Ranking All 10 Super Bowls, Where Does the First Chiefs-49ers Clash Stand?: Super Bowl 58 approaches, it marks the ninth “rematch” in Super Bowl history, with franchises revisiting their previous clashes on Super Sunday. Only four years ago, the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers faced off in South Florida, with K.C. breaking a 50-year Super Bowl drought by securing a 31-20 victory in a game that proved to be closer and more dramatic than the final score suggests.
With Super Bowl 58 set to be the first-ever held in Las Vegas, anticipation is high for another historic matchup. As we gear up for the upcoming game, here’s a ranking of all-time Super Sunday showdowns, with each cardinal number corresponding to the season in parentheses.
LI (51, 2016): New England Patriots 34, Atlanta Falcons 28 (OT)
This game was nothing short of extraordinary. Patriots QB Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick solidified their legacies, each becoming the first in their respective roles to earn five Super Bowl titles. Achieving immortal greatness, however, required an unparalleled performance. Brady threw for a then-Super Bowl record of 466 yards, orchestrating a remarkable comeback as the Patriots scored 31 unanswered points. Brady’s outstanding performance earned him MVP honors for a record-breaking fourth time. The game, which saw Atlanta leading 28-3 in the third quarter, made history by going into overtime for the first time on Super Sunday. WR Julian Edelman’s miraculous catch provided a pivotal moment for New England. RB James White emerged as the unsung hero, catching a record 14 passes and scoring both the game-tying and game-winning touchdowns, ultimately setting a game record with 20 points. Despite the Falcons’ impressive showing for nearly three quarters, led by league MVP Matt Ryan and Co., their performance ended in an epic collapse.
XLII (42, 2007) New York Giants 17, Patriots 14
Arguably the most significant upset in Super Bowl history, the Giants disrupted New England’s quest for an unprecedented 19-0 campaign. The victory was propelled by an unwavering pass rush, highlighted by WR David Tyree’s extraordinary helmet catch, and QB Eli Manning’s MVP-worthy performance. Manning played a crucial role in steering the Giants to success, denying the Patriots a perfect season. The game, remembered for its unexpected turn of events, showcased the Giants’ resilience and their ability to rise to the occasion when facing formidable opponents, securing a place in Super Bowl lore.
XLIX (49, 2014) Patriots 28, Seattle Seahawks 24
It will eternally be etched in memory for the critical moment when QB Russell Wilson threw a goal-line interception with the game on the line, a moment where the Seahawks had the option to hand the ball to the powerful RB Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch, who had amassed 133 total yards. The defeat likely thwarted Seattle’s opportunity to establish a dynasty, simultaneously enhancing the reputation of the “Patriot Way.” Tom Brady clinched a record-tying third MVP award, and together with head coach Bill Belichick, they secured their fourth title after a decade-long championship drought, solidifying their legacy as one of the most successful quarterback-coach duos in NFL history.
XXIII (23, 1988) San Francisco 49ers 20, Cincinnati Bengals 16
Arguably the inaugural Super Bowl classic, this game stands out as QB Joe Montana’s defining performance, ironically the sole occasion he did not clinch the game MVP honors. Montana orchestrated an 11-play, 92-yard drive, culminating in a game-winning touchdown pass to WR John Taylor with just 34 seconds remaining. WR Jerry Rice’s remarkable Super Bowl-record of 215 receiving yards earned him the MVP award. Adding to the significance, it marked the final game for Hall of Famer Bill Walsh as an NFL head coach, concluding an illustrious coaching career on a memorable note.
XLIII (43, 2008) Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Arizona Cardinals 23
This Super Bowl had a bit of everything – from Pittsburgh LB James Harrison’s remarkable 100-yard interception return to conclude the first half, to a spirited fourth-quarter comeback orchestrated by WR Larry Fitzgerald and the determined underdog Arizona team. The climax featured QB Ben Roethlisberger’s precision, delivering a laser shot to the back corner of the end zone, where toe-tapping MVP Santonio Holmes secured the game-winning catch. The victory earned the Steelers their sixth Lombardi Trophy, a record later equaled by the Patriots and surpassed by Tom Brady in subsequent years. The game remains a vivid testament to the thrilling and unpredictable nature of Super Bowl matchups.
XXXIV (34, 1999) St. Louis Rams 23, Tennessee Titans 16
The “Greatest Show On Turf” put up its third-fewest points of the season in this Super Bowl, but MVP Kurt Warner’s impressive performance, including a then-record 414 passing yards, and LB Mike Jones’ crucial tackle of Tennessee WR Kevin Dyson just shy of the goal line on the final play, proved to be sufficient for victory. Despite a lower-than-usual offensive output, the Rams secured the championship in a thrilling matchup, showcasing the resilience and determination that defined their memorable season.
LII (52, 2017) Philadelphia Eagles 41, Patriots 33
Perhaps the nearly six-decade wait for a championship and the first Super Bowl crown proved to be worth it for The City of Brotherly Love. MVP Nick Foles played a pivotal role, amassing 373 yards and 3 touchdowns through the air. The unforgettable moment came before halftime with Foles’ 1-yard TD grab on the now-legendary “Philly Special.” Eagles DE Brandon Graham further solidified the result with the game’s lone defensive highlight – a strip sack of Tom Brady with 2:09 to go. Despite Brady’s game-record 505 passing yards, the Eagles emerged victorious on a day when both teams combined for an NFL record of 1,151 yards of total offense, making it a historic and memorable Super Bowl showdown.
XXV (25, 1990) Giants 20, Buffalo Bills 19
In a strategic effort to control the game and keep Buffalo’s explosive K-Gun offense at bay, New York maintained possession of the ball for nearly 41 minutes. The Giants received noteworthy contributions from MVP Ottis Anderson, who accumulated 102 yards and a touchdown, as well as backup QB Jeff Hostetler. Despite their efforts, the Giants narrowly secured the victory, ultimately surviving a tense moment when Buffalo’s K Scott Norwood missed a crucial 47-yard field-goal attempt in the final seconds, sealing the outcome in New York’s favor. The missed field goal became a defining moment in a Super Bowl that highlighted the importance of critical plays and strategic decisions.
XXXVI (36, 2001) Patriots 20, St. Louis Rams 17
Despite being one of the most shocking upsets in Super Bowl history, the significance of this game extends beyond the surprise outcome. It marked the inception of a dynasty, the coronation of a coaching genius in Bill Belichick, and the emergence of an icon as Tom Brady secured his first MVP. The memorable moment of the game was K Adam Vinatieri’s game-winning, upright-splitting 48-yard field goal at the last second, etching itself into Super Bowl lore. This contest, often remembered for its unexpected turns, set the stage for the unprecedented success that would define the New England Patriots in the years to come.
XLVI (46, 2011) Giants 21, Patriots 17
For the second time in five seasons, New York Giants dealt a heartbreaking blow to New England as Eli Manning orchestrated another improbable throw, connecting with WR Mario Manningham. The pivotal play set the stage for the Giants to score a late go-ahead touchdown and weather the Patriots’ final drive. This Super Bowl moment, echoing the narrative of their previous matchup, showcased Manning’s ability to deliver under pressure and the Giants’ resilience in securing a critical victory against the Patriots.