Matter Of Facts: Super Bowl XLVIII - No Offense Meant
by Russell Baxter
Cold Hard Football Facts Gridiron Guru (@BaxFootballGuru)
For the record, my Super Bowl pick is…
Denver Broncos 18, Seattle Seahawks 14. The Broncos become the second team in Super Bowl history not to score a touchdown in the game but get six field goals from Matt Prater and a lot of time of possession.
So in XLVIII you will see No. XVIII and his teammates hold the ball for XXXVIII-plus minutes.
How on earth could the highest-scoring team in league annals be held to 18 points?
Let’s take a look at history when it comes to those highest scoring teams. The following seven squads all scored at least 540 points in a season and all have one thing in common…
None of them won a Super Bowl…
Chicken wings and pizza for thought on Super Sunday.
2007 New England Patriots (589 points); Lost Super Bowl XLII: Although it seems like it was yesterday (or at least a Sunday), the undefeated Patriots were tripped up in Arizona by the inspired New York Giants. Tom Coughlin’s team was New England’s 16th victim of the regular season, a night at Giants Stadium that saw quarterback Tom Brady throw his 50th touchdown pass of the reason and wide receiver Randy Moss snare his NFL-record scoring reception of the season in a 38-35 Pats’ victory. But roughly a month later, the Giants sacked Brady five times and Eli Manning found that fly paper on David Tyree’s helmet in a rousing 17-14 win…
2011 Green Bay Packers (560 points); Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs: The defending Super Bowl champions brought a six-game overall winning streak into 2011 and then reeled off 13 straight wins before getting shut down at Arrowhead Stadium. Still, the Packers owned a 15-1 mark when they hosted those pesky New York Giants in the NFC Divisional Playoffs. During the first week of December, Green Bay had beaten Coughlin’s club, 38-35, in the swamps of New Jersey (does that score sound familiar?). But the eventual Super Bowl champion G-Men rolled to a 37-20 win at Lambeau Field…
2012 New England Patriots (557 points); Lost AFC Championship Game: The defending AFC champion Patriots had already lost two home games that season, a rare happening, and had also fallen to the Ravens back in Week 3 at Baltimore. Both teams had scored their share of points in the Divisional Playoffs and fortunately for the Pats, the Ravens had outscored the top-seeded Denver Broncos, 38-35. That meant that Foxborough would be the site of the AFC title game for the second straight year. John Harbaugh’s club had come up short in 2011 but the Ravens would not be denied this time around, holding New England to a season-low 13 points in a 28-13 victory…
1998 Minnesota Vikings (556 points); Lost NFC Championship Game: It was the rookie season for wide receiver Randy Moss, who lit up secondaries for 17 scores in the regular season. There was running back Robert Smith, wideout Cris Carter and a rejuvenated Randall Cunningham, who wound up replacing starting quarterback Brad Johnson. But the 15-1 Vikings were hosting the very-solid 14-2 Atlanta Falcons, who were riding a 10-game overall winning streak. It was Minnesota’s defense that didn’t have any answers in the closing minutes of the NFC title game, the teams went into overtime and Atlanta came away with a 30-27 triumph…
2011 New Orleans Saints (547 points); Lost NFC Divisional Playoffs: Just two seasons ago, the Saints were two seasons removed from a Super Bowl title. Quarterback Drew Brees had just set a new record with 5,476 passing yards (since broken by Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning) and threw for 46 scores. Sean Payton’s club also brought a nine-game overall winning streak into Candlestick Park and was coming off a 45-28 win over the Detroit Lions in the Wild Card Playoffs. The Saints had scored 42-plus points in four straight outings and managed 32 against the Niners. But it was Alex Smith to Vernon Davis in the closing seconds and Jim Harbaugh’s team ended New Orleans’ season, 36-32.
1983 Washington Redskins (541 points); Lost Super Bowl XVIII: Joe Gibbs’ squad was coming off an 8-1 record and a Super Bowl title (XVII) during the 1982 strike-shortened seasons. Washington would finish 14-2 in ’83 and both of their losses were by a single points and both occurred on Monday Night Football (go figure). Joe Theismann and company rolled to a 51-7 win in the Divisional Playoffs and held off the 49ers, 24-21, in the NFC Championship Game. Earlier in the season, the Redskins had rallied to beat the Los Angeles Raiders, 37-35, who were playing without some second-year running back named Marcus Allen. In Tampa a few months later, Tom Flores’ team dominated the game in all three aspects and rolled to a 38-9 win.
2000 St. Louis Rams (540 points); Lost NFC Wild Card Game: The defending Super Bowl champions were one-and-out a year after holding off the Tennessee Titans, 23-16, in Atlanta. A 6-0 start by quarterback Kurt Warner and company turned into a white-knuckle chase to the playoffs as Warner was injured, Trent Green filled in but the St. Louis defense had its issues. Throw in 35 turnovers and Mike Martz’s club crawled into the playoffs with a 10-6 record after beating the Saints in the season finale at the Superdome. The Rams returned to New Orleans a week later but fell short in a late rally and were dethroned as Super Bowl champs, 31-28.
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