Deadspin’s Super Bowl trivia extravaganza will test your NFL fan cred & get you pumped for gametimeFebruary 5, 2021
Atlanta led 28-3 midway through the third quarter during Super Bowl LI. Then, well, you know what happened. The Patriots wound up winning the game 34-28 and completing one of the most surprising comebacks in Super Bowl history.
18 years before the humiliating loss, a Falcons star embarrassed himself the night before his team played The Big Game. Atlanta’s Pro Bowl safety, Eugene Robinson, was arrested for solicitation of prostitution less than 24 hours before Super Bowl XXXIII. The Falcons lost that one too, 34-19.
Carolina’s first chance to win a title came in a 2004 classic against a young Tom Brady and the Patriots. With just over a minute left in the fourth quarter, Panthers receiver Ricky Proehl caught a 12-yard touchdown from Jake Delhomme to tie the game up. But right before time expired the GOAT — no, not that one — Adam Vinatieri kicked a 41-yard field goal to seal the game.
And in 2016, a year before the Falcons choked in epic fashion, the Panthers had another opportunity to win their first Super Bowl in franchise history. Except… they ran into Peyton Manning and a historically great Broncos defense. Cam Newton, who won MVP that season, was shut down and Denver ended up winning 24-10.
The Cardinals won a championship in 1947, 20 years before Super Bowl I kicked off, as the Chicago Cardinals. The only Super Bowl the St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals appeared in was XLIII (2009), against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
With just over two minutes left in the game, Larry Fitzgerald scored a 64-yard touchdown to give Arizona a three-point lead. But the Steelers marched down the field and Santonio Holmes tiptoed in for a game winning catch.
When the Houston Oilers became the Tennessee Oilers in 1997 then changed their name to the Tennessee Titans in 1999, playoff success followed suit.
The Titans played in their one and only Super Bowl on January 30, 2000 and came up juuuuuuust a wee-bit short. In the final play of the game, Titans QB Steve McNair threw a quick slant to Kevin Dyson who was tackled a yard short of the end zone. The game saving tackle gave Kurt Warner’s Rams a 23-16 win.
There are two teams in the NFL who have been to four Super Bowls without winning one. The Bills are one of ‘em.
In the early 90’s Jim Kelly’s squad lost four straight Super Bowls.
Los Angeles Chargers
The San Diego Chargers won an AFL title in the 1963 season and played a few more championship games in the early to mid ‘60s. But the team didn’t compete for a Super Bowl until January 29, 1995. That day, Jerry Rice and Steve Young overwhelmed the Chargers. Young threw for 6 touchdowns — 3 of them to Rice — on his way to winning the Big Game 49-26.
Remember when I said there are two teams in the NFL who have been to four Super Bowls without winning one? The Bills are one of ’em, the Vikings are the other.
Minnesota lost its first Super Bowl in 1970 against the Chiefs. As the decade went on, the Vikings had a somewhat of a Super Bowl appearance streak, losing in ’74, ’75, and ’77 to Shula’s Dolphins, Noll’s Steelers, and Madden’s Raiders respectively.
The Bengals went to two Super Bowls in the 80s. In ’82 Cincinnati fell to Joe Montana and the 49ers. In ‘89 the Bengals and their MVP QB, Boomer Esiason, went up against Montana and the 49ers again, and lost again, 20-16 in a last-minute thriller that saw Montana drive his team the length of the field for a game-winning TD.
And of course, we’ve already covered the Lions, Browns, Jags and Texans.