Top 10 Superbowl Moments
As we celebrate Super Bowl LI, let’s take a look back at the most iconic moments from the previous 50 championship games.
10. One Yard Short: In Super Bowl XXXIV, the St. Louis Rams defeated the Tennessee Titans by a score of 23-16. The game’s final play was what made this championship game famous, as Titans quarterback Steve McNair threw a nine yard slant route caught by WR Kevin Dyson. Rams linebacker Mike Jones would tackle Dyson just one yard short of the goal line as time expired, sealing St. Louis’ first ever Super Bowl win.
9. Swann’s Super Sunday: Steelers WR Lynn Swann would steal the show in Miami at Super Bowl X, racking up four receptions for 161 yards and a touchdown. He would also go on to make to of the most famous catches of all time: his juggling catch and tiptoe of the sideline. Swann was given the game’s MVP award.
8. Montana to Taylor: “Aye, isn’t that John Candy over on the sideline?” These were the words of 49er great Joe Montana as he entered the huddle before driving his team 94 yards in under three minutes to score Super Bowl XXIII’s go-ahead touchdown. Montana would deliver a 15-yard strike to John Taylor for the game’s winning score.
7. Vinatieri’s (First) Game-Winner: Though quarterback Tom Brady of the Patriots would claim Super Bowl XXXVI’s MVP, it was his kicker who made the game-winning play. Adam Vinatieri would cap off a 56 yard drive with a 48-yard field goal as time expired, downing the favorite-Rams 20-17.
6. Riggins’ Run to Glory: The most crucial situation a team can be in at the Super Bowl. 4th and 1 on your own 42 yard line late in the game. With the Redskins running John Riggins on the first three downs, Miami knew what was coming. Quarterback Joe Theismann hands the ball off to Riggins, who would run over the Dolphins’ Don McNeal and bounce it outside for a 70 yard touchdown run. This run would help him earn the MVP award for Super Bowl XVII.
5. 17 Bob Trey O: In Super Bowl XXVIII, the Los Angeles Raiders blew out the Washington Redskins 38-9: in part thanks to the game’s MVP, RB Marcus Allen. Allen would make one of the greatest runs in NFL history during this game. As quarterback Jim Plunkett handed the ball to the left side, Allen would take it and reverse field, busting up the middle for 74 yards.
4. Harrison’s Pick-6: Just one of the two great plays from Super Bowl XLIII, Steelers linebacker James Harrison intercepted QB Kurt Warner and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown to go into halftime. For the whole first half, Harrison had been blitzing off the edge. Seeing a blitz, Warner audibled into a slant concept to beat it. However, Harrison bailed, cutting off receiver Anquan Boldin for the pick-6.
3. The Helmet Catch: Probably the most discussed catch in Super Bowl history, Giants wide receiver David Tyree made the biggest snag of his life in Super Bowl XLII. However, the catch itself may not even be the most impressive part of the play, as QB Eli Manning fought off 3 defenders before launching a 32 yard prayer. Tyree jumped up over safety Rodney Harrison and sandwiched the ball to his helmet, helping to sink the Patriots. This is considered, by many, to be the greatest catch of all time, while some argue that the play as a whole was sort of flukie.
2. The Butler Did It: Oh, why didn’t they run it with Marshawn? In one of the most heartbreaking moments in Super Bowl history, the Seattle Seahawks elected to attempt a passing play on 2nd and Goal from the 1 yard line. QB Russell Wilson would drop back and attempt to hit Ricardo Lockette on a slant route. Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler made a jump on the ball and intercepted Wilson’s pass attempt, clinching a New England victory in Super Bowl XLIX.
1. Santonio’s Toe Tap: The game-winning play of Super Bowl XLIII, Santonio Holmes made one of the most acrobatic catches in NFL history. The Pittsburgh Steeler wide receiver snatched a 15 yard bullet pass from Ben Roethlisberger for a touchdown with 35 seconds left. This would lift the Steelers to their sixth Super Bowl victory.
Photo Credit: Nicholas Sanchez