The NFL Draft is just three days away, but for anyone dreaming of being in the pre-season favourites, we featured evidence recently about how that might be a poisoned chalice. If you wanted further evidence of this, you only have to look at these five Super Bowl finals, where the favourites fell at the final hurdle.
Super Bowl III – New York Jets 16-7 Baltimore Colts
18-point underdogs New York Jets somehow got the better of the Baltimore Colts after a scoreless first three quarters and a field goal early in the final period saw The Jets surge into a 16-0 lead.
That the Colts then scored seven points was nothing but a consolation as 1969 saw over 75,000 fans inside the Miami Orange Bowl stunned by the American Football League winners triumphing against the NFL’s finest. It remains one of the biggest shocks ever seen in the sport.
Super Bowl XXII – Washington Redskins 42-10 Denver Broncos
An astonishing result in the 22nd Super Bowl saw the Washington Redskins come back from losing the first quarter 10-0 to the pre-fame favourites of the Denver Broncos. The Broncos were blown away by a record score of unanswered points during the second period as The Redskins scored 35 points without reply.
There was no way back for The Broncos, and after a scoreless third quarter, The Redskins added another seven points without conceding in the final period. Redskins quarterback Doug Williams, who had treatment on an infected tooth overnight, was the star of the show and became the first African American starting quarterback to win the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl XXXII – Green Bay Packers 24-31 Denver Broncos
In 1998, the boot was on the other kicking foot as the Denver Broncos came into the Super Bowl as 11-point underdogs in taking on the Green Bay Packers. Having lost four Super Bowl finals already, most feared that record would be extended as the Broncos were expected to fall to another defeat at the last stage of the NFL season.
Instead, The Broncos edged both the second and third quarters, tying both the other periods to see themselves finally achieve what must have seemed impossible to some pre-game.
Superbowl XXXVI – St. Louis Rams 17-20 New England Patriots
It was in 2002 that the birth of a dynasty took place. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots were 14-point underdogs heading into battle against the St. Louis Rams, but Tom Brady led the Pats to a 20-17 victory.
The Patriots were leading 17-3 at the end of the third quarter, but a final period collapse very nearly saw them lose their lead. In the end, it was a poignant final, delayed until February due to the 9/11 attacks in September delaying the season.
Super Bowl LII –
The Super Bowl known as the ‘Philly Special’ to fans from Philadelphia saw The Eagles clip Tom Brady and The Patriots’ wings, as the 5.5-point underdogs were ahead at the end of every quarter, winning 41-33 in a high-scoring and entertaining game.
The Philadelphia Eagles reserve quarterback Nick Foles became the hero of the Super Bowl and MVP in the final, as he threw for 373 yards and saw his opposite number Tom Brady fall short with a Hail Mary pass in the dying seconds.