(NFL does not allow their videos to be played on other websites but click the link I provided to view any of these plays)
10. (TIE) Devin Hester Opening Kickoff Return in Super Bowl XLI & Jacoby Jones 109 Yard Return in Super Bowl XLVII
I couldn’t choose between the two most exciting Super Bowl returns I’ve ever seen so I decided to make them one joint entry to start off the list. One started the game and the other started the second half. There are few things more exciting in all of sports than when you’re team returns a kick or a punt for a touchdown. If I was a Ravens or Bears fan on either of these days I would have lost my mind.
9. Jermaine Kearse Miracle Catch in Super Bowl XLIX
There’s an argument to be made that this is actually one of the greatest forgotten plays of all time because of what came after it. However, I’ll never forget watching this in my college dorm room and jumping up when I realized he caught it because I was hyped to see the Patriots lose. I remember screaming when I saw the replay for him to just get up and run into the end zone after he caught it. Then I told myself “it’s ok, they’re still going to score”…
8. Larry Fitzgerald Go-Ahead Touchdown in Super Bowl XLIII
Another one of the great Super Bowl plays that got overshadowed by other even greater plays in the same game. I remember being young and rooting for the Cardinals during this game, after this touchdown I thought they were going to win. The fact that there are two other plays from this game that ranked higher on this list shows why this may very well be the greatest Super Bowl ever played.
7. Tracy Porter Game Sealing Pick-Six in Super Bowl XLIV
It was between this play and the Saints surprise onside kick to start the second half for this spot on the list. The onside kick remains the gutsiest, and maybe best, play call in the history of the Super Bowl. However, Porter’s interception feels like it has become more iconic, and the image that pops into everyones head when they think about this game.
6. Julian Edelman Circus Catch in Super Bowl LI
This would perhaps rank higher if it were in a different game but it feels like the story of the comeback as a whole has overshadowed this play a little bit, from a historical standpoint. But, this was an absolutely ridiculous catch nonetheless. As much as I dislike the Patriots they were honestly due for one of these unbelievable catches to go their way in a Super Bowl for once.
5. James Harrison 100 Yard Pick-Six in Super Bowl XLIII
When I saw this play live I could not comprehend how he didn’t get tackled or pushed out of bounds, and honestly still when I see replays of it I’m not able to understand. One of the best efforts in Super Bowl history, but a crushing reminder to Cardinals fans that if a couple more things went their way or they made one less mistake, they would have won this game.
4. Eli Manning to Mario Manningham Down The Sideline in Super Bowl XLVI
The objective football fan in me says 4 is too high for this play and the Giants fan in me says 4 is too low for this play. Say what you will about (future hall of famer) Eli Manning, but this is THE greatest throw in Super Bowl history. I’ll never forget seeing this and thinking “we’re going to win this game.”
3. Santonio Holmes Game Winning Touchdown in Super Bowl XLIII
The third and final play from this game to appear on my list is the most iconic, and game winning, play. This is still one of the greatest throws and catches I’ve ever seen and I still can’t fathom how he got both of his feet down inbounds. I’m not even sure what else to say besides, god, this game was so fucking good.
2. Malcolm Butler Goal Line Interception in Super Bowl XLIX
As much as I hate to admit it, this play will forever be engrained in my brain. It has become one of the most famous plays in NFL history because of the play itself and the play calling of Pete Carroll. I honestly could not believe it when it happened at the time. This has to be in the top 10 for sports plays that have left me the most stunned in my lifetime. Congratulations to Patriots fans, I guess.
1. David Tyree Helmet Catch in Super Bowl XLII
Was there every any doubt?
THE greatest play in Super Bowl History.