Another February, and another Super Bowl has come and gone. Just like that, an entire decade of NFL championships has been written forever in the annals of gridiron legend.
The 2010s, much like the 00s, has been largely dominated by one dynastic empire - namely that of Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
Indeed, many a casual NFL viewer could be forgiven for tuning into the big game most years, looking at the scoreboard, and nary batting an eyelid upon seeing that the Patriots are playing again.
Yet, although the Patriots have played in 5 of 10 Super Bowls this decade, we’ve also seen new challengers and new champions enjoying their day in the sun, if only for precious, fleeting moments.
Far from a solely New England-based celebration, it’s also been a decade of kingmakers and rising stars, as well as the setting suns of some of the league’s storied elite. Those stories often came to fruition in the Super Bowl, a spectacular annual event that attracts viewers from far and wide.
Of course, like any championship bouts, some of these games are destined to go down as classics, while others have likely already been forgotten by many…
10. Super Bowl XLVIII (2014) Seattle Seahawks 43-8 Denver Broncos
The 2013 season looked set to end with a worthy coronation for the recently crowned league MVP Peyton Manning (his fifth such award) after a year in which his Denver Broncos had smashed offensive milestones by the barrowful.
He’d thrown for an astounding 55 touchdowns in the regular season, and while the Seahawks presented a stern defensive challenge, with their talismanic quarterback Denver were favoured to win their third championship.
As the bright lights of MetLife Stadium shined on the Sheriff, preparing to take the opening snap like a maestro beginning his magnus opus, fans everywhere readied themselves for the triumphant closing chapter of his historic season.
The Seahawks, however, had a different sort of story in mind. With the snap sailing over Manning’s head due to an errant throw by his jittery center, Seattle recovered the loose ball for a safety and the rest of the game unfurled like a comedic farce for Manning and his supposed offensive juggernauts.
The Seahawks, anchored by their feared Legion of Boom secondary, tormented Manning at nearly every turn, twice picking him off with one interception returned for a touchdown by game MVP Malcolm Smith. Seattle laid waste to the Broncos in every facet, scoring on offense, defense, and special teams.
Casual fans tuned in expecting to see what all the buzz about this legendary Manning fellow was about, and didn’t receive any answers in this embarrassing game.