The most important game of the year calls for the biggest, and newest, stage. Super Bowl LIII has been awarded to the brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, marking the third time ever that the Super Bowl has taken place in the ATL. While the final game of the NFL season always promises to be must-see, the first two Super Bowls in Atlanta were distinct markers in league history. So if history is prone to repeating itself, this year's big game, pitting the two best teams the NFL has to offer, should be both historic and action-packed!
Let's take a look at the first two Super Bowls to take place in Atlanta!
Super Bowl XXVIII -- January 30, 1994
The pioneer Super Bowl in Atlanta featured the first ever rematch of teams in back-to-back years. The defending champion Dallas Cowboys were pitted once again against the Buffalo Bills, who they blew out in Super Bowl XXVII, 52-17. The Cowboys were gunning for their fourth Super Bowl victory in franchise history, while the Bills were entering their fourth consecutive Super Bowl, but still seeking their first championship.
The Cowboys and Bills both entered the playoffs with a 12-4 regular season record, and were favorites to make it back to the Super Bowl for a rematch.
Two legendary quarterbacks in Dallas' Troy Aikman and Buffalo's Jim Kelly faced off in the duel, with Kelly getting the better of Aikman in the first half and getting the Bills out to a 13-6 lead.
The second half was a different story, though, and almost a completely different game. The Cowboys pulled away for the second year straight, scoring 24 straight points en route to a 30-13 victory behind the impressive performance of running back Emmitt Smith. The Super Bowl MVP rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries, while also catching four passes for 26 yards.
The game ended the Bills' epic run of four consecutive Super Bowl appearances, and also added to the legacy of the Dallas Cowboys teams of the 1990's.
Super Bowl XXXIV -- January 30, 2000
Football is a game of inches, seriously. Sometimes a game can come down to a single yard separating victory from defeat, glory from infamy. That was the case when the St. Louis Rams met with the Tennessee Titans at Super Bowl XXXIV at the Georgia Dome. The Rams came into the matchup with quite the reputation; they were coined "The Greatest Show On Turf" due to their prolific offense orchestrated by now Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner.
The Titans came into the game as the underdogs, entering the playoffs as a wild-card team and making it to their first Super Bowl in franchise history.
The first half of the game was largely a defensive stalemate. Tennessee stifled St. Louis' star-filled offense, but the Rams were still able to put 9 points on the scoreboard by halftime, while the Titans failed to score. The Rams out-gained the Titans 294 yards to 89 in the first half. Midway through the third quarter, Warner was finally able to lead his team to the endzone, extending St. Louis' lead to 16-0.
With the game seemingly wrapped up, the Titans staged their furious comeback. Tennessee quarterback Steve McNair led three scoring drives (two touchdowns and a field goal) to even up the score at 16 with 2:12 left to play in the fourth quarter.
That is when the drama kicked into next gear.
With the score tied 16-16, Warner connected with Isaac Bruce for a 73-yard touchdown on the first play of the Rams' next drive to make it 23-16. The Titans started their final drive of the game on their own 12-yard line with 1:48 left on the clock. Tennessee stormed down the field, and the Titans found themselves at the Rams' 10 yard-line with six seconds left in the game. Basically, enough time for one more play.
In one of the most talked about plays in NFL history, McNair connected with receiver Kevin Dyson short of the endzone. Dyson was immediately wrapped up by his legs, but made a last chance stretch to get the ball across the marker. However, the reach was inches short. The game was over, and the Rams were world champions.
Experience the Third Super Bowl in Atlanta!
The biggest game of the year is coming to the brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium and you can secure your spot to be there! The game promises to be a piece of history, and you can experience it as a VIP! 2019 Super Bowl Ticket Packages are on sale now for a true football experience that cannot be matched by anyone or anywhere else. Enjoy VIP hospitality access, hotel accommodations, transportation and more! Join us in the ATL!