The Super Bowl is supposed to showcase the two best teams in the league and come out with the best team in the league on top. It doesn’t always turn out that way, and more often than not the league’s hottest team comes out on top.
It can be that way for players too. You expect the league’s brightest stars to shine on the sport’s biggest stage. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes characters appear out of nowhere to steal the show. Either way, if you have a big game and help your team lift that Lombardi trophy, your name is etched in history and NFL lore forever.
This list here showcases some of the greatest Super Bowl performances of all-time. You’ll see some legends of the game showing why they are the best. But you’ll also see some guys who had great days at work at the best time possible. Flip through and see what you think.
25. OLB Mike Jones, St. Louis Rams – Super Bowl XXXIV
We could go through the whole game play-by-play and dissect Mike Jones’ performance in this game, but it wouldn’t matter. He makes this list for one reason. His tackle of Kevin Dyson on the 1-yard line makes for one of the most dramatic endings of a Super Bowl in History.
For his part, Jones calls the crucial tackle, “just another play.” But if he doesn’t make that stop the ballad of Kurt Warner and his improbable rise doesn’t have its crowning moment. If the Rams lose does the team go on to become “The Greatest Show on Turf”? Thanks to Jones’s title-winning tackle, we’ll never have to find out.
24. WR Max McGee, Green Bay Packers – Super Bowl I
Max McGee had a solid career for the Green Bay Packers. He played 12 seasons and tallied over 6,000 yards worth of receptions. However, during the final few years of his career, he spent most of his time riding the pine pony. In 1966, the year of Super Bowl I, he had just 4 catches.
This was until he was forced into the Super Bowl I lineup due to an injury. The once-great wide-out erupted for 7 catches and 138 yards and 2 touchdowns. He scored the first touchdown in Super Bowl history, as Vince Lombardi’s team exploded with 21 second-half points to push past the Kansas City Chiefs.
23. WR/KR Percy Harvin, Seattle Seahawks – Super Bowl XLVIII
Percy Harvin was known for his big-play potential when he was healthy. But, during the run into Super Bowl XLVIII, Harvin wasn’t very healthy. He played in just one regular-season game and was injured in the Seahawks’ Divisional Round game against the Saints.
Unfortunately for the Denver Broncos, Harvin was healthy for the Super Bowl. Harvin touched the ball just four times but he made those touches count. He ran twice for 45 yards, caught a 5 -yard pass and returned the second-half kick off 87 yards for a touchdown. Game-breaker.
22. CB Mike Haynes, Los Angeles Raiders – Super Bowl XVIII
Most of the credit for the way the Raiders handled the Redskins in this game goes to Hall of Famer Marcus Allen, who rushed for 191 yards and 2 touchdowns. However, a massive amount of credit must go to cornerback Mike Haynes.
Washington came into the game with the most prolific scoring offense in NFL history. Haynes was not bothered. He held receivers Art Monk and Charlie Brown to just 4 catches and 119 yards. Haynes also contributed with 1 of the team’s 2 interceptions of Redskins quarterback Joe Theisman.
21. KR Desmond Howard, Green Bay Packers – Super Bowl XXXI
If you take Desmond Howard out of this game, it’s likely that the result is much different. Howard tied a Super Bowl record for return yards with 244. All game long he gave the Packers great field position against the New England Patriots.
Late in the third quarter, the Patriots had closed the lead to 27-21. Enter Howard, who took the ensuing kick off 99 yards to the house. The touchdown restored the Packers 2 touchdown lead and the Packers were able to cruise to victory from there.
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