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Super Bowl Countdown No. 18: Packers Let Broncos Score Game-Winning TD

It’s not every day – in any game, let alone the Super Bowl – that a team concedes a touchdown to its opponent.

That’s precisely what happened in Super Bowl XXXII on Jan. 25, 1998, at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif., when the Denver Broncos met the Green Bay Packers..

Super Bowl Countdown No. 18 Packers Let Broncos Score Game-Winning TD
Malik Heath #18 of the Green Bay Packers | Mike Mulholland/Getty Images/AFP

The Super Bowl betting coming into the game had the Packers as 11-point favorites with the Vegas totals set at 49 points.

Picks for the Super Bowl saw Denver win 31-24 as the double-digit underdog and the game went over when Terrell Davis scored the winning touchdown. And, oh, what a decision was made for that to happen.

Denver won 31-24 as the double-digit underdog and the game went over when Terrell Davis scored the winning touchdown. And, oh, what a decision was made for that to happen.

Setting the Stage

The game was played in the Golden State and musical acts from California were on display. The 5th Dimension and The Beach Boys were among the performers. The national anthem was sung by someone born in Utah, Jewel.

Halftime swung to the Midwest as the 40th anniversary of Motown was celebrated with Boyz II Men, Queen Latifah, and Smokey Robinson among others.

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Enough with the festivities … on to the game.

How They Got There

The Denver Broncos were a wild-card entry into the playoffs. They finished the regular season 12-4, a game behind the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West.

Green Bay coasted to the NFC Central crown by three games over the Minnesota Vikings. The Packers were 13-3 in the regular season.

The Packers won games over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers by double digits to earn the NFC spot in the Super Bowl.

The Broncos, as a wild-card team, had a tougher journey. They crushed the Jacksonville Jaguars before edging Kansas City 14-10 and the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-21. The last two wins came on the road.

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Super Bowl XXXII

Hall of Fame quarterbacks were in the spotlight as Brett Favre and John Elway dueled.

Favre threw a pair of TD passes in the first half, but Elway and Terrell Davis had short TD runs and Jason Elam added a field goal so Denver led 17-14 at halftime.

The Packers tied the game on a Ryan Longwell field goal in the third quarter.

The Helicopter Run

Elway made an inspiring run in the third quarter that has become known in NFL lore as the “Helicopter Run.” The QB was hit, then hit again and spun like, well, a chopper’s propellers.

Eventually, Davis scored his second TD from a yard out to give Denver the 24-17 lead.

Antonio Freeman caught his second TD pass of the game in the fourth quarter and things were knotted at 24.

This set the stage for Packers coach Mike Holmgren to make the only call he could.

The Final Minutes

Denver had taken over at its 49 with 3:27 left and began the game-defining drive. Holmgren saw time ticking away and the Broncos moving close to a game-winning score, whether it would become a field goal or touchdown.

Davis was a force in the contest. The Packers could not contain his running game, and a 17-yard rush put the ball at the Green Bay 1 with 1:47 left.

Holmgren’s team had two timeouts left and he thought it was first-and-goal, which would prove to be a critical misunderstanding.

It was second down and the Packers could have attempted to thwart Denver and force a field goal attempt, leaving plenty of time for Green Bay to try and knot the score with its own kick.

Instead, Holmgren instructed his defense to let Denver score, which Davis did for the third time from a yard.

Green Bay drove to the Denver 31 but turned over the ball on downs on an incompletion on fourth down.

Conclusion

The Packers came into the game looking for back-to-back Super Bowl triumphs. Instead, they fell and Denver went on to win consecutive championships, defeating the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII

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Questions Of The Day

What are the early odds for Super Bowl LVIII?


The San Francisco 49ers sit at +400. The Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chief are +450. You can find all the Super Bowl futures at Betus.com.

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People love to bet the moneyline and against the spread. And there is a virtual buffet or props that BetUS populates and bettors go to town on them.

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