Super Bowl buildup has begun. Less than two weeks until Super Bowl LIV kicks off in Miami Florida. I am going to do multiple “countdowns” leading up to the big game and then next week we will dive into the actual game coverage, who to root for, the gambling, the food and everything else pertaining to Chiefs and 49ers.
We are going to start our countdown series with the top five greatest coaches in Super Bowl History. This year we have two coaches, Andy Reid and Kyle Shanahan who are both seeking their first Super Bowl title as a Head Coach. Andy Reid has won a Super Bowl as an assistant with the Packers in SB XXXI and lost to the Patriots as Head Coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. Kyle Shanahan has appeared in the big game as the offensive Coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, they blew a 28-3 lead against the Patriots in that game and Shanahan received a lot of criticism for his play calling during the second half. Both these coaches are looking to add their name to the history books and become a Super Bowl winning Head Coach. Let’s start our countdown, this list has nothing to do with their regular season success or lack there of. This isn’t even a matter of their career long success in the Super Bowl. We know that the top 5 would have Belichick, Lombardi, Walsh, Noll and Shula most likely. So what I have decided to do was go through all the Super Bowls and pick my top 5 coaching performances in the history of the game. Who elevated their team to a huge win, comeback or historic season. In addition, I will give you the top five worst coaching jobs in Super Bowl history, the blunders, the play-calls and the wrong end of a blowout.
Lets start with the worst coaching performances in Super Bowl history:
5. Jim Fassel, New York Giants, Super Bowl XXXV vs Baltimore Ravens
– This performance was extremely ugly and the Giants looked unprepared to play in this game. The Ravens obviously had one of the greatest defenses of all time but the Giants had no plan defensively and let Trent Dilfer and the boys put up 20 points offensively and the Giants were penalized in major moments of this game. Undisciplined and lack of a game plan led to the Ravens blowout win 34-7. Kerry Collins was awful, special teams was bad and the defense got burned on two long passing plays by once again, Trent Dilfer.
4. Marv Levy, Buffalo Bills, Super Bowl XXVII vs Dallas Cowboys
– The poor Buffalo Bills, losing four straight Super Bowls from 91-94. This was by far the worst beating they took in any of the Super Bowls. After losing back-to-back games in SB XXV and XXVI, Levy had a chance to right the ship and bring a title back to Western New York. After a week of preparation and the K-GUN offense ready to take its third straight run at theLombardi trophy, Levy and the Bills could only muster up 17 points. The worst part of this game was that the Cowboys laid a fifty burger on Buffalo, 52 to be exact, 21 points in the 4th quarter. An absolute awful performance and Levy unfortunately was the coach who laid one of the biggest eggs in Super Bowl history.
3. Dan Quinn, Atlanta Falcons, Super Bowl LI vs New England Patriots
– We all know what this game is known for. 28-3, the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. A twenty five point lead in the third quarter and Dan Quinn and the Falcons refused to run the ball, made misstep after misstep and allowed New England to get not one but two 2 point conversions to tie the game at the end of regulation. On the first drive of overtime, Brady and the Patriots would score a touchdown to capture their fifth Lombardi trophy. The greatest choke job in Super Bowl history, Dan Quinn was the guy who was overseeing this massive choke job.
2. Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks, Super Bowl XLIX vs N.E. Patriots
– The Patriots come into this list again on the positive end of another coaching blunder. This really comes down to one decision, not giving the ball to Marshawn Lynch. On the goal line with a chance to win back-to-back Super Bowls, Pete Carroll decided not to run the ball, instead they threw it and Malcolm Butler pulled off the interception to win the big game for New England. Lynch was the top goal line back in the league, 4 chances on the goal line with Beast Mode and Carroll blew this opportunity.
1. Bill Callahan, Oakland Raiders, Super Bowl XXXVII vs T. B. Bucs
– Without a doubt the worst coaching performance in Super Bowl history. Jon Gruden was traded from the Raiders to the Bucs and in his first season in Tampa Bay he led his team to the Super Bowl to take on his former team. Bill Callahan forgot to do one little thing before the big game… change the plays, the audibles, do something different. Callahan left Gruden’s system in place and Gruden and the Bucs knew what was coming all night long. An absolute Bucs defensive dominant performance.
Best Coaching performances in Super Bowl history:
5. Chuck Noll, Pittsburgh Steelers, Super Bowl X vs Dallas Cowboys
– One of the greatest coaches in NFL history paints his masterpiece. This win gave the Steelers back to back Super Bowl Championships. Noll was able to orchestrate the game plan to have a second half comeback against Tom Landry’s Cowboys to win the game 21-17.
4. Bill Belichick, New England Patriots, Super Bowl XXXVI vs Stl. Rams
– One of the most emotional games in NFL history, the first Super Bowl after 9/11. The Patriots donning their red, white and blue uniforms were able to pull off one of the greatest upsets in Super Bowl history. The Rams were favored by 14 points and Belichick was able to develop a pressure packed defensive game plan to stall the “Greatest Show On Turf” and won the game on a last second field goal, 20-17. Nothing better than Pat Summerall and John Madden on the call.
3. Mike Shanahan, Denver Broncos, Super Bowl XXXII vs G.B. Packers
– Nobody gave the Broncos a chance in this Super Bowl, the Broncos were becoming the lovable losers of the Super Bowl. Shanahan was able to confuse the Packers and take the ball out of John Elway’s hands and gave it to Terrell Davis who would run wild on Green Bay for the majority of the game. The Broncos were 11 point underdogs and were able to pull the huge upset against the defending Super Bowl Champions.
2.Weeb Ewbank, New York Jets, Super Bowl III vs Baltimore Colts
– One of, if not the greatest upset in NFL history. The New York Jets were 18 point underdogs against Johnny Unitas and the dominant Colts. Ewbank was focused on coming up with a scheme to slow down the hall of fame quarterback and he did just that, holding the Colts to 7 points and winning the Jets first and only Super Bowl Championship.
1.Tom Coughlin, New York Giants, Super Bowl XLII vs N.E. Patriots
– The Patriots came into this game 18-0 and were favored by 12 points entering Super Bowl XLII. Coughlin took a page out of the Belichick playbook and brought non stop pressure on Tom Brady and the highest scoring offense in NFL history was held to 14 points as the Giants were able to win their third title in franchise history courtesy of the helmet catch 17-14.
There you have it. The coaches make a huge difference in this game, Andy Reid vs Kyle Shanahan in Super Bowl LIV.