From epic catches to game-winning touchdowns, these 15 stars left us speechless with their unforgettable displays of talent. So grab your snacks and settle in as we count down the most legendary moments that have shaped the Super Bowl experience for fans everywhere.
15. Desmond Howard — Super Bowl XXXI
Desmond Howard’s performance in Super Bowl XXXI was electrifying. As a kick returner for the Green Bay Packers, Howard made a significant impact on the game’s outcome. His 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the third quarter swung the momentum in favor of the Packers, earning him the game’s MVP honors. Howard’s ability to find openings in New England’s coverage and his blazing speed allowed him to evade defenders and make crucial plays. Overall, Howard finished with 244 all-purpose yards — recording 90 punt return yards and 154 kickoff return yards.
14. Phil Simms — Super Bowl XXI
Simms’ performance in Super Bowl XXI was nothing short of remarkable. He completed an astounding 88% of his passes (22-of-25), amassing 268 yards and tossing three touchdowns without a single interception. Not only did he establish Super Bowl records for consecutive completions, completion percentage, and passer rating (150.9), but he also led the Giants to a Super Bowl-record 30 points in the second half.
13. Jerry Rice — Super Bowl XXIV
Jerry Rice’s performance in Super Bowl XXIV was nothing short of legendary. As a key player for the San Francisco 49ers, Rice dominated the game. He caught seven passes for 148 yards and three touchdowns to help lead San Francisco to a dominant 55-10 victory over John Elway’s Broncos. Rice’s performance not only helped propel the 49ers to a resounding 55-10 victory over the Denver Broncos. Despite his incredible stats, Rice didn’t win the Super Bowl MVP. Instead, that honor went to Joe Montana.
12. Troy Aikman — Super Bowl XXVII
Leading the Dallas Cowboys against the Buffalo Bills, Aikman orchestrated a dominant offensive display. He completed 22-of-30 passes for 273 yards and four touchdowns, showcasing pinpoint accuracy and sound decision-making throughout the game. Aikman’s ability to read the defense and deliver precise throws under pressure was instrumental in the Cowboys’ commanding 52-17 victory. His performance earned him the Super Bowl MVP honors, solidifying his reputation as one of the premier quarterbacks of his era.
11. Jalen Hurts — Super Bowl LVII
In a losing effort, Jalen Hurts had one of the greatest statistical performances in Super Bowl history. He rushed 15 times for 70 yards, setting a Super Bowl record for a quarterback. Notably, he scored three touchdowns, equaling the record for any player, irrespective of position. Through the air, he completed 27 of 38 passes for 304 yards, delivering one touchdown pass without any interceptions. Hurts did have one crucial turnover that resulted in a Kansas City touchdown, but his performance will stand the test of time regardless.
10. Randy White and Harvey Martin — Super Bowl XII
Randy White and Harvey Martin were an unstoppable force in Super Bowl XII, anchoring the Dallas Cowboys’ dominant defense. Their combined efforts wreaked havoc on the Denver Broncos’ offense, disrupting plays and pressuring the quarterback relentlessly. White and Martin each recorded a sack, terrorizing the Broncos’ offensive line throughout the game. Their disruptive presence contributed significantly to the Cowboys’ 27-10 victory and earned them co-MVP honors, a testament to their outstanding performance.
9. Aaron Rodgers — Super Bowl XLV
Leading the Green Bay Packers against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Rodgers delivered a stellar performance under pressure. He completed 24-of-39 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns, displaying his accuracy and ability to make clutch throws in crucial moments. Despite facing a formidable Steelers defense, Rodgers remained composed and guided the Packers to a 31-25 victory, earning Super Bowl MVP honors. His performance not only secured the Packers’ fourth Super Bowl title but also solidified his place as Green Bay’s next star QB.
8. Marcus Allen — Super Bowl XVIII
Taking on a favored Washington team, Marcus Allen made damn sure the Los Angeles Raiders weren’t going to be denied. Allen’s performance in Super Bowl XVIII was a tour de force. He rushed for a Super Bowl-record 191 yards and two touchdowns, including a memorable 74-yard touchdown run, and became the third former Heisman Trophy winner to go on to win a Super Bowl MVP. Allen’s Raiders dismantled Washington, 38-9.
7. Doug Williams — Super Bowl XXII
While Marcus Allen was responsible for handing Washington a blowout loss in Super Bowl XVIII, Washington was on the right side of a blowout four years later. Doug Williams dismantled Denver’s defense with ease and finished the game with four touchdowns and 340 yards. Teammate Timmy Smith had a case to win SB MVP, as well. Smith rushed for 204 yards and two scores on 22 carries. Denver QB John Elway, on the other hand, was horrid. Elway finished 14-of-38 with three interceptions.
6. Nick Foles — Super Bowl LII
Stepping in for the injured Carson Wentz, Nick Foles shocked the football world by leading the Eagles to their first Super Bowl triumph. He threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns, outdueling the legendary Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. In addition to his three TD passes, Foles caught a touchdown pass in the iconic “Philly Special” play. His improbable run will live on in football history forever.
5. Tom Brady — Super Bowl LI
One year before Nick Foles knocked off Tom Brady’s Patriots, Brady led New England to a historic comeback against Atlanta. After trailing 28-3 late in the third quarter, Brady and the Pats scored 19 points in the fourth quarter to force overtime. In the extra frame, Brady and Co. marched down the field on the opening possession and punched in the Lombardi-clinching score. Overall, Brady threw for 466 yards and two touchdowns.
4. Jerry Rice — Super Bowl XXIII
Jerry Rice delivered a transcendent performance in Super Bowl XXIII. En route to a stirring 20-16 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, Rice caught 11 passes for a Super Bowl record 215 yards and a touchdown. Rice’s ability to create separation and make crucial catches in critical moments was instrumental in the 49ers’ 20-16 victory. The following year, as we discussed earlier, Rice obliterated Denver’s defense to the tune of 148 yards and three touchdowns as the Niners went back-to-back.
3. Joe Montana — Super Bowl XXIV
Jerry Rice torched Denver for 148 yards and three touchdowns, but it was quarterback Joe Montana who took home MVP honors following San Francisco’s 55-10 victory over Denver. Montana had his way with Denver’s defense throughout the contest and finished 22-of-29 for 297 yards and five touchdowns. As for Joh Elway…he put up another clunker. Elway completed 10-of-26 passes for 108 yards and two interceptions.
2. Terrell Davis — Super Bowl XXXII
Despite battling a crippling migraine, Davis delivered a historic performance against the Green Bay Packers. TD rushed for 157 yards and three touchdowns as he spearheaded the Broncos’ ground attack. Davis’s relentless effort and toughness inspired his teammates and helped the Broncos secure their first-ever Super Bowl championship with a 31-24 win. His remarkable performance earned him the Super Bowl MVP honors. One year later, Davis generated 152 total yards against Atlanta as Denver won its second Lombardi in a row.
1. Steve Young — Super Bowl XXIX
Taking over the reins of the Niners dynasty, Steve Young displayed his mastery of the game in a dominant victory over the San Diego Chargers. He threw a Super Bowl-record six touchdown passes, dissecting the Chargers’ defense with precision and efficiency. Young’s ability to read the field and deliver pinpoint throws was unmatched as he orchestrated a dominant offensive display. Young also ran for 49 yards and could have had an even bigger day if he wasn’t removed early due to the score.