Super Bowl History 1980 – 1989

Super Bowl XIV
Chuck Noll’s Pittsburgh Steelers would repeat to win Super Bowl 14 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on January 20th, 1980 against Ray Malavasi’s LA Rams. Terry Bradshaw took home MVP for the second straight year as the Steelers won their 4th Super Bowl before any other team had won three. John Stallworth and Lynn Swan each caught touchdowns, while Franco Harris ran for two. Dave Elmendorf, Rod Perry, and Eddie Brown intercepted three Bradshaw passes, but it wasn’t enough. Lawrence McCutcheon connected with Ron Smith on a halfback pass but quarterback Vince Ferragamo couldn’t make the big throw for the Rams. Unsung hero, Larry Anderson, had 162 return yards setting up the Steeler win, 31-19.

Super Bowl XV
Tom Flores’ Oakland Raiders beat Dick Vermeil’s Philadelphia Eagles, 27-10, in Super Bowl 15 on January 25th, 1981 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. Ron Jaworski had 291 yards, but was intercepted by linebacker Rod Martin three times. Jim Plunkett threw three touchdowns in Super Bowl Fifteen; an 80 yard bomb to Kenny King, and two shorter scores to Cliff Branch. An Eagle defense led by John Bunting and Herman Edwards couldn’t slow Plunkett and Mark Van Eeghen (75 yards). Ted Hendricks, Matt Millen, Dave Browning, and Martin led the stout Raider defense.

Super Bowl XVI
On January 24, 1982 Super Bowl 16 was played in Pontiac, Michigan at the Pontiac Sliverdome. Bill Walsh’s San Francisco 49ers faced Forrest Gregg’s Cincinnati Bengals. MVP, Joe Montana, inched his Forty-Niners into Super Bowl Sixteen by completing a last second touchdown to Dwight Clark in the NFC Title Game, known as “The Catch”. Montana took home MVP honors, throwing one touchdown to Earl Cooper, while running for another. Ray Wersching had a Super Bowl record 4 field goals. Ken Anderson brought the Bengals roaring back with a touchdown run and pass to Dan Ross. But early turnovers by Chris Collinsworth and Anderson were too much to overcome as Eric Wright, Lynn Thomas, Ronnie Lott, and Dwight Hicks led San Francisco’s defense to victory.

Super Bowl XVII
On January 30th, 1983, Joe Gibbs’ Washington Redskins beat Don Shula’s Miami Dolphins 27-17 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Super Bowl 17 MVP, John Riggins, rushed for a record 166 yards, and Joe Theismann threw two touchdowns, to Alvin Garrett and Charlie Brown, leading the Redskin comeback in the second half. Miami’s 17 Super Bowl Seventeen points came in the first half; a 76 yard touchdown pass from David Woodley to Jimmy Cefalo, a short field goal by Uwe Von Schamann, and a 98 yard kickoff return by Fulton Walker. Vernon Dean and Mark Murphy led the Washington defense that held Woodley and Don Strock to 4-17 passing.

Super Bowl XVIII
Joe Gibbs’ Washington Redskins were back as Defending Champs for Super Bowl 18 in Tampa, Florida on January 30th, 1983. Super Bowl Eighteen was different for Joe, as Tom Flores’ Los Angeles Raiders blew-out Joe Theismann (2-ints), John Riggins (64-yds) and the rest of the Redskins, 38-9, in the Super Bowl’s most lopsided contest yet. Marcus Allen literally ran away with Super Bowl MVP, compiling over 200 total yards and two touchdowns, with a record 192 rushing. Derrick Jensen blocked a punt for a touchdown and linebacker Jack Squireck returned an interception for a score to end the half. Jim Plunkett tossed a TD to Cliff Branch adding fuel to the fire.

Super Bowl XIX
On January 20th, 1985 Don Shula’s Miami Dolphins played Bill Walsh’s San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 19 at Stanford Stadium in Stanford, California. Two of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks of all time, Dan Marino and Joe Montana, led their respective teams into what promised to be an offensive explosion. But Walsh’s Nickel Defense held Marino well below season averages while the Dolphins couldn’t coral Super Bowl Nineteen MVP Joe Montana (361 yards, 4 total touchdowns), Roger Craig (3 scores), and Dwight Clark, as the Niners nailed Miami, 38-9. Manu Tuiasosopo, Ronnie Lott, and Eric C. Wright halted Mark Clayton, Mark Duper, Tony Nathan, and the Dolphins.

Super Bowl XX
In Super Bowl 20, on January 26th, 1986, Mike Ditka’s Chicago Bears destroyed Raymond Berry’s New England Patriots 46-10, in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. The Bear’s “46 Zone” that helped Chicago to a 15-1 record, recorded 7 sacks, holding Steve Grogan, Tony Eason, Morgan Stanley, and the Patriots to 10 points and just 7 yards rushing. One of the most popular teams of all time, the Bears were led by Jim McMahon, Walter “Sweetness” Payton, Mike Singletary, Super Bowl MVP Richard Dent, Willie Gault, and rookie William “Refrigerator” Perry. Their famous “Super Bowl Shuffle” rap song peaked at #41 on the Billboard charts. Their nearly perfect season, tagged the Bears one of the greatest teams of all time.

Super Bowl XXI
On January 25th, 1987 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, Dan Reeves’ Denver Broncos lost 39-20 to Bill Parcells’ New York Football Giants in Super Bowl 21. Super Bowl Twenty-One MVP, Phil Simms was 22-25, for 261 yards and 3 touchdowns. His 88% completion percentage is a Super Bowl record. John Elway led the Broncos in rushing and passing, throwing for 304 yards. Vance Johnson led the game with 121 yards, but neither could bring home the Broncos’ first Super Bowl. Joe Morris and Mark Bevaro helped Simms control the second half as a record 8 different players caught passes for the N.Y. Giants.

Super Bowl XXII
Super Bowl 22, played on January 31st, 1988 at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, California, saw Joe Gibbs’ Washington Redskins maim Reeves’ Denver Broncos 42-10. John Elway threw a 56 yard touchdown to Ricky Nattiel and Rich Karlis’ field goal put the Broncos up 10-0. It was false hope for Denver as the Redskins ran off 42 unanswered points to win Super Bowl Twenty-Two. MVP Doug William’s had a record tying 4 touchdowns to Ricky Sanders (2), Clint Didier (1), and Gary Clark (1).Two records fell as Sanders had 193 yards receiving and rookie runner Timmy Smith rushed for 204 yards. Led by Barry Wilburn and Alvin Walton the Redskins held Denver scoreless for the last three quarters.

Super Bowl XXIII
On January 22nd, 1989 at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Florida, Sam Wyche’s Cincinnati Bengals lost to Bill Walsh’s San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 23, 20-16. Super Bowl Twenty-Three MVP, Jerry Rice, set a Super Bowl record with 215 yards receiving and Joe Montana had a record 357 yards. Boomer Esiason, Anthony Munoz, Tim McGee and Icky Woods all struggled against Ronnie Lott, Charles Haley, Tim McKyer, and the 49er defense. But, the Bengals’ D, led by Jason Buck, Leon White and Solomon Wilcots, made big plays when they had to, as Cincinnati found themselves up 16-13 with 3:20 remaining. Montana led an 11 play, 92 yard, game winning drive that ended with a 10 yard touchdown pass to John Taylor with 34 seconds remaining.