The clock continues to click and we are gradually approaching Super Bowl LI. Before the Falcons and the Patriots kickoff, why don’t we turn back the clock a little and highlight the best Super Bowl MVPs of all-time? What big name quarterbacks made the list? What performances stood out from the rest? Let’s find out.
Number Ten – New York Jets QB Joe Namath, Super Bowl III
QB Joe Namath for sure comes in at number ten for his guarantee of beating the Baltimore Colts. At the time the AFC was not as strong as the NFC. The Jets would win Super Bowl III, 16-7, in an upset win over the Baltimore Colts. Namath would finish the game 17-28 for 206 yards passing even though he didn’t throw any touchdown passes. Ironically, he was named the Super Bowl MVP after he guaranteed the Jets would win the game. In addition, Joe was able to beat Colts head coach Don Shula before Shula went on to coach the Miami Dolphins. This would be the Jets only Super Bowl win in franchise history.
Number Nine – Chicago Bears DE Richard Dent, Super Bowl XX
DE Richard Dent is a shoe-in for number nine. He played for the 1985 Chicago Bears team that demolished the New England Patriots 46-10. Dent finished the game with two sacks, two forced fumbles, and a pass deflection. In addition, Dent led the defense for Chicago to 15-1 with six shutouts during that season in 1985.
Number Eight – Washington Redskins QB Doug Williams, Super Bowl XXII
Doug Williams is a great addition to this list considering he was the first African-American QB to win the big game. Williams was the QB of the Washington Redskins during the 87-88 season and was the starter for the Skins. Williams would finish the game with 340 yards passing, four touchdown passes and one interception. The final score of Super Bowl XXII was a 42-10 win for the Redskins over the Denver Broncos.
Number Seven – Dallas Cowboys RB Emmitt Smith, Super Bowl XXVIII
Emmitt Smith would slide in at number seven since he is the greatest running back in football. Smith would lead the NFL in rushing despite missing two games and finish the season with 1486 yards rushing and nine rushing touchdowns. Smith carried the ball 30 times for 132 yards and two touchdown runs. In addition, he added four catches for 26 yards. That being said, the best running back in the NFL carried his team to a 30-13 win over the Buffalo Bills.
Number Six – Denver Broncos QB John Elway, Super Bowl XXXIII
QB John Elway had multiple Super Bowl appearances but didn’t win until 1997 and 1998. It was in 1998 where he won Super Bowl MVP for his performance as a prolific passer of his time. Elway would finish the game with 336 yards passing and a touchdown pass while also adding a rushing touchdown. Elway’s efforts helped the Denver Broncos to a 34-19 win over the Atlanta Falcons. It was also the team’s second Super Bowl championship.
Number Five – San Francisco 49ers WR Jerry Rice, Super Bowl XXIII
This list couldn’t happen without the greatest performance by the greatest receiver of all-time in Jerry Rice. WR Jerry Rice had eleven catches for 215 yards and one receiving touchdown. Ultimately, Rice and the San Francisco 49ers would win the Super Bowl XXIII 20-16 over the Cincinnati Bengals. Rice was selected by the Niners in the first round out of Mississippi Valley State University. He currently holds the record for most receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, receptions, and all-purpose yards in a career. Rice would guide the Niners to victory and their third Super Bowl in franchise history.
Number Four – Baltimore Ravens LB Ray Lewis, Super Bowl XXXV
LB Ray Lewis was a part of one of the greatest defenses that we have seen in this era. The 2000 Ravens had pecked away at the Giants in a 34-7 win. Lewis didn’t have his best performance that game with only three tackles and four passes defended. However, he was the Defensive Player of the Year and a vocal leader who led with great energy and emotion.
Number Three – New York Giants QB Eli Manning, Super Bowl XLII
At number three, it would have to be QB Eli Manning. Eli was voted Super Bowl MVP twice in his career. The year of choice would have to be in 2007-2008. Eli was up against a juggernaut in the New England Patriots who finished the regular season 16-0. Manning was able to throw up a game-changing pass to be caught by David Tyree. As a result, the catch by Tyree was able to set up a pass from Eli to monster WR in Plaxico Burress for the go-ahead touchdown. However, Eli did finish the game with two touchdown passes and over 255 yards passing.
Number Two – New England Patriots QB Tom Brady, Super Bowl XLIX
QB Tom Brady without a doubt is at number two on the Super Bowl MVP top ten list. Brady in his last MVP performance threw for 328 yards, four touchdown passes, and two interceptions. This performance was against the Seattle Seahawks defense that had been ranked number one in back to back seasons and Super Bowls. Even with the performance of Brady, it would be unfair for him to be over the number one Super Bowl MVP on the top ten list.
Number One – San Francisco 49ers QB Joe Montana, Super Bowl XXIV
The number one spot belongs to QB Joe Montana. Montana in his best performance was near perfection. Montana had thrown for 297 yards, five touchdown passes and completed 22/29 of his passes. Accordingly, Montana’s QB rating for the game was 147.6. Three of his five touchdown passes went to Jerry Rice in a 55-10 win over the Denver Broncos. Montana showed the true meaning of QB perfection in a Super Bowl win. Montana is by far one of the greatest QBs to play the game of football and to win in such a fashion. Joe had set the bar on an MVP performance should be like in the Super Bowl.