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Highest-Scoring Super Bowl Games

You might be a knowledgeable football fan who enjoys seeing defense played at its best. That hasn’t always been the result, however, as any number of shootouts have occurred in both regular and postseason games.

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Harrison Butker #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs kicks the go ahead field goal during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023
Harrison Butker #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs / Gregory Shamus - AFP

Pyrotechnics are generally fun to observe, provided it’s not the defensive coordinator doing the observing. Here, we’ll be going over the highest-scoring games in the history of the Super Bowl.

1. Super Bowl XXXVII – 69 Points (Bucs 48, Raiders 21, 1/26/2003)

A slow start, with just six points in the opening quarter. However, with multiple touchdowns in each of the game’s final three quarters, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers easily disposed of the Oakland Raiders.

Scoring by the defense as well. A Super Bowl-record five interceptions thrown by the Raiders, three were touchdowns. In the fourth quarter, Oakland’s Eric Johnson returned a blocked punt 13 yards to the end zone.

The two quarterbacks’ (Oakland’s Rich Gannon and Tampa Bay’s Brad Johnson) aggregate passing yardage was just 487, 18 fewer than New England’s Tom Brady versus the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018.

Given that the Bucs spent the majority of the second half squandering time, running back Michael Pittman finished with 29 carries and 124 yards. It was Mike Alstott, a fullback, scoring the only rushing touchdown, a two-yard run in the second quarter.

Oakland Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon prepares to throw the ball during the first quarter of Super Bowl XXXVII at Qualcomm Stadium 26 January, 2003
Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon prepares to throw the ball during the first quarter of Super Bowl XXXVII at Qualcomm Stadium 26 January, 2003 // Jeff Haynes – AFP

2. Super Bowl LVII – 73 points (Chiefs 38, Eagles 35, 2/12/2023)

The latest Super Bowl (LVII) featured a victory by the AFC-champion Kansas City Chiefs over the NFC-champion Philadelphia Eagles, making it the third-highest-scoring Super Bowl.

Note that Kansas City missed a field goal in the second quarter, and on its final possession, running back Jerick McKinnon “surrendered himself” on the one-yard line to kill time before the Chiefs’ game-winning boot in the final seconds. So, it’s quite possible Super Bowl LVII would have been atop this list. Regardless, the Eagles’ 35 points set a losing team record.

Many other records were broken (or at least equaled), including the longest punt return (KC’s Kadarius Toney-65 yards) and points scored by one player (Philly’s Jalen Hurts-20). KC was down 24-14, at the half, but had 24 second-half points to earn the franchise’s third-ever win in the Super Bowl. Game MVP Patrick Mahomes shrugged off another sprained ankle to throw three touchdown passes, As was mentioned, the Chiefs’ Harrison Butker won the game with a 27-yard field goal with five seconds left.

3. Super Bowl LII – 74 Points (Eagles 41, Patriots 33, 2/4/2018)

So, the first half of Super Bowl LII was not exciting. The two teams exchanged field goals to begin the game. while on subsequent possessions, both missed kicks. Philadelphia’s Alshon Jeffery caught a touchdown pass (Jake Elliott botched the point). New England’s Stephen Gostkowski then failed on a “gimme” 26-yard attempt, which spoiled a lengthy Patriots’ drive.

Then, the points began to pour. At least 19 points in each of the ensuing quarters of the game. Three different Pats had over 100 receiving yards. Quarterback Tom Brady ended with 505 passing yards, which was/is a Super Bowl record, but couldn’t overcome the Eagles’ Nick Foles and the “Philly Special” in that team’s first-ever win in the Super Bowl. Brady wouldn’t stay down long, leading the Pats to win and the Los Angeles Rams the next season, then the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Kansas City Chiefs two seasons after that.

Foles concluded the game of his life with 373 passing yards, three touchdowns and Trey Burton finding him in the end zone. LeGarrette Blount had 90 rush yards (14 carries, one touchdown) in a vengeance game against his old team. At least 49 receiving yards by five Eagles.

Chris Hogan #15 of the New England Patriots makes a catch against the Philadelphia EaglePhiladelphia Eagles during the second quarter in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018
Chris Hogan #15 of the Patriots makes a catch against the Eagles during the second quarter in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018 // Andy Lyons – AFP

4. Super Bowl XXIX – 75 Points (49ers 49, Chargers 26, 1/29/1995)

It’s no secret the NFC used to dominate the Super Bowl each year, as in 11 wins in a row with San Francisco’s rout of the Bolts. It was eventually 13 consecutive NFC victories in this game.

Offensive attack of San Francisco quickly overwhelmed the Chargers. Quarterback Steve Young connected with Jerry Rice on a 44-yard touchdown to conclude the game’s opening drive, then with Ricky Watters (51-yard touchdown) on the Niners’ second possession. With two other Young touchdown passes before the half, the 49ers led, 28-10, and weren’t threatened.

San Francisco then scored the first two touchdowns of the second half, widening to a 42-10 lead in the third quarter. While San Diego scored on an Andre Coleman kickoff return and a subsequent touchdown pass by Stan Humphries, it wasn’t competitive.

It was Steve Young’s MVP day, 325 passing yards (Super Bowl-record six touchdown passes, five rushes, 49 yards). He ended by eclipsing the Niners’ Joe Montana’s previous mark of five touchdown passes in Super Bowl XXIV’s 55-10 beatdown of the Denver Broncos.

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