Five Most Memorable Plays In Super Bowl History
Posted on 1/30/2012 6:48:29 AM
Would anyone really remember who Dwight Clark was had it not been for “The Catch?” Big plays in big moments have the ability, not only to define that game, but for those who have done it in the Super Bowl, one single play can define a career. Here is my list for the most memorable plays in Super Bowl history.
#5 – Lynn Swann’s Acrobatic Reception – Super Bowl X
In one of the truly indelible images in NFL history, Lynn Swann made a miraculous 53-yard catch in the second quarter of Super Bowl X. The Cowboys’ corner, Mark Washington, tipped the pass, then Swann tipped the pass, and finally he was able to stretch to secure the reception, and his play in history. Swann ended with 161 yards, which included a 64-yard TD reception in the 4th quarter, yet still, this acrobatic 53-yard catch, which prevented Pittsburgh from having to punt from their own end zone, is pointed to as one of the reasons the Steelers was able to come back and win 21-17. For his efforts, Lynn Swann became the first ever wide receiver to take home Super Bowl MVP honors.
Swann still remains a little critical of himself on his highlight-reel grab as he stated, "If I'd done it right the first time, it wouldn't have been that big of a deal," Swann said. "But because Mark had tipped the ball away, I was able to get up in the air and tip it again. Then my ability to adjust and stay focused on the ball and make the catch as I was falling down made it into a spectacular play."
#4 – David Tyree Using The Old Noodle – Super Bowl XLII
I know many people will have this play as the No.1 moment, but I have to make him lose some points for how much pure luck was involved. Eli Manning was the MVP, and it was actually Plaxico Burress who hauled in the game-winning grab, but it was a seemingly unknown David Tyree, maybe not even Eli Manning’s 4th read on the play, who was able to pin the ball against his helmet to set up the Giants’ inevitable go-ahead score. Not only did Tyree help the Giants win their first Super Bowl in 16 years, they also played spoiler to a possible New England Patriots’ 19-0 undefeated season.
#3 – James Harrison’s Longest Play In Super Bowl History – Super Bowl XLIII
The Arizona Cardinals were going to win Super Bowl XLIII, that is until James Harrison single-handedly turned the tides of fate. As the game neared half-time, Kurt Warner had his Cardinals knocking on the door of the goal-line, ready to take a 14-10 lead into the half. However, James Harrison had other ideas as he stepped in front of a slant pass and took the interception 100-yards to a touchdown, and just like that that Pittsburgh Steelers were the one heading into the break with a 17-7 strangle-hold on the game. The Swing in momentum was huge, but Harrison’s place on this list goes to his run after the pick. The time had ended. It was either all or nothing as Harrison broke tackle after tackle to find pay-dirt.
#2 – Mike Jones To The Rescue – Super Bowl XXXIV
Sure every kid dreams of catching the touchdown or throwing the pass that wins the Super Bowl, but how about making the game-saving tackle 3-feet from possible defeat? In Super Bowl XXXIV, the Tennessee Titans had the ball with seconds left as they inched their way toward overtime with the St. Louis Rams and their “Fastest Show on Turf.” Kevin Dyson caught a slant pass from Steve McNair with no time left as he raced in for the game-tying score. It was either going to be him or Mike Jones as the hero. The two men collided, Dyson reached the ball as far as he could, but Jones had stopped him – 1 yard from the end zone.
#1 – Santonio Holmes Tap-Tap Touchdown – Super Bowl XLIII
Even after James Harrison’s play at No. 3, the Steelers still found themselves down 23-20 in the closing seconds of the game. These other plays were nice, but like I said, everyone wants to be the guy who scores in the closing seconds to win the Super Bowl – Santonio Holmes got to be that man in Super Bowl XLII. The eventual MVP of the game needed every millimeter of his size and the field’s dimensions as he made a fingertip grab while taping his toes just inside the white line – Jerry Rice himself couldn’t have done it any better. Holmes’ effort gave the Steelers a 27-23 victory, and notched the franchises NFL best 6th Lombardi trophy.
* Adam Vinatieri Clutch Kicking For Two Super Bowl Rings
* Desmond Howard 99-yard Kick-off Return
* John Elway’s High-Flying First Down Dive
So, who did I leave off? Submit a comment below with your selections for who deserves a spot on the all-time Super Bowl plays list.
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