The dawn of Super Bowl 56 prompts a flashback of the Keystone State’s rich Super Bowl history. With both PA teams making an early exit in this year’s playoffs, we wanted to cheer ourselves up a bit by looking at some of the better times when it comes to our Pennsylvania NFL teams and the big game.
Super Bowl 56 Betting Lines
Super Bowl History – Keystone State of Champions
They were once actually the same team. The 1943 Steagles combined Philadelphia and Pittsburgh players, because World War II had diminished the pool of available athletes.
In the spirit of Steagles and for the pleasure of all Pennsylvania football fans, here’s a look at each team’s Super Bowl history. Let’s take a look back at the final scores, location, opponents, dates, attendance, and even the actual point spreads of these historic games.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers are 6-2 in the Super Bowl, with their last triumph coming in 2009.
- The Philadelphia Eagles are 1-2, with their victory coming in one of the most visually pleasing games ever.
Super Bowl IX – Steelers vs Vikings
- Steelers 16, Minnesota Vikings 6
- Tulane Stadium – New Orleans, Louisiana
- January 12, 1975; Attendance: 80,997
- Super Bowl 9 Betting Line: Pittsburgh -3
Projected as a low-scoring game because of Pittsburgh’s Steel Curtain and the Vikings’ Purple People Eaters defense.
Dwight White scored the first-ever Super Bowl points for Pittsburgh. He notched the first tally of the game, a safety.
Game MVP Franco Harris had a nine-yard touchdown run for the Steelers. This would be the first of four Super Bowl triumphs in the 1970s
Super Bowl X – Steelers vs Cowboys
- Steelers 21, Dallas Cowboys 17
- Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida
- January 18, 1976; Attendance: 80,187
- Super Bowl 10 Betting Line: Pittsburgh -7
The game featured three unbelievable catches by game MVP Lynn Swann, all bombs.
One was a grab between two defenders as he tight roped to stay in bounds.
The second was the famed Levitating Leap, in which he maintained concentration after the pass was tipped by a defender, and he came down with it.
The third was Pittsburgh’s final touchdown, a 64-yard catch putting Pittsburgh up 21-10,
Pittsburgh quarterback Terry Bradshaw was knocked unconscious on the play and did not return.
The Steelers had to survive a last-second Hail Mary and end-zone tip to secure their second straight Super Bowl triumph.
A lasting image among Steelers faithful is Jack Lambert throwing Cliff Harris of the Cowboys down in the third quarter. Harris was taunting kicker Roy Gerela, who had just missed a field goal.
Super Bowl XIII – Steelers vs Cowboys
- Steelers 35, Dallas Cowboys 31
- Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida
- January 21, 1979; Attendance: 79,484
- Super Bowl 13 Betting Line: Pittsburgh -4
Known in Las Vegas as Black Sunday, when the books got muddled. The game opened at Pittsburgh -3.5 and Steelers bettors jumped on it. The line expanded to Pittsburgh -4.5 and Dallas gamblers lit it up. The line came back to Pittsburgh -4. Bettors on both sides collected and the books were shellacked.
As for the game, Pittsburgh gained a 35-17 lead on two touchdowns by John Stallworth, one from Lynn Swann and Rocky Bleir, Dallas scored twice late to make the game look closer.
Swann had 124 yards and Stallworth 115. They became the first teammates to have 100 yards of receiving in the same Super Bowl.
Bradshaw threw for four touchdowns and was named MVP.
Super Bowl XIV – Steelers vs Rams
- Steelers 31, Los Angeles Rams 19
- Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
- January 20, 1980; Attendance: 103,985
- Super Bowl 14 Betting Line: Pittsburgh -10.5
Again, showing they were a great fourth-quarter team, the Steelers overcame a 19-13 fourth-quarter deficit with two touchdowns. One was a 73-yard hookup between Terry Bradshaw and John Stallworth.
The finale was a one-yard touchdown run by Franco Harris with 1:49 remaining.
Bradshaw won a second straight game MVP award.
This cemented Pittsburgh’s status as the team of the 70’s. Although their subsequent slogan “One for the Thumb in ‘81”, the goal for a fifth Super Bowl ring, they had a remarkable decade.
Super Bowl XXX – Steelers vs Cowboys
- Dallas Cowboys 27, Pittsburgh Steelers 17
- Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ.
- January 28, 1996 Attendance 76,347
- Betting Line: Dallas -13.5
The Steelers covered +13.5 and did come back from a 20-7 deficit to crawl within 20-17 on a Bam Morris touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
But a late pick-by-game MVP Larry Brown set up Dallas for a putaway score.
It was the first Super Bowl loss for the Steelers.
Super Bowl XL – Steelers vs Seahawks
- Steelers 21, Seattle Seahawks 10
- Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
- February 5, 2006; Attendance: 68,206
- Super Bowl 40 Betting Line: Pittsburgh -4
Two Super Bowl milestones for Pittsburgh.
Running back Willie Parker exploded for a 75-yard scoring run, the longest in Super Bowl history.
Antwaan Randel El, who played quarterback while in college, later became the first wide receiver to throw a touchdown pass. After Willie Parker took a pitch from Ben Roethlisberger and handed it off, Randle El hit game MVP, Hines Ward, for the 43-yard putaway score.
Super Bowl XLIII – Steelers vs Cardinals
- Steelers 27, Arizona Cardinals 23
- Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
- February 1, 2009; Attendance: 70,774
- Super Bowl 43 Betting Line: Pittsburgh -7
Take your pick of phenomenal plays.
Was it game MVP Santonio Holmes’ six-yard catch in the corner of the end zone for the eventual winning score?
Or was it the incredible 100-yard interception return by James Harrison on the final play of the first half? That boosted Pittsburgh’s lead from 10-7 to 17-7.
Steelers fans won’t mind the debate. What a choice.
Super Bowl XLV – Steelers vs Packers
- Green Bay Packers 31, Pittsburgh Steelers 25
- Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Tx
- Feb. 6, 2011. Attendance 103, 219
- Super Bowl 45 Betting Line: Green Bay -3
The Steelers clawed back from a 21-3 deficit, pulling withing 28-25 on a Mike Wallace fourth-quarter touchdown.
Mason Crosby added a late field goal for Green Bay.
In a matchup of future Hall of Famers, quarterback Aaron Rodgers was not intercepted but Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger was, twice. One went for a touchdown.
SUPER BOWL HISTORY: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
While their SB history may not be as impressive as the Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles have an impressive NFL history or their own. You be the judge.
Super Bowl XV – Eagles vs Raiders
- Oakland Raiders 27, Eagles 10
- Superdome, New Orleans, La.
- Jan. 26, 1981. Attendance 76,135
- Super Bowl 15 Betting Line: Eagles -3
Known for big plays and missed opportunities.
An interception by eventual game Rod Martin set Oakland up for the first score.
Later, Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Rodney Parker but the score was nullified by an illegal motion penalty on wide receiver Harold Carmichael and the Eagles ended up being forced to punt.
Rather than being tied 7-7, the Eagles remained behind.
With the Eagles trailing 24-3 in the second half, Martin picked Jaworski again in Oakland territory.
Super Bowl XXXIX – Eagles vs Patriots
New England Patriots 24, EAGLES 21
Alltel Stadium, Jacksonville, Fla.
Feb. 6, 2005. Attendance 78,125
Super Bowl 39 Betting Line: New England -7
One of the few Super Bowls tied at halftime, 14-14.
Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, and Terrell Owens kept the Birds in it, but they came up just short.
The game is noted for the deliberate nature of an Eagles drive that chewed up much of the fourth-quarter clock when they trailed 24-14. They got the score but failed with the ensuing onside kick.
Irony: the Patriots got a touchdown from Mike Vrabel, now the coach of the Tennessee Titans.
The Patriots became the last team to win back-to-back Super Bowls.
And they almost did it again the following year until…
Super Bowl LII – Eagles vs Patriots – You Want Philly Philly?
- EAGLES 41, New England Patriots 33
- U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Feb. 4, 2018. Attendance 67,612
- Betting Line: New England -4
The Eagles’ first Super Bowl title will be forever immortalized by the Philly Special.
Game MVP Nick Foles became the first quarterback to ever catch a Super Bowl touchdown. Cory Clement to Trey Burton to Foles slipping out of the backfield is one of the most iconic plays in Super Bowl history.
But there’s more.
The Eagles and Patriots set a Super Bowl record for combined yardage, 1,151, fewest punts (one), the most yards gained by a team (613) for New England) and most points scored by a losing team.
By standards of Philadelphia Eagles fans, it is about as perfect as a game can get.
Featured image credit: Rich Schultz – AP