Skip to main content

While the Super Bowl is supposed to be a battle between the two best teams in the NFL, the Big Game sometimes turns out to be an absolute dud.

With that in mind, here’s a look at the five biggest blowouts in Super Bowl history.

5. Super Bowl 22: Washington 42, Denver 10

In the strike-shortened 1987 season, the team now known as the Washington Commanders finished the year 11-4 while the Denver Broncos went 10-4-1 with John Elway winning NFL MVP en route to Super Bowl 22. Washington boasted one of the highest-scoring offenses and best defenses in the NFL, which propelled them through the NFC to their matchup with Denver.

Things looked good early on for the Broncos and Elway, who hoped for his first Super Bowl ring. The quarterback threw an early 56-yard touchdown pass, and the team later kicked a field goal, heading into the second quarter up 10-0.

But Washington quarterback Doug Williams, who started just two games in the regular season, threw four touchdown passes in the second quarter as Washington dropped 35 points on the Broncos in the second 15 minutes. Washington scored 42 unanswered points and took what, at the time, was the second-biggest blowout in Super Bowl history.

T3. Super Bowl 48: Seattle 43, Denver 8

Following the 2013 season, Peyton Manning led the Denver Broncos to the Super Bowl for the first time since Elway retired after back-to-back title wins in the late ’90s. The team was an offensive juggernaut, leading the NFL with 37.9 points per game. But on the other side of the field sat the Seattle Seahawks, who posted a 13-3 record and were the top-rated defensive team in the league.

On the game’s opening play, the ball was snapped well over Manning’s head and into the end zone, where Denver running back Knowshon Moreno recovered it. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it out before he was tackled, resulting in a Seahawks safety.

Seattle carried on, taking a 36-0 lead near the end of the third quarter before the Broncos finally scored a touchdown. Super Bowl 48 finished with a final score of 43-8 in favor of the Seahawks. Ouch.

T3. Super Bowl 27: Dallas 52, Buffalo 17

In 1992, the young offensive trio of quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith, and wide receiver Michael Irvin led the Dallas Cowboys to a 13-3 record and an appearance in the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1978 season. The Buffalo Bills were 11-5 and coached by Marv Levy, who led the team to the Super Bowl the previous two seasons, losing both times.

The Bills opened up the scoring on a two-yard rush by Thurman Thomas, making the score 7-0 in favor of Buffalo. But the Cowboys bounced right back with a touchdown of their own, and then a fumble recovery led to another Dallas score. On the whole, Buffalo turned the ball over an absurd nine times, which led to the embarrassing 52-17 final score in favor of Dallas.

2. Super Bowl 20: Chicago 46, New England 10

In 1985, the Chicago Bears were the undisputed best team in the league. They boasted a 15-1 record, crushing teams with their powerful defense, and shuffled all the way to the Super Bowl. The 11-5 New England Patriots weren’t the best team in their conference, but went on the road three times in the postseason and won all three, sending them to a matchup with the Bears in Super Bowl 20.

New England opened up with a 3-0 lead in the first quarter, and for a brief moment, it looked like it would become a competitive, exciting game for fans.

But the Bears scored 44 consecutive points, including a defensive touchdown and a one-yard rush at the goal line by defensive tackle William “Refrigerator” Perry. The Chicago Bears won 46-10 in a game that never looked all that close.

1. Super Bowl 24: San Francisco 55, Denver 10

Two seasons after their embarrassing loss in Super Bowl 22, the Broncos experienced another excellent year. Elway led the team to an 11-5 record, powering them through the playoffs past the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns. The San Francisco 49ers, however, were the best team in football that season, boasting a 14-2 record behind NFL MVP Joe Montana.

San Francisco opened the scoring in Super Bowl 24 with a 20-yard pass from Montana to Jerry Rice. After a Denver field goal, the 49ers closed the quarter with another touchdown. Rice ended up catching three touchdowns in the game, embarrassing the Broncos to the tune of 55-10.


What Is the Closest Super Bowl Ever?