The NFL Super Bowl
The NFL (National Football League) Superbowl is one of the biggest events in American sports, and is one of the rare events where the off-field parties can compete with the on-field spectacle.
The Super Bowl pits the winners of the American Football Conference (AFC) and National Football Conference (NFC) in a championship game, which rotates venues and cities around the country each year.
The Super Bowl consists of four, 15-minute quarters and there is no home field advantage for either side. While the top seed in both the NFC and AFC get an advantage during the NFL Playoffs, the Superbowl is generally played at a neutral stadium.
The Super Bowl takes place on the first Sunday in February, and concludes a 16-game regular season and four weeks of playoffs leading into the big dance.
NFL Superbowl History
The Super Bowl first took place in 1967 and was contested at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. It is rotated through cities which hold NFL franchises, and has been played in 11 different states and 20 different cities through its history.
Prior to 1967, the NFL and AFL (American Football League) ran as separate entities before they merging in an agreement of a common draft and annual championship game.
From this merger agreement, the NFL Super Bowl was born.
10 Interesting NFL Super Bowl Facts
Being one of the largest sporting spectacles in the world, there are facts aplenty
1. The largest crowd to attend a Superbowl was in 1980 when 130,985 fans watched the Pittsburgh Steelers defeat the Los Angeles Rams 31-19 in Pasadana, California.
2. The Buffalo Bills made there way into the record books in an unfortunate manner, losing four straight Super Bowls from 1991-1994.
3. The second of those four Buffalo losses took place against the Washington Redskins in Minneapolis, and saw the smallest crowd since the first ever Superbowl (63,130). Buffalo Bills, breaking all the wrong records..
4. The AFC champion has won the last three Super Bowls, and four of the last five.
5. New England Patriots golden boy quarterback Tom Brady won the Superbowl MVP in 2017 for the fourth time, the first ever player to do so.
6. All multiple NFL MVP Award winners (Brady, Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw, Eli Manning and Bart Starr) are quarterbacks.
7. Green Bay Packers punt returner/kicker, Desmond Howard, is the only player from either position to take home the MVP, scoring an epic punt return touchdown along with a combined total 244 returning yards in 1997.
8. The Minnesota Vikings join the Buffalo Bills in the 0-4 Superbowl record club, losing four times between 1969 and 1976.
9. No NFL franchise has ever won three straight Super Bowls; the Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots and have all gone back-to-back.
10. Only one player has won the MVP as a member of a losing Super Bowl team – Chuck Howley of the Dallas Cowboys in 1971.
NFL Superbowl Bet Types
There are a plenty of betting markets available on the Super Bowl for the punters.
Head to head betting is the most basic, and allows selection of the winner, while margin betting is available for winning margins of 1-12 points and 12 + point margins.
Player Bets are also available for the scorer of the first touchdown; the first scoring type (field goal, touchdown or safety); the number of receiving, rushing and passing yards for different players and the winner of the Super Bowl MVP.
The last 5 NFL Super Bowl Champions
2017 – New England Patriots defeated Atlanta Falcons 34-28 (OT): New England fell behind 28-3 in the third quarter but went on to score 28 unanswered points in what formed the greatest comeback in Superbowl history. Atlanta jumped out to a fast start, led by the 2017 NFL Season MVP, Matt Ryan, but we slowly dragged in by Tom Brady’s Patriots.
Brady created Super Bowl history by completing the most passes (43), the most pass attempts (62) and the most passing yards (466) on record. Patriots RB James White secured the comeback early in overtime with a 2-yard rushing touchdown, having rushed for the game-tying touchdown in the last minute of regulation.
2016 – Denver Broncos defeated Carolina Panthers 24-10: Denver had beaten the 2015 reigning champion New England Patriots in the AFC Championship match, and their elite defence faced the strong form of the Carolina Panthers in Superbowl 50.
Carolina entered Super Bowl 50 full of confidence after easily disposing of the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship game, however NFL MVP quarterback Cam Newton was unable to get any momentum against a defence led by LB Von Miller, who took home the Superbowl’s MVP . Denver quarterback Peyton Manning retired as a champion following this game.
One play that defines this game is the Cam Newton fumble, in which he seemingly chose not to dive on the loose ball.
2015 – New England Patriots defeated Seattle Seahawks 28-24: another amazing Patriots finish as rookie Malcom Butler intercepted a potential game-winning pass from Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in the final seconds of the game.
After a scrappy, scoreless first quarter, both teams scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, with the Seahawks sneaking away to a 10-point lead going into the final break.
Enter Tom Brady, who threw two fourth quarter touchdowns, and added another MVP trophy to his cabinet.
2014 – Seattle Seahawks defeated Denver Broncos 43-8: Seattle smashed the Broncos in the 45th Super Bowl, racing to a 22-0 halftime lead and never looking back. This game was just the second in 20 years to feature the #1 seeds from both the AFC and NFC, and also showcased the best offense (Denver) and best defence (Seattle).
This time around, defence dominated, as Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning played a game he’d rather forget, being intercepted twice in the first half alone. Seattle LB Malcolm Smith was the MVP with nine tackles and returning an interception for a 69-yard touchdown.
2013 – Baltimore Ravens defeated San Francisco 49ers 34-31: in a tight tussle, Baltimore ran out to a 28-6 lead before doing there best to lose the game, barely sneaking over the line, while the 49ers fell agonisingly short. Baltimore QB Joe Flacco won the Super Bowl MVP in a game that involved a 34-minute delay due to a power outage which caused the halftime entertainment to be powered by an electric generator This game was the highest scoring Superbowl since 2003 (Tampa Bay defeated Oakland, 48-21) with 65 points.
Past 5 NBA Finals MVPs
2017 – Tom Brady, New England Patriots – 43/62 passes, 466 passing yards (Superbowl records), 2 touchdowns.
2016 – Von Miller, Denver Broncos – 11 sacks, four forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries.
2015 – Tom Brady, New England Patriots – 37/50 passes, 328 passing yards, 4 touchdowns.
2014 – Malcolm Smith, Seattle Seahawks – 69-yard intercept return, recovered fumble, 9 tackles.
2013 – Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens – 22/33 passes, 287 passing yards, 3 touchdowns.
Most NFL Super Bowls
The Pittsburgh Steelers have won the most Superbowls with six, including four titles between 1974 and 1979.
Trailing Pittsburgh with five Superbowls are the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, 49ers and San Francisco, while the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants have each won four.
The Patriots have appeared in a record nine Superbowls. The Cowboys, Broncos and Steelers eight each.
Four current NFL teams have never made a Superbowl – the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars. The Lions have made the NFC Championship game only once in 1991.