The Super Bowl can often be a cagey affair, with the two teams representing the AFC and NFC letting nerves get to them as the game begins, perhaps being more scared of losing the game than anything else.
However, down the years, for all the low-scoring title games of the past, we have just as many high-scoring ones, where the teams are a joy to behold on offense, and defense doesn’t seem to play much of a part in the game at all. Here are three of the highest-scoring Super Bowls in NFL history.
NFL's highest-scoring Super Bowls
#3 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48-21 Oakland Raiders, 2003
The Super Bowl of 2003 saw Jon Gruden, the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, go up against his former employers, the Oakland Raiders, in what turned out to be a rout for Tampa Bay, which saw many fans dub it the "Gruden Bowl."
They put up 48 points as Oakland quarterback Rich Gannon had one of the worst games of his career, throwing five interceptions, a Super Bowl record. Worse was that three of those interceptions were returned for touchdowns by the Buccaneers as they romped home with the Lombardi trophy. The Buccaneers also managed to sack Gannon five times and scored 34 unanswered points to put the game to bed by the third quarter.
Many players on the Buccaneers put Gruden’s knowledge of the Raiders as an essential factor in the victory, as he, of course, had prior knowledge of their playbook. Oakland hadn’t changed their audible-calling system, which Gruden had installed, so they could tip-off to plays repeatedly.
#2 - Philadelphia Eagles 41-33 New England Patriots, 2018
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots were in the middle of the most successful period of their dynasty when they faced off against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII in 2018. However, they were stunned when backup quarterback Nick Foles had the game of his life as the Eagles won 41-33. Both Foles and Brady put up tremendous stat lines, with both passing for three touchdowns and Brady going for over 500 yards.
However, it came down to a strip-sack by Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham to call the game as the Eagles brought home their first Lombardi trophy. Despite Graham’s heroics, this game will always be synonymous with Nick Foles’ ‘Philly Special,’ which no NFL fan will ever forget, and Foles was more than deserving of his Super Bowl MVP award.
This game sets the all-time NFL record for most yardage from both teams, with 1,151 yards, which hasn’t been broken in any regular or post-season game.
#1 - San Francisco 49ers 49-26 San Diego Chargers, 1995
The San Francisco 49ers became the first NFL franchise to win five championships when they beat the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX and didn’t do it in style!
Quarterback Steve Young tore the Chargers apart, passing for six touchdowns and no interceptions, with a passer rating of 134.8. His six touchdown passes remain the most by any quarterback in the big game.
Of course, fellow Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice also had a say in proceedings, catching 10 passes for 144 yards and three touchdowns, which tied the record for most touchdowns by a player in a single Super Bowl.
The Chargers didn’t have an answer to the 49ers' high-powered offense, and the franchise hasn’t been back to the title game since this rout.