In the 48-year history of the Super Bowl, 17 of those games (35.4%) were decided by one score (eight points or less). Unfortunately, last year’s Seattle win over Denver, 43-8, finished at the other end of the spectrum with a blowout that was the third largest margin in the game’s history.
Three teams have lost multiple Super Bowl games by eight points or less: Dallas (lost three) and New England and Cincinnati (each lost two). For Dallas, they lost their three Super Bowls by three, four and four points. The Cowboys have, however, won five Super Bowls, which makes those close losses a little easier to take. The Bengals, on the other hand, lost two Super Bowls by four and five points in their only two appearances in the big game. New England has three Super Bowl victories and two losses by three and four points. It’s interesting to note that the Patriots won each of their three championships by three points each.
Here’s a look at the games in Super Bowl history that were decided by one score.
Point Differential, Super Bowl Games (Date of Game)
1: N.Y. Giants over Buffalo (1991)
3: Baltimore over Dallas (1971); New England over St. Louis (2002); New England over Carolina (2004); New England over Philadelphia (2005); N.Y. Giants over New England (2008); Baltimore over San Francisco (2013)
4: Pittsburgh over Dallas (1976); Pittsburgh over Dallas (1979); San Francisco over Cincinnati (1989); Pittsburgh over Arizona (2009); N.Y. Giants over New England (2012)
5: San Francisco over Cincinnati (1982)
6: Green Bay over Pittsburgh (2011)
7: Miami over Washington (1973); Denver over Green Bay (1988); St. Louis over Tennessee (2000)
Note: Six of the 17 one-score Super Bowls have happened in the past 10 years.
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