The Super Bowl is the one game where every single player wants to play their best and do something so phenomenal that it propels their team to victory and allows them to bring home the Lombardi Trophy. Unfortunately, sometimes the big game leads to some of the worst individual mistakes that will haunt a player, or their franchise, forever. Here are our five worst Super Bowl blunders.
5. Jackie Smith – Cowboys TE – Super Bowl XIII
This one still hurts to watch and the broadcast call that accompanies it is pretty brutal itself. Smith found himself wide open in the end zone during the third quarter and Roger Staubach threw an absolute strike to him. The only issue…. Smith slipped, and as he was falling, dropped the pass. The Cowboys kicked a field goal, and they went on to lose by four points. Smith, an NFL Hall-of-Famer, said recently that it almost ruined his life and haunts him to this day. Verne Lundquist, the Cowboys radio broadcaster, went on to say, “Oh bless his heart, he’s got to be the sickest man in America right now.”
4. Russell Wilson – Seahawks QB – Super Bowl XLIX
It will always be one of the craziest plays in Super Bowl history. The Seahawks were in a perfect position to take down Tom Brady and the Patriots. The Hawks trailed by four points and had the ball at their 1-yard line with under 30 seconds to go as the Patriots opted not to call a timeout. Instead of handing it off to their superstar running back Marshawn Lynch, the Hawks opted for a screen pass on first down which was intercepted by Malcolm Butler. Lynch was irate that he was not given the ball and a chance to win the game for the Hawks and it will go down as the greatest goal line stand of all-time as the Pats went on to win the game.
3. The Atlanta Falcons (as a whole) – Super Bowl LI
It is pretty hard to blow a 28-3 lead in any game, but especially the Super Bowl where it feels like there is simply no way that could happen. However, that is exactly what happened to the Falcons as they stunned America by leading the dynasty Patriots 21-3 heading into halftime. The Falcons then scored about six minutes into the 3rd quarter to take the infamous 28-3 lead. Millions of viewers flipped the game off and assumed the great days of Tom Brady and the Pats had come to an end. But New England scored 25 unanswered points in the last 17+ minutes of regulation to tie the game and send it to overtime. It was the first game in Super Bowl history to go to overtime where the Pats got the ball first and James White punched in a touchdown to win the game.
2. Asante Samuel – Patriots S – XLII
There was so much on the line in this Super Bowl for the Patriots. A simple win over the unexpecting Giants, who were the biggest underdogs in the game’s history, would cement a perfect season and a 19-0 record. Without question, it would’ve allowed the Patriots to be deemed the greatest football team to ever play. The Giants tried to give the game away to the Pats on a second-down play during the final drive when Eli Manning threw an out route to WR David Tyree. Samuel, who is one of the all-time great ballhawks in NFL history, jumped the route, but subsequently dropped the interception which was right in his hands. The next snap is one of the most famous plays ever as Tyree trapped the ball against his helmet for the reception and the Giants won the game later in the drive.
1. Scott Norwood – Bills K – Super Bowl XXV
Poor, poor Scott Norwood. Your heart hurts for the kicker every time you watch the clip of him missing the field goal. The Bills played in four straight Super Bowls during the 1990-1993 seasons. They lost all four. However, they came so close to winning the first one against the NY Giants. With just seconds remaining in the game, Norwood set up for a 47-yard kick that he pushed wide right. It had the distance and was only about a foot wide of the mark. Some have blamed the holder for not getting the snap down correctly, but Norwood took most of the harassment and received plenty of threats for the miss.