The greatest Super Bowl moments are defined by victory, defeat and admiration. Here are some of the most exciting plays in Super Bowl history:
1. Super Bowl XLIV: Picking Peyton’s Pocket
Who actually thought the New Orleans Saints would be in the Super Bowl? Who thought they could beat Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts? The Saints proved everyone wrong in 2010. They managed to take a fourth quarter lead over the Colts with a little over 5 minutes remaining. But Peyton would be able to tie the game, right? After pushing Indy within scoring range, “the Oreo kid” hit the man in the wrong jersey. Then we know how it went from there. Saints cornerback Tracy porter picked it off a key third-down pass and ran 74 years to seal New Orleans’ first Super Bowl win ever. The Saints have been one of the best teams in the NFC since that win.
2. Super Bowl XVIII: Marcus Allen’s Cutback
The Redskins entered this Super Bowl as the favorites. They held a 14-2 record for the season and they were Super Bowl champions the year before. Obviously, they had people thinking they were going to win again. Contrary to popular belief, this Super Bowl went the other direction and that’s because of Marcus Allen. He stole the spotlight with an amazing 191-yard rushing effort. His best move was during the final snap of the third quarter. Allen turned a terrible sweep left into arguably the best cutback run in Super Bowl history. He had a 74-yard touchdown run and the Raiders won 35-9. Due to his stellar performance, Allen earned the Super Bowl MVP award that year.
3. Super Bowl XXXVI: Mr. Clutch
A lot of kickers fail under pressure, but not Adam Vinatieri. He’s Mr. Clutch because he knows how to step up in the final seconds. He became the first player to score the ultimate game’s winning points on the final play as his 48-yard field goal gave the New England Patriots an emotional 20-17 win over the St. Louis Rams.
4. Super Bowl XXIII: Montana to Taylor
Can you believe the Cincinnati Bengals were three minutes away from winning their first Super Bowl title? The Bengals took the lead against two-time champion San Francisco 49ers with 3:20 left on the clock. But that was still enough time for “Joe Cool” to lead the 49ers on a title-winning 92-yard drive. He threw a classic touchdown pass to John Taylor with 35 seconds remaining. The Niners officially became a dynasty with its third Super Bowl win.
5. Super Bowl XLII: The Helmet Catch
This was a huge upset because the New York Giants came in as the underdogs. Tom Brady and his Patriots entered the Super Bowl as favorites after establishing an 18-0 record during the 2007-2008 NFL season. The Giants were down 14-10 late in the game and Eli Manning scrambled to create a game changing play. He launched the ball toward no-name wide receiver David Tyree. Tyree who was covered by safety Rodney Harrison, managed to secure the 32-yard catch by wedging the back half of the football against his helmet while fighting off Harrison. Instead of 4th-and-20, the Giants had first down and went on to score to make history. It was a sad day for Tom Brady and his Patriots.