top of page

Top 10 Super Bowl Plays of All Time

Man do I love the NFL! And so do you! That's why you clicked on this article. We love making up rankings in professional sports. The top 10 quarterbacks. The Mt. Rushmore of the NBA. The best baseball players to ever live. Who are the best picthers of all time? Which running back do you rank number one? Who are the best scorers in the game of basketball? And even like Damian Adams who wrote his top 5 Slam Dunk Contests of all time right here on this website. We can make up rankings for anything like who are the top 10 busts in NBA history.


I decided to rank the top 10 Super Bowl plays of all time. There's a lot of em in the 56 year history of the Lombardi Trophy. Let's see if you agree with my top 10! Let the countdown begin.


10. John Elway Helicopter - John Elway spent his entire career with the Denver Broncos. He led them to 3 Super Bowl appearances in the 1980's and got blown out in each game. A decade later Elway would get another chance. Denver had the ball in the Packers red zone facing a crucial 3rd & 6 during a tie game 17 - 17. Elway couldn't find an open receiver and the old man took off and leaped for the first down after being hit by 3 different Packer defenders in the air, spinning him around into a first down. Elway went on to win his first well deserved Super Bowl championship.

courtesy of Denver Broncos History


9. Wide Right - Jim Kelly and the Buffalo Bills were favored to beat the stingy New York Giants with the "K Gun" offense using Thurman Thomas as the main weapon. The Giants defense played the Bills tough, making it hard for the Bills to get in the end zone. But the offense was good enough to get their kicker into field goal range to win the franchises first Super Bowl. Scott Norwood lined up for a 47 yard field goal with Buffalo down 20 - 19 and seconds left on the clock. Norwood had been reliable all season but perhaps the moment was to big for him as his kick sailed wide right, giving the Giants their second Super Bowl victory in four years.

courtesy of Sports Illustrated


8. The Philly Special - This play didn't occur on a game wining drive in the 4th quarter. But the play call, the execution of the play and the surprise factor makes this a top play in my eyes. With under a minute to go in the first half, with the Eagles facing 4th down deep in the Patriots red zone, the Philly Special was born. Running Back Corey Clement took the direct snap as quarterback Nick Foles moved away from behind the center. Clement flips the ball to Trey Burton coming around the right side on a reverse and shocked the viewers by throwing a touchdown to a wide open Nick Foles in the end zone.


courtesy of CBS Sports


7. Julian Edelman Grab on the Ground - This is one of my favorite plays because it's a microcosm of the heart the Patriots had to come back in that game, the mental toughness it takes to concentrate on making the play disregarding his body and the player himself who did things the "Patriot Way." As the Patriots were on their way to completing the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, Tom Brady had to make a tough throw under pressure. It happened to be a horrible pass that hovered over Julian Edelman and three Falcons defenders. As the ball was being tipped around and the players began to hit the ground, somehow, someway, Julian Edelman reaches out his hands while laying flat on his stomach with Falcons jerseys on top of him, the little man was able to bobble the ball into his hands and complete one of the most magnificent catches in any game.

courtesy of YouTube


6. Montana to Taylor - Joe Montana led a 92 yard game winning drive against the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII with the majority of the passes going to MVP Jerry Rice. The game winning TD pass to John Taylor on a classic slant pattern in the end zone was the culmination of the perfect game winning drive.

courtesy of YouTube


5. Santonio Holmes Tippy Toe - Super Bowl XLIII was one of the better Super Bowls in recent history. Especially the second half where the Arizona Cardinals offense came alive, as did Larry Fitzgerald who appeared to be streaking down the field for the game winning touchdown. But there was just enough time on the clock for the Steelers to make a comeback of their own. Big Ben connected with Santonio Homles all throughout the game winning drive. Holmes made a crucial catch on 4th down deep in Steelers territory to keep the drive alive. But it was his final catch that stands out. In order for Homes to make that grab, Roethlisberger had to throw a perfect pass. And he did! The ball sailed just over the defenders fingers and into the hands of Santonio Holmes who was on his tippy toes in the back right corner of the end zone in what turned out to be the game winning touchdown in the Super Bowl.

courtesy of Steelers Wire - USA Today


4. Devin Hester Returns Opening Kickoff - Now we all know the result of this Super Bowl as Peyton Manning got his first ring when the Colts took care of Rex Grossman and the Chicago Bears 29 - 17 in Super Bowl XLI. Even though the Bears lost the game, they started it out with a bang. Perhaps the best kickoff/punt returner of all time, Devin Hester took the opening kickoff to the house! I mean is there any better way possible to start a game, let alone the Super Bowl. It was elctrifying and only fitting that one of the best to ever do it made the play.

courtesy of the Chicago Tribune


3. David Tyree Helmet Catch - I know a lot of people have this ranked either #1 or #2 but I have a couple others in mind. This will go down in history as one of the luckiest plays of all time. Somehow Eli Manning gets out of the grasp of several Patriots, rolls out to his right and throws a wobbler down field where out of knowhere David Tyree jumps into your TV screen and by the miracle of the football gods was able to clamp the football to his helmet and come down with it clean. A questionable play on many levels but legendary nontheless. That catch led to the game winning grab by Plaxico Burress.

courtesy of the Boston Globe


2. James Harrison Halftime Heroics - When you talk about a game changing play, a momentum killer and a dagger of a blow, you get it all with this play. The Cardinals were trying to put one in the end zone before halftime to get themsleves back in the game. But James Harrison had other ideas as he bated Kurt Warner into an interception at the goal line where Harrison wasn't satisfied as he kept going and trucking down the side line, somehow keeping his balance while being hit with bodies all around him until he finally reached the end zone. In hindsight, given the way the rest of the game played out, if Harrison not only doesn't pick off the ball but also return for a touchdown, the headlines in the paper may have read an entirely different story. I've been watching football for over 35 years and I'll put that play up against any other.

courtesy of Bleacher Report


  1. The Butler Did It - Like I said, I'd put the James Harrison play against any other. Including this one which to me is simply the most clutch play of all time, maybe in any sport if you think about the circumstances. In one of the greatest Super Bowls I've ever seen between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots in the 2014 season, we witnessed that the Butler did indeed do it. With the Patriots up 28 - 24 with just seconds left on the clock, the Seahawks had the ball at the 1 yard line. Everyone expected Russell Wilson to turn around and hand the ball off to Beast Mode, Marshawn Lynch. Instead he attempted a short touchdown pass on a rub rout slant play. We know how great of a coach Bill Belihick is and he has his defensive players ready. He got the attention of an undrafted rookie named Malcolm Butler who studied tape of the Seahawks offense for hours upon hours and it paid off. Once the rookie saw the offensive alignment, he knew this play could be coming. So Butler sees Wilson drop back and immediately Butler crosses the coverage and jumps in front of the Seahawks WR Ricardo Lockette to make the game winning interception in one of the most improbable circumstances. The study of game film by a rookie corner back, along with the instinct and athletic ability made the greatest Super Bowl play I have ever seen.

courtesy of Last Word on Sports


Would love to see your list and how you feel about this one!


14 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page