The Patriots and the Rams are set to compete in Super Bowl LIII this Sunday — and if history is any indication, it has the potential to be a memorable game, to put it mildly.
When two of the NFL’s top teams go head-to-head in competing for a title, that’s often the case.
Sure, there have been a few blowouts, but seven of the past 11 bouts were decided by one score or less.
Every minute counts in these games — and with this in mind, here’s a look at five of the greatest moments in Super Bowl history.
1.) Go, Malcolm, go. On the Seattle Seahawks’ final drive in the 2015 Super Bowl, it certainly appeared the New England Patriots were going to lose.
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson led his team downfield on the last drive of the game — and with 25 seconds of play left, it truly appeared to be over.
The Seahawks had second-and-goal from the one-yard line, but instead of handing the ball off to their star running back Marshawn Lynch, Wilson attempted a pass — and overthrew it.
The pass was intercepted by Patriots defensive back Malcolm Butler in the end zone, preserving the team’s 28-24 lead and securing an unexpected victory.
2.) 28-3. A Super Bowl had never gone into overtime — until the 2017 game.
The Patriots won the coin toss in overtime, had no problem marching downfield — and running back James White punched in the game-winning score on a three yard halfback toss. The Patriots ultimately beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28.
This was particularly special because early in the second half, the game looked as if it would be a blowout in the Falcons’ favor.
They led 28-3 midway with 8:31 left in the third quarter. Yet the Patriots scored 31 unanswered points, including 19 in the fourth quarter alone, to earn the victory — the fifth Super Bowl championship of quarterback Tom Brady’s career.
3.) One yard short. Back when the Los Angeles Rams were the St. Louis Rams, one yard made the difference for them in their 23-16 Super Bowl XXXIV (34) victory in 2000 over the Tennessee Titans.
The Titans found themselves down one touchdown with a first-and-goal opportunity from the 10-yard line — with just six seconds remaining in the game.
It was just enough time to get off one last play — and quarterback Steve McNair completed a pass to Kevin Dyson. The wide receiver caught the ball at around the four-yard line, but Rams linebacker Mike Jones was right there to make the tackle, stopping him at the one-yard line as time expired.
Had Dyson made it into the end zone and the Rams hit their extra-point kick, the game would have gone into overtime. It is possible the Titans could have come out on top.
4.) The comeback kid. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana earned the nickname “the Comeback Kid” for good reason. One major component of it was the game-winning drive he orchestrated in 1989’s Super Bowl XXIII (23).
Down 16-13, the 49ers got the ball at their own eight-yard line with 3:10 remaining; the Hall of Fame quarterback had no issue moving his team downfield.
Montana led his team to a 92-yard touchdown drive, which he capped off with 34 seconds remaining on a 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver John Taylor.
San Francisco connected on the extra point — and ended up winning the game 20-16.
5.) Wide right. The New York Giants are lucky they won Super Bowl XXV in 1991. A kick ended up making the difference.
Trailing 20-19, the Buffalo Bills got the ball at their own 10-yard line.
Although the Bills gained 60 yards on the drive, that still put them 30 yards shy of the end zone. So with eight seconds remaining, the Bills opted to attempt a field goal.
They brought out kicker Scott Norwood for a 47-yard try, but his kick went wide right — and the Giants won the game because of it.
It was the first of four straight Super Bowl losses for the Bills.
Check out the moment below:
Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, and other outlets.