Super Bowl LII is in the books.
In a stunning turn of events, the Philadelphia Eagles and Nick Foles took home the Lombardi Trophy over New England Patriots.
Millions of fans around the country were shocked when Brady’s last second hail mary hit the ground and the game came to an end. After all, the Patriots entered the game as heavy favorites.
How much does that really matter though? The Eagles were considered underdogs throughout the playoffs and still made it there. On top of that, the underdog winning the Super Bowl has been fairly common over the past decade. It seems as if the League is attempting to use the betting odds for their biggest games as a way to generate shocking moments.
We’re on to you, Roger.
This week, we’ll take a look at some of the biggest “upsets” in recent Super Bowl history, and how those winning teams were booked after being crowned as World Champions.
Chapter I: Hurricane Redemption
Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the city of New Orleans was devastated. The NFL did their part in helping out the area, in the form of Drew Brees in a Saints uniform. Brees would help transform the Saints and get the entire region behind them. From there came one of the most confusing booking decisions of all-time.
After a few years of building success, the Brees-led Saints took the field of Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010 against Peyton Manning and the Colts. The Colts were five point favorites entering the game, and went into the half with the lead. The Saints onside kick to begin the second half is arguably one of the most notable plays in the history of the Super Bowl, and the League used it to set the stage for an epic Saints victory, doing us all a favor.
But that’s not where this story ends! In the coming years, the League would run a storyline detailing a bounty scandal in the Saints locker room that ran for several seasons. The most talked about game during that stretch was the NFC Championship game just before their Super Bowl victory, where Vikings quarterback Brett Favre was decimated with big hits. The scandal has left a black cloud on the Saints one and only Super Bowl victory.
Chapter II: Lights Out Performance
In 2013, the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers squared off in the Harbaugh Bowl. The game started out as a head scratcher despite all the extra effort put into hyping it. The underdog Ravens shot out to a lead early and dominated the first half 21-6. When the second half started with a return touchdown, pushing the Ravens lead to 28-6, you began to wonder if the route was on.
The 49ers were in need of a miracle. Something that could turn the lights out on this surging Ravens team.
In one of the most unique spots to date, the power went out in the Superdome. The 34 minute delay until the game restarted effectively iced Baltimore, leading to a huge comeback by the 4 point favorites. A 22-point lead was cut down to two with 10 minutes left in the game. When it looked like the favorites would complete the comeback, however, they came up just short. In a roller coaster of a game, the Ravens completed the upset.
Following that game? The Ravens have been booked to make the playoffs just once in five seasons.
Chapter III: Passing of the Torch?
Super Bowl 50 featured a matchup between the Carolina Panthers led by league MVP Cam Newton, and the Denver Broncos led by the aging Peyton Manning.
Newton was built as a possible future face of the league this season. He led the Panthers to a nearly perfect 15-1 record and 500 points on the season. The postseason was more of the same for the Panthers, averaging 40 points a game heading into the championship tilt with the Broncos.
On the other side, uncertainty swirled around the Broncos. Manning had been replaced Brock Osweiler before returning in time for one last run at the title. In what was widely believed to be his final game, many believed Manning would go out looking at the lights as Newton hoisted the trophy over his head.
The stage was set. Time for a new star to be born.
Not so fast. The 5.5 point favorites only managed 10 points total and Newton didn’t even complete half of his passes on the night. Manning and the Broncos cruised to a 24-10 victory, allowing Manning to go out on top.
The Panthers weren’t shown much love by the League the following season, going 6-10. While they did bounce back a bit this season, it’s safe to say Newton isn’t viewed as a star by the powers that be.