5 Greatest Super Bowl Teams

In leading up the big game in New Orleans on sunday, I’ve been watching a lot of the show America’s Game, which documents each team that has ever won the super bowl.  Aside from watching that, I’ve also done some research and chose the five greatest super bowl teams.

1. 1992 Dallas Cowboys

Being a young Cowboys fan, I only wish I could have been alive for this team.  This was the first of three super bowls won by Dallas in the 1990’s, and the 1992 team was by far the most impressive.  Led by the triplets, Troy Aikman, Emmit Smith, and Michael Irvin, the Cowboys had the one of the best offenses, and the number one defense in the league.  The Cowboys eased its way through the regular season, finishing with 13-3 record.  Then Dallas cruised past the Eagles and 49ers before embarrassing the Buffalo Bills, 52-17, forcing an unthinkable nine Buffalo turnovers. Dallas went on to repeat in 1993, then won again in 1995 after head coach Jimmy Johnson and owner Jerry Jones “divorced” in 1994.

2. 1984 San Francisco 49ers

For a 15-1 team (only loss by a field goal) that obliterated nearly every team in their path in 1984, these Niners seem to get overshadowed at times when looking back through Super Bowl history.  And this was a 15-1 team without players like Jerry Rice and John Taylor. All the hype entering Super Bowl XIX centered around the QB matchup of Joe Montana and Miami’s young gun Dan Marino, who had shattered passing records throughout the ’84 season. But the 49ers had the NFL’s No. 2-ranked offense and top-ranked scoring defense. Great defense (and Montana) beat great offense, as the 49ers won easily, 38-16.

3. 1972 Miami Dolphins

The only undefeated team in NFL history? Yes. The best team of all time? No.  I’m not bashing on this team, but they did only play two teams with winning records, and both of those teams were 8-6.  Nevertheless, the Dolphins won all 14 regular season games, and then three more in the playoffs. They had a great coach in Don Shula, and legendary players like Larry Csonka and Paul Warfield.  What I also failed to mention is that Miami beat the 10-4 Browns and 11-3 Steelers in the playoffs before taking apart the 11-3 Redskins in the Super Bowl. 

2. 1985 Chicago Bears

Many people believe that this was the greatest team of all time, and they have a point.  Not only did they have arguably the greatest defense of all time, they might have had the greatest player of all time, Walter Payton.  However, if it wasn’t for Payton at running back, the Bears offense would have been a laughing stock.  In the playoffs, though, they certainly looked like a legendary team, posting back to back shutouts in the divisional round and the conference championship.  Then in the super bowl they dismantled the Patriots 46-10 with William “Refrigerator” Perry running over the New England lineman for a touchdown.  Coached by Mike Ditka, the 85 Bears were an all time team, but not quite the best.

1. 1989 San Francisco 49ers

For all the genius of legendary 49ers head coach Bill Walsh, it’s somewhat bizarre that San Francisco’s most dominant Super Bowl team came the year after Walsh retired following his third Super Bowl title in 1988. Replacement head coach George Seifert was the beneficiary of an incredible postseason run as the 49ers blew out their three playoff opponents by a combined 126-26.  In a year where Joe Montana had one of the best years by a quarterback in league history. the Niners lost only two games.  In the biggest game, the super bowl against the Broncos, the Niners won the championship by halftime.  Montana threw three touchdowns and San Francisco won the game 55-10, earning the top spot on this list.

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Best Pro Canes Of All Time

As a Miami Hurricanes fan, Ray Lewis’ retirement got me thinking.  Who are the best pro football players ever to come out of the U.  I thought long and hard about this, and came up with a list of five former Hurricanes. 

5. Jim Kelly

During his Hall of Fame career, quarterback Jim Kelly led the Buffalo Bills to the playoffs eight times and the Super Bowl four consecutive years.  However, when most people think of Kelly, they usually think of his disappointing play in the biggest game.  Four straight Super Bowl losses from 1990 to 1993.  Granted, Kelly did not play his best when it mattered most, but he did help revolutionize the game with his “no huddle offense” in the early 90’s. In 11 seasons in Buffalo, Kelly racked up 35,467 passing yards, 2,874 completions, and 237 touchdowns.  He eclipsed 3,000 yards passing in eight of those 11 years, was named to the Pro Bowl five times, and threw 21 touchdown passes in 17 playoff games.    

4. Michael Irvin

Personally, Michael Irvin is my favorite Hurricanes ever,  because he also played for the Cowboys.  After leading the Canes to a National Championship in 1987, he led Dallas to three Super Bowls in four years.  Irvin, who spent 12 years with the Cowboys, was as successful on the gridiron as he was flamboyant off of it.  And unfortunately, some of his greatest accomplishments will always be tainted by his numerous brushes with the law, including multiple drug arrests.  Michael Irvin finished his career with 750 receptions for 11,904 yards, and 65 touchdowns.

3. Jim Otto

Some people say that playing on the offensive line has no glory. But it’s difficult to imagine any one player dominating the honors at one position more completely than Jim Otto  did both in the American Football League and in the National Football League from 1960 through 1974. During his 15-year career, he participated in each of the nine AFL All-Star games that were played and in the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl the first three seasons that postseason classic was scheduled. Jim never missed a game. When he retired following the 1974 season, he had started in 210 straight games in regular season but had played in 308 games as a Raider.  He was a 12 time Pro Bowler and a Hall of Fame inductee in 1980.

2. Ted Hendricks

A three-time All-American as a linebacker and defensive end at the  U, Ted Hendricks began his 15-season pro football career as the second-round pick of the Baltimore Colts in the 1969 AFL-NFL Draft. He signed with the Raiders in 1974 and played nine seasons with Oakland until his retirement in 1983. In his career, he intercepted 26 passes, which he returned for 332 yards and a touchdown. He also recovered 16 opponents’ fumbles and scored a record-tying four safeties. Hendricks scored touchdowns on an interception, a fumble return, and a blocked punt.  Hendricks, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990, was a four time All-Pro and won a Super Bowl in his final game.

1. Ray Lewis

Whenever the Baltimore Ravens’ NFL playoff run ends this season, it also will mark the end of a remarkable career.  A first-round draft pick of the Ravens in 1995, he has played 17 NFL seasons. Selected to 13 Pro Bowls, a seven-time All-Pro pick and a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Lewis is the definition of playmaker. He has recorded 41 1/2 sacks, 31 interceptions, 19 forced fumbles and 19 fumble recoveries.  He was also the leader of perhaps the greatest defense of all time, the 2000 Ravens, who defeated the Giants in the Super Bowl 34-7.  Without a doubt, the ex-Hurricanes star is a Hall of Famer the first year he becomes eligible, as is his current Baltimore and ex-Miami teammate, Ed Reed.  Lewis’ on-field performance, combined with his larger-than-life personality and passion for the Miami Hurricanes program, have made Lewis the gold standard for UM linebackers. For ‘Canes fans, and indeed for football fans everywhere, regardless of your rooting interest, Ray Lewis is, in a word, unforgettable, and the greatest pro to ever come out of the U.

 

Lewis’ Legacy

After 17 years, 13 Pro Bowls, seven time All-Pro, and a Super Bowl championship, Ray Lewis has announced that he will be retiring from the NFL after the playoffs.  But Lewis not only will leave Baltimore as one of the greatest linebackers to ever play the game, he will leave a lasting legacy that probably will not be matched.

His individual accomplishments are tremendous and will make him a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2018: 12 career Pro Bowl appearances, seven first team All-Pro selections, 227 starts in 228 career games, one Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award, two Defensive Player of the Year honors. He was the young cornerstone of the Ravens in 2000, led by RodWoodson, that set an NFL record for the fewest points allowed in a 16-game season and smothered the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV, winning 34-7.

Lewis was drafted out of the University of Miami in the first round of the 1996 Draft.  He was the second pick in the history of the Baltimore Ravens, behind Jonathan Ogden, who was picked earlier in the draft.  Thought to be to small for a linebacker, Lewis has not stopped leading the Ravens defense, and has made them the best defensive team over the last decade.  

However, most fans have a different image of Lewis that is away from the playing field.  Lewis’ involvement in the murder of Richard Lollar and Jacinth Baker on a January night in 2000 led many people to think differently on Lewis’ legacy.  

Some people, will never forget that incident and always give the “yeah but” statement whenever people talk about his accomplishments.  However, for me, I will always look at him for his on the field achievements and not his problems off the gridiron.  Being a Miami Hurricanes fan, Lewis will always be one of my personal favorite players and.  He’s without a doubt the best player in the history of the Ravens and will be missed by the league and the fans.