-of-your-seat game with a last-second field goal to win it all, remember that there have only been six games in 44 years that were decided by three points or less.
(Also something to think about if you’re betting with the spread.)
It’s true that there have been a lot of exciting Super Bowls in recent years, but traditionally, the winner of the Big Game reaches the finish line comfortably. Over the full 44 years, teams have won by an average of 14.8 points.
January 17, 1971
On a warm sunny day in Miami, the first post-merger Super Bowl game came down to turnovers. The teams combined for a record 11 turnovers, but it was two Dallas interceptions in the fourth quarter that allowed the Colts to erase a 13-6 deficit and kick the winning field goal with five seconds left.
January 27, 1991
The Buffalo Bills were heavily favoured in this game, but the New York Giants beat the odds ... barely. It was the first Super Bowl with out a single turnover and Matt Bahr kicked the go-ahead field goal for the Giants in the fourth quarter. Buffalo kicker Scott Norwood had a chance to win the game, but missed a 47-yard field goal ('Wide Right') as time expired.
February 3, 2002
New England was the 14-point underdog against the juggernaut Rams, but kicker Adam Vinatieri won it with a field goal with no time left on the clock.
February 1, 2004
New England kicker Adam Vinitieri missed two field goals during the game, but redeemed himself in the last four seconds when he kicked the winning field goal. This Super Bowl also set a record for longest scoreless tie, as neither team scored until the Patriots caught a pass in the end zone with only 3:05 remaining in the first half. That's 26:55 with out a single score. (And don't forget the famous Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction.)
February 6, 2005
For the third time in four years (and the second game in a row) the Patriots grabbed a Super Bowl win by just three points. Although it was a close game, the Eagles never lead once.
February 3, 2008
The highly-favoured, 18-0 Patriots let go of their unbeaten season at this Super Bowl. The Giants trailed the Patriots, 14-10, with 2:42 left, but a touchdown pass to Plaxico Buress with 0:35 seconds left sealed the deal for the Giants. Arguably the most exciting game in Super Bowl history, the final Giants touchdown was also made possible by David Tyree's legendary 'Helmet Catch.'
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