It’s hard to narrow down the top 10 Super Bowl plays of all-time, since there has been so many great ones, but I will give it a try. Comment below and let us know what play you think is the best in Super Bowl history.
10. Super Bowl XXV – The Broken play
The New York Giants came into the game as a seven point underdog against the Buffalo Bills, and they knew that controlling the clock would be crucial. No other drive was more important for the Giants offense than the 9-minute, 29 second one they had in the third quarter. Wide Receiver Mark Ingram converted a crucial 3rd-and-13 by breaking an incredible five tackles and gaining 14 yards to convert the third down. The play helped set up a go-ahead touchdown of the Giants, and they would go on to win the game 20-19 in one of the greatest Super Bowl games ever.
9. Super Bowl XLIV – Tracy Porter Pick Six
The New Orleans Saints weren’t supposed to be in the Super Bowl, let alone beat the great Peyton Manning and the Super Bowl XLI champion Indianapolis Colts. Indianapolis was favored by five coming into the game and they looked like the safe bet after the first quarter, with a 10-0 lead. But the Saints were relentless and fought back to take a fourth quarter lead with just five minutes remaining in the game. Manning took the ball back over, with plenty of time to drive down the field. On a 3rd-and-5 with just over three minutes left, Manning threw an interception to Tracy Porter, who returned it 74 yards for a touchdown New Orleans touchdown. The TD iced the game and gave the Saints their first ever Super Bowl victory.
8. Super Bowl XLIII – James Harrison Pick Six
The Pittsburgh Steelers were looking to win their NFL best sixth Super Bowl, and were seven point favorites over the Arizona Cardinals. Pittsburgh was up 10-7 with just 16 seconds left in the first half, and Arizona on their two-yard line. Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner faced a blitz and tried to force a pass in a tight gap, when Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison picked off the pass and took it back 100 yards to give the Steelers a 17-7 halftime lead. Pittsburgh would go onto win the game 27-13.
7. Super Bowl XVIII – Marcus Allen Cutback Run
The defending champions Washington Redskins entered the game as three point favorites over the Los Angeles Raiders, but this game was completely one-sided in favor of the Raiders. Super Bowl MVP Marcus Allen played a major role in the lopsided 38-9 victory, by rushing for 191 yards and scoring two touchdowns. His most impressive run was a 74-yard run, know as the “Cutback.” Allen rushed left, but with defenders in his eyesight, he cutback and ran straight up the middle for a 74-yard touchdown.
6. Super Bowl XXIII – Montana to Taylor
The Cincinnati Bengals were just a little over three minutes away from winning their first Super Bowl ever, but unfortunately they were facing Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers. The Bengals gave the 49ers too much time and Montana led his team 92-yards down the field, hitting John Taylor for the game winning touchdown pass with just 35 seconds remaining. It was San Francisco third Super Bowl title.
5. Super Bowl XXXIV – The Tackle
The Tennessee Titans struggled to get anything going for three quarters, and the St. Louis Rams had a 16-0 lead over the Titans in the third quarter. But Titans quarterback Steve McNair led his team to a resilient comeback, tying the game at 16-16 with just 2:12 left in the game. On the very next play for the Rams, Kurt Warner hit Isaac Bruce for a 73-yard touchdown pass. That gave the Rams a 23-16 lead with 1:48 left in the game and the Titans taking over at their own 12-yard line. McNair led his team down the field to the Rams’ 10 yard line with six seconds left in the game, and enough time for one last play. McNair hit Kevin Dyson on a slant, but Rams linebacker Mike Jones was there to stop him from scoring, giving the Rams their first and only Super Bowl victory.
4. Super Bowl X – Lynn Swann Catch
The Pittsburgh Steelers were the team of the 1970s, winning the Super Bowl four times during the decade. But I don’t think any of them were as good as the game in 1976 against the Dallas Cowboys. Pittsburgh receiver Lynn Swann made one of most prominent plays in Steelers history, in the fourth quarter of their 21-17 win. Terry Bradshaw threw up a pass to Swann, who jumped up and had it hit off his chest. He then dove out and caught the ball off the tip, to complete the 64-yard grab. Swann became the first receiver the ever win the Super Bowl MVP, with 161 yards on just four catches.
The video of the catch is not on YouTube, but NFL.com has it, click on the link to watch.
3. Super Bowl XXXVI – Adam Vinatieri
The New England Patriots were huge underdogs, with the St. Louis Rams favored by 14. Kurt Warner was looking for his second Super Bowl win, and the Patriots were looking for their first Super Bowl win. New England had a 17-10 lead late in the fourth quarter, when Warner drove the Rams down the field to tie up the game at 17-17 with just 1:30 left. Tom Brady would drive the Patriots 53 yards down the field and set Adam Vinatieri for a 48-yard field goal. Vinatieri would split the uprights and give New England their first Super Bowl win, starting a dynasty that would include two more Super Bowls for the Patriots.
2. Super Bowl XLIII – Santonio Holmes Catch
Two magical plays defined the Super Bowl classic win for the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Arizona Cardinals, and I’ve already mentioned the James Harrison play. The Steelers trailed the Cardinals 23-20 with under a minute left in the game, when Ben Roethlisberger hit Santonio Holmes on a six-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone.
1. Super Bowl XLII – David Tyree Catch
The biggest Super Bowl upset in history with the undefeated New England Patriots losing to the Wild Card New York Giants. The Giants were down 14-10 late in the fourth quarter, when New York quarterback Eli Manning broke a few tackles and scrambled out, heaving a pass up to little known David Tyree, who was covered by Pro-Bowl safety Rodney Harrison. Tyree secured the 32-yard catch against his helmet, while fighting off Harrison. New York now had a first down, instead of the 4th-and-20 they would’ve had if the pass wasn’t completed. The Giants would go onto score a touchdown, winning the game 17-14.