50 Facts about Super Bowl 50

Posted Feb 5, 2016's Michael Eisen brings you 50 Fact about Super Bowl 50

SAN FRANCISCO - To commemorate Super Bowl 50, we bring you 50 facts and tidbits about Super Bowls, the Denver Broncos, Carolina Panthers, and, of course, the Giants.

1– Denver and Carolina are a combined 2-6 in Super Bowls. The Broncos are 2-5; their five defeats are a Super Bowl record. New England, Buffalo and Minnesota are tied for second with four losses. One of Denver’s defeats was to the Giants in Super Bowl XXI. The Panthers’ only previous Super Bowl appearance was a loss to New England 12 years ago.

2 - The Broncos’ eight Super Bowl appearances tie them with Dallas, New England and Pittsburgh for the most in the history of the game. The Steelers are 6-2, the Patriots are 4-4, and the Cowboys are 5-3, including a victory over and two losses to Pittsburgh.

3 – Carolina and Denver were the top postseason seeds in their respective conferences. Since the current playoff format was adopted in 1990, this is the sixth time both No. 1 seeds advanced to the Super Bowl (and the third season in a row). NFC teams are 4-1 in Super Bowls played between No. 1 seeds.

4 – The 17-1 Panthers are the ninth team to advance to the Super Bowl with one or fewer losses, and the first since undefeated New England lost to the Giants eight years ago. Those teams are 5-3 in Super Bowls.

5 – If they win, the Panthers will be the fourth team in history to finish 18-1, and the third to do so with a Super Bowl victory. The 1984 San Francisco 49ers and the 1985 Chicago Bears routed Miami and New England, respectively, in the Super Bowl to conclude their one-loss seasons. Carolina coach Ron Rivera was a linebacker on the ’85 Bears. New England was 18-1 in 2007, but that included a Super Bowl loss to the Giants. The Dolphins were undefeated in 1972, but played only 17 games.

6 – Denver’s Peyton Manning, who twice started Super Bowls for Indianapolis, will be the third quarterback to start a Super Bowl for two different teams. The other two each played for the Giants, but did not start a Super Bowl for them: Craig Morton (Cowboys/Broncos) and Kurt Warner (Rams/Cardinals). Manning is the only quarterback to take multiple teams to the Super Bowl multiple times. He is trying to become the first quarterback to win Super Bowls with two different teams.

7 – Manning will be the first quarterback to start a Super Bowl for four different head coaches (Tony Dungy, Jim Caldwell, John Fox and Gary Kubiak).

8 - Head coaches Rivera and Kubiak both played in the NFL. This is the first Super Bowl in which both head coaches played in the league since the Super Bowl XX matchup between Chicago’s Mike Ditka and New England’s Raymond Berry.

Men who have played and been head coaches in the Super Bowl:

Former Player Super Bowl Record
*Mike Ditka 1 - 0
*Tony Dungy 1 - 0
*Forrest Gregg 0 - 1
*Dan Reeves 0 - 4
Sam Wyche 0 – 1
**Tom Flores 2 - 0
Total 4 - 6

*Won SB as a player
**Did Not Play as Len Dawson’s backup for Chiefs in Super Bowl IV

9 - Rivera can join Ditka, Dungy and Tom Flores as the only men to win Super Bowl rings as both players and head coaches.

10 - Kubiak is the first man to play and be the head coach of the same team in the Super Bowl. He was Denver’s backup quarterback in Super Bowls XXI, XXII and XXIV.

11 – As the home team, Denver had the choice of which jersey to wear. The Broncos chose to wear their road whites, largely because they are 0-4 wearing orange in Super Bowls. Recent history also suggests they chose wisely. The team wearing white jerseys has won 10 of the last 11 Super Bowls (the Packers wore green five years ago) and are 31-18 overall. The Giants wore white when they won Super Bowls XLII and XLVI. The Broncos wore white when they lost to the Giants in Super Bowl XXI.

12 - The Giants are 4-1 in Super Bowls. In those five games, they scored 104 points and allowed 104 points.

13 – Carolina led the NFL with 39 takeaways, and added nine more in two playoff games, including seven in the NFC Championship Game vs. Arizona. Teams that win the turnover battle in the Super Bowl are 36-4 (the turnover total was tied in the other nine games). Last year, New England was only the fourth team to lose the turnover battle and win the Super Bowl.  

14 - Manning will be 39 years, 320 days old on Super Bowl Sunday, making him the oldest quarterback in history to start a Super Bowl. He will supersede Broncos Hall of Fame quarterback and current executive vice president/general manager John Elway, who was 38 years, 217 days old when he started Super Bowl XXXIII 17 years ago. Manning is also the third-oldest quarterback to start a Super Bowl. He was 37 years, 315 days old when he started Super Bowl XLVIII in MetLife Stadium.

15 – Carolina quarterback Cam Newton will be 26 years, 272 days on Sunday. The starting quarterback age gap of 13 years, 48 days is the largest in Super Bowl history. The second-largest occurred two years ago, when Manning was 12 years, 8 months and 6 days older than Seattle’s Russell Wilson. The third-largest? Last year, when New England’s Tom Brady was 11 years, 3 months and 27 days older than Wilson.

16 - This will be the first Super Bowl featuring opposing starting quarterbacks who were selected first overall in their respective drafts (Manning in 1998, Newton in 2011).

17 – It’s also the first time in Super Bowl history the top two selections from the same draft will square off in the Super Bowl. After Newton was chosen No. 1 in 2011, Denver took linebacker Von Miller at No. 2.

18 - The Giants lost to Carolina this season, 38-35, and did not play Denver. In the 44 Super Bowls in which they were not one of the competing teams, the Giants played the eventual champion 33 times in the regular season. They are 2-31 in those games, defeating the 13-0 Denver Broncos in 1998 and the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2008. Many of the defeats occurred in the 1970s, when the Giants had just two winning records and Dallas, their division rivals, played in five Super Bowls. The Giants are 6-25 against Super Bowl losers. They last defeated a Super Bowl participant in 2012, when they beat eventual NFC champion San Francisco.

19 – The Broncos and Panthers have met just four times. Denver leads the series, 3-1. Manning and Newton went head-to-head for the first time in their previous meeting, a 36-14 Broncos victory on Nov. 11, 2012. Manning threw for 301 yards and a touchdown. Newton countered with 241 passing yards and two touchdowns. But he was intercepted twice and sacked seven times.

20 - The John Fox factor. Both Rivera and Kubiak replaced Fox, the former in 2011, Kubiak in 2015. Fox was the Panthers’ coach when they lost Super Bowl XXXVIII to New England, and the Broncos coach when they lost Super Bowl XLVIII to Seattle. He was also the Giants’ defensive coordinator when they lost Super Bowl XXXV to Baltimore.

21 – No matter who wins Sunday, the Giants will remain the only two-time Super Bowl winners in the last 11 seasons. The Giants won Super Bowls XLII and XLVI. Since New England won consecutive Super Bowls following the 2003 and 2004 seasons, no other team has won more than one.

22 – Newton will join Jim Plunkett and Roger Staubach as the only Heisman Trophy winners to start at quarterback in a Super Bowl. Newton will be fourth player to win a Heisman, be drafted No. 1 overall, and play in a Super Bowl, joining Billy Cannon, George Rogers and Plunkett.

23 - Phil Simms’ 88.0 completion percentage in the Giants’ Super Bowl XXI triumph is still the highest by a quarterback in the game’s history. Simms completed 22 of 25 passes in the Giants’ rout of Denver. New Orleans’ Drew Brees has the second-highest completion in a Super Bowl at 82.1 (32 of 39 in defeating Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLIV).

24 – The Patriots overcame a 10-point deficit when they defeated Seattle in the Super Bowl last year. That matched the largest comeback in Super Bowl history. Washington did it in Super Bowl XXII, and New Orleans matched it in a Super Bowl XLIV victory over Manning’s Colts. The Patriots, who trailed entering the fourth quarter, 24-14, were the first team in Super Bowl history to trail by 10-plus points during the second half and win the game. Teams trailing by 10 or more points entering the fourth quarter had been 0-29 in Super Bowls.

25 – Manning’s rushing total in 18 NFL seasons, including playoffs: 701 yards. Newton’s rushing total in 18 games this season, including playoffs: 686. The Super Bowl record for rushing yards by a quarterback is 64 by Tennessee’s Steve McNair in Super Bowl XXXIV.

26 – The Broncos were ranked first in the NFL in total defense. Teams that ranked first in defense are 9-2 in the Super Bowl. But Seattle lost the Super Bowl last year with the league’s No. 1 defense.

27 – In each of the last two Super Bowls, the head coach of the AFC team was a former Giants defensive coordinator (Fox and Bill Belichick). They are among the eight former Giants assistant coaches who have led teams to Super Bowls as head coaches. Six of the eight have won at least one Super Bowl. Former Giants coaches are 13-9 as head coaches in Super Bowls.

Name Giants Assistant Team, Super Bowl(s)
Bill Belichick 1979-90 New England: XXXI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLII, XLVI, XLIX
Tom Coughlin 1988-90 Giants: XLII, XLVI
Jim Fassel 1991-92 Giants: XXXV
John Fox 1997-2001 Carolina: XXXVIII, Denver: XLVIII
Tom Landry 1954-59 Dallas: V, VI, X, XII, XIII
Vince Lombardi 1954-58 Green Bay: I, II
Bill Parcells 1979, 1981-82 Giants: XXI, XXV; Patriots: XXXI
Sean Payton 1999-2002 New Orleans: XLIV

28 – If the Broncos win Sunday, they will become the ninth franchise with at least three Super Bowl victories. If the Panthers win, they will become the 20th franchise with at least one.

29 – Teams with the most total yards are 38-11 in Super Bowls. Teams with the most rushing yards are also 38-11. But the team with the most passing yards is just 26-23.

30 – The Broncos led the Giants at halftime of Super Bowl XXI, 10-9, but have since faced the three largest halftime deficits in Super Bowl history. They trailed Washington by 25 in Super Bowl XXII, San Francisco by 24 in Super Bowl XXIV, and Seattle by 22 two years ago. Which leads us to…

31 – Denver has allowed a record 249 points in its seven Super Bowl appearances. New England has allowed the second-highest point total at 210.

32 – Both Carolina and Denver have former Giants assistants on their coaching staffs. Denver running backs coach Eric Studesville held the same position with the Giants from 2001-3. Carolina offensive line coach John Matsko (1997-98), running backs coach Jim Skipper (1997-2000) and linebackers coach Al Holcomb (2009-12) all worked for the Giants.   

33 – This is the second time in Super Bowl history the No. 1 scoring offense (Carolina) in the regular season will face the No. 1 scoring defense in the Super Bowl. Two years ago, Denver had the highest-scoring offense. The Broncos were crushed by Seattle and its top scoring defense, 43-8.

34 - Justin Tuck of the Giants totaled 4.0 sacks in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI, the second-highest total in Super Bowl history. Charles Haley holds the record with 4.5 sacks – but he played in five Super Bowls, two for San Francisco and three for Dallas.

35 – If experience is an advantage, the Broncos have it. Denver has 18 players who were previously on a Super Bowl roster, including 16 who have actually played in a game. Carolina has seven players who were on a Super Bowl roster, including five who played.

36 – The winning team will receive more than just the Vince Lombardi Trophy. To commemorate the 50th Super Bowl, the winners will take home 18-karat gold numerals “5” and “0”.

37 – Teams holding a halftime lead are 36-10 in the Super Bowl (there have been three halftime ties, including last year’s game).

38 – Kubiak is the seventh coach to lead a team to the Super Bowl in his first season with the team, and the second to do it with Denver:

Coach Team Season
Don McCafferty Baltimore 1970
Red Miller Denver 1977
George Seifert San Francisco 1989
Jon Gruden Tampa Bay 2002
Bill Callahan Oakland 2002
Jim Caldwell Indianapolis 2009

39 – Twenty-seven of the 49 Super Bowl MVP awards have been won by quarterbacks.

40 – Tom Coughlin is the oldest head coach to win a Super Bowl. He was 65 years, 158 days old when the Giants won Super Bowl XLVI. Mike Tomlin is the youngest head coach to win a Super Bowl. He was 36 years, 323 days old when Pittsburgh defeated Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII.

41 - The Giants’ 20-19 victory over Buffalo in Super Bowl XXV is the only Super Bowl decided by a single point.

42 – Peyton Manning will be the fifth Super Bowl-winning quarterback the Panthers will face this year, joining Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Eli Manning. The others went a combined 0-5, including both regular-season and postseason losses for Wilson.

43 – Denver’s Demaryius Thomas set a Super Bowl record with 13 receptions two years ago. But he couldn’t celebrate, because his team lost to Seattle by 35 points.

44 – Eli Manning (2-0) is one of six quarterbacks to start more than one Super Bowl without a defeat. The others are Bradshaw and Montana (both 4-0), Aikman (3-0), Jim Plunkett and Bart Starr (2-0).

45 - Teams with the higher time of possession are 37-12 in Super Bowls.

46 – Former Giant Kurt Warner, who is a Hall of Fame finalist this year, has the three-highest passing yardage totals in Super Bowls history. He threw for 414 yards in St. Louis’ victory over Tennessee in Super Bowl XXXIV, 377 yards for Arizona vs. Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLIII, and 365 yards for the Rams against the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI.

47 – Denver’s all-time postseason record is 22-19 (.537). Carolina’s is 9-6 (.600).

48 – Peyton Manning needs 140 yards to become the sixth quarterback in history with 1,000 passing yards in the Super Bowl. The others are Joe Montana, Tom Brady, Terry Bradshaw, Elway and Warner.

49 - This is the 13th time in 15 Super Bowls that the AFC quarterback has been Brady (6), Manning (4) or Ben Roethlisberger (3). The exceptions were in Super Bowl XXXVII when Rich Gannon quarterbacked Oakland and Super Bowl XLVII when Joe Flacco was Baltimore’s quarterback. It is the sixth time in 10 years either Peyton or Eli Manning have quarterbacked a Super Bowl team.

50 - Sixteen father/son duos have reached the Super Bowl, including Steve and Zak DeOssie of the Giants, the only such partnership to win rings with the same franchise.