Super Bowl XXIII Still Ranks Among The Best Ever Played

Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

The Cincinnati Bengals lost Super Bowl XXIII, but it was a tense-filled game that Cincinnati nearly won. Still it was one of the best games of all-time.

I was only ten years old, clutching the maroon-hue pillow while running my fingernail on a distinctive cigarette burn, both rough and glossy, the game ticked inside one minute. As soon as Joe Montana connected with Jerry Rice to score the game-winning touchdown with 34 seconds remaining, it was evident to my parents (who hate football) that the lamp's destruction was preceded by a furious fastball with the pitcher unleashing a blur of maroon.

That's my depressing memory from Super Bowl XXIII, a 20-16 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, who for the second time put an end to another 12-win season.

As we count down to Super Bowl XLVII between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, several mainstream media sites are releasing the best Super Bowls of all-time. NFL.com writes that Cincinnati's 20-16 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, as the fifth best Super Bowl of all time. Gil Brandt with NFL.com writes:

"The second of the Bengals-49ers Super Bowls was one of the best games. Of course there was the Montana play, but Tim Krumrie broke his leg, which changed the game. It was close throughout."

No doubt.

It was 3-3 at half-time. Unfortuately the Cincinnati Bengals offense failed to score a touchdown at all, converting three field goals, two of which capped possessions of 13 and 11 plays respectively.

Sports Illustrated ranked Super Bowl XXIII in the top-ten.

The score was only 3-3 at halftime, but fireworks were in store. After the Bengals went ahead 16-13 on Jim Breech's 40-yard field goal with 3:20 left in the game, Joe Montana saved the 49ers in perhaps the greatest individual moment of his career. The otherworldly cool, efficient quarterback drove his team 92 yards in 11 plays, culminating with a 10-yard TD pass to John Taylor with only 34 seconds left.

Despite allowing 454 yards of total offense to the San Franciso 49ers, the Bengals defense held San Francisco to four of 13 on third down opportunities, including four fumbles (one lost).

Fox Sports.com ranked the game No. 8 all-time.

Down 16-13 with 3:10 left to go, Joe Montana led the 49ers on a magical 92-yard game winning touchdown drive. Though Montana connected with John Taylor for the game-winning score, it was Jerry Rice, with 11 receptions for a Super Bowl-record 215 yards, who took home MVP honors.

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