Super Bowl XLVIII is coming up, with Peyton Manning leading his Broncos against Russell Wilson’s Seahawks. Of course, everyone thinks the four-time MVP Manning will fall because of his lack of wins in big games, although he was the MVP of Super Bowl XLI. I’m predicting Manning will hold up and lead the Broncos to victory, but it’s not for me to decide.
With nearly 50 Super Bowls played, there have been a lot of memorable moments, both good and bad. Sometimes big-name players and teams succeed under pressure and sometimes they collapse. Here are my top three Super Bowls of all-time.
3. Super Bowl XXXIV: St. Louis Rams vs. Tennessee Titans (January 30, 2000)
In the first Super Bowl at Raymond James Stadium, the Rams, the top seed in the NFC, faced off against the 13-win Titans. St. Louis went out to a 16-0 lead thanks to three field goals and a touchdown, but the Titans stormed back to tie it at 16-all. After a touchdown catch by wide receiver Isaac Bruce, the Titans had a first-and-10 at the 10-yard line with six seconds to go. Quarterback Steve McNair threw over the middle to Kevin Dyson. Linebacker Mike Jones caught hold of him near the 2-yard line. Dyson stretched the ball as far as he could… and landed just short of the goal line. The Rams were Super Bowl champions.
2. Super Bowl XLIII: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Arizona Cardinals (February 1, 2009)
The favored Steelers faced off against the underdog Cardinals, who were led by 11-year veteran Kurt Warner. QB Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers got off to a good start with a 10-0 lead by the second quarter. After Warner got the Cardinals within three points, linebacker James Harrison gave the Steelers a BIG momentum boost with a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown as time expired in the first half. After the Steelers kicked a field goal, Warner led an extraordinary comeback, throwing two touchdowns to Larry Fitzgerald to give the Cardinals a 23-20 lead. But Big Ben wasn’t done. With 35 seconds remaining, Roethlisberger threw a pass for the ages, right to wide receiver Santonio Holmes in the corner of the end zone, to give the Steelers the lead and the championship.
1. 2008 Super Bowl XLII: New York Giants vs. New England Patriots (February 3, 2008)
The undefeated Patriots faced off against the wild-card Giants. The low-scoring game began with the Patriots leading 7-3 at halftime. After a Giants TD, the excitement began. The Patriots scored with less than three minutes left, and the Giants got the ball. On a third-and-5 play, Giants QB Eli Manning broke away from three defenders and threw a 32-yard pass to David Tyree, who kept the ball on his helmet in mid-air to hold onto it. The catch is known as “The Helmet Catch.” Then, with 35 seconds remaining, Manning threw a touchdown pass to PlaxicoBurress to give the Giants the lead. The Giants defense then forced Patriots quarterback Tom Brady into three incompletions and a sack, clinching a Giants victory.