Great games and the Patriots go together

Tom Brady photo courtesy of the New England Patriots

The NFL has been handing out the Lombardi Trophy for 51 years now.

New England didn’t start winning those trophies until 2002 – but according to last week’s Talk of Fame Network poll, the Patriots have already played in the three greatest Super Bowls. And the last one – the monumental 25-point second-half comeback to overtake the Atlanta Falcons this month – ranks as the greatest Super Bowl of all time.

We gave our listeners and readers great Super Bowls – games played in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 2000s and 2010s – and asked them to pick the greatest Super Bowl of all time. The 2017 game that saw Tom Brady throw a record 62 passes for a record 466 yards was the overwhelming winner. That game received 43 percent of the vote.

New England’s 2007 game with the Giants, when the Patriots saw their perfect 18-0 season go up in smoke against New York, ranked as the second-best Super Bowl of all-time with 16 percent of the vote. The 2015 game against Seattle,when a Malcolm Butler interception on the goal line in the closing seconds allowed the Patriots to escape with a 28-24 victory, finished third in the voting at 12 percent.

The best non-Patriot Super Bowl was the 2009 game between the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers, which received 11 percent of the vote. Also finishing with single-digit support was the 1979 game between the Cowboys and Steelers, the 2000 game between the Titans and Rams, the 1989 game between the Bengals and 49ers and the 1969 game between the Colts and Jets.

The three Talk of Fame Network hosts – Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge – were unanimous in their support of the 2017 Super Bowl.

“The most historic Super Bowl of all time was Super Bowl III,” Judge said. “It’s not even close. It announced the arrival of the AFL and put it on equal footing with the NFL.

“But the best … or most exciting? Super Bowl LI. It had the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, the first overtime in Super Bowl history and the first quarterback to win five Lombardi Trophies. Plus, it was the coronation of Tom Brady and the Patriots as one of the greatest dynasties in NFL history. In short, it had it all.”

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  1. Rasputin
    February 15, 2017

    “Greatest” in this context basically just means closest, or most exciting down the wire. The Patriots are the first Parity Era dynasty and have fittingly won all their Super Bowls by one score, 3 or 4 points and one OT TD.

    My favorite Super Bowl remains XXVII, both because it was my first time getting to see the Cowboys in the final game and because it turned into an exhibition of that team’s historical greatness.

    • February 15, 2017

      Understood. Greatest in my mind was Super Bowl III because it changed the face of the game. But most exciting? You are correct. That is what … I believe, at least … is meant here. And, in my mind, Super Bowl LI was winner.

  2. Martin Sexton
    February 15, 2017

    Just like the first response, I believe the reason “great games and the Patriots go together” is that every game they play is close. Close games make for exciting football. No one in the middle of the third qtr of SB LI would have considered it “exciting.” What made it exciting was from that moment on. Unfortunately, Atlanta had a lot to do with that. In fact, if not for some questionable decisions by the Patriots opponents in their last two Super Bowls, they might have lost them both. Doesn’t change the fact that the greatest comeback in SB history was certainly exciting…once you got past the middle of the third quarter.

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