There is no bigger game than the Super Bowl, and over the more than a half-century of contests, there have been players who’ve put up spectacular performances on football’s grandest stage. From record-breaking feats to sheer dominance, these players did amazing things in the NFL’s championship-deciding game.

 

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Damien Williams, Super Bowl LIV

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Patrick Mahomes won Super Bowl MVP by helping bring the Chiefs back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV, but running back Damien Williams had a strong argument as more deserving. He had 17 carries for 104 yards and one touchdown, along with four catches for 29 yards and a receiving score in the 31-20 win.

 

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Nick Foles, Super Bowl LII

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Named the MVP of Super Bowl LII, Foles finished off his Cinderella story with three touchdown passes and a touchdown reception in the Eagles upset of the Patriots. He also threw for 373 yards, helping Philadelphia put up 41 points against the Patriots in a 41-33 win.

 

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Things looked bad for Brady early in Super Bowl LI, throwing an interception that was returned 82 yards for a touchdown to fall behind 21-0 and eventually 28-3. From there, however, Brady was his usual spectacular self, completing 43-of-62 passes for 466 yards and two touchdowns to earn MVP honors in the come-from-behind, overtime victory to claim his fifth Super Bowl title.

 

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James White, Super Bowl LI

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He may not have won Super Bowl MVP, but James White came up huge in New England’s epic comeback against the Falcons, scoring the game-tying touchdown to send the game to overtime and become the first player to ever score the Super Bowl-winning TD in OT. In total, White finished with six carries for 29 yards and two rushing scores to go along with his huge day as a receiver, notching 14 catches for 110 yards and another score.

 

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Tom Brady, Super Bowl XLIX

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Brady earned his third Super Bowl MVP in a last-second win vs. Seattle. He completed 37-of-50 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns.

 

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Lynch rushed 24 times for 102 yards and one score in Seattle’s Super Bowl loss. The Super Bowl will forever be remembered as a what-if, with the Seahawks opting to throw at the goal line instead of handing off to Lynch in a play that was picked off by New England.

 

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Demaryius Thomas, Super Bowl XLVIII

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Despite Denver’s 43-8 loss to Seattle, Thomas had one of the best games ever by a wideout in the Super Bowl. He caught 13 passes for 118 yards and one score, as the Broncos played catch-up the entire game.

 

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The Ravens were hoping for a proper send-off for Ray Lewis, and Flacco’s play helped them get one. He was awarded Super Bowl MVP after completing 22-of-33 passes for 287 yards and three scores.

 

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Manning won his second Super Bowl MVP with another great performance vs. the Patriots. He completed 30-of-40 passes for 296 yards and one score in New York’s 21-17 win over New England.

 

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Rodgers took down the Steelers in an impressive performance, completing 24-of-39 passes for 304 yards and three scores. In doing so, he put the Brett Favre era in the rearview for the Packers.

 

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Jordy Nelson, Super Bowl XLV

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Nelson was Aaron Rodgers’ go-to receiver, with nine catches on 15 targets for 140 yards and one touchdown.

 

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New Orleans upset the Colts and Peyton Manning with a go-for-broke game plan led by Drew Brees. He won Super Bowl MVP after completing 32-of-39 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns.

 

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Despite a losing effort, Warner was terrific in his third Super Bowl. He completed 31-of-43 passes for 377 yards and three touchdown passes for the Cardinals.

 

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Holmes claimed the game-winning catch vs. Arizona, which helped him win Super Bowl MVP. He finished with nine receptions for 131 yards and that one score.

 

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Eli Manning, Super Bowl XLII

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The Giants pulled off the impossible, beating the undefeated and heavily favored Patriots in large part to Manning’s heroics. He was 19-of-34 for 255 yards and two touchdown passes.

 

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Peyton Manning, Super Bowl XLI

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Manning finally got his first Super Bowl win, completing 25-of-38 passes for 247 yards and one touchdown vs. the Bears. He also claimed Super Bowl MVP.

 

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Ward helped prop up rookie Ben Roethlisberger in a defensive battle vs. the Seahawks, with five receptions for 123 yards and one touchdown. He also claimed Super Bowl MVP.

 

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Deion Branch, Super Bowl XXXIX

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Branch caught 11 of Tom Brady’s 23 completions for 133 yards in New England’s 24-21 win over Philadelphia.

 

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Terrell Owens, Super Bowl XXXIX

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Not expected to play due to a fractured leg and torn ligament in his ankle, Owens made a miraculous recovery and had nine catches for 122 yards in Philadelphia’s 24-21 loss to the Patriots.

 

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Tom Brady, Super Bowl XXXVIII

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The Panthers couldn’t find an answer for Brady in their 32-29 loss. He completed 32-of-48 passes for 354 yards and three touchdowns, winning Super Bowl MVP.

 

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Tom Brady, Super Bowl XXXVI

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Heavy underdogs vs. the “Greatest Show on Turf,” the Patriots pulled off a three-point win at the end of Super Bowl XXXVI when Tom Brady led the Patriots into field-goal range and Adam Vinatieri made a game-winning 48-yard field goal. Brady completed 16-of-27 passes for 145 yards and one touchdown.

 

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Kurt Warner, Super Bowl XXXIV

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Warner completed a Cinderella season for the Rams in a 23-16 Super Bowl victory. He completed 24-of-45 passes for 414 yards and two touchdowns vs. Tennessee.

 

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Isaac Bruce, Super Bowl XXXIV

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Bruce had six receptions for 162 yards and one score, an impressive 73-yard touchdown during the second half. It’s his most memorable catch in an extremely productive career.

 

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Elway rode off into the sunset after winning Super Bowl MVP, completing 18-of-29 passes for 336 yards and one passing touchdown. He added one rushing touchdown against the Falcons.

 

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Rod Smith, Super Bowl XXXIII

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Atlanta struggled to cover Smith, who caught five passes for 152 yards and one touchdown, an 80-yarder from John Elway.

 

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Terrell Davis, Super Bowl XXXII

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Davis had one of the best rushing performances ever in a Super Bowl, getting 30 carries for 157 yards and three touchdowns. He was the game’s clear MVP.

 

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Antonio Freeman, Super Bowl XXXII

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Freeman’s great performance wasn’t enough to beat Denver, but it was impressive with nine catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns.

 

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Desmond Howard, Super Bowl XXXI

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Howard’s 99-yard kick return in the third quarter sealed Super Bowl XXXI for the Packers. He claimed Super Bowl MVP in Green Bay’s 35-21 win over New England.

 

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Larry Brown, Super Bowl XXX

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Brown was a difference maker in the Cowboys’ 27-17 win over Pittsburgh, intercepting two passes.

 

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Steve Young, Super Bowl XXIX

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Young finally got the monkey off his back, claiming a Super Bowl after Joe Montana left the 49ers. He completed 24-of-36 passes for 325 yards and six touchdowns in a dominant 49-26 win over San Diego.

 

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Jerry Rice, Super Bowl XXIX

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Rice didn’t win the Super Bowl MVP, but he had an incredible performance for the 49ers. He had 10 catches for 149 yards and three touchdowns in San Francisco’s win over the Chargers.

 

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Ricky Watters, Super Bowl XXIX

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Watters had one touchdown on the ground and added two as a receiver in San Francisco’s dominant win. He finished the game with 108 yards from scrimmage.

 

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Smith claimed Super Bowl MVP with 30 carries for 132 yards and two scores in a second-half comeback vs. Buffalo.

 

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Irvin was the beneficiary of Troy Aikman’s great game, with six receptions for 114 yards and two scores in Dallas’ 52-17 win over the Bills.

 

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Troy Aikman, Super Bowl XXVII

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The Cowboys embarrassed Buffalo in Super Bowl XXVII, scoring 52 points in a great performance led by Aikman. He completed 22-of-30 passes for 273 yards and four scores.

 

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Rypien claimed Super Bowl MVP with a solid performance against the Bills, completing 18-of-33 passes for 292 yards and two scores.

 

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Buffalo lost 20-19 after kicker Scott Norwood missed wide right, putting a damper on Thomas’ MVP-worthy performance. He rushed 15 times for 135 yards and one score, adding five receptions for 55 yards.

 

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Joe Montana, Super Bowl XXIV

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Montana dominated the Broncos from start to finish, completing 22-of-29 passes for 297 yards and five touchdowns. He claimed his third Super Bowl MVP.

 

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Jerry Rice, Super Bowl XXIV

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Rice was Joe Montana’s go-to guy again in Super Bowl XXIV, with seven receptions for 148 yards and three scores. Montana claimed MVP, however.

 

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Jerry Rice, Super Bowl XXIII

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While John Taylor caught the winning touchdown for the 49ers vs. Cincinnati in Super Bowl XXIII, it was Jerry Rice who had the best performance. He had 11 catches for 215 yards and one score, winning Super Bowl MVP.

 

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Joe Montana, Super Bowl XXIII

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Montana sparked a game-winning drive in Super Bowl XXIII. Cool Joe famously pointed out John Candy in the stands while in the huddle during the last drive and finished the game completing 22-of-36 passes for 357 yards and two scores.

 

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Doug Williams, Super Bowl XXII

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Williams led a dominant Redskins team to a 42-10 win over Denver, completing 18-of-29 passes for 340 yards and four scores. He beat out Timmy Smith for Super Bowl MVP.

 

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Timmy Smith, Super Bowl XXII

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Smith had a terrific game on the ground in Washington’s juggernaut performance. He had 22 rushes for 204 yards and two touchdowns.

 

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Ricky Sanders, Super Bowl XXII

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Sanders was Doug Williams’ favorite receiver in Super Bowl XXII, with nine catches for 193 yards and two touchdowns.

 

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Simms and the Giants came up big in the second half, easily beating the Broncos 39-20. He won Super Bowl MVP, completing 22-of-25 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns.

 

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Joe Montana, Super Bowl XIX

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San Francisco capped off a 15-1 regular season by beating Miami in Super Bowl XIX. Montana won MVP by completing 24-of-35 passes for 331 yards and three touchdowns.

 

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Smooth Marcus Allen ran over Washington with 20 carries for 191 yards and two scores to win Super Bowl MVP.

 

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It was the John Riggins show for Washington, as the Skins beat Miami 27-17 after Riggins rushed 38 times for 166 yards and one touchdown.

 

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Plunkett led the Raiders to a 27-10 win over Philadelphia, completing 13-of-21 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns.

 

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Swann scored one touchdown and had 161 yards on four catches in the Steelers’ 21-17 win over Dallas in Super Bowl X. The performance was good enough for Super Bowl MVP.

 

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Franco Harris, Super Bowl IX

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The Vikings simply couldn’t find an answer for Harris in Super Bowl IX. He had 34 carries for 158 yards and one touchdown in Pittsburgh’s 16-6 win.

 

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Bradshaw claimed Super Bowl MVP with a 35-31 win over Dallas. He had a huge game, completing 17-of-30 passes for 318 yards and four scores.

 

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Larry Csonka, Super Bowl VIII

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Csonka ran the ball down Minnesota’s throat with 33 carries for 145 yards and two scores in Super Bowl VIII.

 

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Bart Starr, Super Bowl I

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Starr led the Packers to a 35-10 win over the Chiefs in Super Bowl I, completing 16-of-23 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns. Both of his touchdowns were to Max McGee.

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Fair or not, quarterbacks get a healthy amount of praise and/or criticism for their teams’ success. Having the ball in your hands tends to have certain responsibilities, after all. Whether it’s playing mistake-free or carrying their teammates on their backs, quarterbacks play a huge part in the outcome of a game, especially the Super Bowl.The championship game brings together the last passers standing from each conference. Both bring a different flair to the position, but the goal remains the same: Win the game. This has produced some epic quarterback duels, from both players trading scores or young upstarts making names for themselves by knocking off the top dogs. The Super Bowl brings out the best in quarterbacks or crushes them under immense pressure. Either way, it’s highly entertaining. With that in mind, here is a ranking of every Super Bowl quarterback matchup.

 

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Fans and experts called this the “Blunder Bowl” for a reason. Despite having great quarterbacks in Johnny Unitas and Craig Morton, neither showed up for the biggest game of the year. Unitas didn’t even finish the game, getting knocked out in the second quarter but not before he threw two interceptions compared to just three completions. Morton survived the game but didn’t fare any better, throwing three interceptions and completing less than 50 percent of his passes. Many people want to forget this one.

 

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Some of the greatest quarterbacks in the game have played in the Super Bowl. Trent Dilfer and Kerry Collins are not among them. Both teams rode running games and strong defenses. It seems that any quarterback who played it safe could’ve been behind center and would have made it to the game. The Super Bowl only confirmed those suspicions. Collins got roughed up by one of the best defenses of all time, getting picked off and sacked four times each. Dilfer technically won the duel by getting the win but didn’t do much, completing less than 50 percent of his passes but throwing for a touchdown. Most Super Bowls have at least one quarterback who performs well. This one had none.

 

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Yes, it’s Peyton Manning, but he was a shell of his former self, relying on the excellence of his defense to win. Cam Newton established himself as one of the faces of the NFL with 3,837 passing yards, 636 rushing yards and 45 total touchdowns. Newton was expected to excel, but not even he could solve the Denver D. Newton was sacked six times and threw one interception. He also lost two fumbles in a messy game. Manning held on for dear life, throwing for only 141 yards and taking five sacks. Manning-Newton is a great generational debate. Unfortunately, the reality in 2016 was so much worse.

 

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50. Super Bowl VII: Bob Griese, Miami Dolphins, and Billy Kilmer, Washington Redskins

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Both Super Bowl quarterbacks had less than ideal starts to the season. Bob Griese fractured his leg early in the year, while Billy Kilmer was replaced three games into the season by a 38-year-old Sonny Jurgensen before gaining the starting job again after the veteran went down with an Achilles injury. Both weren’t much of a factor in this Super Bowl. Griese leaned heavily on Larry Csonka and the stable of running backs behind him, completing only eight passes on 11 attempts. Kilmer did the same but ended up contributing to the Redskins’ woes with three interceptions. This was not a quarterback duel fans would remember.

 

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49. Super Bowl II: Bart Starr, Green Bay Packers, and Daryle Lamonica, Oakland Raiders

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The wily veteran vs. the young gunslinger: Starr was playing in what was the last season of his Hall of Fame career, while Lamonica was setting the AFL on fire with his powerful arm. The “Mad Bomber” found out it takes a lot more than a big arm to win the Super Bowl, though, as Starr managed the game to perfection to win his second straight championship. For all his production in the regular season, Lamonica couldn’t move the ball against a stingy Green Bay defense. It didn’t help that the Packers were eating the clock with long possessions, keeping the explosive Oakland offense on the bench. Lamonica got some garbage-time yards and finished with 208 yards and two touchdowns, but Starr expertly led the Packers behind an efficient 202 yards on 13 completions with one touchdown.

 

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48. Super Bowl VIII: Bob Griese, Miami Dolphins, and Fran Tarkenton, Minnesota Vikings

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Much like in the previous year’s Super Bowl, Bob Griese didn’t have to do much to help the Dolphins win their second straight championship. He had to complete six passes this time while leaning on Larry Csonka again. Minnesota’s Fran Tarkenton did his best to dance and scramble the Vikings back in the game but found it hard to do anything against Miami. He finished with 182 passing yards and one interception. It was another snoozer of a quarterback matchup.

 

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After the previous few Super Bowl quarterback matchups, this one was a dud. It wasn’t the talent level that was the problem. Ben Roethlisberger got hurt during the season and still put up 2,385 passing yards and 17 touchdowns in 12 games. Matt Hasselbeck rode Shaun Alexander’s 28-touchdown MVP campaign and threw for 24 touchdowns against nine interceptions. The Super Bowl was another story. The game was plagued by questionable officiating, and the players didn’t do much to make it any better. Roethlisberger went 9-of-21 in his pass attempts and was intercepted twice. Hasselbeck did better, with 273 pass yards, but was sacked three times. It was an ugly game in terms of quarterback play.

 

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With one of the greatest quarterbacks ever on one side and an emerging star in Los Angeles on the other, you would have thought Super Bowl LIII’s quarterback matchup would have produced better results. Unfortunately fans were subjected to one of the most boring offensive displays in this pass-heavy era of football. Jared Goff, who passed for 4,688 passing yards and 32 touchdowns in the 2018 season, was stoned by Bill Belichick, looking lost while only completing 50 percent of his passes and guiding the Rams to three points. Brady, who was no slouch with over 4,300 passing yards, threw his signature dump-offs and slants for a yawn-inducing 262 yards and wasn’t directly responsible for any points scored by New England. Many were expecting fireworks for this matchup but instead got one of the most infuriating Super Bowl games ever.

 

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45. Super Bowl XX: Jim McMahon, Chicago Bears, and Tony Eason, New England Patriots

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You could’ve literally put any quarterback against the Chicago Bears defense in 1985, and it wouldn’t have mattered. The Bears were going to win no matter what. Jim McMahon was a solid quarterback, completing 12 passes for 256 passing yards, but Tony Eason couldn’t do anything, missing all six of his pass attempts before getting knocked out of the game. This couldn’t be a more forgettable matchup.

 

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44. Super Bowl I: Bart Starr, Green Bay Packers, and Len Dawson, Kansas City Chiefs

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The first Super Bowl featured two of the era’s most accurate passers. Len Dawson led the AFL with a 56 percent completion percentage, while Starr completed 62.2 percent of his passes to lead the NFL. Even though Dawson crushed Starr in the touchdown department (26-14), it was Starr who prevailed in the championship game. After star receiver Boyd Dowler went down, Starr rode veteran tight end Max McGee the entire game, completing seven passes to him for 138 yards. Dawson couldn’t keep up with Starr, finishing with 39 fewer pass yards and throwing a critical third quarter interception that gave Green Bay the momentum the rest of the game. The Packers won, 35-10.

 

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The Colts were 18-point favorites to destroy the less-productive Jets. A big reason for that huge spread was Morrall, who led the NFL with 26 touchdowns in 1968. Joe Namath, who was looked like a woefully inferior quarterback in comparison, boldly claimed the Jets would win the Super Bowl three days before the game was played. The rest was history. Morrall couldn’t solve the Jets defense, throwing three interceptions before being replaced by veteran Johnny Unitas. Namath, on the other hand, dinked and dunked his way past the Colts’ blitzing defense, finishing with 206 yards on 17 completions. He may not have torched the AFL during the season, but he did what he needed to do to win the league’s first Super Bowl.

 

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42. Super Bowl IX: Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Fran Tarkenton, Minnesota Vikings

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With two historic defenses in this Super Bowl, there was little hope that either quarterback was going to flex his muscles much. Terry Bradshaw found some success getting on Franco Harris’ back and riding his 158 rushing yards. He finished the game with nine completions and a touchdown. Fran Tarkenton once again was foiled by a great defense, throwing three interceptions, and the “Steel Curtain” stuffed Chuck Foreman time and time again.

 

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41. Super Bowl IV: Len Dawson, Kansas City Chiefs, and Joe Kapp, Minnesota Vikings

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Joe Kapp wasn’t a passer like Len Dawson, but he was so tough on runs from the quarterback position that he earned the nickname “indestructible.” Dawson had a rough season, missing six games with a knee injury, and he barely qualified for the playoffs. The fortunes flipped in the Super Bowl. Kapp never had to play against a defense as big as the Chiefs’. He struggled to find receivers, throwing two interceptions, and ran for only 9 yards. On the other side of the field, Dawson had an easier time taking advantage of open receivers on the short routes, throwing for 142 yards on 12 completions with one touchdown. Neither quarterback lit the world on fire, as the defenses dominated this game.

 

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The 33-year-old Jim Plunkett revived his career with the Raiders after stinking it up in New England and San Francisco. With Ron Jaworski leading the Eagles with 3,529 yards and 27 touchdowns in the regular season, this was set to be a great matchup. Well, at least Plunkett came to play. Plunkett put on a deep-ball clinic, throwing for three touchdowns and 261 yards on 13 completions. Jaworski, on the other hand, went the opposite direction, getting picked off three times. The Eagles scored only 10 points, and the Raiders won easily.

 

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39. Super Bowl XVII: Joe Theismann, Washington Redskins, and David Woodley, Miami Dolphins

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The quarterback position and the Miami Dolphins have a curious relationship. The team reached four Super Bowls to this point without a quarterback who put up huge numbers. Even though this matchup featured the top-rated passer in the NFC in Joe Theismann, not even he was enough to make this duel intriguing with David Woodley behind center for Miami. Woodley completed four of his 14 pass attempts for 96 yards, with a majority of them coming from a 76-yard scoring connection with Jimmy Cefalo in the first quarter. Theismann did his best to make the quarterback battle semi-exciting, completing 15-of-23 passes for 143 yards with two touchdowns. His two interceptions were an eyesore though, making this matchup a bore.

 

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38. Super Bowl XI: Ken Stabler, Oakland Raiders, and Fran Tarkenton, Minnesota Vikings

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The third time was not the charm for Fran Tarkenton. Even after establishing himself as the league’s all-time leader in pass completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns, he couldn’t get over the hump to win a Super Bowl. Tarkenton had trouble with the Raiders’ 3-4 defense filled with aggressive, hard-hitting players. Ken Stabler, on the other hand, had no problem solving the Purple People Eaters defense, handing the ball off to Clarence Davis and Mark van Eeghen and managing the game perfectly by completing 12-of-19 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown.

 

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37. Super Bowl VI: Roger Staubach, Dallas Cowboys, and Bob Griese, Miami Dolphins

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Two young, hotshot quarterbacks met in Super Bowl VI, with Roger Staubach earning the starting job in his third year, while Bob Griese threw for nearly 2,100 yards and 19 touchdowns. The former Navy Vietnam veteran rode a productive run game and chipped in with 119 yards on 12 completions, including two passing touchdowns. Griese couldn’t carry the load after his running game failed him, throwing for 134 yards, getting picked off once and fumbling the ball. He would have a chance to redeem himself soon enough.

 

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36. Super Bowl XII: Roger Staubach, Dallas Cowboys, and Craig Morton, Denver Broncos

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Roger Staubach replaced Craig Morton as the Dallas Cowboys quarterback in 1971, and Dallas never looked back. Morton got a chance for revenge against his former team in Super Bowl XII. He did not capitalize. Morton fell victim to Dallas’ Doomsday Defense, throwing four interceptions and completing only four passes for 39 yards. Staubach had more success against the vaunted Orange Crush Denver defense, throwing for 183 yards and one touchdown. This was hyped a revenge game but ended up being a dud.

 

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35. Super Bowl XIV: Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Vince Ferragamo, Los Angeles Rams

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It was already a miracle that the Rams made it into the playoffs, and they got to the Super Bowl, which was even more unbelievable. But it was no thanks to quarterback Vince Ferragamo. The fourth-round draft pick was expected to get outdueled by Terry Bradshaw, and he didn’t do much to fight that. Ferragamo finished the game with 212 passing yards but never hit pay dirt for a score and had one pass intercepted. Bradshaw may have had three passes picked off, but he added two touchdowns and threw for 309 yards. There wasn’t much back and forth like there was with him and Staubach the previous year. It was all Bradshaw this time.

 

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34. Super Bowl XVIII: Jim Plunkett, Los Angeles Raiders, and Joe Theismann, Washington Redskins

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Two Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks usually provide a matchup full of potential. With MVP-winning Joe Theismann and Jim Plunkett still showing off his big arm, everyone was expecting an explosive Super Bowl. Neither delivered. Plunkett took a backseat to running back Marcus Allen, who rushed for 191 yards. The Raiders quarterback at least notched one touchdown. Theismann couldn’t even manage that, throwing two interceptions. The Raiders made the Super Bowl a laugher, winning 38-9.

 

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Before Phil Simms was doing Super Bowl broadcasts, he was on the field winning one. The “Big Blue Wrecking Crew” Giants defense may have gotten the headlines, but Simms led the offense with 3,487 passing yards. John Elway was already entertaining crowds with his ability to scramble. In the Super Bowl, Simms outdueled Elway with three touchdowns, while Elway had a tough time moving the ball against Lawrence Taylor and Co. He still finished with over 300 yards passing, but he was unable to make the Super Bowl intriguing.

 

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32. Super Bowl XLVIII: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks, and Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

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You would think in a matchup featuring a record-setting Peyton Manning, who threw for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns, would be exciting no matter what. It was quite the contrary when he ran into the Legion of Boom. Manning was throttled by Seattle, throwing two interceptions, getting sacked once and losing a fumble. Russell Wilson gobbled up the extra possessions his defense gave him, managing the game perfectly with 206 yards and two touchdowns. What was supposed to be a competitive matchup ended up being a laugher.

 

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31. Super Bowl XXII: Doug Williams, Washington Redskins, and John Elway, Denver Broncos

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Redskins quarterback Doug Williams started the season on the bench but took over the starting job at the end of the season. In five games, he piled up 1,156 yards and 11 touchdowns, but he was running into a buzz saw in John Elway, who just completed another excellent season in which he threw for nearly 3,200 yards. Instead, Williams stole the show. The first African-American quarterback to start a Super Bowl threw four touchdowns. Unable to shake his Super Bowl woes, Elway threw three interceptions and was sacked five times. Williams wowed the crowd, but Elway couldn’t join him in making this a more entertaining game.

 

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30. Super Bowl XIX: Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers, and Dan Marino, Miami Dolphins

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Montana vs. Mr. 5,000 — this was going to be the quarterback matchup to end all quarterback matchups. Dan Marino became the first quarterback to eclipse 5,000 yards in a season, and Joe Montana threw for 28 touchdowns. Well, at least one of them showed up. Montana destroyed Marino in a head-to-head battle, throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for another. Marino did the best he could, throwing for 318 yards, but he was picked off twice. Many people argued that Marino was well on his way to supplanting Montana at the top of the quarterback mountain, but the 49ers legend put those statements to bed.

 

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29. Super Bowl XXIV: Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers, and John Elway, Denver Broncos

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Two legendary quarterbacks faced off in Super Bowl XXIV, and both confirmed their respective reputations through their performances, for better or for worse. John Elway came into the game losing his last two Super Bowls, and he didn’t do much to quell criticism that he couldn’t win the big game. He didn’t have his best season, and that inconsistency showed in the championship game, where he threw two interceptions and was sacked four times. Montana cemented his penchant for big performances, pummeling the Broncos into submission through the air with 297 passing yards and five touchdowns to set a Super Bowl record. He didn’t need Elway to give the fans a show.

 

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In 1991, Mark Rypien and Jim Kelly were lighting up the NFL. Rypien threw for 3,564 yards and 28 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. Kelly continued to masterfully orchestrate the K-Gun offense, throwing for 3,844 yards with a league-high 33 touchdowns. Unfortunately, this was another matchup he did not capitalize on. Kelly got thrown around by the Washington defense, getting sacked five times and throwing four interceptions. Rypien took advantage of Kelly’s miscues, throwing for 292 yards and two touchdowns. This wasn’t the first or last time Kelly was bested on the biggest stage.

 

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27. Super Bowl XXVIII: Troy Aikman, Dallas Cowboys, and Jim Kelly, Buffalo Bills

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For the first time in NFL history, the same two teams made it to the Super Bowl in back-to-back years. Aikman-Kelly was set up to be a barnburner, with Aikman still commanding an efficient offense, while Kelly led the Bills to the best record in the AFC. Unfortunately for the Bills, history would repeat itself. Kelly attempted 50 passes but had a hard time moving the ball, with one interception and three sacks. Aikman didn’t have to dominate the game like he did the year before, with Emmitt Smith rushing for 132 yards and two touchdowns. Aikman and the Cowboys coasted to another easy win, and the Jim Kelly Bills earned the dubious honor of being known as the greatest team to never win a Super Bowl.

 

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26. Super Bowl XLI: Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts, and Rex Grossman, Chicago Bears

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Peyton Manning’s first Super Bowl was a momentous occasion with one of the greatest quarterbacks finally making it to the championship game. Too bad there wasn’t a similar quarterback on the other side of the field to make the game interesting. Rex Grossman was a fine quarterback, but he didn’t have the clout that would’ve made this a heavyweight battle. He finished the game with 20 completions for only 165 yards and was picked off twice. Not even Manning lit up the Miami sky. He finished with 247 yards, a touchdown and an interception. It wasn’t his best game, but he got the job done.

 

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25. Super Bowl XXVII: Troy Aikman, Dallas Cowboys, and Jim Kelly, Buffalo Bills

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It was another year in which Jim Kelly dominated the AFC in the no-huddle offense, but a new challenger rose from the NFC. Troy Aikman led a Cowboys team that finished second in the league in scoring, throwing for 3,445 yards and 23 touchdowns. Aikman lit up the Bills, throwing four touchdowns and going 22-of-30 on his pass attempts. After throwing two interceptions, Kelly reinjured his knee that kept him out of the first two playoff games, knocking him out of the game. The Bills lost for the third straight year in the Super Bowl.

 

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24. Super Bowl XXIX: Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers, and Stan Humphries, San Diego Chargers

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Stan Humphries was thrust into the national spotlight by making the Super Bowl with the surprise Chargers. He threw for 3,209 yards, but on the other side of the field he ran into Steve Young, the 49ers quarterback who had Joe Montana’s big shoes to fill and a lot of questions as to if he could win a big game. He made sure people knew he was ready against San Diego. Young torched the Chargers for 325 yards and six touchdowns, breaking Montana’s previous record of five touchdown passes set in Super Bowl XXIV. Humphries’ luck ran out against the 49ers, throwing two interceptions and getting sacked twice before being replaced in the fourth quarter. The one-sided affair made this a mediocre matchup.

 

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23. Super Bowl XXV: Jeff Hostetler, New York Giants, and Jim Kelly, Buffalo Bills

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Jim Kelly and Buffalo’s no-huddle K-Gun offense was supposed to be the main draw in the matchup with Jeff Hostetler playing game manager filling in for an injured Phil Simms. The game was a lot more entertaining than that. Hostetler and Kelly battled to a near draw, with Hostetler throwing for 222 yards and a touchdown, while Kelly put up 212 yards, including 28 yards late in the fourth quarter to set up the potential game-winning field goal. However, as many Buffalo fans know, Scott Norwood missed the kick, giving the Giants the win.

 

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22. Super Bowl XVI: Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers, and Ken Anderson, Cincinnati Bengals

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In terms of quarterback matchups, this was marquee-worthy. A young Joe Montana emerged for the 49ers, leading the league with a 63.7 completion percentage. On the other side, Ken Anderson won the NFL MVP and Comeback Player of the Year, throwing for 3,754 yards and 29 touchdowns. Their duel in Super Bowl was impressive. Montana started the scoring with a rushing touchdown in the first quarter and followed that up with a passing score in the second. After the 49ers jumped to a 20-0 lead at halftime, it was all Anderson from there. His third-quarter rushing touchdown was the only score that quarter, and he notched two fourth-quarter throwing scores, one of them with 22 seconds left to pull the Bengals within five. The only thing Anderson needed was time, something he was not afforded after a failed onside kick gave Montana his first Super Bowl win, starting a legendary career.

 

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21. Super Bowl XXX: Troy Aikman, Dallas Cowboys, and Neil O’Donnell, Pittsburgh Steelers

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Troy Aikman returned …

Sometimes the game is a blowout, and sometimes the game is close. Either way, the Super Bowl almost always delivers something unusual, be it a play on the field, a halftime incident, a new technological innovation, or even the implementation of new rules and game-day standards. Let’s take a look at some of the most unusual facts and stories from each Super Bowl.

 

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Super Bowl I: Max McGee’s hangover leaves Chiefs feeling sick

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McGee was a backup and didn’t expect to get much action in the game. So of course, he stayed out all night and took in the Los Angeles social scene. Boyd Dowler, ahead of McGee on the depth chart, was hurt on the game’s second play. Big trouble for a guy with a hangover, right? Wrong. McGee caught seven passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns to help lead the Pack to victory.

 

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Super Bowl II: What’s in a name?

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Fun fact: The first two Super Bowls were not known as such. They were simply termed the “AFL-NFL World Championship Game.” Sharron Hunt, daughter of Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt, was trying to speak about her Super Ball toy, and her accent inspired her father to informally term the Chiefs-Packers tilt as the “Super Bowl.” The Colts-Jets matchup in 1969 was the first game to formally bear the name.

 

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Super Bowl III: The upset to end all upsets

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There’s a good chance that the Super Bowl would not be quite the spectacle it has become without Joe Namath’s guarantee of victory and his team’s play to back it up. The Jets’ upset of the heavily favored Colts legitimized the AFL, turned Namath into a star and is still recognized as one of the most famous upsets in American sports history. 

 

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Super Bowl IV: Full of hot air

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You might think that early Super Bowl halftime shows were much more tame than their modern counterparts, and you’d be mostly correct. Still, there were some interesting spectacles. Super Bowl IV featured a hot-air balloon that was supposed to rise above the stadium. Instead, it blew into the stands. Somewhat incredibly, no one was hurt.

 

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Super Bowl V: Even losers win

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Linebacker Chuck Howley’s Super Bowl experience was a bittersweet one, as he picked off two passes and was named MVP. Of course, Howley also became the answer to a trivia question because his Cowboys lost, and he became the first (and still only) member of the losing team to win MVP.

 

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Super Bowl VI: Nixon draws one up

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Imagine, if you will, Donald Trump drawing up a play for Bill Belichick and telling him to call it during the game. Now imagine Belichick actually running it, or at least attempting to. It actually happened in Super Bowl VI, when Richard Nixon made a suggestion to Don Shula about a route for Paul Warfield. Dallas stifled the play, with Tom Landry indicating that the Cowboys made extra sure not to get beat by a presidential pass.

 

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Super Bowl VII: Garo’s “legendary” toss

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The Dolphins finished a 17-0 season with a 14-7 win over Washington, but the result would not have been that close had Garo Yepremian’s clinching field-goal attempt not been blocked. Yepremian picked up the blocked kick and tried to throw it, but the ball fell out of his hand and into the arms of Washington’s Mike Bass, who ran it in for a touchdown. To this day the play might be the most recognizable folly in league history and is often replayed in slow motion, to great comedic effect.

 

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Super Bowl VIII: From front to back

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If you scan old Super Bowl box scores, you occasionally find made field goals of 10 yards or less, which seem like misprints given the game’s modern rules. However, the goal posts were at the front of the end zone, so such chip shots were somewhat common. Super Bowl VIII was the last game to feature the uprights up front, as they were moved to the end line for the next season. Both kickers were perfect in the game, by the way.

 

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Super Bowl IX: An apology from…Mary Tyler Moore?

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The “Mary Tyler Moore Show” used Super Bowl IX as part of the plot of an episode that aired the night before the game. On the show, which was set in Minneapolis, the Vikings won the game. As the end credits rolled, Moore herself apologized in advance to Steelers fans, should their team win. They did, and the apology, unlike Minnesota’s attempt at bringing home the title, was successful.

 

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Super Bowl X: Tick tock, tick tock

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In today’s sports world, the idea that any piece of vital information would be unavailable to both fans and players is borderline farcical. Super Bowl X was the first Super Bowl where the play clock was visible to teams and spectators, crazy though it may seem. The following season was the first in which a visible play clock was mandatory at all contests.

 

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Super Bowl XI: Vikings the first to four…losses

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Before the Buffalo Bills were the Buffalo Bills, the Minnesota Vikings cornered the market on Super Bowl heartbreak. The Vikings played in four of the first 11 Super Bowls, more than any other team, but lost all of them, each time by double digits. Minnesota hasn’t been back to the Super Bowl in 43 years.

 

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Super Bowl XII: Sharing is caring

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It must be something with the Cowboys and quirks of the MVP Award. Chuck Howley was the only player from a losing team to win it, and Harvey Martin and Randy White were the only players to share it, as their stellar defensive work (a combined three sacks) paced Dallas to an easy win over the Denver Broncos.

 

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Super Bowl XIII: SB as in “Super Bowl”? No, as in “Spelling Bee”

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No player dominated the run-up to this game like Cowboys linebacker Hollywood Henderson. The Dallas defender ripped into Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw, questioning his intelligence by suggesting that Bradshaw couldn’t spell “cat” if spotted the “c” and the “a.” Bradshaw got the last laugh, however, throwing for 318 yards and four touchdowns to pace Pittsburgh to a 35-31 victory and claim MVP honors.

 

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Super Bowl XIV: Steel Curtain causes a color change

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Ask just about anyone about Pittsburgh sports and two colors come to mind: black and gold. While the Pirates and the Steelers have always sported those colors, the Pittsburgh Penguins came into the NHL with powder blue as their primary color. Perhaps as a nod to the Bucs and Steelers, who after this game had combined for three titles in the previous 13 months, the Pens changed their color scheme to black and gold a mere 10 days after the Steelers were victorious. 

 

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Super Bowl XV: No plane, no problem

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We’ve all used the “my alarm didn’t go off” excuse, right? Sometimes it might even be true. Usually, it’s not a big deal, but for the Raiders’ Cliff Branch, it could have been a disaster. He missed the team flight to New Orleans and blamed his alarm for the mishap. Branch caught two touchdown passes in the game, and Oakland owner Al Davis didn’t seem to mind, saying of Branch’s lateness, “What the heck’s the difference?”

 

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Super Bowl XVI: A game-changing tool makes its debut

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We all take the telestrator for granted these days, as technology for highlighting certain players or areas of the field has gone to the next level. But for a long time, it was the industry standard for a color analyst who wanted to show viewers exactly what he was breaking down. The telestrator made its national debut in Super Bowl XVI, and of course John Madden was on the call to ring it in.

 

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Super Bowl XVII: Markbreit can’t make heads or tails of things

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Surely nothing could go wrong at the opening coin toss, right? Well, there’s a reason that the referee makes sure that both teams know which side of the ceremonial coin is heads and which is tails. That’s because Jerry Markbreit flubbed the toss in this one, mistakenly calling it as heads when it was in fact tails. Thankfully for him, the game didn’t come down to any sort of dramatic late penalty call.

 

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Super Bowl XVIII: Allen’s “mistake” sinks Washington

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Washington was already in big trouble, having just been stopped on fourth-and-1 to give the ball back to the Raiders and down 28-9. The Redskins needed a big defensive play, and when Marcus Allen arced way outside on a run to the left, in what he later admitted was a gaffe on his part, they had a chance at throwing him for a big loss. Instead he cut back, made several defenders miss and ran for a then Super Bowl-record 74-yard score. Washington was officially done.

 

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Super Bowl XIX: Nothing like home cooking

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No team has played the Super Bowl in its home stadium, with the Vikings blowing their chance two years ago. Only two, the Rams in Super Bowl XIV and the 49ers in Super Bowl XIX, have played it in their home markets. The Niners were right at home in Stanford Stadium, ripping off 21 straight points in response to a 10-7 deficit and then cruising to a victory in the second half. 

 

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Super Bowl XX: Super Bowl Shuffle

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The 1985 Bears were great. Some would argue that they were the greatest single team of all time. They were so good that they put out a rap song, the “Super Bowl Shuffle,” that became a hit. The single sold half a million copies and got all the way to No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100. Such antics would doubtless be bulletin board material for the opponent, right? Apparently they weren’t for the AFC champion Patriots, who took a 3-0 lead then got pasted by a final of 46-10, at the time the most lopsided final score in Super Bowl history.

 

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Super Bowl XXI: The taste of victory is sweet — literally — for Bill Parcells

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The “Gatorade Shower” is ubiquitous these days. Every victorious coach knows it’s coming, and cameras follow jubilant players as they sneak up on their coach, bucket in tow. It wasn’t always this way. The Giants started the practice the prior season, but it wasn’t until they doused Bill Parcells after routing the Broncos that a national audience bore witness to the spectacle. Any coaches who hate having to clean themselves off after an involuntary bath have the G-Men to thank.

 

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Super Bowl XXII: Timmy Smith — from unknown to star and back again

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There have been unlikely Super Bowl standouts — Larry Brown  and Dexter Jackson spring to mind — but no single player’s star burned brighter and dimmed faster than Washington’s Timmy Smith. A rookie making his first NFL start, Smith ran for 204 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries, then he promptly lost the starting running back job the next year and was out of the league after the 1990 season.

 

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Super Bowl XXIII: Enter Elvis Presto

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Before there was “Left Shark,” there was “Elvis Presto” and the “Be Bop Bamboozled in 3-D” halftime show. The show was designed to be viewed in 3-D, and viewers were told that if they had trouble seeing some of the images, they should consult an optometrist. Needless to say, the “entertainment” was not well received. 

 

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Super Bowl XXIV: The mother of all blowouts

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To this day, no team has topped San Francisco’s 55 points, nor has anyone eclipsed the 45-point margin of victory. The Niners scored two touchdowns in every quarter, and only a missed extra point stood between them and a perfect row of 14s on the scoreboard. The final margin did not lie, as most analysts still view this as the worst Super Bowl ever played, at least from a competitiveness standpoint.

 

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Super Bowl XXV: A clean game goes the Giants’ way

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Most years, the Super Bowl matches the two best teams in the league, or close to it. Given that reality, it probably comes as a surprise that it took 25 Super Bowls for one to be played without a single turnover by either side. That was the case in this one, something that likely worked to the Giants’ advantage, as they could not afford to make things easy for Buffalo’s vaunted K-Gun offense. We all know how the game ended, but Scott Norwood’s missed field goal was the closest thing to a miscue in this one.

 

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Super Bowl XXVI: Thurman Thomas’ helmet disappears

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The Bills lost Super Bowl XXVI, 37-24, and truthfully they were so sloppy, so completely outclassed by the Redskins, that no variable would likely have changed the outcome. Still, it was awkward and strange when Thurman Thomas didn’t start the game on offense. The Bills’ star running back didn’t make it on the field until Buffalo’s third play because he couldn’t find his helmet after coming back to the sideline from the coin toss. The incident is yet another in the long line of indignities Buffalo has suffered in the biggest game of them all.

 

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Super Bowl XXVII: Leon’s gallop for glory goes awry

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The game was already decided. The Cowboys were well on their way to victory. Still, every defensive lineman dreams of scoring a touchdown, especially in the Super Bowl. Leon Lett, after picking up a Frank Reich fumble and seeing nothing but green in front of him, seemed destined to live the dream. He soaked up his moment, slowing down into a trot at the 10-yard line. However, he didn’t count on Buffalo’s Don Beebe chasing him down from behind and knocking the ball from his hands and out of the end zone, turning his moment of glory into an infamous, if harmless, Super Bowl memory.

 

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Super Bowl XXVIII: Deja vu all over again for Bills, Cowboys

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This game marked the first and so far only time that the same two teams met in back-to-back years in the Super Bowl. It was going much better for the Bills in this one, too, as they carried a 13-6 lead into halftime. Things unraveled quickly after that, with Dallas tying the game then turning a Buffalo fumble into a touchdown and a lead it would never relinquish. The Bills haven’t been back to the Super Bowl since.

 

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Super Bowl XXIX: Bad game, worse halftime show

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The Chargers were the biggest underdog in Super Bowl history, and they played like it, trailing 28-10 at halftime. The game had little drama, so hopefully the halftime show would redeem it, right? Wrong. The show was a bizarre mess, conceived to promote Disneyland’s “Indiana Jones Adventure” attraction, which was opening later in the year. 

 

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Super Bowl XXX: Larry Brown, unlikeliest of heroes

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Larry Brown was a starter at cornerback for Dallas, and while he had a nice enough career, he may have been the lowest-profile player to win Super Bowl MVP. He had two interceptions on the day, but each one could not have been more perfectly gift-wrapped by Pittsburgh’s Neil O’Donnell, who threw the ball directly to Brown on two separate occasions with no Steelers receivers in the area either time. Brown signed a lucrative contract with the Raiders in the off-season, but there’s no word on whether he felt compelled to give O’Donnell a cut.

 

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Super Bowl XXXI: Introducing the FoxBox

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These days, we take for granted the fact that the score, time remaining and down and distance are always on the screen. This was not the case in the first 30 Super Bowls, until Fox, televising the game for the first time, introduced the FoxBox and revolutionized the way games are presented on television. As for the game itself? Well, let’s just say the FoxBox deserved a more dramatic contest.

 

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Super Bowl XXXII: Flawless offense earns Elway long-treasured title

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John Elway’s Super Bowl experiences were full of heartbreak, and many figured he’d end his career without a title. Then Terrell Davis came along, and the Broncos sent their Hall of Fame quarterback out in style with back-to-back titles. This one was particularly noteworthy because, aside from Elway’s kneel downs to run out the clock and a few penalties, Denver did not have a single negative play on offense. 

 

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Super Bowl XXXIII: Eugene Robinson gets busted

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The Falcons, fresh off an upset of the 15-1 Vikings in the NFC championship game, were looking to do the same to Denver in the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, they had to deal with a major distraction when defensive back Eugene Robinson was busted for soliciting a prostitute the night before the game. The incident clearly distracted Atlanta, and the Falcons were never really competitive in a 34-19 loss.

 

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Super Bowl XXXIV: From groceries to greatness

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Hollywood couldn’t write a story as great as Kurt Warner’s. Left on the trash heap by the NFL, Warner at one point took a job stocking shelves at a grocery store to make ends meet. He made a name for himself in the Arena League and NFL Europe, and he finally exploded into the national consciousness as the impresario of the Greatest Show on Turf, stepping in and scorching the league once Trent Green was lost to injury. Warner capped off an improbable run by hitting Isaac Bruce for a long touchdown to top the Titans, 23-16.

 

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Super Bowl XXXV: Lewises shall lead them

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The game was not competitive by any stretch, with the Ravens dominating en route to a 34-7 win. What was unusual is that each phase of the game was defined by someone with the surname Lewis. Jamal Lewis was the game’s top rusher, Jermaine Lewis returned a kick for a touchdown and linebacker Ray Lewis was the game’s MVP. 

 

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Super Bowl XXXVI: Vinatieri makes Super Bowl history

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Until this game, not one Super Bowl had been decided on the game’s final play. Even a late field goal by the Colts to win Super Bowl V happened with a few ticks left on the clock. This time, Adam Vinatieri’s winning kick sailed through as the clock showed all zeroes, marking the first “walk-off” win in the game’s history.

 

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Super Bowl XXXVII: Robbins goes AWOL

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Barret Robbins was a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro in 2002, anchoring a strong Raiders offensive line. Inexplicably, he went missing for most of the day before the game after not taking his depression medication. When he finally showed up at the team hotel that evening he was disoriented, and Bill Callahan left him off Oakland’s roster. It turned out that Robbins had been partying in Tijuana, Mexico, thinking (according to his wife) that the Raiders had already won the game. Needless to say, they didn’t.

 

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Super Bowl XXXVIII: “Wardrobe malfunction”

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In what is arguably the most infamous moment in broadcast television history, Justin Timberlake briefly exposed fellow halftime show star Janet Jackson’s breast, which was partially covered with a nipple shield. The FCC came down hard on CBS for the incident, which ended up sparking plenty of debate about indecency in broadcasting. The incident was the most rewatched moment in TiVo history to that point.

 

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Super Bowl XXXIX: McNabb leaves Eagles fans feeling sick

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The Eagles fought valiantly against the favored Patriots, and when they got the ball back deep in their own territory with little time left on the clock, their chances of winning weren’t good. The real story that came out of the waning minutes was a major debate on whether Philly’s Donovan McNabb was dry-heaving or vomiting as the clock wound down. With no conclusive video evidence either way, this one comes down to personal belief. 

 

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Super Bowl XL: Roethlisberger’s bad day ends well

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It is likely that no winning quarterback played a worse Super Bowl than Ben Roethlisberger. He ran for a disputed touchdown and did hit a crucial deep pass to set up another Steelers score, but aside from that, he did virtually nothing and finished the game with a passer rating of 22.6. Not that Roethlisberger needed to apologize because without his efforts, the Steelers wouldn’t have made it to the game in the first place.

 

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Super Bowl XLI: Hester starts things off with a bang

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Devin Hester electrified NFL fans with his return skills the minute he suited up for the Chicago Bears. When Chicago won the coin toss and elected to receive, everyone held their breath. Hester rewarded them by taking the opening kick back 92 yards for a score, the first time the opening kick had been returned for a touchdown in Super Bowl history.

 

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Super Bowl XLII: Tyree makes the most of his moment

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The Patriots were a juggernaut, 18-0 and favored to complete a perfect season and win their fourth Super Bowl of the decade. Eli Manning and David Tyree had other plans, and on New York’s winning drive, Manning scrambled out of what looked like a certain sack and hit Tyree, who had already caught a touchdown pass, for a huge gain. The catch was all the more unlikely because Tyree was forced to pin the ball to his helmet to gain control of it as he hit the ground. The Giants went on to win, and Tyree never caught another pass in the NFL.

 

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Super Bowl XLIII: A quiet Super Bowl week gets a great ending

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Due to the global financial crisis, the festivities leading up to Super Bowl XLIII were scaled back from the norm. Tickets were much more affordable, and the overall feeling of the event was somewhat muted. The game itself, however, delivered plenty of drama, with James Harrison’s 100-yard interception return standing alone in the eyes of many as the greatest defensive play in the game’s history and Kurt Warner and Ben Roethlisberger trading touchdown passes in the final three minutes, with Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes hooking up for the winning score with less than a minute to play.

 

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Super Bowl XLIV: Payton’s gamble outshines, well, Peyton

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Down 10-6 at the half to Peyton Manning and the favored Colts, Sean Payton’s Saints needed a spark, so he made the bold call for an onside kick to start the third quarter. The gamble paid off, as the Saints recovered and drove down the field for a go-ahead score. Manning and the Colts rallied back, but New Orleans never blinked, retaking the lead and then sealing the game on a …

การแข่งขัน: รอบที่ 121 - 152 อันดับที่ 152

ตลอดประวัติศาสตร์เอ็นเอฟแอลผู้เล่นรุ่นเยาว์ได้ประกาศตัวเองด้วยการไปหรือชนะซูเปอร์โบวล์ ลองมาดูดาราที่ยิ่งใหญ่ที่สุดบางคนที่ช่วยให้ทีมของพวกเขาไปถึงซูเปอร์โบวล์เมื่ออายุ 25 หรือต่ำกว่า มุ่งเน้นไปที่ภาพกีฬา / เก็ตตี้ Namath รับประกันและสำรองข้อมูลไว้เมื่อเปิดไฟทำให้ New York Jets พุ่งพรวดไปสู่สัตว์ประหลาดที่ไม่พอใจ Baltimore Colts ใน Super Bowl III Namath ไม่ได้น่าตื่นเต้น แต่เขาก็นิ่งและดาวของเขาก็ส่องสว่างขึ้นหลังจากที่ได้รับชัยชนะอย่างเหลือเชื่อ Focus On Sport / Getty Images โฟร์แมนเป็นคนทำงานที่มีของขวัญสำหรับการจับผ่านและเขาสะสมระยะทางกว่า 9,000 หลาจากการต่อสู้ในอาชีพที่ค่อนข้างสั้น เขาได้รับการเสนอชื่อให้เป็นหน้าใหม่ที่น่ารังเกียจแห่งปีในปี 1973 เมื่อระยะ 1,163 หลาจากการต่อสู้ช่วยให้มินนิโซตาไปถึงซูเปอร์โบวล์กับไมอามี แต่เขาและเพื่อนร่วมทีมของเขาถูกบรรจุขวดด้วยการชนะ 24-7 โลมา โฟกัสไปที่ภาพกีฬา / เก็ตตี้ฤดูกาล 1974 ของแฮร์ริสเป็นฤดูกาลที่สามของเขาในลีกและเขาช่วยให้สตีลเลอร์สเข้าถึงซูเปอร์โบวล์ครั้งแรกโดยวิ่งไป 1,006 หลาในระหว่างฤดูกาลที่ระยะเกือบ 5 หลาต่อการบรรทุก ในซูเปอร์โบวล์เขาทำได้ดียิ่งขึ้นด้วยการเฉือนการป้องกันของชาวไวกิ้งเป็นระยะ 158 หลาและทำทัชดาวน์ระหว่างทางไปสู่การคว้ารางวัล MVP 4 จาก 26 Lynn Swann, Pittsburgh Steelers, Super Bowl X Focus On Sport / Getty Images Pittsburgh เป็นทีมของปี 1970 ดังนั้น Steelers จึงมีดาวรุ่งมากมายที่มีบทบาทสำคัญในช่วงเวลาสำคัญ Swann เป็นผู้นำในลีกด้วยการจับทัชดาวน์ 11 ครั้งในฤดูกาลที่สองของเขา แต่เขาช่วยวีรกรรมที่ยิ่งใหญ่ที่สุดของเขาในซูเปอร์โบวล์ซึ่งเขาทำสองนัดที่น่าประทับใจในช่วงต้นเกมจากนั้นปิดผนึกตำแหน่งตรงที่สองของพิตต์สเบิร์กด้วยการจับทัชดาวน์ 64 หลา สำหรับความพยายามของเขาเขาได้รับการขนานนามว่าเป็น MVP ของเกม โฟกัสไปที่ภาพกีฬา / เก็ตตี้ Dorsett ใช้ชีวิตตามโฆษณาที่มาพร้อมกับการเลือกโดยรวมครั้งที่สองในร่างปี 1977 โดยวิ่งได้ 1,007 หลาในขณะที่เฉลี่ยเกือบ 5 หลาต่อการบรรทุก ผลงานที่แข็งแกร่งของ Dorsett ยังคงดำเนินต่อไปใน Super Bowl XII โดยเขาวิ่งไป 65 หลาและทำทัชดาวน์เพื่อช่วยให้ดัลลัสคว้าชัยชนะเหนือเดนเวอร์ 27-10 6 จาก 26 Dwight Clark, San Francisco 49ers, Super Bowl XVI Wally McNamee / Getty Images แคมเปญปี 1981 ของคลาร์กเป็นสิ่งที่ดีที่สุดในฐานะมืออาชีพ เขาซ้อนได้ 1,105 หลาจาก 85 การจับ แต่ไม่มีการเล่นในอาชีพของเขาที่โด่งดังไปกว่าเกมที่รู้จักกันในชื่อ “The Catch” การคว้าทัชดาวน์แบบก้าวกระโดดที่ผลักดันให้ซานฟรานซิสโกคว้าชัยชนะในเกมชิงแชมป์ NFC เหนือดัลลัสเคาบอยวัย 28 ปี 27. โฟกัสไปที่ภาพกีฬา / เก็ตตี้เป็นภัยคุกคามที่อันตรายทั้งในการวิ่งและรับอัลเลนสะสมระยะทางกว่า 1,600 หลาจากการต่อสู้ในฤดูกาล 1983 เขาปิดฉากปีที่ยิ่งใหญ่ของเขาด้วยการลงสนามพลิกกลับและกองหลังที่วิ่งเหยาะๆระหว่างทางไปสู่การวิ่ง 74 หลาในซูเปอร์โบวล์ซึ่งเป็นการเล่นที่ช่วยให้เขาได้รับรางวัล MVP และเป็นเนื้อหาที่มีชื่อเสียงที่สุดในประวัติศาสตร์ของเกม . 8 จาก 26 Roger Craig, San Francisco 49ers, Super Bowl XIX Focus On Sport / Getty Images Craig เหมาะสมอย่างยิ่งในเกมรุกฝั่งตะวันตกของ Bill Walsh โดยพุ่งไป 649 หลาและทำ 71 ครั้งในระยะ 675 หลาในปี 1984 แม้ว่าเขาจะไม่ทำ ชนะมันเขายังมีเคสที่ยอดเยี่ยมสำหรับ Super Bowl MVP วิ่งเพื่อทำทัชดาวน์และจับอีกสองคนขณะที่ 49ers แล่นผ่านไมอามี มุ่งเน้นไปที่ภาพกีฬา / เก็ตตี้มีผู้เล่นที่ดีกว่าในปี 1985 Chicago Bears ไม่มีใครมีลัทธิต่อไปนี้มากไปกว่าวิลเลียม “ตู้เย็น” เพอร์รี การป้องกันมือใหม่ของ The Bears มีห้ากระสอบในฤดูกาลและน่าจดจำ (หรือน่าอับอายขึ้นอยู่กับว่าคุณถามใคร) รีบทำทัชดาวน์ 1 หลาในเส้นทาง 46-10 ของนิวอิงแลนด์ในชิคาโก โฟกัสไปที่ภาพกีฬา / เก็ตตี้บาวาโร่ทำประตูได้ 1,001 หลาในฤดูกาลที่สองของเขากับไจแอนต์และเขาได้รับรางวัลออล – โปรทีมแรกแบบกลับไปกลับมาในปี 2529 และ 2530 เขาเป็นเครื่องมือสำคัญที่ทำให้ไจแอนต์ผ่านการโจมตี และเขาจับได้สี่ครั้งในระยะ 51 หลาและทำทัชดาวน์ได้ในนิวยอร์ก 39-20 ที่ชนะเดนเวอร์ 11 จาก 26 Timmy Smith, Washington Redskins, Super Bowl XXII มุ่งเน้นไปที่ภาพกีฬา / เก็ตตี้คุณสามารถตรวจสอบหมายเลขอาชีพของ Timmy Smith ได้หากต้องการ แต่มีเพียงเกมเดียวในประวัติการทำงานของเขาเท่านั้นและนั่นคือ Super Bowl XXII คุณสามารถโต้แย้งได้ว่า Smith ไม่รับประกันว่าจะรวมอยู่ที่นี่เนื่องจากอาชีพของเขาสั้นและส่วนใหญ่ไม่โดดเด่น แต่ในซูเปอร์โบวล์เขาระเบิดออกมาจากที่ใดในระยะ 204 หลาและสองทัชดาวน์ใน 22 พกพาช่วยให้วอชิงตันมีชัยชนะ 42-10 George Ross / Getty Images The Bills แพ้ Super Bowl แต่ไม่ใช่ความผิดของ Thomas ในขณะที่เขาวิ่งไป 135 หลาและทำทัชดาวน์ด้วยความพยายามที่สูญเสียไป ฤดูกาลของเขาก็ยอดเยี่ยมเช่นกัน เขานำลีกในระยะหลาจากการต่อสู้ด้วย 1,829 ซึ่งเป็นครั้งที่สองของสี่ปีติดต่อกันที่เขาจะทำสำเร็จ Focus On Sport / Getty Images Smith เป็นสินค้าที่รู้จักกันดีในฤดูกาลที่สามของเขาโดยเป็นผู้นำในลีกเมื่อปีก่อน เขาทำได้ดียิ่งขึ้นในปีที่ 3 ด้วยการบากจากพื้น 1,713 หลาและเขาไม่ได้ชะลอตัวลงในซูเปอร์โบวล์ สมิ ธ วิ่งไป 108 หลาและทำทัชดาวน์ได้ 22 ลูกช่วยดัลลัสแล่นผ่านตั๋วเงิน มุ่งเน้นไปที่ภาพกีฬา / เก็ตตี้จอห์นเอลเวย์ไม่สามารถเอาชนะการแข่งขันใน Super Bowl เขาเป็นผู้ชายที่ต่อสู้เพียงลำพังกับคู่ต่อสู้ที่เก่งกว่า Terrell Davis เปลี่ยนทั้งหมดนั้น เดวิสวิ่งเป็นระยะ 1,750 หลาในช่วงฤดูกาลปกติและเขาทำได้ดีกว่าในซูเปอร์โบวล์โดยเก็บได้ 157 หลาและทำทัชดาวน์ได้สามครั้งเพื่อคว้ารางวัล MVP Award รูปภาพของ Allen Kee / Getty Torry Holt ได้รับความสนใจจากสื่อมวลชนในฐานะ Isaac Bruce และด้วยเหตุผลที่ดี ที่กล่าวว่าฮาคิมเป็นอันดับสองของทีมในการจับทัชดาวน์โดยมีแปดคนและเขาเฉลี่ยเกือบ 19 หลาต่อการจับ เขาเงียบในซูเปอร์โบวล์ แต่เป็นสมาชิกที่มีประสิทธิผลของการแสดงที่ยิ่งใหญ่ที่สุดบนสนามหญ้า ภาพของ Jeff Haynes / Getty กาลครั้งหนึ่งทอมเบรดี้เป็นกองหลังปีสองที่ถ่อมตัวพร้อมกับชัยชนะในรอบรองชนะเลิศที่ไม่น่าจะเป็นไปได้ภายใต้เข็มขัดของเขา เขาถูกแทรกเป็นผู้เริ่มต้นในเกมที่สามของฤดูกาลของนิวอิงแลนด์และไม่เคยมองย้อนกลับไป ในซูเปอร์โบวล์เขารับบอลโดยใช้เวลาน้อยกว่าสองนาทีในการเล่นเกม 17-17 และส่วนที่เหลือก็เป็นประวัติศาสตร์ รูปภาพของจอห์นลาซาร์ / เก็ตตี้แจ็คสันในประเพณีอันดีงามของแลร์รี่บราวน์ของดัลลัสเมื่อหลายปีก่อนเป็นคนที่แข็งแกร่งหากมีการป้องกันที่ไม่ชัดเจนสำหรับไฮเวย์ เขาเริ่มเกมทั้งหมด 16 เกมในปี 2002 ด้วยความปลอดภัยฟรีและเป็นเกมที่มั่นคง การสกัดกั้นสองครั้งของเขาการแสดงที่ชนะ MVP ในซูเปอร์โบวล์เป็นจุดเด่นของอาชีพ 10 ปีที่ดี 18 จาก 26 Richard Seymour, New England Patriots, Super Bowl XXXVIII Brian Bahr / Getty Images ทีม Super Bowl สองสามทีมแรกของ New England มีการป้องกันมากพอ ๆ กับพวกเขาเป็นฝ่ายรุกหากไม่เป็นเช่นนั้น Seymour เป็นนักเตะที่แข็งแกร่งและเป็น All-Pro ในปี 2003 โดยมีรอยบากแปดกระสอบและเขาก็หายจากความสับสนในหนังระทึกขวัญ 32-29 ของนิวอิงแลนด์เหนือแพนเทอร์ Larry Maurer / Getty Images ประสิทธิภาพของ Roethlisberger ใน Super Bowl XL จะลดลงเป็นเนื้อหาที่แย่ที่สุดโดยกองหลังที่ชนะ แต่งานที่เขาทำเพื่อให้ Steelers มีมากกว่าที่ทำขึ้น Roethlisberger ขว้างแปดทัชดาวน์และการสกัดกั้นหนึ่งครั้งในสามทางตรงชนะสำหรับสตีลเลอร์เมล็ดที่หกในขณะที่พวกเขากลายเป็นหกเมล็ดพันธุ์แรกที่เข้าถึงและชนะซูเปอร์โบวล์ Jed Jacobsohn / Getty Images Hester คือในสายตาของหลาย ๆ คนที่กลับมายิ่งใหญ่ที่สุดในประวัติศาสตร์ลีก เขาควบม้าเตะรวม 11 ครั้งและเตะรีเทิร์นทัชดาวน์ในสองฤดูกาลแรกของเขาและเปลี่ยนตัวเองให้กลายเป็นภัยคุกคามที่มั่นคงในแนวรับ ปีใหม่ที่น่าตื่นเต้นของเขามาถึงจุดสูงสุดเมื่อเขากลับมาเปิดฉาก Super Bowl XLI เพื่อทำทัชดาวน์แม้ว่านั่นจะเป็นไฮไลต์ของ Bears ที่ยิ่งใหญ่ที่สุดในตอนเย็น รูปภาพของ Kevin C. Cox / Getty โฮล์มส์มีปีที่ดี แต่ไม่ได้ยอดเยี่ยมในปี 2008 โดยยิงได้ 55 ครั้งในระยะ 821 หลาและห้าทัชดาวน์ อย่างไรก็ตามในรอบตัดเชือกเขายกเกมของเขาขึ้นโดยคิดเป็นทัชดาวน์ในการชนะสตีลเลอร์ทั้งสามครั้งรวมถึงทัชดาวน์แตะนิ้วเท้าที่น่าจดจำเพื่อทำคะแนนชนะใน Super Bowl XLIII Icon Sports Wire / Getty Images ในฤดูกาล 2010 ของ Matthews เป็นสิ่งที่ดีที่สุดในฐานะมืออาชีพในขณะที่เขารวบรวมกระสอบ 13.5 ทำคะแนนจากการเลือกหกและบังคับให้มีการคลำหาคู่ บางทีเขาอาจจะเล่น Super Bowl XLV ที่ยิ่งใหญ่ที่สุดบังคับให้ Rashard Mendenhall คลำได้ซึ่งทำให้กระแสของเกมเปลี่ยนไปและอนุญาตให้ Packers ขัดขวางทีม Steelers ที่ชาร์จยาก Matthew Emmons-USA วันนี้ Sports Wilson มีที่นั่งแถวหน้าของหนึ่งในการป้องกันที่โดดเด่นที่สุดในประวัติศาสตร์ซูเปอร์โบวล์ แต่เขาก็ไม่ได้อยู่ด้วยสำหรับการขี่ Wilson สร้างขึ้นในฤดูกาลใหม่ที่ประสบความสำเร็จอย่างสูงด้วยแคมเปญปีที่สองที่ดียิ่งขึ้นทำให้ Pro Bowl ทั้งสองครั้ง ในซูเปอร์โบวล์เขาเฉียบคมโดยขว้างไป 206 หลาได้สองคะแนน 24 จาก 26 Corey Clement, Philadelphia Eagles, Super Bowl LII Matthew Emmons-USA วันนี้ Sports Clement มีฤดูกาลใหม่ที่ยอมรับได้อย่างสมบูรณ์แบบในปี 2560 โดยโพสต์การวิ่ง 321 หลาและ 123 รับสำหรับ Eagles และเขาเพิ่มในหกทัชดาวน์ในการบูต เขาเงียบในการชนะรอบรองชนะเลิศสองครั้งแรกของ Philly แต่ระเบิดในซูเปอร์โบวล์สี่ครั้งระยะ 100 หลาและการจับทัชดาวน์ที่เป็นจุดสำคัญซึ่งทำให้อีเกิลส์เป็นผู้นำ 10 คะแนนในช่วงกลางของไตรมาสที่สาม 25 จาก 26 Sony Michel, New England Patriots, Super Bowl LIII Kirby Lee-USA ฤดูกาลหน้าใหม่ของ Sports Michel เห็นเขาวิ่งเป็นระยะทาง 931 หลาในฐานะผู้นำของสนามหลังโดยคณะกรรมการของนิวอิงแลนด์และในการต่อสู้ป้องกันกับแรมส์เขาให้ ผู้รักชาติมีความจำเป็น มิเชลวิ่งไป 94 หลาใน 18 ยกและการทำทัชดาวน์ 2 หลาของเขาทำลาย 3-3 เสมอกันในควอเตอร์ที่สี่และเป็นคะแนนที่ชนะในชัยชนะ 13-3 ของนิวอิงแลนด์ 26 จาก 26 Patrick Mahomes หัวหน้า Kansas City, Super Bowl LIV Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports Mahomes และ Chiefs ซึ่งระเบิดได้อย่างยอดเยี่ยมในชัยชนะรอบรองชนะเลิศสองครั้งก่อน Super Bowl LIV เกมที่ทำให้พวกเขาลบ 24-0 และ 17-7 การขาดดุลตามลำดับดูเหมือนว่าในที่สุดพวกเขาก็ขุดหลุมลึกเกินไปใน Super Bowl ตามหลังซานฟรานซิสโก 20-10 โดยใช้เวลาในการเล่นน้อยกว่า 9 นาทีและด้วยการที่ Mahomes ขว้างลูกสกัดครึ่งหลังสองครั้งแคนซัสซิตี้ก็ฉีก 21 แต้มในรอบสุดท้าย 6:13 ของเกมเพื่อชนะ 31-20 Mahomes โยนคะแนนที่ชนะเกมให้กับ Damien Williams และได้รับรางวัล Super Bowl MVP Chris Mueller เป็นเจ้าภาพร่วมของ The PM Team กับ Poni & Mueller ในรายการ 93.7 The Fan ของพิตส์เบิร์กวันจันทร์ – ศุกร์เวลา 14.00-18.00 น. 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With Super Bowl LV looming, it seems like a good time to see what Chiefs and Buccaneers players must do to make a play that can rank among the best in the game’s history. Here are the top 25 plays from the NFL’s ultimate game.

 

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25. ‘Ambush’ catalyzes Saints’ comeback

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Sean Payton’s “Ambush” onside kick call to start Super Bowl XLIV’s second half turned the tide in a game in which the Saints trailed at the time. The 2009 season saw Bill Belichick go for a fourth-and-2 on his own 28-yard line rather than punt to MVP Peyton Manning. Payton operated similarly; his gamble worked out better. Colts wideout Hank Baskett could not corral Thomas Morstead’s surprise kick, and Saints defensive back Chris Reis fell on it . The Saints’ stolen possession ended with a Drew Brees-to-Pierre Thomas touchdown connection and, unlike the Steelers’ Super Bowl XXX surprise onside, this kick led to a championship.

 

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24. The Super Bowl’s immaculate reception

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In a game that featured a whopping 11 turnovers, points proved difficult to come by. So perhaps the weirdest touchdown in Super Bowl history — which went from Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas to Hall of Famer John Mackey — deserves entry, as it played a key role in the Colts exiting this game as victors. Unitas’ pass ricocheted off Colts wideout Eddie Hinton and Cowboys Hall of Fame cornerback Mel Renfro, skipping to Mackey. The longtime Colt tight end galloped 75 yards for a second-quarter touchdown. Baltimore won, 16-13, overcoming seven giveaways. 

 

George Rose-Getty Images

Not part of the Giants’ 1986 Super Bowl team, Ingram did not squander his lone Super Bowl opportunity a few years later. The 1987 first-round wide receiver caught a third-and-13 pass from Jeff Hostetler on the Giants’ opening second-half drive of Super Bowl XXV and proceeded to make half the Bills defense miss on a 14-yard gain that featured some of the slickest maneuvering in Super Bowl history. The Giants scored to take a 17-12 lead on a near-nine-minute march, keeping the Bills’ elite offense on the sideline. The father in the Mark Ingram father-son tandem played an essential supporting role in New York’s 20-19 win.

 

Jeff Lewis-Icon Sportswire

Jones put an exclamation point on a stunning postseason in 2013’s Harbaugh Bowl. Baltimore’s All-Pro kick returner had already secured Joe Flacco’s Mile High Miracle heave to stun Denver two rounds earlier, and in Super Bowl XLVII’s second quarter, Jones caught a 56-yard TD pass. To start the second half, the backup wideout took a kickoff 108 yards back for a touchdown. This gave the Ravens a 28-6 lead. It is the longest play in Super Bowl annals by 8 yards. Considering how close the 49ers came to completing a comeback, Jones’ dash proved massive in cementing the Ravens’ second championship.

 

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21. Don Beebe denies Cowboys a record

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By far the least consequential play on this list brought Beebe immense praise. The worst of the Bills’ Super Bowl losses was about to include the Cowboys setting a Super Bowl scoring record after a fumble-return TD, but the veteran wide receiver — who was at least 15 yards behind the play — stripped Cowboys defensive tackle Leon Lett at the goal line for a touchback. The Bills lost, 52-17, in Super Bowl XXVII, but Beebe turning the team’s ninth turnover into a positive epitomized the franchise’s resilience. It also kept the 1989 49ers’ 55-10 romp over the Broncos as the Super Bowl scoring standard.

 

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20. Max McGee scores first Super Bowl touchdown

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Not expecting to see much action in the first Super Bowl, the backup Packers wide receiver took part in a long night out in Los Angeles on the eve of the first AFL-NFL showdown. But after an early injury to Packers starter Boyd Dowler, the 34-year-old McGee sauntered into action and turned in one of the great clutch performances. The most memorable sequence featured the 13th-year Packer snaring a Bart Starr pass with one hand and coasting in for a 37-yard touchdown — the first in Super Bowl history. McGee scored twice in the Packers’ 34-10 win over the Chiefs.

 

Sporting News-Getty Images

After erasing a 16-0 deficit, the Titans allowed the Rams to break a 16-all tie late in the fourth quarter. The Titans facing a third-and-5 at the Rams’ 26-yard line with 22 seconds left, and with Tennessee’s play broken, its quarterback needed to improvise. McNair kept the play alive for several seconds, escaping a certain sack (and near-20-yard loss) from Rams defensive linemen Jay Williams and Kevin Carter — the latter a 1999 All-Pro — and found Kevin Dyson for a 16-yard gain to set up a game-tying touchdown try. The Rams holding off the Titans helped make this one of the NFL’s forgotten great plays.

 

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18. Circus catch nearly saves Seahawks

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Just prior to Malcolm Butler making Super Bowl XLIX’s signature play, he could not deter Jermaine Kearse from a catch that nearly saved the Seahawks’ bid at a repeat championship. Russell Wilson’s first-down lob to Kearse — a Washington native who caught on with Seattle as an undrafted free agent — preceded two caroms and included the third-year wideout falling down, sitting back up and nearly running in for a go-ahead touchdown. Kearse had a brief window at a go-ahead TD, which would have averted the subsequent Seahawks disaster. But this remains an all-time catch.

 

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17. Bradshaw finds Stallworth to sink Rams

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Despite going 9-7 in 1979 and using a backup quarterback in Super Bowl XIV, the Rams held a two-point lead going into the fourth quarter. A halfback pass had given Los Angeles the lead over Pittsburgh, a 10.5-point favorite. But on a third-and-8 early in the stanza, Terry Bradshaw hooked up with fellow Hall of Famer John Stallworth on a pinpoint deep strike that soared just past leaping Rams cornerback Rod Perry. An All-Pro in 1979, Stallworth blazed for a go-ahead 73-yard score. The Steelers avoided a major upset, scoring once more to clinch a 31-19 win and their fourth Super Bowl title. 

 

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16. Von Miller begins Bronco defense’s coronation

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In a game predicted to be Cam Newton’s finishing touch on an MVP season, an underdog Broncos team quickly showed how difficult that would be. Miller foiled a third-down Panthers sequence by zooming past Panthers right tackle Mike Remmers and ripping the ball from Newton’s grasp. Newton watched as the ball rolled into the end zone , where Denver D-lineman Malik Jackson covered it to give the Broncos a 10-0 first-quarter lead on a Panthers team that came into Super Bowl 50 at 17-1. The game’s MVP, Miller recorded 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in one of the most important defensive performances in NFL history.

 

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15. Warner-to-Bruce strike dooms Titans

Allen Kee-Getty Images

Finishing off the first 400-yard passing night in Super Bowl history, Kurt Warner remains the most recent MVP to lift his team to a championship in the same season. The Rams stood tied with the Titans with a little more than two minutes left, but the breakout passer connected with top receiver Isaac Bruce on a deep sideline pass. Bruce not only adjusted for a slight underthrow but outmaneuvered Denard Walker and Anthony Dorsett for a 73-yard touchdown. This completed what turned out to be a one-play game-winning drive that produced the Rams’ only Super Bowl title, after which Warner won Super Bowl MVP honors.

 

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14. Porter’s pick gives Saints first title

Ezra Shaw-Getty Images

The Saints endured a brutal stretch of season-ending sequences in the 2010s, but fortunately for the franchise, these came after their 2009 championship. Peyton Manning marched the Colts to the Saints’ 31-yard line on a potential game-tying drive, but cornerback Tracy Porter jumped a Reggie Wayne route and took a third-down pass to paydirt with just over three minutes left. Manning and Porter were later teammates on the 2012 Broncos, and Porter’s pick-six in Manning’s Denver debut sealed that win too. But Porter is most remembered for intercepting Manning and Brett Favre to set up the Saints’ Super Bowl XLIV title.

 

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13. Throwback Elway scramble ignites Broncos

Kevin Reece-Getty Images

Although John Elway was a quarterback prodigy, he was certainly not the same athletically by Super Bowl XXXII. But the 15th-year passer orchestrated a 92-yard drive that ended with a Terrell Davis go-ahead touchdown. The play Elway may be most remembered for extended this march. After realizing Denver’s third-and-6 play call would not work against Green Bay’s coverage, the 37-year-old quarterback took off. The end result: an 8-yard gain that featured Elway helicoptering through LeRoy Butler, Mike Prior and Brian Williams’ tackle attempts. An 11.5-point underdog, Denver prevailed, 31-24, to win its first championship. 

 

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12. Edelman concentration symphony extends Pats drive

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Numerous elements needed to break right for the Patriots to have a chance at their 25-point comeback in Super Bowl LI; one of them was Robert Alford dropping what would have been his second interception that night. Instead of Alford sealing the Falcons’ first title, the cornerback deflected Tom Brady’s first-down pass into the air. Julian Edelman fought off two more Atlanta defensive backs to secure one of the best catches in NFL history. Edelman’s juggling act resulted in a 23-yard gain, moving the Patriots past midfield on their game-tying drive that forced the first Super Bowl overtime period. 

 

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Riggins carried the ball a playoff-record 136 times in the 1982 postseason, which was an amended 16-team format because of a lengthy players’ strike. “The Diesel” logged 38 carries in Super Bowl XVII against the Dolphins; his 30th became a career-defining play. Washington’s 70 Chip play came on a fourth-and-1 from the Dolphins’ 43-yard line, with Miami leading 17-13 early in the fourth quarter. The 33-year-old bruiser received space-clearing blocks from tackle Joe Jacoby and tight end Clint Didier and ran through cornerback Don McNeal for a touchdown. Washington won 27-17.

 

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10. Swann’s catch comes amid iconic performance

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Even though Lynn Swann scored a 64-yard touchdown to give the Steelers their second championship, a catch the Hall of Famer made on a drive that did not end with Pittsburgh points is the indelible image from the first Steelers-Cowboys Super Bowl. Terry Bradshaw connected with his top target on a 53-yard bomb, with Swann’s acrobatics overcoming tight coverage from Cowboys cornerback Mark Washington. The second-quarter drive ended with a missed 36-yard field goal, but it highlighted Swann’s four-catch, 161-yard day and is the centerpiece play of his 10-year career.

 

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9. Taylor game-winner secures 49ers title No. 3

Rob Brown-Getty Images

On his way to MVP honors, Jerry Rice finished Super Bowl XXIII a Super Bowl-record 215 yards on a then-record 11 catches. Longtime sidekick John Taylor ended the game with one reception; it’s one of the most memorable plays in NFL annals. Joe Montana guided a 92-yard drive to erase a three-point Bengals lead, and with the 49ers on the AFC champions’ 10-yard line with 39 seconds left, Taylor was lined up at a tight end position. Montana found the 1986 third-round pick, who was not yet a full-time starting wideout, in stride for a game-winning touchdown to give the 49ers their third title.

 

Focus on Sport-Getty Images

Then the highest-scoring team in NFL history, Washington endured a rough January 1984 night in Miami. Already up 28-9, the Raiders made it worse on one of the NFL’s defining runs. Marcus Allen, a second-year former Heisman winner who immediately became a Raider superstar, took a handoff on the third quarter’s final play. His field-reversing 74-yard sprint made Super Bowl XVIII a full-on blowout and cinched up the Raiders’ third Super Bowl title in eight seasons and only conquest in their Los Angeles years. The game’s MVP, Allen finished with a then-Super Bowl record 191 rushing yards and two TDs.

 

Mike Zarrilli-Getty Images

Super Bowl XXXIV featured a memorable fourth quarter, but a linebacker doing his job remains the lasting image from that night. A Kansas City, Missouri, native who went undrafted out of Mizzou, Jones gave his home state its first Super Bowl title in 30 years by stopping Tennessee’s Steve McNair-to-Kevin Dyson strike from tying the game. Jones spoiled Dyson’s attempt at a second playoff game-winner, stopping the second-year wideout at the 1-yard line with zeroes on the clock. Jones’ tackle stalled a Titans drive that began at their own 12-yard line and gave the Rams their first championship since 1951.

 

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6. ‘You want Philly Philly?’

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An Eagles rout of the Vikings in the NFC championship game prevented the first home Super Bowl occurrence. It also allowed Philadelphia to save its long-rehearsed trick play for Minneapolis and Super Bowl LII. Nick Foles’ suggestion to Doug Pederson they fire up the Philly Special reverse pass resulted in the most memorable trick play in Super Bowl history. The Corey Clement-to-Trey Burton-to-Foles sequence bedeviled the favored Patriots and gave the Eagles a 22-12 halftime lead. And a statue. Amazingly, Pederson was fired less than three years after this play led to the Eagles’ first Super Bowl title.

 

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5. Eli Manning’s defining throw

Al Bello-Getty Images

The other play Manning is best-known for required more skill on his receiver’s part, but perhaps no throw in the Super Bowl (and few throws ever) topped this one. The first play of a Giants game-winning drive came from their own 12-yard line. Manning threaded a near-impossible needle on a 38-yard toss to Mario Manningham. In his final game as a Giant, the fourth-year wide receiver working the sideline to this degree deserves praise. But Manning’s ball placement into double coverage was otherworldly, and it keyed another Super Bowl upset over the Patriots. If Eli’s Hall of Fame case were to be condensed into one play, this is it. 

 

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4. All-Santonio drive ends with storied grab

Kevin C. Cox-Getty Images

Hines Ward and Antonio Brown are this century’s most memorable Steeler receivers, but the top play from a Pittsburgh wideout belongs to Santonio Holmes. The ex-Ohio State standout played only four Steelers seasons and ended a nine-year career with one 1,000-yard slate. But 73 of the Steelers’ 88 yards on their final Super Bowl XLIII drive came from Holmes, and his 6-yard game-winner gave the franchise its record sixth Super Bowl championship. Ben Roethlisberger somehow guided the pass past three Cardinal DBs to find Holmes, the third Steeler wideout to win Super Bowl MVP honors. Debate endures about the placement of Holmes’ right foot.

 

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3. Butler’s pick alters NFL timeline

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After Jermaine Kearse’s bizarre catch accelerated the Seahawks’ potential game-winning drive, Dont’a Hightower’s shoestring tackle stopped Marshawn Lynch at the Patriots’ 1-yard line. Using a goal-line set with three cornerbacks, the Pats denied the Seahawks a repeat title when rookie UDFA Malcolm Butler interrupted Ricardo Lockette’s route. Russell Wilson’s INT came on second-and-goal with 23 seconds left, and the Seahawks’ decision not to use Lynch — as they did on a short-yardage TD earlier in Super Bowl XLIX — still brings scrutiny. Butler’s theft reignited New England’s dynasty and ended Seattle’s hopes at starting one.

 

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2. James Harrison’s all-or-nothing journey

Al Bello-Getty Images

The Super Bowl’s action-hero scene. Harrison’s 100-yard return required numerous supporting casters and included obstacles throughout. The play began with 18 seconds left and the Cardinals on the cusp of taking a 14-10 lead or tying the game at halftime. Harrison changed his assignment, faking a blitz and intercepting Kurt Warner. The 2008 Defensive Player of the Year sprinted from end zone to end zone on a half-ending play that would have meant nothing had the Cards tackled him. Harrison surviving Larry Fitzgerald’s strip attempt near the goal line finished off Super Bowl XLIII’s game-swinging sequence. 

 

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1. Still the king

The Sporting News-Getty Images

The top play of the NFL’s first 21 seasons of the 21st century, David Tyree’s catch denied the Patriots their slot as the greatest team ever. After catching a fourth-quarter TD pass, the 2007 Giants’ 12th-leading pass catcher tilted this century’s defining game. Eli Manning’s third-and-5 heave to the career special-teamer soared into dangerous territory over the middle. The 32-yard catch required not only Tyree pinning the ball against his helmet but also somehow completing this act while falling to the ground with Rodney Harrison blanketing him. It made Plaxico Burress’ game-winner an impossibly overqualified footnote in the titanic upset.

Sam Robinson is a Kansas City, Mo.-based writer who mostly writes about the NFL. He has covered sports for nearly 10 years. Boxing, the Royals and Pandora stations featuring female rock protagonists are some of his go-tos. Occasionally interesting tweets @SRobinson25.

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