Super Bowl 50: We remember 10 legendary games before Carolina Panthers play Denver Broncos
By James Dielhenn
Last Updated: 09/01/17 7:04pm
There is no easy way of selecting the greatest 10 Super Bowls, but Sky Sports have given it a go and want your feedback.
Before the Carolina Panthers play the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50, live on Sky Sports 1 HD on Sunday February 7 at 10pm, we have cast our eyes through the history books and remembered some iconic images and action.
Get involved and tweet us at @skysportsnfl with great games that we may have overlooked - in the meantime, in no particular order, here's 10 memorable Super Bowls.
Super Bowl VII, Miami Dolphins 14-11 Washington Redskins
In 1972 the Dolphins gave a new meaning to 'perfect season', extending their unbeaten regular campaign through the play-offs and then to victory in the biggest game of them all. To this day, the '72 Dolphins are the only unbeaten and untied Super Bowl winners.
Yet head coach Don Shula's men were not necessarily favoured to beat the 11-3 Redskins - they addressed that with a 14-0 half-time lead thanks to touchdowns from Howard Twilley and Jim Kiick. The impenetrable Dolphins wobbled briefly when kicker Garo Yepremian botched an effort with the boot then a follow-up throw but the Redskins remained restricted to just 228 yards in total. In 2013, President Barack Obama welcomed the '72 Dolphins to the White House for the visit that they never received decades earlier.
Super Bowl XLIX, New England Patriots 28-24 Seattle Seahawks
Why not just give it to 'Beast Mode'? The Seahawks have been asking that question for a year, and will continue to do so until they finally get their hands on the Vince Lombardi Trophy. With 26 seconds and one timeout remaining, the Seahawks chose to call a pass play rather than using their star player Marshawn Lynch's ability to rush into the end-zone.
The pass was intercepted and the Patriots clung on to a slender lead, leaving the Seahawks wondering what might have been. Lynch had gained at least one yard on 22 of the 24 plays during last year's Super Bowl meaning the Seahawks received a major backlash for not utilising his power when it mattered most. It remains one of the most nervy finishes to a Super Bowl game in history.
Super Bowl XX, Chicago Bears 46-10 New England Patriots
The enduring image of 'The Refrigerator' bulldozing through a despairing Patriots defence epitomises not just the 1986 game itself, but the NFL to a generation of fans. William Perry was not just a quality Bears player who became the owner of a Super Bowl ring, he became a cult figure in popular culture whose nickname is remembered to the present day.
The 300lbs-plus defensive lineman was part of the Bears' 'Monsters of the Midway' defence but in the closing stages of his biggest game he transformed into a wide receiver and scored a one-yard rush that is part of folklore. His trademark spike cemented Super Bowl XX in history. We also tip our hat to Sky Sports expert Shaun Gayle, a member of this Bears team.
Super Bowl XLIII, Pittsburgh Steelers 27-23 Arizona Cardinals
Larry Fitzgerald might be one of the all-time best NFL players to never win the big one. And he might never come closer than his epic efforts in 2009 when he posted six catches, 115 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to put the Cardinals in the driving seat.
James Harrison had already set a Super Bowl record with his 100-yard interception return for a Cards touchdown but it all fell apart in the closing minute. The Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes combined to score in the final 60 seconds and Pittsburgh became the first team to win six Super Bowls.
Super Bowl XXXVIII, New England Patriots 32-29 Carolina Panthers
The Panthers will be hoping for better luck at Super Bowl 50, but they would doubtless settle for an identical performance on their first ever appearance on the biggest stage in 2004. The Panthers held their own in a Super Bowl of immense quality that will cause it to be a standard-bearer of the modern era.
The teams combined for 868 yards and 61 points but was won by the Patriots' Adam Vinatieri's 41-yard field goal with a paltry four seconds remaining. Tom Brady was named MVP having set a Super Bowl record for pass completions - unfortunately the majestic performances on the field were not matched by Janet Jackson's notorious half-time calamity.
Super Bowl XXIII, San Francisco 49ers 20-16 Cincinnati Bengals
'Joe Cool' cemented his legend in 1989 with the third of his four Super Bowl victories. All-time NFL legend Joe Montana was instrumental as the 49ers strode 92 yards down the field in just three minutes before their star player threw to John Taylor who scored the game-winning touchdown in the final minute.
49ers head coach Bill Walsh retired with his third Super Bowl win, while the game's MVP Jerry Rice caught 11 passes for 215 yards. A trio of San Francisco icons reigned supreme.
Super Bowl XLII, New York Giants 17-14 New England Patriots
The Patriots and their star-studded roster had become the first team since the '72 Dolphins to arrive at a Super Bowl unbeaten, and the only team since the NFL expanded to 16 games. The 2008 clash in Arizona also happened to be a rematch of the final regular season game in which the Patriots coasted to victory.
So when Eli Manning's Giants secured the biggest prize in American sports the game went down in history as Super Bowl's biggest upset. It is best remembered for the winning play when David Tyree somehow caught the ball by trapping it on his own helmet to stun Tom Brady's Patriots.
Super Bowl XXV, New York Giants 20-19 Buffalo Bills
The 1990 edition of the game remains the only occasion where a single point separated the winners from the losers. Played at the height of the Gulf War, it was a particularly emotive and patriotic display with a spine-tingling 'Star Spangled Banner' sung by Whitney Houston to set the mood.
The first Super Bowl between two teams from the same state is best known for Bills' kicker Scott Norwood's last-second field goal attempt. With his boot set to define history, he sent the ball inches wide.
Super Bowl XXXII, Denver Broncos 31-24 Green Bay Packers
The Broncos won their first championship in the 1997 season having lost four consecutive Super Bowls. They returned having already gotten over the mental hurdle of claiming the prize for the inaugural time.
Terrell Davis, the Broncos' running back, was stricken with a migraine so severe that he missed significant portions of the game but he was still named MVP after running 157 yards and scoring a Super Bowl record three rushing touchdowns.
Super Bowl XXXIV, St Louis Rams 23-16 Tennessee Titans
The Titans found themselves just 'One Yard Short' and their attempt at glory flickered past by the narrowest of margins. The 2000 game was defined by 'The Tackle' - a moment of NFL fairytale - when Rams' Mike Jones prevented a game-tying touchdown by halting Titans' Kevin Dyson one yard short of the end-zone.
Meanwhile, Rams' quarterback Kurt Warner dominated the game with 24 successful passes from 45 attempts for 414 yards and two touchdowns, and no interceptions. The 'Dot Com Super Bowl' was also the first of its kind as the world became immersed in the Internet age which would change the NFL's biggest game forever.