“Worsts” in Super Bowl History

I’m going to start with the worst teams, and the worst QBs. I’m going to answer this with whatever comes to mind first. Here we go:

Teams: 2006 Chicago Bears (lost to Colts) 1999 Tennessee Titans (lost to Rams) 1991 New York Giants (beat Bills) 1994 San Diego Chargers (lost to 49ers) 2001 New England Patriots (beat Rams) Maybe I’m being too harsh on the Chargers, although I feel like if I’m going to include the Titans, the Chargers are on a similar level. To be clear, I wouldn’t say that those teams were terrible, just two of the weaker teams. Then again, if I think harder, I feel like I could probably add similar ones. For example, I suspect the 1985 New England Patriots would be in there (although being destroyed by the Bears is coloring my impression of them. Still, I don’t recall them being a really good team that year). I might also put in ’78 Broncos, the one I recall the Cowboys crushing. Or the ’81(?) Rams team that lost to the Steelers. But I’m relying on the way they played in the Super Bowl, and not how they played the entire year. Plus, my memory of the Super Bowl is hazy. (Actually, didn’t the Rams hang in there in the first half?) The ’80 Eagles might not have been a weaker Super Bowl team, but I can’t really remember. QBs: Rex Grossman (2006 Bears) Trent Dilfer (2000 Ravens) Kerry Collins (2000 Giants) Jeff Hostetler (1991 Giants; it pains me to put him in there. But he might be in there because he was a backup.) Peyton Manning (2015 Broncos) John Elway (1998 Broncos, maybe 1999, too) I think Nick Foles (2017 Eagles) is an iffy one. Same with Jared Goff (2018 Rams). Maybe Tony Eason (1985 Patriots).

8 thoughts on ““Worsts” in Super Bowl History

  1. I’m nearly shocked that you don’t have the 2003 Raiders on this list. You hated that team! And no. The ’85 Patriots were pretty bad. They were the second team I thought of after the 1980 Rams (who lost to the Steelers).

    1. I really disliked that team (yeah, approaching hate), but a lot of that had to do with their offensive style of play. Just because a team plays in a style I hate, that doesn’t mean they’re not a good team. Now, I don’t think they were a really good team, and maybe you could include them on the list of weaker Super Bowl teams.

      The ’85 Patriots were pretty bad.

      Yeah–or at least not very good. What was up with the AFC that year? I think the Dolphins lost to them in the AFC Championship. (I would have loved to see the Dolphins play the Bears in the Super Bowl, as the Dolphins were the only team to beat the Bears that year.) I wonder what happened to the Broncos. Man, if the Raiders had Hos in his prime at that time, they could have gone to the Super Bowl. They probably would have lost to the Bears, though.

  2. I think the 2001 Patriots actually had their best defensive team in the Brady Era. They had guys like Lawyer Milloy, Bruschi, Ty Law, Vrabel, and Seymour. As compared to the 2018 Patriots (or is it 2019 Patriots), who were maybe an average defense with good schemes. Not to say Belichick didn’t scheme them up in 2001, but they may have actually had some talent.

    1. When the 2013 Seahawks defense shut down the Broncos in the Super Bowl, maybe the way they shut them down was surprising, but given how good they were, it’s not completely surprising. Did you feel the same way about the 2001 Patriots against the Greatest Show on Turf? My memory might be bad, but I didn’t. Despite those name players (and my impression was that Bruschi and Vrabel were solid, but not great. If you listed the best LBs through the decades, I’m not sure I’d mention them), I don’t recall them being a great defense.

      I will say that I think they were better than the 2018 Patriots defense, but I could be wrong. What I remember of the early Patriot defenses (and teams overall): They weren’t very impressive or dominant. Every season after 2001, I didn’t think they would be very good. They would get to the playoffs or Super Bowl, and then at some point, I started thinking it was Belichick’s coaching. I felt like they were winning with smoke and mirrors.

      By the way, out of the all the NFL dynasties, I feel like the Patriots are the least talented.

    2. I thought Seymour was on his way to a Hall of Fame career before he went to Oakland. So I might be wrong, but he was pretty great for a few years in NE.

    3. I’m curious to hear how you’d compare 2001 Patriots defense to other previous really good defenses. Would they compare favorably to the Doomsday defense, the best 49er or Redskin defenses in the 80s? Or what about the 2000 Giants defense?

      1. No you are right the 2001 Pats are not a great defense. I was just pointing out they were probably the best in the Brady era. And what you sort of insinuated they were all not in the great category.

  3. (I came across this thread, while looking for another one.)

    A few comments:

    I might have to take off the ’91 Giants. From what I remember their offense was lackluster, but their defense might have been better than remember. This came to mind because I recently saw highlights of the NFCCG against the 49ers. The Giants defense did a really good job containing the 49ers. (Montana did get injured, but he left at some point in the 4th quarter. The Giants held the 49ers to 12 or 13 points at that point.)

    Should Brad Johnson (2002) be on the list? In his prime, he was a solid QB–I definitely think he was significantly better than Grossman, Dilfer, and Collins. I would choose him over Steve McNair (at least the 1999 version of McNair).

    What are the worst OLs and DLs to ever play in the Super Bowl? For OL, the 2013 and maybe the 2014 Seahawks would be on the list. Not sure about DLs. Maybe some of the Patriot DLs in the later 2000s or 2010s?

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