The 10 Most Painful Losses in Super Bowl History

The Seahawks’ defeat in Super Bowl XLIX, with the team trailing by 4 points at the 1-yard line in the final minute, was painful, but there are several other candidates for toughest loss to swallow.

Comments: 29

  1. A good list but not sure I agree with the order: a 47 yard field goal seems less a sure thing than 2nd and goal from the .5 yard line.

  2. I hate spilling beer. But if I only have the beer because the can was bouncing around all over the place before I caught it, if I then spill it, it's not such a big deal. I figure I've broken even.

  3. I totally agree. But the list is heavily slanted towards recent games as it is...

  4. totally agree with Mark. If it was a missed 37-yard attempt I think it could hold the #1 spot, but not a 47-yard attempt.

  5. As a fan of the Baltimore sports teams, Super Bowl III is easily the most painful loss in the history of The Big Game. Nonetheless it's still a good list. It should be noted that Super Bowl XLVII was a lot closer than it supposed to have been, no thanks to a suspicious power outage in the third quarter when the Ravens held a 22-point lead.

  6. Absolutely right. Super Bowl III remains the biggest upset in Super Bowl history. Anyone around and cognizant at the time of the game will tell you the Colts were prohibitive favorites. No one gave the Jets a chance except for the Jets themselves. Clearly the game deserves to be at the top of the list. And, btw, when did a 47 year field goal, outdoors no less, become a "chip shot." Let's be real, please.

  7. This year's loss was worse.... by far....

  8. The ordering of this list reveals the writer's biases: three of the top five "painful losses" involve New York teams (Giants, Jets, Bills) but none of the next five do. Sports fans outside of the NY area can also feel pain, I assure you...

  9. What is one man’s pain is another man’s glory. I thought some of the games that made the list were the best Superbowls ever: Steelers beating the Cardinals, Patriots beating the Rams, the Patriots beating the Seahawks . I did agree with the Giants defeating the Patriots.

  10. I agree, Scott Norwood wide right was something else. It deserves to be at the top of this list.

  11. Madden 15 came out a week before the Super Bowl with the correct winner, the exact score and the exact winning TD by the exact same player. Strange to most people. Combine that with absurd play calls, calls so weird that they would have been the exact plays to run to throw the game.

  12. As a lifelong Pats fan, nothing's more painful than 2008, that should be number one.

    Give Tyree credit for making that catch, but two guys draped all over him and he still gets it and then the "Plexiglass" catch? Nothing's more painful than that after a 16-0 regular season.

  13. Does the cumulative horror of four losses for Vikings' fans count for anything?

  14. 10 most painful losses? I lived through two of them. Thanks, Eli. Thanks a lot.

  15. Nice list, but misses the point. A missed field goal at then end is not the same. Had Seattle tried 3 plays and been stopped. 18 inches from the goal line, everyone would say what a great game it was and Patriots deserved to win. Instead the coaching staff made a horrible blunder calling a play that prevented them from getting their 3 tries from the 18 inch line. The other games were from great athletic plays or inability to covert final chance. This game ended with 2 plays left because of pure mental mistake by the coaching staff.

  16. >The other games were from great athletic plays

    Seahawks responded to the goal-line defense of the Patriots by choosing a pass play. Not unreasonable. If Butler's was not a "great athletic play" then I don't know what is...

  17. Fans in Baltimore and New England have sure been through it over the years......

  18. "Just the 9th team" to repeat!! They have only played 49 games -- repeating apparently is not that unusual.

  19. Without contest, the most memorable turn of events on a game-ending play was Alabama's missed field goal attempt followed by the 109 yard return by Chris Davis of Auburn. And I'm an Oregon fan. I know it's a little different, but it's still a game-ending missed field goal.

  20. When measuring pain, one might incorporate off-field events. For example, this year the Legion of Mouth, Beast Mouth, and 12 Mouths enhanced the pain (and the pleasure for the other side). This wonderful list, however, by omitting the off-field stuff, reminds us (especially the Patriots and the Baltimores) that it is best forgotten, and that the on-field lessons taught by luck make humbler fans and better teams.

  21. Note to the Colts and Ravens: Each time Patriots lost in the Super Bowl to the Giants, it was always the same from the coach and the team after the game, "They played and coached better than we did in all three phases of the game, they deserved to win."

    Losing with dignity. Winning is better of course, so Seahawks, we feel your pain, believe me, we've been there before.

  22. The Ravens and dignity? You cannot be serious. Look at the coach; look at many of the players. As my Irish grandmother would say: you can't get blood from a stone.

  23. Well, that was my point.

  24. The Buffalo Bills lost four Super Bowls in a row in 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993.

    That is real pain.

  25. I would put any team that lost to the Patriots in the early 2000s up there since it's proven that they cheated by videotaping and deciphering their oppenents' defensive signals and all three were 3-point games. Of course the Rams are already on this list; the other two teams are the Panthers & Eagles.

  26. Oh give it a rest. It was never "proven that they cheated by videotaping and deciphering their oppenents' defensive signals" (nice spelling). Yes, Belichick was found to be guilty of videotaping from a spot that had been ruled off-limits, but you need to understand: ALL teams were videotaping opponents!

  27. Not sure if this was the most painful. Everyone knows Seahawks had Patriots beat, which is why celebration is subdued in New England. However, this should definitely go down as Stupidest Loss in Super Bowl History. For all time, when discussing this game, all anyone will every say about it is "what on earth were they thinking?"

  28. Speak for yourself, Scar. I see no "subdued" fans here! Giddy, tired, euphoric, amazingly happy, yes. Perhaps you're not aware that we've been battling another blizzard since Sunday night -- but the victory parade today was a SMASH. We in New England have confidence that no matter what play had been called, the New England defense would have stopped Seattle from scoring, thus ensuring that the Pats would WIN.

  29. I thought last year's unSuper Bowl was pretty painful for everybody.