10 Susceptible Super Bowl Records (and One That Definitely Won't Be Broken)
© John A. Angelillo/Corbis
Admittedly, I haven't paid as much attention to this year's Super Bowl as to previous NFL championships. (Having the new issue of mental_floss on deadline has plenty to do with that.) Still, I love delving into the numbers, so this collection of Super Bowl records - most related to the upcoming Patriots-Giants matchup - is the result. Enjoy!
First, here are five records already held by those involved in Super Bowl XLVI:
1. Patriots receivers Deion Branch and Wes Welker are tied with Dan Ross and Jerry Rice for the most receptions in a Super Bowl game (11). It’s not inconceivable for either (or both) to break this record.
2. Tom Brady has completed 100 passes in previous Super Bowl games, more than any other quarterback in NFL history. He’s also tied with Drew Brees for the most completions in a single Super Bowl (32).
3. The New York Giants scored a record 30 points in the second half of Super Bowl XXI.
4. In Super Bowl XX, the New England Patriots managed only 7 yards rushing the entire game, a record low.
5. Time is important to the New York Giants, who hold Super Bowl records for time of possession (40:33 in Super Bowl XXV) and drive length (9:59 in Super Bowl XLII).
Now that we know where we stand, let's examine 10 records that could be tied or broken in Super Bowl XLVI:
1. Should New England lose the game, the Patriots will become the fourth team in history to lose the Super Bowl four times. (The others who have done so are Minnesota, Denver, and Buffalo).
2. No team has ever scored more than 14 points in the first quarter of any Super Bowl game (The Patriots scored 14 in the first quarter of Super Bowl XXXI).
3. In this “Year of the QB,” both Eli Manning and Tom Brady have a chance to better Kurt Warner’s record of 414 yards passing in a Super Bowl game.
4. If Deion Branch catches 12 passes, he’ll tie Jerry Rice’s record for career Super Bowl receptions (33).
5. Hall-of-Famer Jerry Rice is the only player to score 3 receiving touchdowns in a single Super Bowl game. He actually did this trick twice, in Super Bowls XXIV and XXIX.
6. No field goal attempt of 55 yards or longer has ever been made in a Super Bowl game.
7. If New England’s Bill Belichick wins this game, he’ll tie Chuck Noll’s NFL record by winning his fourth Super Bowl game as head coach.
8. No Super Bowl team has ever been shut out, and no Super Bowl game has ever gone into overtime.
9. The Patriots and Giants have each allowed a safety in previous Super Bowls. If either team scores one in Sunday’s game, its opponent will set a new record for most safeties allowed in Super Bowl games.
10. While kickoffs have been returned for touchdowns 8 times in previous Super Bowls, there’s never been a punt returned for a touchdown in a Super Bowl game. Ever. The longest punt return in Super Bowl history was a 45-yard effort by the 49ers’ John Taylor in Super Bowl XXIII.
Finally, here's one NFL record that definitely, absolutely, positively will NOT be broken in Sunday's game:
Jim Turner and Mike Clark kicked record-short field goals of only 9 yards in Super Bowls III and VI, respectively. The goal posts were right on the goal line in those days. They were set back 10 yards into the end zone in 1974, rendering this record impossible to break today.