There have been 57 Super Bowls in all. There have been incredible moments in 57 games that football fans will remember forever.
It’s really hard to rank some of the moments we can close our eyes and see as if it’s the first time. How can we reasonably evaluate specific events that will live on in the annals of sports history?
This morning, on the eve of Super Bowl LIII, we will be ready to do just that. Here, we’ll look over the top five NFL moments on the greatest platform.
- Malcolm Butler’s Late-Game Interception
Although you may credit Adam Vinateri with the game-winning kick in Super Bowl XXXVI, the Patriots’ 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in 2015 was significant for a number of reasons.
First of all, ten years after winning his third ring, it awarded Tom Brady his fourth. Malcolm Butler, a rookie at the time, made the interception in the final seconds of the game as Seattle was facing a second-and-goal situation within the five-yard line. Head coach Pete Caroll chose to have rookie quarterback Russell Wilson toss the ball rather than Pro Bowl running back Marshawn Lynch run it.
With a swift slant, Butler stepped up to clinch New England’s fourth Super Bowl victory.
Super Bowl XLIX stands as one of the best games ever played in the annals of history, and Butler’s interception stands as one of the greatest Super Bowl plays ever.
- Scott Norwood Goes Wide Right
In the early 1990s, the Bills made it to the Super Bowl four times in a row, but lost three of those games by a wide margin. The team’s one tight game appeared to be a precursor to things to come.
In Super Bowl XXV, the K-Gun Bills were the underdog, but the New York Giants won because they kept Hall of Fame players like Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, and Andre Reed off the field. Late in the game, Bill Parcells’ Giants lead 20-19 thanks to a strong running display.
Buffalo had a chance to win despite New York’s strong performance, but Norwood’s 47-yard field goal missed to the right, handing New York their second Super Bowl victory.
- Joe Namath Guarantees A Win
Is there a Super Bowl historical moment so significant that it took place before the game?
Joe Namath, the quarterback for the Jets, promised before Super Bowl III that his AFL team would surprise the strongly favored Baltimore Colts.
To what extent was the NFL-affiliated Colts the clear favorite? When they went into the Super Bowl, their 18-point spread was the biggest until the 49ers and Chargers’ spread hit 18.5.
In the end, San Francisco won the Super Bowl that year with ease. For the Colts, the same cannot be true.
The Jets pulled off one of the biggest surprises in sports history thanks to a five-turnover day from Baltimore and a 121-yard rushing performance by Matt Snell. It was crucial for New York football and the NFL as a whole that Namath’s team fulfilled his pledge. It sparked talks about an NFL-AFL merger only a few years later and demonstrated that the AFL could play dominant enough football to compete with the national league.
Without the mystique and assurance of Joe Namath, the Super Bowl would not be the spectacle it is today.
- The Philly Special
In the event that anyone missed it, you enjoy upsets on this list.
The Philadelphia Eagles, led by journeyman backup quarterback Nick Foles, were the underdogs against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. We all know that the Patriots had a quarterback-coach duo that won five Super Bowls together.
All night long, the Eagles were the ones to put pressure on Bill Belichick’s defense.
With three touchdown throws, Foles completed 373 yards of passing. Despite throwing for a Super Bowl record 505 yards, Brady was unable to stop the Eagles from winning 41–33.
Arguably the best trick play call in league history is the game’s pivotal moment.
With the Eagles leading 15–12 in the final seconds of the first half, they had a fourth-and–goal at the one-yard line. Doug Pederson, the head coach of the aggressive team, decided to try for a touchdown pass that was caught by quarterback Nick Foles after tight end Trey Burton threw a trick play.
The play gave the Eagles a 22–12 lead at halftime, which they would maintain to win and break the football team’s nearly 60-year title drought.
- The Helmet Catch
Namath’s upset of the Colts was the largest upset in NFL history prior to Super Bowl XLII.
On February 3rd, 2008, that was completely destroyed.
The New England Patriots, who were unbeaten, were 12 points ahead of the 10-6 New York Giants. The fact that the spread was among the biggest in Super Bowl history indicated that many people thought Brady and the Patriots would go on to become legendary in their own right.
That didn’t happen, though.
With the help of one incredible grab and a strong defensive line, the Giants stunned New England with a 17–14 victory. The game’s most significant moment occurred during David Tyree’s “Helmet Catch” in the last two minutes of play. On the Giants’ last drive of the season, Tyree, joking for position against Rodney Harrison on third down, grabbed a 32-yard ball from eventual Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning to give the team new life.
The catch has since been recognized as the most memorable Super Bowl moment in history.
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