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Last-second field goal attempts in Super Bowl history

Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri celebrates after kicking a

Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri celebrates after kicking a game-winning 48-yard field goal in the final seconds to beat the Rams, 20-17, in Super Bowl XXXVI on Feb. 3, 2002, at the Superdome in New Orleans. Credit: AP/DOUG MILLS

It’s every kicker’s dream: Kicking a game-winning field goal in the final seconds of a Super Bowl to give their team the win.

It’s also every kicker’s nightmare: Missing said field goal to saddle their team with the loss.

The Super Bowl has been decided by a last-second field goal attempt (good or not) four times in 52 games. Here’s a look at those four games:

Super Bowl V

Jim O’Brien, then a rookie for the Colts, kicked a 32-yarder with five seconds left to give Baltimore a 16-13 win over the Dallas Cowboys. O’Brien entered the game having made 19 of 34 regular-season field goals, including four of nine between 30 and 39 yards. Mike Curtis’ interception at the Cowboys’ 27-yard line with 59 seconds left set the Colts up for the game-winning kick.

Super Bowl XXV

Two words: Wide. Right. The Buffalo Bills, trailing the Giants by one point, drove 61 yards in 2:08 to set up a 47-yard try by Scott Norwood with eight seconds left. The kick was one yard shy of Norwood’s season-long in 1990 and two shy of his career long. This kick had the distance, but it sailed right of the goalposts, sealing the Giants’ 20-19 victory — their second Super Bowl in five seasons — and kicking off the Bills’ stretch of four consecutive Super Bowl losses.

Super Bowl XXXVI

The New England Patriots’ dynasty began on Adam Vinatieri’s leg. After the then-St. Louis Rams tied the score on a touchdown with 1:37 left, Tom Brady drove the Patriots 53 yards in eight plays to set up Vinatieri’s 48-yard field goal as time expired. It was the first Super Bowl won by a score on the game’s final play. Vinatieri had gone 24-for-30 on field goals during the regular season, including 7-for-12 from 40 to 49 yards out.

Super Bowl XXXVIII

Two years after his first game-winner, Vinatieri did it again. The Panthers tied the score at 29 with 1:04 left, but the ensuing kickoff went out of bounds, setting the Patriots up at their own 40-yard line. They drove 37 yards and Vinatieri kicked a 41-yarder with nine seconds left to give the Patriots the 32-29 win and their second Super Bowl in three years. Vinatieri made five of eight kicks from 40 to 49 yards during the 2003 regular season and was 25-for-34 overall.


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