Super Bowl VIII (1974)
Rice Stadium, Houston
Miami Dolphins, 24 — Minnesota Vikings, 7
For most, Super Bowl VIII wasn’t terribly memorable, with the Miami Dolphins coasting to a win over the Minnesota Vikings. For Houston, however, it was notable indeed, as the first of two title games to be played here. Nearly 30 years later, it would be back, a few miles south on Main Street at Reliant.
Super Bowl XXIII (1989)
Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami
San Francisco 49ers, 20 – Cincinnati Bengals, 16
One of the great NFL urban legends involves this game. With three minutes left, down four, Joe Montana—nicknamed the Comeback Kid—walked into the 49ers huddle. Looking into the stands and spotting a celeb, the laidback quarterback supposedly said to his team, “Hey look, it’s John Candy,” causing a few chuckles and calming everyone’s nerves. Whether or not this really happened, one thing is verifiable: Just over two minutes later, Montana hit John Taylor for the game-winning TD.
Super Bowl XXXIV (2000)
Georgia Dome, Atlanta
St. Louis Rams, 23 – Tennessee Titans, 16
Just four years after leaving Houston for Nashville, the former Oilers made their first-ever Super Bowl. With only six seconds left on a potentially game-tying drive, wide receiver Kevin Dyson caught a pass inside the five-yard line and tried to stretch for the end zone as he was being tackled. He came up less than a half yard short. For many frustrated Houston football fans, it felt like poetic justice.
Super Bowl XXXVIII (2004)
Reliant Stadium, Houston
New England Patriots, 32 – Carolina Panthers, 29
Believe it or not, there was a game that happened the year of Nipplegate. It was a relatively low-scoring affair until the teams combined for 37 points in the final quarter. With four seconds left, the Patriots scored a 41-yard field goal for the win—the second in what would ultimately be three titles in four seasons under the Tom Brady–led squad.
Super Bowl XLVI (2012)
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
New York Giants, 21 – New England Patriots, 17
With a record of 18-0, the Patriots were bidding to be only the second team in NFL history to run the table with a perfect season. For most of this match, it appeared they would do just that. But a brilliant nine-play, 88-yard drive by the Giants and Eli Manning proved to be the game winner, highlighted by one of the most unbelievable moments in Super Bowl history, when Manning narrowly escaped a sack and heaved the ball downfield to David Tyree, who caught the ball with one hand, pinning it against his helmet.