32. Super Bowl XIII, 1974: Miami 24—Minnesota 7
The second consecutive Super Bowl victory for Don Shula’s dominant Dolphins proved to be another sad, sub-par championship game outing for the Vikings. Though gifted with a great defense and a Hall Of Fame quarterback in the mad, tramping loon Fran Tarkenton, Minnesota was outclassed from the start. Their poor performances in four Super Bowls during the 70’s is one of the game’s enduring enigmas.
Competitiveness: 3 out of 10. The Dolphins quickly raced out to a 14-0 lead with a sophisticated ground game that featured a combination of misdirection and brute force. The Vikings had no capacity to answer against Miami’s fabled No Name Defense, and the game was essentially decided after the third quarter, when Miami led 24-0.
Star Power: 8 out of 10. A whopping seventeen Hall Of Famers, including MVP Larry Csonka whose mustache was a work of gallery worthy art.
Controversy/Intrigue: 7 out of 10. Vikings’ linebacker Wally Hilgenberger threw a vicious elbow through the facemask of Csonka, opening a deep cut over the running back’s eye, although fortunately not harming his mustache. Hilgenberger was not penalized. Dolphins’ quarterback Bob Griese threw a total of 7 passes in the winning effort, completing 6. Football was very different then.
Aftermath: 7 out of 10. The Dolphins second straight championship secured their place as one of the great teams in history. It also ushered in a long period of AFC dominance that would persist into the early 80’s.
Aggregate Score: 25 out of 40.
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