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The very first Super Bowl was a matchup between the champions of the National Football League (NFL) which had been around since 1920, and the champions of the relatively new American Football League (AFL). 

It was also a blowout, with the NFL’s Green Bay Packers crushing the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs 35-10. Two-touchdown favourites Green Bay, coached by the legendary Vince Lombardi, struggled in the first half and led just 14-10 at the break.

But the Packers exploded for 21 second half points and held the Chiefs scoreless for the win (and the cover).

That was the first of many mismatches over the years… here are a few more.

1. Montana Dominates Denver

San Francisco 55, Denver 10 (Super Bowl XXIV, 1990)

The most lopsided result in Super Bowl history.  The 49ers led 27-3 at the half and completely dominated on the field and the stat sheet, with 28 first downs to 12, 317 passing yards to 103 and 461 total yards to 167. San Francisco QB Joe Montana won his fourth Super Bowl and his third MVP award.

2. Another Denver Disaster

Seattle 43, Denver 8 (Super Bowl XLVIII, 2013)

Still the biggest margin of victory by an underdog in NFL history. The NFL’s best offense (Denver) met the NFL’s best defense (Seattle), but the Seahawks raced to a 36-0 lead before Denver got on the board. The Seattle defense scored a safety on the first play from scrimmage, the quickest score in the history of the big game.

3. Just Blow ‘Em Out, Baby

Los Angeles Raiders 38, Washington 9 (Super Bowl XVIII, 1984)

38 points is still the most points ever scored by an AFC team in a Super Bowl. The Redskins were the defending Super Bowl champs and were favoured in this one, but the Raiders dominated, building a 21-0 halftime lead and limiting Washington to one touchdown and one field goal. Raiders’ running back Marcus Allen had 20 carries for 191 yards and two touchdowns, including one of the greatest ever on the big stage.

4. Da Bears Dominant D

Chicago 46, New England 10 (Super Bowl XX, 1986)

One of the craziest and most dominant teams in league history finished off a memorable season (18-1 all up) with a comprehensive win. The infamous Bears team, coached by Mike Ditka and led by quarterback Jim McMahon, Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton, William ‘The Refrigerator’ Perry and one of the best defenses in NFL history, led 23-3 at the half and 44-3 after three quarters. The Bears racked up 23 first downs to 12, outgained New England 408 yards to 123 and held the Patriots to – get this – seven yards rushing.

5. The Doug & Timmy Show

Washington 42, Denver 10 (Super Bowl XXII, 1988)

The Broncos took a 10-0 lead…and that was all she wrote. Washington scored a Super Bowl record 35 points in the second quarter led by unheralded quarterback Doug Williams, who threw four touchdown passes in the quarter and even more unheralded running back Timmy Smith who carried the ball 22 times for a Super Bowl record 204 yards.

Doug Williams

Honourable Mentions

Dallas 52, Buffalo 17 (Super Bowl XXVII, 1993) 

San Francisco 49, San Diego 26 (Super Bowl XXIX, 1995) 

New York Giants 39, Denver 20 (Super Bowl XXI, 1987) 

Baltimore 34, New York Giants 7 (Super Bowl XXXV, 2001)