THE TOP TEN Super Bowl Moments
From TIME takes a time out to review the greatest catches, tackles, passes and runs in Super Bowl history. As well as a kick to forget...
From TIME takes a time out to review the greatest catches, tackles, passes and runs in Super Bowl history. As well as a kick to forget...


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Rank  (best ever) 4
Score  (all time) 2557.00
Created 02/07/10
Views 2507
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Author: RyMizzle


One Giant Step

Super Bowl XLII, Feb. 3, 2008. New York Giants 17, New England Patriots 14 Line: Patriots by 13-14. Halftime show: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. One of the reassuring things about the NFL is that whenever any team threatens to match the unbeaten season of the 1972 Miami Dolphins — all have fallen short thus far — we're presented with the inevitable images of at least one member of that Dolphins team guzzling a glass of champagne to celebrate their continued immortality. But even the most die-hard of Dolphins fans must have thought the gig was up during the 2007 season. The New England Patriots, who had already won three Super Bowls earlier in the decade, dispatched each opponent they faced in the regular season and playoffs with relative ease. In the final quarter of Super Bowl XLII against the New York Giants, they were leading 14-10 with 2:42 to play. And that's when "the catch" unfolded. On third down, Giants quarterback Eli Manning managed to evade three linemen and threw a hopeful pass that David Tyree somehow caught by holding the ball against his helmet. The completion was good for 32 yards and culminated in a 12-play, 83-yard drive that gave the Giants a 17-14 lead with 35 seconds left. They held on to shock the Patriots and allow those Dolphins to continue enjoying their bubbly. Read more:,28804,1958363_1958362,00.html#ixzz0et5xCBCz


Yard Knock Life

Super Bowl XXXIV, Jan. 30, 2000. St. Louis Rams 23, Tennessee Titans 16 Line: Rams by 7. Halftime show: Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton, and Edward James Olmos. There are but six seconds remaining and the Tennessee Titans can sniff the first overtime in Super Bowl history. Trailing 23-16, their quarterback, Steve McNair, has driven his team down the field to the 10-yard line against the St. Louis Rams. Time for one final play. Titans offensive coordinator Les Steckel screams into his headset: "Sliver right! Go sliver right!" The Titans had only used the play three times before, all in practice, all ending with a touchdown. Here's how it was meant to go: wide receiver Kevin Dyson and tight end Frank Wycheck line up next to one another. Dyson then moves on a slant and catches the pass, while Wycheck runs downfield, taking the two Rams defenders with him. Simple as that (ahem). And this is how it played out: Rams linebacker Mike Jones figures out the Titans have no intention of getting the ball to Wycheck, so he forgets about him. Dyson catches the ball at the five-yard line and Jones closes in and lunges at him with four seconds to play. Dyson hits the deck but can still get the touchdown if any part of his body crosses the end-zone line before his knee touches the grass. (Two seconds to play.) The ball is in Dyson's right hand but he can't make it. (One second left!) Frantically switching hands, Dyson tries with his left but Jones simply won't allow it and time expires. Surely, one of the greatest defensive plays in Super Bowl history. Read more:,28804,1958363_1958362_1958347,00.html#ixzz0et6EmftG


Say It Is So, Joe

Super Bowl XXIII, Jan. 22, 1989. San Francisco 49ers 20, Cincinnati Bengals 16 Line: 49ers by 7. Halftime show: "Be Bop Bamboozled" — South Florida–area dancers and performers, and 3-D effects. By the time of Super Bowl XXIII, quarterback Joe Montana had already won two titles so it was fair to say that nothing fazed him. That said, his San Francisco 49ers were staring defeat in the face against the unheralded Cincinnati Bengals. Trailing 16-13 with 3:10 to play and the ball on their own eight-yard line, legendary coach Bill Walsh and Montana decided that the way to win was with short passes out of a no-huddle offense. The plan was paying off as the team marched up the field, but time was running out. With barely 30 seconds to play, halfback Roger Craig was being double-covered, so the QB fired a laser to wide receiver John Taylor, who had managed to get into the end zone. Never before had a quarterback driven his team the length of the field for a winning touchdown in the final minute of a Super Bowl. That's why he was Joe Montana. Read more:,28804,1958363_1958362_1958349,00.html#ixzz0et6V21Cf


No Good for Norwood

Super Bowl XXV, Jan. 27, 1991. New York Giants 20, Buffalo Bills 19 Line: Bills by 7. Halftime show: New Kids on the Block (hey, it was the '90s). When you think about it, kickers get a rough deal. Barely involved in the game, they're nevertheless expected to go about their business without making a mistake when they do step onto the field. And woe betide them if they do miss a (usually) clutch kick. So who knows what was going through the mind of the Buffalo Bills' Scott Norwood with eight seconds left in Super Bowl XXV. His team was down 20-19 to the New York Giants and had managed to get to the 29-yard line, putting Norwood in position to make a manageable 47-yard field-goal attempt. His longest effort of the season had been from 48 yards, so this attempt was within range. But you know what's coming next. Norwood's kick was long enough but sailed wide to the right. Big Blue became champions for a second time. Norwood played one more season for the Bills, kicking four field goals in the playoffs and another in the 1991 Super Bowl against the Washington Redskins. But, sadly for Norwood, his Bills lost that game too, 37-24. Read more:,28804,1958363_1958362_1958350,00.html#ixzz0et6gy1Ki


Best of Broadway

Super Bowl III, Jan. 12, 1969. New York Jets 16, Baltimore Colts 7 Line: Colts by 19. Halftime show: "America Thanks" with Florida A&M University marching band. There's not much to be said for making predictions in sports. Get it right and you might be called cocky, get it wrong and you'll come off looking foolish. But somehow, the legendary New York Jets quarterback "Broadway" Joe Namath didn't just get his prediction for Super Bowl III spot on — despite being heavy underdogs to the Baltimore Colts, Namath declared in the run-up to the game, "We're going to win Sunday, I guarantee you" — but hasn't been viewed as arrogant all these years later. The Jets triumphed over the Colts 16-7, with Namath winning the game's MVP award thanks to completing 17 of 28 passes for 206 yards. Namath also became the first of only two quarterbacks (the other being Joe Montana) to ever start and win a national championship game in college and then again in the Super Bowl. Read more:,28804,1958363_1958362_1958351,00.html#ixzz0et6qK0oX


Swann's Take

Super Bowl XII, Jan. 18, 1976. Pittsburgh Steelers 21, Dallas Cowboys 17 Line: Steelers by 7. Halftime show: Up with People presents "200 Years and Just a Baby: Tribute to America's Bicentennial". Talk about timing. Wide receiver Lynn Swann joined the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1974 just as the team started an incredible run that produced six straight AFC Central Division titles and four Super Bowl championships in six years. But the greatest moment in this Hall of Famer's career was a catch he reeled in during Super Bowl XII. As the first half was coming to a close, the Steelers were pinned back to nearly their own goal line. QB Terry Bradshaw tossed the ball forward and Swann, gracefully leaping like his namesake, managed to evade Dallas Cowboys corner Mark Washington and, despite bobbling the ball, hold on for a 53-yard gain. This catch has been called the most spectacular in Super Bowl history — and for good reason. Read more:,28804,1958363_1958362_1958354,00.html#ixzz0et6zcUTo


V is for Vinatieri

Super Bowl XXXVI, Feb. 3, 2002. New England Patriots 20, St. Louis Rams 17 Line: Rams by 14. Halftime show: U2. For every Scott Norwood, there is an Adam Vinatieri. The then Patriots kicker was standing on the sidelines, watching the imperious Tom Brady drive his team down the field with time running out in Super Bowl XXXVI. The Patriots and the Rams were tied 17-17, with a first-ever Super Bowl overtime looming large. But after Brady connected with wide receiver Troy Brown for 23 yards with seven seconds left, Vinatieri went onto the field with just those New Orleans Superdome uprights standing between him and glory. He absolutely nailed the 48-yard kick and the 14-point underdogs had won their first Super Bowl title. (Coach Bill Belichick later said, "It was so high and so far. If you want a guy to make a play at the end of the game, he's the one.") As for Vinatieri, he's now on the roster of the Indianapolis Colts, but is currently out of favor as Super Bowl XLIV approaches. Perhaps fate will play its part one final time? Read more:,28804,1958363_1958362_1958356,00.html#ixzz0et7E8Hjq


John Airways

Super Bowl XXXII, Jan. 25, 1998. Denver Broncos 31, Green Bay Packers 24 Line: Packers by 14.5. Halftime show: Boyz II Men, Smokey Robinson, the Temptations and the Four Tops. "I don't know if I like being the sentimental favorite," John Elway told reporters before Super Bowl XXXII. "There are a lot of people who might not get another chance to win a Super Bowl, not just me." But happily for the Denver Broncos quarterback, who had tasted defeat twice before in the Super Bowl, tens of thousands of fans in San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium were chanting "Elway, Elway, Elway" by the end of the game in recognition of what they'd just witnessed. The third time was the charm for the QB as he finally delivered in Denver's 31-24 victory over the favored Green Bay Packers. The highlight was his play on third-and-6 from the 12-yard line with the score tied 17 all. Elway wanted to pass but no receivers were open. Scrambling right, he ran for the first-down marker, took a heavy shot from Packers safety LeRoy Butler and was catapulted into the air — where for good measure, he was hit again by Mike Prior. But Elway managed to land intact for a first down. He apparently wasn't done winning, either — he took the Broncos to another title the very next season. Read more:,28804,1958363_1958362_1958357,00.html#ixzz0et7NNpQC


McGee Whizz

Super Bowl I, Jan. 15, 1967. Green Bay Packers 35, Kansas City Chiefs 10 Line: Packers by 14. Halftime show: University of Arizona and University of Michigan bands. Max McGee might have started off life as a punter but he'll forever be remembered as the man who scored the first-ever touchdown in a Super Bowl. His spectacular one-handed grab on a 37-yard pass from Green Bay quarterback Bart Starr gave the Packers the early lead in their eventual 35-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. McGee had only caught four passes all season but managed seven for 138 yards and two TDs in the Super Bowl. Funnily enough, because McGee didn't expect to start the game, he violated the team's curfew policy and spent the previous night out on the town. The next morning, he told starting receiver Boyd Dowler, "I hope you don't get hurt. I'm not in very good shape," which pretty much screamed hangover to anyone paying attention. Dowler went down with a separated shoulder on the Packers' second drive and McGee, who then had to borrow a teammate's helmet because he hadn't brought his own from the locker room, was put in the game. A few plays later, history was made. Read more:,28804,1958363_1958362_1958358,00.html#ixzz0et7ZVh6p



Super Bowl XXXV, Jan. 28, 2001. Baltimore Ravens 34, New York Giants 7 Line: Ravens by 3. Halftime show: Aerosmith, Britney Spears, Nelly, Mary J. Blige and 'N Sync. Anything you can do, I can do, well, just as impressively: that was almost certainly the thought running through the mind of Jermaine Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens as his 84-yard kickoff return immediately negated Ron Dixon's 97-yard score for the Giants on the previous play. The only ever back-to-back kickoff return in Super Bowl history was further improved by the fact that the play before Dixon's touchdown was a 49-yard interception TD return by the Ravens' Duane Starks. The three touchdowns on three consecutive plays in just 36 seconds was the undoubted highlight in an otherwise damp squib of a game. Hardly a surprise that the Ravens' linebacker Ray Lewis was named the MVP. Here's hoping it goes to an offensive player during Super Bowl XLIV. Read more:,28804,1958363_1958362_1958361,00.html#ixzz0et7k9Z9D

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