Eye-popping Catches, Last Second Touchdowns, and Onside Kicks – the Greatest Moments in Super Bowl History
By John Focht
When it comes to the Super Bowl and exciting plays, you don’t have to look back much further than the last ten years. Seven of the last ten Super Bowl games have been decided by less than a touchdown. From last minute touchdowns, to onside kicks, to amazing catches, here’s a look at the five most exciting plays in Super Bowl history, starting with the best.
Super Bowl XLII – Eli Manning to David Tyree Helmet Catch
Trust me, as a Philadelphia Eagles fan, it’s tough for me to put the New York Giants at the top of any “best of” list, but you have to give Eli Manning and David Tyree their due.
The 18-0 New England Patriots came in as heavy favorites to become the first undefeated NFL team since the ’72 Miami Dolphins. With a minute to go and trailing 14-10, Eli Manning made his best Houdini impersonation and escaped a near-certain sack and threw the ball to David Tyree who caught and held the ball against his helmet.
The amazing catch help set up the electrifying finish as 25-seconds later, Manning hit Palxico Burress in the corner of the end zone and the Giants were Super Bowl Champs.
Super Bowl XLIII – Kurt Warner to Larry Fitzgerald 65 Yard Touchdown Play
A year later, football fans were treated to two of the greatest endings in Super Bowl history. With 2:48 remaining in the game, and the Steelers leading the Cardinals 20-16, Kurt Warner hit Larry Fitzgerald over the middle for a 65 yard touchdown pass. The pass gave the Cardinals the lead and what appeared to be their first Super Bowl victory in their history.
Super Bowl XLIII – Ben Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes Super Bowl Winning Catch
The Steelers answered the Cardinals apparent Super Bowl winning drive with one of their own. Ben Roethlisberger drove the Steelers on the ensuing series down the field. For the second consecutive year, the Super Bowl was won with a last minute touchdown as Roethlisberger hit Santonio Holmes with a seven yard touchdown pass, and the Super Bowl victory.
Super Bowl XXXIV –Rams Defense saves the Game
Let’s hear it for the defense. With the St. Louis Rams clinging to a 23-16 lead over the Tennessee Titans and the clock ticking toward zero, Tennessee was on the move with the game-tying touchdown.
With six seconds remaining, and the ball on the ten yard line, Steve McNair hit Kevin Dyson with a slant pass across the middle, but Rams linebacker Mike Jones made the saving tackle on the one yard as time ticked away. Tennessee fell one yard short of providing us our first Super Bowl overtime.
Super Bowl XLIV – Ambush: The Onside Kick
With the New Orleans Saints trailing the Indianapolis Colts 10-6 at the start of the third quarter, Saints coach Sean Payton called for the gutsiest call in Super Bowl history with an onside kick to start the second half; the play was called “Ambush” and it was executed perfectly.
Saints kicker Thomas Morehead’s onside kick was recovered by teammate Chris Reis. New Orleans would eventually convert the turnover into a touchdown. The gutsiest call in Super Bowl history helped lead the Saints to their first Super Bowl Championship with a 31-17 defeat of Peyton Manning and the Colts.