BEST OF THE LOSERS

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Did the NFL once have a consolation game before the Super Bowl?
Joe Kuharich , Washington WC: Bill Walsh , San Francisco. On the next play, Elway completed a short pass to running back Terrell Davis , who turned it into a yard gain. Pro Bowl quarterback Chris Chandler led Atlanta's offense extremely well, throwing for 3, yards and 25 touchdowns with just 12 interceptions, while also rushing for yards and 2 touchdowns. If you go back and look at the numbers that year, the running game worked out quite well. Hunt apparently only meant his suggested name to be a stopgap until a better one could be found.

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Super Bowl XXXIII

Defensively, we had a lot of veterans and they were at their peak. We all thought we would go back in '71 and we didn't. This was arguably their best team in New Orleans, and it produced one of the best offensive seasons in history. The Saints, who were 8. Brees broke Dan Marino's single-season record with 5, passing yards, Darren Sproles set an NFL record with 2, all-purpose yards and tight end Jimmy Graham chased history with 99 catches for 1, yards.

Alas, the Saints were snakebit with the No. His 5, passing yards and This was one of Evans' four consecutive seasons as a first-team All-Pro and one of six consecutive Pro Bowl selections. Saints guards filled both spots on the first-team All-Pro roster. Nicks also made his second straight Pro Bowl appearance. Graham had 99 catches for 1, yards and 11 touchdowns.

He earned the first of four Pro Bowl appearances. Brees threw for a career-high 46 touchdown passes to go with his 5, passing yards. Graham, Sproles and receiver Marques Colston each had more than 1, yards from scrimmage. And the Saints converted a whopping 57 percent of their third downs while averaging The defense was decent, ranking 13th in points allowed, 24th in yards allowed and 30th in passing yards allowed.

But the Saints faltered at the end of the playoff loss, giving up two touchdown drives in the final four minutes, highlighted by Alex Smith's yard bootleg touchdown run and three backbreaking passes to tight end Vernon Davis, including the game winner. Who knows what might have happened if the Saints' record got them a No. But even as the No. It was the first of five turnovers vs. And then we destroy Detroit in the first playoff game. And then we go to San Fran and we turn it over [five] times and still really should win that game.

With five Super Bowl victories to their name, the 49ers are regarded as one of the most storied franchises in league history. But that doesn't stop them from thinking about the ones that got away and the star-studded team certainly fits.

San Francisco, which was 8. Their divisional-round loss to Minnesota remains what guard Jesse Sapolu calls one of the "most brokenhearted" moments of his career. The stunning defeat served as motivation for the 49ers to win each of the two Super Bowls that followed. Montana pictured above had the third-highest quarterback rating of his career This wasn't Rice's best season in terms of catches or yards but he caught a career-high 22 touchdowns in 12 games. The leader of the defense, Lott had at least five interceptions for the third straight year in The streak reached five seasons.

In his second season, Haley wasn't a full-time starter but made his case to become one by posting 6. Young replaced Montana with three weeks left, throwing for nine touchdowns and no interceptions and averaging 52 rushing yards in that trio of games.

This 49ers team dominated in all facets. Rice was at his peak with Montana and Young forming the best quarterback duo of all time. Running back Roger Craig, a talented offensive line and a dominant defense led by Lott and Haley made up a strong supporting cast. In terms of talent and personnel, there weren't many weaknesses; but ask a handful of players from this team and some say they started to buy into the hype.

That overconfidence was cited by multiple players as a reason for the playoff loss to the Vikings. The most interesting is the theory the Niners should have stuck with Young over a returning-from-injury Montana. So began a quarterback controversy that persisted until the 49ers traded Montana to Kansas City in The team was arguably the best version of the Dolphins during an impressive four-year run that began in in which they lost two Super Bowls and made the AFC Championship Game.

The Dolphins, who were 8. They were led by future Hall of Famer Dan Marino above , who had 5, yards passing and 48 touchdowns in his second season. Both ended up being career highs. The Dolphins led the league in '84 with points scored.

Miami also had a three-headed monster at running back. Defensively, the Dolphins were below average. The NFL's all-time winningest coach with victories spent 26 seasons in Miami. He led the league's only undefeated Super Bowl team in and won two championships. Marino holds all of Miami's significant passing records, including career yards 61, and touchdown passes The only thing missing from Marino's resume is a Super Bowl win.

Clayton had a nose for the end zone with 84 career TDs. The three-time Pro Bowler played 11 seasons for the Dolphins and had career receptions. The speedy deep threat had a career average of Miami's passing attack was ahead of its time. Marino, one of the best pure passers ever, had lots of weapons led by stud receivers Clayton and Duper. The Dolphins were 22nd in the NFL against the run and 28th in yards per attempt.

Most weeks it didn't matter because Miami's high-powered offense consistently gave its defense big leads. Miami won 14 of 16 regular-season games. The Dolphins were a good team that ran into a budding dynasty in the 49ers. Because the pain of losing that game, it just never leaves you. The words "wide right" have been etched in Buffalo sports history since Scott Norwood's yard field goal attempt pictured above sailed wide of the uprights in the closing seconds of a loss to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXV.

The loss was the first of four consecutive defeats in Super Bowls that became the prologue to the Bills' spiraling into their year playoff drought.

The Bills were 7. Either of those seasons can be considered the high-water mark in Bills history, but Buffalo never came closer to a championship than when Norwood lined up for his kick.

Kelly posted his best passer rating Thomas' 11 rushing touchdowns were a career high and his 1, yards were second most in the NFL. One of the best special-teams players of his era, Tasker made his second of seven trips to the Pro Bowl in The Bills led the NFL by averaging The season also saw the debut of the no-huddle, K-Gun offense in a Dec. Norwood ranked 23rd in the NFL in converting 69 percent of his field goal attempts that season, a weakness that was exposed when it mattered most on the Bills' potential game-winning field goal try.

The Bills will always be remembered for Norwood's miss, but it would be unfair to pin the loss entirely on Norwood. Buffalo's defense allowed two play Giants scoring drives in the second half, while the offense punted when it had the chance to drive and take the lead earlier in the fourth quarter. It just ended on a bad note.

After finishes in each of coach Pete Carroll's first two seasons, everything came together in The Seahawks, who were 7. Drafted in the third round that year, Wilson beat out Matt Flynn to be the starter. Wilson led a game-winning drive in overtime at Chicago in Week 13 to begin a December that included a three-game stretch in which the Seahawks scored points.

They made the playoffs as a wild-card team after finishing second in the NFC West to the 49ers. Wilson led all rookie QBs with 26 touchdown passes, including three game winners in the fourth quarter or overtime. Lynch had his best season, setting career highs with 1, yards rushing and 5. He scored 11 TDs. A holdover from the pre-Pete Carroll era, Unger anchored an offensive line that helped Seattle finish third in rushing.

In his first full season as a starter, Sherman pictured above had eight interceptions and a league-best 24 passes defended. Thomas patrolled the back end of the pass defense and earned the first of three consecutive first-team All-Pro honors. An argument could be made for Seattle's running game given Lynch had the best season of his career, but the defense gets the nod.

Led by the Legion of Boom and its budding superstars -- Sherman, Thomas and Kam Chancellor -- Seattle gave up the fewest points in the league at While the Seahawks eventually loosened the reins on Wilson, they brought him along slowly, so slowly that he threw for fewer than yards in five of his first seven games.

Seattle lost three of those games by scores of , and It wasn't until the that Seattle added Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril in free agency, so the Seahawks didn't have the pass-rush depth to replace Chris Clemons after he tore his ACL in the wild-card round. It was part of their undoing in the divisional-round loss to Atlanta, when they failed to pressure Matt Ryan.

Watching him play that particular night, I knew we had a chance at doing something great with that team. They won their first 14 games and were a late-season upset at Atlanta from a perfect regular-season record. They marched through Seattle and Arizona to the playoffs behind Newton and the league's No.

It all fell apart in Super Bowl 50, when Denver used the blitz to negate Newton's effectiveness in a victory that wasn't even that close. Newton's fun-loving season was erased by the image of him walking away from his postgame news conference with a hoodie pulled over his head. Newton had arguably one of the best seasons by a quarterback in NFL history, throwing a career-high 35 touchdown passes and rushing for 10 more during the regular season.

Two years removed from being limited to six games and one start because of ankle injuries, Stewart rushed for yards and six touchdowns. He finally got recognized as one of the NFL's top tight ends, catching a team-high 77 passes for a career-high 1, yards and seven touchdowns.

He made his third straight Pro Bowl after leading the team in tackles for the fourth straight year despite missing three games with a concussion. He became the most feared dual-threat quarterback. The offensive line also stayed pretty much injury-free and developed a great chemistry, which allowed Newton to run the offense more efficiently than he had at any time prior to that season or since. There really weren't any glaring weaknesses during the regular season outside of a secondary that gave up 21 touchdown passes and But in the Super Bowl, the inability to stop Denver's blitz became this team's Achilles' heel.

Denver attacked Newton and the offense with a "green-dog blitz" out of its man-to-man package. The Broncos basically came at Newton with an extra defender to counter Carolina keeping an extra player in to block and sacked him six times, forcing two fumbles that led to touchdowns.

Knowing how hard it is to accomplish what we did by going and one of those losses being the Super Bowl is heartbreaking. The season was disrupted by a day players' strike, which forced the NFL to shorten the schedule and change the playoff format. Somehow, the Jets emerged from the chaos a Super Bowl contender. The Jets, who were 7. The Jets were seen as a young, ascending team, with every key player under They got hot at the right time and seemed destined to win a championship, but they fell apart in the AFC title game.

Days later, they fired longtime coach Walt Michaels, a move that shook the organization. It would be 16 years before they returned to the conference championship. McNeil led the NFL in rushing yards, 5. Because of an injury to defensive lineman Joe Klecko, Gastineau faced more double-teams but still had six sacks in the regular season, plus four in the postseason. In the prime of his career, Powell was a force on the right side of the line, protecting quarterback Richard Todd.

A former 14th-round draft pick, he anchored the offensive line and was one of the keys to McNeil's breakout season. His deep speed scared the daylights out of defenses. Walker finished with 39 catches for yards and six touchdowns. Oh, what an offense. With McNeil in the backfield and Walker and former Olympic sprinter Lam Jones on the perimeter, the Jets had balance and plenty of speed. The triggerman was Todd, who finally had settled into the job. The Jets averaged 27 points a game, third in the league.

They were allergic to dolphins -- specifically, the Miami variety. The Jets lost only four games the entire year, including three to the hated Dolphins. If they had been able to figure out the Dolphins, the Jets might have added a second Lombardi to their trophy case.

On the eve of AFC title game, it rained heavily in Miami. The Orange Bowl field was a quagmire, neutralizing the Jets' team speed. Jets officials fumed, accusing Don Shula of deliberately leaving the field uncovered.

In what became known as the Mud Bowl, the Jets lost , as Todd threw five interceptions. It was a monsoon and I knew we were in trouble. It was a nightmare. The Broncos have opened few seasons with the anticipation and expectations that swirled around them in It was, after all, the first season of the Peyton Manning above era, a free-agent signing that had caused John Elway to famously say "there is no Plan B" as questions about Manning's physical health had hung in the air after he missed the season following his fourth neck surgery, even as he signed a four-year deal with the Broncos.

But offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and Adam Gase retooled the Broncos' offense into a no-huddle, three-wide receiver monster that scored at least 30 points 11 times. In his second season in the league, Miller put up what is still his career high in sacks with He said repeatedly that season Manning was just the kind of quarterback he had waited his entire career to play alongside as he knew his career clock was ticking - would be his 15th and final season.

In his last season with the Broncos before the fax snafu that sent him into free agency, Dumervil finished with 11 sacks. Thomas began his run of four consecutive seasons with at least 90 catches and 1, yards receiving with 94 catches, 1, yards and 10 touchdowns. The grouping of McCoy, Gase and Manning was the perfect storm on offense. While it didn't open smoothly -- the Broncos lost three of their first five games -- they got rolling after overcoming deficit in San Diego in Week 6 for win.

They closed out the regular season with an game win streak. The Broncos had some difficulty when forced to line up and grind it out on offense. They averaged only 3. The Broncos couldn't run the ball when they had the chance to close out the Ravens.

With 3 minutes, 12 seconds left in the fourth quarter and a lead, the Broncos couldn't convert the two first downs they needed. The Chargers finished a franchise-best in , winning 10 straight to close out the season. Legendary running back LaDainian Tomlinson above led the Chargers, finishing with a career-best 1, rushing yards and an NFL-record 31 total touchdowns.

However, the Chargers' magical run came to an abrupt end in the AFC divisional round. The Bolts, who were 7. He finished his first season as a starter with 3, passing yards, 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Rivers earned the first of six trips to the Pro Bowl. Not only was Tomlinson the NFL's leading rusher with 1, yards, he also totaled 56 receptions for receiving yards and three scores. A member of the Chargers' 50th anniversary team, the run-stuffing nose tackle led a Bolts defense with a career-high 69 tackles and two sacks.

The undrafted rookie out of Kent State led the Chargers in receptions 71 , receiving yards and receiving touchdowns nine. However, the Bolts could play defense as well. The Chargers led the league in sacks with It's difficult to point out a weakness for a team.

Nate Kaeding made some big kicks for the Chargers but struggled in the playoffs. Kaeding missed a yarder at the end of the regulation that would have sent the game to overtime in the playoffs against the Patriots. Many blame safety Marlon McCree for not kneeling down after intercepting Tom Brady late in the divisional-round game, allowing Tony Brown to strip him of the football and give New England's offense another opportunity to score -- which it did five plays later when Brady found Jabar Gaffney for a 6-yard touchdown pass.

This was the first season in Bengals history without Paul Brown as coach after he stepped down from the position on Jan. Brown, still the general manager, named offensive line coach Bill Johnson as his successor, and Johnson guided the team to a record.

This is widely considered the best Bengals team not to make the postseason. They had six players make the Pro Bowl, four of them defensive players on a unit that ranked fifth overall and third in passing defense. Anderson completed 53 percent of his passes for 2, yards, 19 touchdowns and 15 interceptions for a passer rating of Bacon was traded to the Bengals in in exchange for Chargers wide receiver Charlie Joiner.

Although the NFL didn't officially recognize sacks until , the Bengals list Bacon as having a franchise-record 22 sacks in He earned his only first-team All-Pro selection that year, intercepting five passes and returning two for touchdowns and also returning a fumble for a touchdown.

Curtis was so fast that he just missed making the Olympic team, and he changed the way the game was played. With teams resorting to holding or tackling him to try to account for his speed, a new rule was put in place prohibiting contact with a receiver after five yards. Parish retired with four punts returned for touchdowns and one kickoff return for a touchdown, along with 25 career interceptions with the Bengals 47 total.

The Bengals' defense gave up only 15 points per game, and had 26 interceptions, second in the league. Ken Riley led the AFC with nine interceptions, a franchise record until Cincinnati also forced 12 fumbles. The Bengals finished the season with 46 sacks -- a franchise record today. The Bengals' offense ranked sixth in total points but was only 15th in total yards. Their offense couldn't step up when it was needed the most, scoring a combined nine points against the Steelers, the league's best defense.

The Bengals would have made the playoffs had they beaten the Steelers in their second meeting. All four of their losses came to teams that made the playoffs and won at least 10 regular-season games, including a Monday night contest on the road against the Oakland Raiders, the eventual Super Bowl champions. Although the Bengals and the Steelers finished , Pittsburgh held the tiebreaker due to the sweep of Cincinnati.

It was always a dogfight [against the Steelers]. I hate losing anything, but especially to Pittsburgh in football. It still burns from when we played.

The Raiders' season essentially began with the finale, when Oakland knocked Kansas City out of the playoffs in overtime at Arrowhead Stadium to not only get the Raiders to , but essentially save Jon Gruden's job as head coach. Buoyed by the victory and experience, the Raiders went , their four defeats by a combined 16 points, and returned to the playoffs for the first time since , when they called Los Angeles home. The Raiders, who were 7.

He led Oakland with 76 catches for 1, yards and a career-high 11 touchdowns. He entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in He had four interceptions and forced three fumbles, recovering one, as a hard-hitting cornerback who would play through and is headed for Canton. He was named to his eighth, and final, Pro Bowl in after helping set up the league's No. The pieces came together for Gannon in his second year with Oakland, which had the No.

Tyrone Wheatley had his lone career 1,yard rushing season and the Raiders had the top rushing offense, at Oakland had the No. Three words -- Tony. In a span of four plays in the second quarter of the AFC title game against the Baltimore Ravens, the Raiders gave up a yard TD to Sharpe, Gannon was knocked out of the game by Siragusa and Bobby Hoying, who had thrown two passes in the regular season, was picked off on his first pass attempt.

Brown told owner Art Modell he would finish filming the movie in Europe, and after Modell demanded he return, Brown, fresh off a championship in and a title-game appearance in , chose to retire. Even without Brown, the Browns were 6. They led the league in rushing and scored more than points.

But they finished , second behind Dallas in the East Division. It was their worst record since and the first time they had not reached the playoffs since Kelly finished second in the league in rushing to Gale Sayers of the Bears. He led the league with 15 touchdowns.

The last member of the original Browns made just 9 of 23 field goal attempts. He played one more season before retiring. National Conference 30, American Conference January 10, [32].

National Conference 27, American Conference 7. Don Doll , Detroit Lions , Defensive back. Paul Brown, Cleveland NC: Buddy Parker , Detroit. Chuck Bednarik , Philadelphia Eagles , Linebacker.

Billy Wilson , San Francisco 49ers , End. Jim Trimble , Philadelphia WC: Buck Shaw , San Francisco. Ollie Matson , Chicago Cardinals , Running back. Joe Kuharich , Washington WC: Sid Gillman , Los Angeles. Bert Rechichar , Baltimore Colts Lineman: Ernie Stautner , Pittsburgh Steelers. Paddy Driscoll , Chicago Bears.

Gene Brito , Washington Redskins. Buddy Parker, Pittsburgh WC: George Wilson , Detroit. Doug Atkins , Chicago Bears. Weeb Ewbank , Baltimore. Johnny Unitas , Baltimore Colts Lineman: Buck Shaw , Philadelphia WC: Red Hickey , San Francisco.

Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts Lineman: Sam Huff , New York Giants. Buck Shaw, Philadelphia WC: Vince Lombardi , Green Bay. Jim Brown , Cleveland Browns Lineman: Henry Jordan , Green Bay Packers.

Norm Van Brocklin , Minnesota. Jim Brown, Cleveland Browns Lineman: Eugene Lipscomb, Pittsburgh Steelers. Gino Marchetti , Baltimore Colts. George Halas , Chicago. Fran Tarkenton , Minnesota Vikings Lineman: Terry Barr , Detroit Lions. Blanton Collier , Cleveland WC: Don Shula , Baltimore. Dale Meinert , St. Gale Sayers , Chicago Bears Lineman: Floyd Peters , Philadelphia Eagles. Tom Landry , Dallas WC: George Allen , Los Angeles. Gale Sayers, Chicago Bears Lineman: Dave Robinson , Green Bay Packers.

Otto Graham , Washington WC: Merlin Olsen , Los Angeles Rams. George Andrie , Dallas Cowboys. Norm Van Brocklin, Atlanta. Fred Carr , Packers Back: Mel Renfro , Cowboys. Dick Nolan , San Francisco. Willie Lanier , Chiefs Offense: Jan Stenerud , Chiefs. Dick Nolan, San Francisco. Simpson , Bills , Running back. Tom Landry , Dallas. Garo Yepremian , Dolphins , Placekicker. January 20, [33].

James Harris , Rams , Quarterback. Chuck Knox , Los Angeles. January 26, [33]. Billy Johnson , Oilers , Kick returner. January 17, [33]. Mel Blount , Steelers , Cornerback. January 23, [33]. Walter Payton , Bears , Running back. Chuck Knox, Los Angeles. January 29, [33]. Bud Grant , Minnesota.

Chuck Muncie , Saints , Running back. Eddie Murray , Lions , Placekicker. Leeman Bennett , Atlanta. John McKay , Tampa Bay. Joe Theismann , Redskins , Quarterback. Bill Walsh , San Francisco. Mark Gastineau , Jets , Defensive end. Mike Ditka , Chicago. Phil Simms , Giants , Quarterback. John Robinson , L. Reggie White , Eagles , Defensive end. Joe Gibbs , Washington. Bruce Smith , Bills , Defensive end. Jerry Burns , Minnesota.

Randall Cunningham , Eagles , Quarterback. Jerry Gray , Rams , Cornerback. Jim Kelly , Bills , Quarterback. Art Shell , L. George Seifert , San Francisco. Michael Irvin , Cowboys , Wide receiver.

Wayne Fontes , Detroit. Steve Tasker , Bills , Special teams. Andre Rison , Falcons , Wide receiver. George Seifert, San Francisco.

Marshall Faulk , Colts , Running back. Barry Switzer , Dallas. Jerry Rice , 49ers , Wide receiver. Mike Holmgren , Green Bay. Mark Brunell , Jaguars , Quarterback. Dom Capers , Carolina. Warren Moon , Seahawks , Quarterback. Steve Mariucci , San Francisco. Bill Belichick , [34] N. Dennis Green , Minnesota. Randy Moss , Vikings , Wide receiver. Mankind won the title, just seven days after losing it to The Rock at the Royal Rumble.

This halftime show was sponsored by Victoria's Secret and available exclusively in Windows Media Player. Viewer questions were solicited via the FoxSports.

The pregame show, narrated by actress Tori Spelling , depicted the adventure of a Caribbean cruise from its festive departure to its journey to exotic destinations. The show included a performance by KISS , along with their trademark elaborate costumes and theatrical pyrotechnics.

Cher later sang the U. To honor the 40th anniversary of the NFL Championship, also known as " The Greatest Game Ever Played ", the following participants of that game appeared during the coin toss ceremony: Weeb Ewbank , head coach of the Baltimore Colts in that game, was also scheduled to appear, but died November 17, And Miami-native Estefan performed " Oye! Falcons wide receiver Tim Dwight returned the opening kickoff 31 yards to the Atlanta yard line. Then aided by a yard pass interference penalty against Broncos defensive back Steve Atwater and 31 rushing yards from Jamal Anderson , the Falcons drove to the Broncos 8-yard line.

But Denver linebacker Bill Romanowski sacked quarterback Chris Chandler for a 7-yard loss on third down, forcing Atlanta to settle for Morten Andersen 's yard field goal to give them a 3—0 lead. The Broncos then responded with an yard scoring drive. Quarterback John Elway 's yard completion to wide receiver Rod Smith and two receptions by tight end Shannon Sharpe for a total of 26 net yards set up fullback Howard Griffith 's 1-yard touchdown run.

Unfortunately for Denver, Sharpe was injured on that drive. He did play the next drive, but was taken out of the game after that. Later in the first quarter, Falcons defensive back Ronnie Bradford intercepted a pass from Elway that had bounced off Sharpe and returned it to the Broncos yard line.

But Denver's defense made a great stand in the opening minutes of the 2nd quarter, tackling Anderson for no gain on 3rd down and 1, and then stopping him for a 2-yard loss on 4th down. The Broncos then reached the Atlanta 8-yard line on their ensuing possession, but were forced to settle for kicker Jason Elam 's yard field goal to increase their lead to 10—3. The Falcons then advanced to the Denver 8-yard line on their next drive, but failed to score when Andersen's yard field goal attempt sailed wide right.

TV viewers did not see most of the play, as Fox was still airing a commercial for The Matrix at the time. Aided by Dwight's yard kickoff return to the yard line, the Falcons responded by driving to Denver's yard line and scored with Andersen's yard field goal to cut Atlanta's deficit to 17—6 going into halftime.

The Broncos opened the second half by driving 74 yards to the Atlanta yard line, but ended up scoring no points after Elam's yard field goal attempt sailed wide right. Chandler responded on the next 2 plays with a yard completion to receiver Tony Martin and a yard scramble to advance the ball to the Denver yard line. But then linebacker John Mobley sacked Chandler for a 6-yard loss, and cornerback Darrius Johnson intercepted Chandler's pass and returned it 28 yards to the Falcons yard line on the next play.

Denver then drove to the yard line, but Elam missed another field goal attempt, this one from 47 yards. After the missed field goal, the Falcons drove to the Denver yard line with Anderson's yard run, wide receiver Terance Mathis ' yard catch, and a yard run from Anderson, giving them a chance to cut their deficit to within one touchdown.

However, Broncos defensive back Darrien Gordon intercepted a pass from Chandler and returned it 58 yards to the Atlanta yard line. Two plays later on 3rd and 6, Elway's yard completion to Ed McCaffrey gave Denver a 1st and goal from the 5-yard line. Griffith took the ball to the end zone from there with two consecutive running plays, the second a 1-yard run to increase Denver's lead to 24—6. The Falcons reached the Broncos yard line on their ensuing drive, but Gordon intercepted another pass and returned this one 50 yards to the Atlanta yard line.

On the next play, Elway completed a short pass to running back Terrell Davis , who turned it into a yard gain. Dwight returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown to cut Atlanta's deficit to 31—13, but the Broncos recovered the ensuing onside kick attempt.

Two plays later, a yard completion from Elway to McCaffrey set up Elam's yard field goal with just over 7 minutes left in the 4th quarter. The Falcons' offense advanced inside the Denver yard line for the third consecutive time, with Chandler completing 8 of 14 passes for 67 yards and rushing for 6 yards, and finally scored this time on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Chandler to Mathis. Mathis' touchdown made the score 34—19 Chandler's pass on the two-point conversion attempt was incomplete , but by then there was only 2: Atlanta failed to recover the onside kick, but got the ball back on their own yard line with 1: However, Anderson fumbled at the Broncos yard line, and Broncos defensive back Tyrone Braxton recovered the ball, allowing Denver to run out the clock and win the game.

The two teams combined for a Super Bowl record 30 4th-quarter points, with the Broncos' 17 and Falcons' The Falcons' offense gained a total of yards, were not penalized once, and had driven inside Denver's yard line seven times. But Atlanta's offense scored only 13 points and committed four turnovers.

Meanwhile, the Broncos gained a total of yards and scored 34 points. For the Broncos, Davis rushed for yards and caught 2 passes for 50 yards. Davis became just the second player to be on a Super Bowl-winning team after being named the NFL Most Valuable Player and leading the league in rushing. Marcus Allen is the only other player to win all three of these honors during his career.

Smith caught 5 passes for yards and a touchdown, an average of Gordon recorded 2 interceptions and returned them for a Super Bowl record yards. For the Falcons, Jamal Anderson rushed for 96 yards and caught 3 passes for 16 yards. Dwight returned 5 kickoffs for yards, the second most in Super Bowl history, and the highest Super Bowl career yards per return average Mathis led Atlanta with 7 receptions for 85 yards. Chandler finished the game with 19 out of 35 completions for yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted 3 times.

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The Pro Bowl is the all-star game of the National Football League (NFL). From the merger with the rival American Football League (AFL) in up through and since , it is officially called the AFC–NFC Pro Bowl, matching the top players in the American Football Conference (AFC) against those in the National Football . The Super Bowl was created as part of the merger agreement in between the National Football League (NFL) and its competitive rival, the . Super Bowl XXXIII was an American football game played between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Denver Broncos and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Atlanta Falcons to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the gas-bg.ga Broncos defeated the Falcons by the score of 34–19, winning their second consecutive Super Bowl.