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The 5 Worst Teams who Won the Super Bowl

By ABC Television [Public domain]

By now, I hope you’ve taken the time to enjoy, and undoubtedly criticize, the five best teams to not win the Super Bowl. If not, click the link and join the plethora of upset fans that believe the list is absolute malarkey.

After you realize that I crudely discredited the 2015 Carolina Panthers and the 1984 Miami Dolphins by leaving them off the previous list, I would recommend checking your blood pressure, and allowing it to return to regular levels before continuing to read on.

It’s one thing for your team, who came so close to hoisting the Lombardi in a specific season, to be left off the previous list; but, it’s a whole different kind of displeasure that will arise from seeing your team, who did achieve the ultimate goal, be called out for their not-so impressive feat. I figured I already upset a good number of the 32 fan-bases, so why stop there?

What needs to be remembered here, is that every team who appears on this list did win the Super Bowl, and no one (especially me) can ever take that from them – not even Roger Goodell. (I hope I didn’t speak too soon.) In spite of that fact, there has to be a best and worst of the bunch.

Following a similar method to my previous madness, I have come up with the five worst teams who have ever won the Super Bowl. What I considered was: their performance throughout the season as a whole, the difficulty of their path to the Super Bowl, the strength of the team they did beat in the big game, and whether or not they beat my team.

Alright, so maybe the last one didn’t really factor in, not as much as the other criterion anyways.

Fair warning, if you loved football in the 1960’s, you may want to have a doctor at your side when reading this one. But, let’s get to it…


1968 New York Jets

Result:

Earl Morrall backed Namath’s guarantee.

Why they weren’t great:

Let’s start with this: the Jets only had to win one playoff game before playing in Super Bowl III. ONE! At this time, only three teams made the playoffs from the AFL, as there were only 10 teams in the league.

New York received the bye to the conference championship as a result of their awful division. The Houston Oilers finished second with a 7-7 record, while Buffalo, Boston, and Miami combined for 10 wins.

In that lone playoff game before the Super Bowl, the Jets barely got by the Oakland Raiders, a team who beat them earlier that season. Then, as we all remember, Joe Namath, who had thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in the regular season (something we may not all remember), went out and guaranteed a victory against the Baltimore Colts days before the Super Bowl. Another fun fact on Namath from that season, he completed less than 50-percent of his passes.

Speaking of bad quarterbacking though, this Super Bowl was not a Unitas versus Namath game. It was Earl Morrall who started the game for the Colts, and he certainly put his stamp on the game, throwing three interceptions before being replaced by Johnny Unitas.

Although he came through on his guarantee, Namath and company turned five Colts turnovers into just 16 points. Had Johnny Unitas started this game, Namath may not be the household name he is today.

If I’m missing something though and Broadway Joe wasn’t the star of this team, please tell me what/who else made this Jets team great. (Seriously, they had no one.) This team would not have made the playoffs post-1980.

1970 Baltimore Colts

Result:

The Colts won the worst Super Bowl ever played.

Why they weren’t great:

By Malcolm W.Emmons [Public domain]
By Malcolm W.Emmons [Public domain]
The Colts put forth a very impressive 11-2-1 record in 1970, but only three of those games were played against teams that finished the season with a winning record. In those three games, the Colts were 1-2, and the two losses came by a combined total of 37 points. Also, if you’re wondering what that funny third number in their record is, it’s a tie, which came against the three-win Buffalo Bills.

Johnny Unitas threw 14 touchdowns to 18 interceptions in the regular season, and was outperformed by backup Earl Morrall. I may be opening a big can of worms here though, so I’ll close the topic and never bring it up again. [cue sly wink]

The turnovers didn’t stop though when they got to the big dance. Baltimore would turn the ball over seven times in the Super Bowl, but the Dallas Cowboys gave it right back four times themselves. In one of the worst showings of offense, Super Bowl V ended 16-13, on a field goal in the dying seconds.

1967 Green Bay Packers

Result:

The Packers hammered the Raiders in Super Bowl II, and made a legend out of Vince Lombardi.

Why they weren’t great:

I’m going to keep this quick, as I’m sure the Lombardi supporters are already plotting their attack.

The Packers were 9-4-1 in 1967; yes, ties were apparently pretty common back then. What’s worse than tie games though, you ask. How about this: only six of the 16 teams in the NFL had a record above .500. (The AFL was still a thing at this point, with nine teams.) Quite simply, the league was not very good at this time.

If you need further evidence, Bart Starr threw nine touchdowns and 17 interceptions that season. Backup Zeke Bratkowski appeared in six games as well, starting two of them, but his luck wasn’t much better, as he threw five touchdowns to nine interceptions.

Yes, they trounced the Oakland Raiders in the second Super Bowl, but their offense only scored two touchdowns. Was the power sweep that effective in 1967?

2012 Baltimore Ravens

Result:

The Ravens held on in the “Blackout Bowl.”

Why they weren’t great:

Say what you want about the partial power outage assisting San Francisco’s comeback, but the bottom line is they almost blew a 28-6 lead in the third quarter of the Super Bowl. Had Colin Kaepernick been able to punch it in from inside the 10-yard line, the Ravens would be able to escape the embarrassment resulting from their appearance on this list.

By: Keith Allison (flickr)
By: Keith Allison (flickr)

You also have to consider how they got to the Super Bowl. Had Rahim Moore not committed one of the all-time bonehead plays, the Ravens wouldn’t have escaped the divisional round of the playoffs. (Just make the tackle!) Not to mention, they had an incredibly easy wild card matchup against a team who overachieved with their rookie quarterback.

Speaking more statistically, Baltimore was able to win their division with a 10-6 record, tying the worst record to win the AFC North since the divisions were reformatted in 2002. What’s even more concerning though is looking through their results and realizing that they were actually 9-2 following a Week 12 overtime victory. Talk about heating up at the right time.

The Ravens were better than mediocre, as their record would suggest, but not great on either side of the ball: ranking 10th in points for, and 12th in points allowed.

Although their defense was still anchored by the same man, they were far from the 2000 version that dominated their opponents. Ray Lewis and Ed Reed were running on empty, and no player recorded a double-digit sack total on the season.

But hey, Joe Flacco made a lot of money off of this win.

2011 New York Giants

Result:

The Giants took down the Patriots, again.

Why they weren’t great:

Remember how bad the NFC East was in 2015? Well, it wasn’t much better in 2011. The Giants won the division with a 9-7 record, despite having allowed more points than they had scored.

Their defense was one of the worst in the league, finishing 25th in points allowed, and 27th in yards allowed. Meanwhile, their offense was good, but didn’t seem good enough to make up for their horrid defense.

In the playoffs, the Giants got the Falcons in the wild card round, who were known as playoff chokes, and lived up to their reputation. They then moved onto the Packers, who laid an absolute egg. New York took advantage of four Green Bay turnovers en route to upsetting the top-seed in the NFC. Their luck didn’t end in the conference championship though, as a Kyle Williams botched punt return in overtime, set the G-Men up in field goal position.

Continuing to move forward, had the Giants played anyone other than the New England Patriots, it’s very questionable whether Eli Manning would have hoisted his second Lombardi trophy. I’m not suggesting the Patriots weren’t a good team, just that the Giants had their number.

Has anyone figured out why the Patriots didn’t try to run the ball?

Tags : Bart StarrColtsEli ManningGiantsJetsJoe FlaccoJoe NamathJohnny UnitasPackersRavensVince Lombardi
Tyler "Ty" Worer

The author Tyler "Ty" Worer

  • Peter J.

    In the minds of the fans whose teams that won the Super Bowl they were GREAT!

  • njersey5389

    You can’t say a team stinks if they win the game.

  • Martyp

    1st of all, the Jets beat a GOOD Raiders team, not a bunch of sloths. Earl Morrall was NFL MVP and Johnny U couldn’t throw and proved it when he came in the 3rd quarter. The Jets defense had been great all year and continued that in this game. Also, back then, no one threw for 50% completions, so it just wasn’t Namath. That game also helped convince the NFL and AFL could fairly compete against each other. Would’ve helped if you had gotten that straight before you nailed them a bad team