The best part of the emergence of parity in the last decade in the NFL is that a host of Super Bowls that have gone down to the wire, thanks to some relatively even match-ups. But the run also signals the end of an era, and makes a few marks set in the last 46 years seem impossible to top. Here are five Super Bowl records that likely won't ever be broken.
The Bears dominated the 1985 NFL season from start to finish and were at their best in the playoffs, shutting out the Giants (21-0) and Rams (24-0) en route to a 46-10 rout of the Patriots at the Superdome. New England was limited to 123 total yards, second-fewest in a Super Bowl, but more significantly, the Patriots gained a Super Bowl record-low 7 yards rushing in Super Bowl XX. And Raymond Berry’s team managed that total on 11 carries -- an astounding 0.64 yards per attempt.
Joe Gibbs' Washington Redskins spotted the Denver Broncos a 10-0 first-quarter lead before scoring 42 unanswered points in a 42-10 victory. Redskins’ QB Doug Williams threw for 340 yards and 4 scores (1 INT), RB Timmy Smith ran for a Super Bowl record 204 yards, as well as a pair of scores, and Washington rolled up a Super Bowl record 602 total yards. But the most memorable part of the team’s performance was the second quarter, when the Redskins scored 35 points and rolled up 356 total yards in that quarter alone. Excluding their own team total of 42 in Super Bowl XXII, there have been only 12 other instances (out of 91) where a team has scored at least 35 total points in a Super Bowl.
We're in an age of free agency and ever-changing rosters, so getting back to the Super Bowl in consecutive seasons hasn’t been easy.
The 49ers' appearance in Super Bowl XLVII makes it 11 times in the past 12 years that the NFC has sent a different team to the Big Game. Meanwhile the 2003 and '04 Patriots are the last team in either conference to make two straight trips to the Super Bowl. That’s why it’s amazing to consider that while they never walked away with a Lombardi Trophy, the Bills made an unprecedented four straight Super Bowl appearances from 1990-93 (XXV, XXVI, XXVII and XXVIII). That final season was the start of free agency as we now know it.
Yes, it's a quarterback-driven league and we’ve seen astounding passing numbers this season alone. But it will be hard to top what happened in Super Bowl XXI, when Giants QB Phil Simms completed a Super Bowl record 88.0 percent of his passes (22-of-25) for 268 yards and three touchdowns in his team’s 39-20 win over the Broncos. In the second half alone, Simms was 10-of-10 for 165 yards and two touchdowns (although there was that fortuitous bounce off TE Mark Bavaro to WR Phil McConkey for a touchdown). The mark is based on a minimum of 20 pass attempts.
It's a different game now in terms of physical play, and hanging onto the football is stressed more than ever. Hence, it's hard to imagine that the Baltimore Colts committed seven turnovers and still won Super Bowl V, most ever by a winning team. Granted, the Dallas Cowboys turned over the ball four times on their own. But it's also worth noting that of the other 45 Super Bowl champions, the most turnovers committed by a winning team is 3 by the Steelers in both XIII and XIV, and the Indianapolis Colts in XLI.
There you have it. Think it's off? Duke it out in the comments.
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