43. Super Bowl V, 1971: Baltimore 16—Dallas 13
The first Super Bowl after the official AFL-NFL merger was an unceasing miasma of screw-ups as the teams accounted for 11 turnovers, countless penalties and a general air of both-teams-suck incompetence. By the time of Jim O’Brien’s game-winning, last-second field goal, there was a sense of relief that this horrible thing had ended. The MVP was Chuck Howley, a linebacker for the Cowboys, the only time a losing player has ever won the award.
Competitiveness: 5 out of 10. It was a close game, sure. Dreadful, but close.
Star Power: 7 out of 10. This horrible game did not lack for great players, including Johnny Unitas, Bubba Smith, Bob Lilly, Charlie Waters, and Cowboys coach Tom Landry. This only deepens the enigma.
Controversy/Intrigue: 2 out of 10. The refereeing was generally considered to be as poor as the overall play.
Aftermath: 5 out of 10. Despite their dismal performance, the game marked the ascension of Landry’s Cowboys as an emerging dynasty. They would remain amongst the NFL’s elite for more than a decade.
Aggregate Score: 19 out of 40.
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