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As only two teams are fortunate enough to earn a trip to the Super Bowl every year, millions of upon millions of overall NFL fans don’t have a team for which to root. That certainly doesn’t stop people from placing some bets, but you know what I mean.

When many are asked the question, “Who do you want to win the Super Bowl?”, a common reply is, “I really don’t care. I just want to see a good game.” Or there’s the “I only care about the commercials” response as well.

But let’s be honest here. We don’t always get that good game. Over the years, we’ve certainly had plenty of Super Bowl blowouts. More often than not, though, we do get a competitive matchup.

So what was the closest Super Bowl ever in terms of margin of victory?

What is the closest Super Bowl ever?

Scott Norwood attempts a kick during Super Bowl 25, which was the closest Super Bowl of all time
Scott Norwood of the Buffalo Bills attempts a kick against the New York Giants during Super Bowl 25 on January 27, 1991, at Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Giants won the closest Super Bowl ever, 20-19. | Focus on Sport/Getty Images

The closest Super Bowl of all time was the Super Bowl 25 matchup between the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills following the 1990 NFL season.

And given what was happening with the Gulf War, it was also undoubtedly one of the most emotional.

Following a riveting rendition of the national anthem by Whitney Houston, the Giants and Bills engaged in an instant classic that will forever be remembered as one of the great championship games in any sport.

Down 12-3 in the second quarter, the Giants fought back and took a 20-19 lead with eight minutes remaining in the final frame on a 21-yard field goal by Matt Bahr.

The Bills, who were making the first of four straight Super Bowl appearances, had a shot to win the game, but Scott Norwood famously missed a 47-yard field goal wide right with eight seconds remaining, giving the Giants their second championship in five seasons.

As this was the only title game decided by a single point, it’s obviously the closest Super Bowl of all time.

Eight Super Bowls have been decided by three points

While obviously not quite as close as a single point, eight Super Bowls have been decided by three points, four of which involved Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Here’s a quick look at that list.

Super BowlWinnerLoser
Super Bowl 5Baltimore Colts-16Dallas Cowboys-13
Super Bowl 36New England Patriots-20St. Louis Rams-17
Super Bowl 38New England Patriots-32Carolina Panthers-29
Super Bowl 39New England Patriots-24Philadelphia Eagles-21
Super Bowl 42New York Giants-17New England Patriots-14
Super Bowl 47Baltimore Ravens-34San Francisco 49ers-31
Super Bowl 56Los Angeles Rams-23Cincinnati Bengals-20
Super Bowl 57Kansas City Chiefs-38Philadelphia Eagles-35

Six have been decided by four points

Up next on the closest Super Bowl list are those that were decided by four points, of which there have been six. Brady and the Pats show up twice on this list.

Super BowlWinnerLoser
Super Bowl 10Pittsburgh Steelers-21Dallas Cowboys-17
Super Bowl 13Pittsburgh Steelers-35Dallas Cowboys-31
Super Bowl 23San Francisco 49ers-20Cincinnati Bengals-16
Super Bowl 43Pittsburgh Steelers-27Arizona Cardinals-23
Super Bowl 46New York Giants-21New England Patriots-17
Super Bowl 49New England Patriots-28Seattle Seahawks-24


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