Before Super Bowl III in Miami, Florida, New York quarterback Joe Namath brazenly guaranteed during a press interview that the AFC Jets would upset the almighty NFL Colts. The Super Bowl odds for the Orange Bowl showdown listed Baltimore at -18, still the second-highest point spread in NFL history.
When he discovered what Broadway Joe had said the following day, Jets’ head coach Weeb Ewbank was none-too-pleased.
“I asked Joe what possessed him to do such a thing,” Ewbank said. “I said, ‘Don’t you know Shula will use this to fire up his team?’ Joe said, ‘Coach, if they need press clippings to get ready, they’re in trouble.’ I could have shot him for saying it. But Joe always had a way of delivering. He didn’t mind pressure. It seemed to make him play better. I figured, if he said it, he would just have to back it up.”
Namath backed up his boast with a stellar 17 of 28 passing performance and 206 yards as the Jets offense outgained the Colts 337 yards to 324 en route to a historic 16-7 upset.
But believe it or not, 18 points is not the biggest point spread in Super Bowl history.
Biggest Points Spreads in Super Bowl History
Let’s have a gander at the biggest point spreads in Super Bowl history using data from my recently published article “Points Spreads for Every Super Bowl.”
|1995||XXIX||49ers vs. Chargers||49ers -18.5|
|1969||III||Jets vs. Colts||Colts -18|
|1967||I||Packers vs. Chiefs||Packers -14|
|1997||XXXI||Packers vs. Patriots||Packers -14|
|2002||XXXVI||Patriots vs. Rams||Rams -14|
|1968||II||Packers vs. Raiders||Packers -13.5|
|1996||XXX||Cowboys vs. Steelers||Cowboys -13.5|
|1970||IV||Chiefs vs. Vikings||Vikings -12|
|1990||XXIV||49ers vs. Broncos||49ers -12|
|2008||XLII||Giants vs. Patriots||Patriots -12|
|1998||XXXII||Broncos vs. Packers||Packers -11|
|1980||XIV||Steelers vs. Rams||Steelers -10.5|
|1993||XXVII||Cowboys vs. Bills||Cowboys -10.5|
|1994||XXVIII||Cowboys vs. Bills||Cowboys -10.5|
|1986||XX||Bears vs. Patriots||Bears -10|
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Andy Coffaro is a sports journalist and managing editor with published work in USA Today, MSN, HERO Sports, The Mercury News, East Bay Times, Phil Steele’s College Football Preview magazine, and more. He graduated from San José State University with a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Kinesiology. Follow him on Twitter @andycoffaro.