A countdown of the top 17 blunders in Super Bowl history.
17) MILE HIGH MISHAP
It was bad right from the start for the Denver Broncos. On the first play from scrimmage in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium, center Manny Ramirez snapped the ball over Peyton Manning's head for a Seattle Seahawks' safety. The Broncos turned the ball over four times and fell to the Seahawks, 43-8. |
16) TD OR NO TD?
The referees played too great a role in the outcome of Super Bowl XL between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks. In the second quarter, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger appeared to come up short of the end zone on a third-down play. After a long delay, the referees signaled a touchdown and even upheld the call after video replay. The Steelers won the game 21-10.
15) RAIDERS GIVE UP THREE PICK-SIXES
In Super Bowl XXXVII, Oakland Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon threw a Super Bowl record five interceptions against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers—three of which were returned for touchdowns. The Buccaneers cruised to a 48-21 victory for their first Super Bowl title. (Jan. 26, 2003)
14) PACKERS ALLOW UNCONTESTED TD AND LOSE
Rather than try for a goal-line stand, the Green Bay Packers let Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis walk untouched into the end zone from the 1-yard line for the go-ahead touchdown with 1:45 remaining in Super Bowl XXXII. The Packers wanted enough time on the clock to tie the score, but the Broncos defense forced a turnover on downs: Denver 31, Green Bay 24. (Jan. 25, 1998)
13) WHERE’S MY HELMET?
Bills star running back Thurman Thomas somehow lost his helmet, forcing him to miss the Bills’ first possession. He rushed for just 13 yards on 10 carries, as the Bills lost Super Bowl XXVI 37-24 to the Redskins.
12) CROSS THE GOAL LINE FIRST, THEN CELEBRATE
Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Leon Lett wasn’t used to scoring touchdowns when he recovered a fumble in Super Bowl XXVII and headed for the end zone. He began celebrating at about the 10-yard line, not knowing that Buffalo Bills wide receiver Don Beebe was sprinting after him. Beebe stripped the ball just before Lett crossed the goal line to prevent the score. It didn’t affect the game’s outcome—Cowboys 52, Bills 17—but did put Lett on lists and highlight reels like this.
11) THE BALL ALWAYS FINDS YOU WHEN YOU DON’T WANT IT
Cowboys Hall-of-Fame defensive tackle Randy White was forced to wear a cast on his hand in Super Bowl XIII because of a broken thumb. With the Cowboys down 28-17 in the fourth quarter, White attempted to field an unintentional squib kick by Steelers kicker Roy Gerela, but he fumbled before being hit by Tony Dungy. The Steelers scored a touchdown on the next play, which proved to be the winning score in their 35-31 win.
10) SERIOUSLY, NINE TURNOVERS?
It’s true. The Bills amassed a record nine turnovers in Super Bowl XXVII against the Cowboys. Quarterback Jim Kelly threw four interceptions, and the team lost five fumbles. It’s no wonder the Cowboys coasted to a 52-17 victory.
9) NOT SO MORAL, EUGENE
After being awarded the “Bart Starr Award” for high moral character, Atlanta Falcons safety Eugene Robinson was arrested the day before Super Bowl XXXIII for soliciting sex from an undercover police officer. John Elway and the Broncos torched Robinson all game en route to a 34-19 victory. (Jan. 31, 1999)
8) A RISK NOT WORTH TAKING
Trailing 14-3 with 12 seconds remaining in the first half and deep in their own territory, the Washington Redskins attempted a swing pass rather than let the clock run out. Quarterback Joe Theismann’s pass was intercepted by Los Angeles Raiders linebacker Jack Squirek and returned for a touchdown. The Redskins lost 38-9.
7) YOU’RE A KICKER, NOT A QUARTERBACK!
Attempting a field goal in the fourth quarter to ice the game in Super Bowl VII, Miami Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian’s kick was blocked, and the ball wound up in his hands. He tried to throw the ball downfield, but it slipped out of his hands and was returned for a touchdown by Redskins’ Mike Bass. Luckily for Yepremian, the Dolphins won 14-7 and completed their undefeated season.
6) GOT OFF ON THE WRONG FOOT
Normally rock-solid Carolina Panthers kicker Jon Kasay had a costly blunder in Super Bowl XXXVIII against the New England Patriots. After his team tied the score at 29 with 1:04 left, Kasay kicked the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, giving the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady the ball at the 40-yard line. A minute later, Adam Vinatieri kicked the game-winning 41-yard field goal. New England 32, Carolina 29.
5) HE WAS WIDE OPEN
Just before halftime in Super Bowl III with the Jets leading 7-0, the Baltimore Colts ran a flea flicker. Quarterback Earl Morrall did not see wide receiver Jimmy Orr wide open at the 20-yard line and instead threw an interception to Jets safety Jim Hudson. The Jets went on to win their first and only Super Bowl, 16-7.
Down 21-14 in the third quarter of Super Bowl XIII, Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach drove his team into Steelers’ territory. On third down, Staubach found backup tight end Jackie Smith wide open in the end zone, but Smith dropped the ball, forcing the Cowboys to settle for a field goal. Terry Bradshaw and the Steelers hung on to win 35-31.
3) NEIL O’NO!
Steelers quarterback Neil O’Donnell would like to forever forget the final minutes of Super Bowl XXX. Trailing 20-17 with possession, O’Donnell threw a pass that was picked off by Cowboys cornerback Larry Brown and returned to the Steelers’ 6-yard line. The Cowboys immediately scored a touchdown to put the game out of reach, 27-17.
2) LEAST MODE
The Seahawks trailed the Patriots, 28-24, late in Super Bowl XLIX but found themselves at the Patriots' 1-yard line on second down with 20 seconds remaining and two timeouts. But instead of giving the ball to bruising halfback Marshawn Lynch, head coach Pete Carroll called a pass play. The call backfired, as undrafted rookie Malcolm Butler jumped in front of Ricardo Lockette -- who was running a slant route over the middle -- and intercepted Russell Wilson's pass at the one-yard line to seal the victory.
1) WIDE RIGHT
The Giants held a 20-19 lead over the Bills in Super Bowl XXV with 2:16 left. Bills quarterback Jim Kelly took over on his own 10-yard line. With eight seconds to go, the Bills got the ball to the Giants’ 29-yard line, setting up a 47-yard field goal. Scott Norwood’s kick had plenty of distance, but it was wide right. The loss started the Bills’ streak of four consecutive Super Bowl defeats.