6. Super Bowl XXV, 1991: New York Giants 20—Buffalo 19
The second championship for Bill Parcells’ Giants and the first of four consecutive Super Bowl losses for the Bills, this game saw history change by the margin of a barely-missed last second field goal.
Competitiveness: 10 out of 10. Two great teams stayed neck and neck for the entire sixty minutes, with the Giants’ brilliant defensive scheme doing just enough to contain the Bills’ explosive attack. Buffalo led 12-10 at half and 19-17 in the fourth quarter, before a late Matt Bahr field goal put New York up by one. Jim Kelly led the Bills into field goal range, but Scott Norwood’s 47-yard attempt drifted just right as time expired.
Star Power: 9 out of 10. The Giants defense was tremendous with Lawrence Taylor leading the way. The Bills featured an astonishing collection of talent including Kelly, Thurman Thomas, James Lofton, Andre Reed and Bruce Smith.
Intrigue/Controversy: 7 out of 10. The Giants’ offense was helmed by the unlikely figure of Jeff Hostetler, a career backup who took over for star quarterback Phil Simms following a season-ending injury.
Aftermath: 10 out of 10. The Giants’ second Super Bowl win under Parcells’ sealed the coach’s place in history, though much of the credit may have been due to his defensive coordinator Bill Belichick. The devastatingly poignant sight of Norwood’s barely missed field goal would take on more resonance over time as the Bills would try and fail to win the big game for the next three seasons.
Aggregate Score: 36 out of 40.
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