Super Bowl 46: Top Super Bowl Games in the Past Decade

Jake Martin@JakeMartinSECCorrespondent IIIJanuary 31, 2012

Super Bowl 46: Top Super Bowl Games in the Past Decade

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    The New York Giants and New England Patriots clash at Super Bowl 42 was one of the greatest games in Super Bowl history, and fans are hoping the sequel this Sunday will be just as good.

    In 2007, the Patriots were on the verge of making history and becoming the greatest team of all-time with a 19-0 record, but the Giants had something to say about that.

    The Giants pulled off one of the greatest upsets in sports history when they defeated the Patriots, 17-14, and it couldn't have been written any better. Eli Manning evaded tacklers inside the pocket just to get rid of the football, only to fall between David Tyree's hand and helmet, was dramatic to say the least.

    Super Bowl 42 was indeed an instant classic, but where does it stack up among the best Super Bowls in the past decade?

10. Super Bowl 37: Buccaneers 48, Raiders 21

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    This game was a downright blowout.

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers used their unforgiving defense to trample over the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl 37. Between Dwight Smith's two pick-sixes and Derrick Brooks' interception for a touchdown, the Bucs had three interceptions returned for touchdowns.

    In fact, the Bucs would pick Rich Gannon off five times and ultimately dismantle the Raiders, 48-21.

9. Super Bowl 41: Colts 29, Bears 17

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    Super Bowl 41 was sloppy, muggy and pretty historic.

    It was historic because Tony Dungy would become the first black head coach to win a Super Bowl, and perhaps one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time, Peyton Manning, would get his first ring.

    The game started off with a bang, as Devin Hester took the kickoff 92 yards to put the Bears up 7-0. Though the Chicago Bears went up 14-6 in the first quarter, Manning and the Indianapolis Colts went to work and didn't skip a beat.

    Manning would finish the game with 247 yards and a touchdown and proved that not even the soggiest of playing fields could keep him from winning his first championship.

8. Super Bowl 40: Steelers 21, Seahawks 10

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    In a league that features dynamic offenses, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks reminded the world that defense wins championships.

    Super Bowl 40 was a defensive game that was highlighted by a Willie Parker 75-yard touchdown run and a 43-yard reverse touchdown pass from Antwaan Randle El to Hines Ward.

    The reverse pass would seal the deal for the Steelers, and the franchise that has the most Super Bowl rings in history would get their fifth.

7. Super Bowl 45: Packers 31, Steelers 25

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    Super Bowl 45 was a Green Bay Packers romping at first, but the Pittsburgh Steelers did fight back valiantly.

    After a dynamic performance from Aaron Rodgers and a 21-3 lead in the second quarter, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers would march down the field and hit Hines Ward for a touchdown pass right before the half.

    The Steelers would cut the lead to four in the third quarter, but failed to capitalize on scoring opportunities, and after a crucial fumble by Rashard Mendenhall, Rodgers would lead the Packers down the field and put the Packers up 28-17 with a touchdown pass to Greg Jennings.

    In the end, the lead proved to be too much for the Steelers to overcome, and the Packers brought home that Lombardi Trophy with a 31-25 Super Bowl win.

6. Super Bowl 39: Patriots 24, Eagles 21

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    And thus, the dynasty was born.

    The New England Patriots were going for their third Super Bowl victory in four years, and the only team stopping them from achieving that goal was the Philadelphia Eagles.

    The most memorable moment from this game was the effort by a wounded Terrell Owens. I hate to give the devil its due, but he played courageously after recovering from his broken foot and almost led the Eagles to victory.

    However, Tom Brady's fantastic play with 236 passing yards and two touchdowns would turn out to be the difference maker. Though the Eagles didn't go down without a fight, the Pats' 24-14 lead with under 10 minutes left in the game would be enough to give them the 24-21 victory.

5. Super Bowl 44: Saints 31, Colts 17

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    The New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts had a barn-burner in Miami.

    It wasn't until the clock hit 3:22 that the game changed dramatically. Down 24-17, Peyton Manning and the Colts were getting ready to do what they do best, and that's mount a drive.

    As the clock began to tick, Manning would throw to Reggie Wayne, and Tracy Porter would make the greatest play in New Orleans Saints history.

    Porter undercut the route, intercepted Manning and took it to the house. After Drew Brees' nearly flawless performance, Porter's interception and an onside kick to begin the third quarter, the Saints would get their first Super Bowl victory in franchise history.

4. Super Bowl 38: Patriots 32, Panthers 29

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    Super Bowl 38 went from a potential blowout victory for the New England Patriots to a nail-biting thriller.

    The game between the Patriots and the Carolina Panthers would hold scoreless until Tom Brady hit Deion Branch for a touchdown with 3:05 left in the half. Once the Patriots went up 21-10, the Carolina Panthers went to work.

    DeShaun Foster would score on a 33-yard run in the fourth quarter, and after an interception by Brady, Jake Delhomme would hit Muhsin Muhammad for an 85-yard touchdown and the lead.

    After both teams socred touchdowns, the game was tied at 29, and after a botched kickoff that allowed the Patriots to start their drive on their 40-yard line, Adam Vinateiri would come on to make another game-winning field goal. He nailed the 41-yarder to give the Pats a 32-29 victory in a classic.

3. Super Bowl 36: Patriots 20, Rams 17

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    Everyone loves a good underdog story, and this time, the New England Patriots played the role.

    Facing the high-powered offense of the St. Louis Rams, the Patriots relied on good defense, Tom Brady's accuracy and Adam Vinateiri to pull off the upset.

    After coming back from a two-touchdown deficit, the Rams became alive and tied the game up at 17 in the fourth quarter. This led to the beginning of Brady's legacy and the legacy of the greatest kicker of all-time, Vinateiri.

    Once Brady got them into position with less than 10 seconds left to play, Vinateiri strut on to make a game-winning kick. He nailed the 48-yard field goal, and the Patriots dynasty was officially underway.

2. Super Bowl 43: Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Arizona Cardinals 23

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    The first half of Super Bowl 43 ended in exciting fashion to say the least.

    James Harrison intercepted Kurt Warner's pass in the end zone and scampered 99 yards down the sidelines and score. It was certainly one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history.

    However, this game became a heart-pounding adrenaline rush with three minutes to go in the game. Leading 20-14, Ben Roethlisberger would connect with Santonio Holmes for a first down, but there was a holding call in the end zone, which resulted in a safety.

    Down by four, the Arizona Cardinals would get a chance to take the lead, and they did just that with Larry Fitzgerald. Warner hit Fitzgerald for a 64-yard touchdown, but the Cardinals would leave too much time on the clock.

    Roethlisberger drove the Pittsburgh Steelers down the field, and Holmes would make an incredible touchdown reception to win the game for the Steelers, 27-23.

1. Super Bowl 42: Giants 17, Patriots 14

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    There's no denying that Super Bowl 42 was the best Super Bowl in recent memory, and it just might be the greatest of all-time.

    Down by four with a little over a minute left to play and facing a 3rd-and-5, Eli Manning lined up in shotgun for a play that would forever define his legacy. Peyton Manning's little brother took the snap, escaped the arms of two defensive lineman and let the ball rip downfield.

    Awaiting Manning's perfect spiral was a leaping David Tyree, and the ball stuck to his helmet like glue. The play looked like it was scripted straight out of Hollywood, and it was the beginning of the end for the New England Patriots' attempt at perfection.

    Manning would drive the ball down the field and hit Plaxico Burress for a touchdown to put the New York Giants up by three and win the game, 17-14. It was a storybook ending for the underdogs from New York.