Ten Worst Super Bowls of All Time and How Many the Broncos Were In

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The Super Bowl LII match-up between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles, which hits American screens on Sunday, February 4, has generated little interest among folks not living in those cities, since most observers expect the Pats and rightfully hated quarterback Tom Brady to clobber a backup-QB-helmed Philly squad without breaking a sweat. But Denver Broncos fans pissed that their team didn't get anywhere close to the big game after winning it just two short years ago should feel better after checking out the following list of the worst Super Bowls ever. After all, the Broncos played in four of them, including three of the bottom six.

The roster was compiled last February by CBS Sports's Will Brinson, who ranked the first fifty Super Bowls from worst to first, and it still stands up. After all, Super Bowl LI was an objectively exciting game even if it did end with Brady (eeesh) hoisting the Lombardi Trophy yet again.

As for Denver's presence in so many of the lousiest contests, that's ultra-justifiable, too. While the Broncos have won the Super Bowl on three occasions, they've lost five times. Moreover, only two of those defeats were kinda/sorta competitive for a while. Denver led the New York Giants 10-7 going into the second quarter of Super Bowl XXI before ultimately falling by a 39-20 score and put up the first ten points against the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XXII before the roof collapsed in an epic way.

The rest of the Denver Super Bowl defeats were essentially no-hopers that left this particular Broncos loyalist feeling as if I'd been slowly dragged from the back of a truck for three hours.

Here's the bottom ten, complete with Brinson's brief summaries and videos from the four in which Denver appeared, for any sadomasochist who feels like reliving them.

Number 10. Super Bowl XII
Dallas Cowboys 27, Denver Broncos 10

"The Broncos were never really any closer than 10 points in this game and Craig Morton's 4-for-15, 39-yard, four-interception performance kind of summed up Denver's effort."

Number 9: Super Bowl VIII
Miami Dolphins 24, Minnesota Vikings 7

"Bob Griese completed over 85 percent of his passes in this game, completing six of his seven attempts. The Dolphins fed Larry Csonka the ball 33 times for 145 yards and led 24-0 going into the fourth quarter."

Number 8: Super Bowl IV
Kansas City Chiefs 23, Minnesota Vikings 7

"Hank Stram's Chiefs handled the Vikings, snuffing out the rushing attack in a game with pretty sloppy weather. Friendly reminder that Len Dawson is amazing."

Number 7: Super Bowl XXVII
Dallas Cowboys 52, Buffalo Bills 17

"This game should have been 59-17 except for Don Beebe chasing down Leon Lett late in the game to stop the Cowboys from scoring again. Otherwise it was a depantsing that featured Jim Kelly getting hurt (Frank Reich replaced him) and Troy Aikman going 22 for 30 for 273 yards and four touchdown passes to kick start the Cowboys dynasty of the '90s."

Number 6: Super Bowl XXII
Washington Redskins 42, Denver Broncos 10

"Doug Williams became the first African-American quarterback to start, and after trailing 10-0 in the first quarter, the Redskins responded with an absurd 42 unanswered points, 35 in the second quarter. This was not a thriller in the second half."
Number 5: Super Bowl XXXVII
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48, Oakland Raiders 21

"The Jon Gruden Bowl sent the Raiders spiraling (they wouldn't return to the playoffs until 2016!) following a devastating blowout. The Bucs' defense suffocated the powerful Raiders offense. It's not fair that Rich Gannon and that offense is remembered by this game. They were incredible."

Number 4: Super Bowl XXXV
Baltimore Ravens 34, New York Giants 7

"The Giants had the tables turned on them after demolishing the Vikings 41-0 in the NFC Championship Game, getting completely snuffed out by the Ravens in the title game. I always think about the alleged $20,000 preseason bet Phil Mickelson put on the Ravens to win it all when I think of this game."

Number 3: Super Bowl XXIV
San Francisco 49ers 55, Denver Broncos 10

"An absolute blasting that was out of hand by halftime (27-3) as an utterly dominant Niners squad that was loaded on both sides of the ball just beat up on an overmatched Broncos team. Dominance is fun but not when you want an epic game. The Broncos were actually the top defensive team in football here."

Number 2: Super Bowl XLVIII
Seattle Seahawks 43, Denver Broncos 8

"Start to finish the Seahawks defense absolutely dominated Peyton Manning and the favored Broncos' historic offense. An absolute bludgeoning that no one saw coming."

Number 1: Super Bowl XXIX
San Francisco 49ers 49, San Diego Chargers 26

"Steve Young threw six touchdown passes and the Niners nearly hung a 50 burger in a Super Bowl, demolishing the Chargers in a game that didn't even feel this close."
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts