Defense doesn’t always win championships.
Through 57 editions, there have been some impressive offensive outbursts in the Super Bowl. Some have come in one-sided routs, while other teams escaped in Super Bowl shootouts.
The evolution of the NFL passing game has led to high scores in recent Super Bowls, but there were also some eye-popping scores in earlier decades. So which game comes in as the highest-scoring Super Bowl of all time?
Here is a look at games that were decided by explosive offenses:
What is the highest-scoring Super Bowl of all time?
A shootout between the San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers is the highest-scoring Super Bowl of all time.
Steve Young tossed six touchdown passes, including three to Jerry Rice, as the 49ers built a lead as large as 32 points. On the other side, the Chargers tacked on a couple of inconsequential touchdowns and two-point conversions in the second half to increase their overall score.
Here are the top 11 highest-scoring Super Bowls in NFL history:
1. Super Bowl XXIX: 49ers 49, Chargers 26 (75 total points)
2. Super Bowl LII: Eagles 41, Patriots 33 (74 total points)
3. Super Bowl LVII: Chiefs 38, Eagles 35 (73 total points)
T-4. Super Bowl XXXVII: Buccaneers 48, Raiders 21 (69 total points)
T-4. Super Bowl XXVII: Cowboys 52, Bills 17 (69 total points)
6. Super Bowl XIII: Steelers 35, Cowboys 31 (66 total points)
T-7. Super Bowl XLVII: Ravens 34, 49ers 31 (65 total points)
T-7. Super Bowl XXIV: 49ers 55, Broncos 10 (65 total points)
9. Super Bowl LI: Patriots 34, Falcons 28 (62 total points)
T-10. Super Bowl XXXVIII: Patriots 32, Panthers 29 (61 total points)
T-10. Super Bowl XXVI: Washington 37, Bills 24 (61 total points)
Which team has scored the most points in a Super Bowl?
Joe Montana, Rice and the 49ers put together an offensive clinic in Super Bowl XXIV, setting the Super Bowl record with 55 points. It was a consistent effort, as the team scored 13 points in the first quarter before posting 14 points in each of the next three quarters.
Montana was nearly perfect that day, completing 22 of 29 passes for 297 passing yards, five touchdowns and a 147.6 rating. Meanwhile, Rice set the record for receiving touchdowns in a Super Bowl with three. It’s a mark he would reach again in Super Bowl XXIX five years later.
The total points were not the only record the 49ers broke with the blowout, as it also remains the largest margin of victory in a Super Bowl.
What is the highest score for a losing team in the Super Bowl?
Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles put together an offensive clinic in Super Bowl LVII, but their 35 points were not enough. Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs pulled off a 38-35 victory, cementing the Eagles as the team to score the most points in a Super Bowl defeat.
The New England Patriots (Super Bowl LII), Dallas Cowboys (Super Bowl XIII) and 49ers (Super Bowl XLVII) are the only other teams to lose despite scoring more than 30 points.