The 12 Greatest Super Bowl Moments of All Time

The Super Bowl is NFL’s yearly final playoff game to crown the league winners. It has replaced the NFL Championship Game as the last game of every NFL season since 1966. The game has always been played on the second Tuesday of February since 2022. Previous Super Bowls were held on Sundays in early to mid-January from 1967 through 1978, then on Sundays in late January from 1979 to 2003.

The Super Bowl, a hugely well-liked athletic occasion, crowns the National Football League (NFL) winner each year. Whether their team is participating or not, the Super Bowl is a must-do experience for football fans worldwide. The thrill of watching the Super Bowl live on television is fantastic. Still, even the highest-definition flat-screen televisions cannot compare to being in the stands to witness the game.

Not all of the iconic moments from Super Bowls endure over time. This list includes the 12 greatest Super Bowl moments of all time for individual and team achievements. There are many great moments in the Super Bowl. The list will show some of the best moments seen on live television.

1. Elway’s “helicopter” run – 1998

Player to noticeJohn Elway
SeasonSuper Bowl XXXII, San Diego, 1998
Team Denver Broncos
Key Moment‘Helicopter’ run
VenueQualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

“The word sacrifice in sports may be clichéd and misused. Still, if ever a play deserved the usage of that phrase, it was in the third quarter of a tie game in Super Bowl XXXII, in January 1998 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego,” the league captioned a video of Elway’s legendary play. In our eyes, that is one of the greatest Super Bowl moments.

At 37, Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway was completing his then-record-tying fourth Super Bowl with the Broncos. The only problem was that Elway had yet to win one, having been soundly defeated in his previous three appearances.

On this time, he was not to be denied, putting his body on the line – literally – with this spectacular ‘helicopter’ run in Denver’s Super Bowl XXXII victory over the defending champion and strongly favored Green Bay Packers.

The game was deadlocked at 17-17 in the third quarter, and the Broncos faced a third-and-six from the Green Bay 12-yard line. Elway scrambled for the first down but was struck so hard by the two pursuing Packers defenders that he turned 360 degrees mid-air.

A few minutes back, Terrell Davis added the second of his three MVP-worthy touchdowns on the day, and Denver hung on to finally give Elway the Super Bowl ring that his valiant, dogged effort merited.

2. Max McGee’s catch made history – 1967

Player to noticeMax McGee
SeasonSuper Bowl I, Los Angeles, 1967
Team Green Bay Packers
Key Moment35-yard catch in the third quarter
VenueLos Angeles Memorial Coliseum

McGee caught four catches for 91 yards and a touchdown in 1966 as the Packers went 12-2 and proceeded to Super Bowl I against the Kansas City Chiefs. He was placed into the game despite having to borrow a teammate’s helmet since he had not taken his own out of the locker room.

A few plays later, McGee caught a ball from Bart Starr with one hand, took off past Chiefs linebacker Fred Williamson, and went 37 yards to score the first touchdown in Super Bowl history. This re-enactment of his performance in the NFL championship game two weeks prior. He also grabbed a touchdown pass after taking over for an injured Dowler.

McGee finished the game with seven receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns in the Packers’ 35-10 victory. The following year, in Super Bowl II, he had a 35-yard catch in the third quarter that set up a score in the Packers’ 33-14 victory against the Oakland Raiders.

3. Hester’s kick-off Touch Down – 2007

Player to noticeDevin Hester
SeasonSuper Bowl XLI, Miami, 2007
Team Chicago Bears
Key MomentTouch Down, a 92-yarder 
VenueDolphin Stadium, Miami, Florida

The finest NFL returner in NFL history. That is largely held by Devin Hester, who holds the record with 14 punt return touchdowns to go along with five kick-off return touchdowns. This was Hester’s most famous touchdown, a 92-yarder to start Super Bowl XLI and surprise the world.

It was one of the greatest Super Bowl moments of all time. Even more astonishing is that Hester was a rookie on the Chicago Bears squad that lost 29-17 to the Indianapolis Colts. He followed up his 2006 season, with six return touchdowns, with another six in his sophomore season.

Hester had a spectacular rookie season, establishing an NFL record with five regular-season kick return touchdowns. It leads the Bears to a shocking 24-23 comeback victory against the Cardinals. He established a single-game league record with 225 kickoff return yards in a victory over the Rams, with TDs of 94 and 96 yards.

4. Scott Norwood’s 47 wide right – 1981

Player to noticeScott Norwood
SeasonSuper Bowl XXV, Tampa Bay, 1981
Team Buffalo Bills
Key MomentWide right miss from 47 yards
VenueTampa Stadium, Tampa, Florida

In Super Bowl XXV, As time expired, Buffalo Bills kicker Scott Norwood missed the game-winning field goal wide right from 47 yards out. one of the worst disappointments in sports history, let alone the Super Bowl era. Although it was a disappointing turn of events, it was so famous that we had to include it as one of the greatest Super Bowl moments of all time.

Scott Norwood’s 47-yard attempted field goal for the Buffalo Bills after Super Bowl XXV on January 27, 1991, was labeled as “47 Wide Right” by sportscaster Al Michaels. The New York Giants won the game due to the failed field goal. The word “wide right” has grown associated with the game and is now used in other sports. Some Bills supporters refer to this game as The Miss.

Norwood’s Buffalo Bills trailed the New York Giants by a single point with eight seconds remaining in the game. They decided to go for a 47-yard field goal, which would win the game and give the Bills the title. According to remarks made during the original game broadcast, 47 yards was regarded towards the end of Norwood’s kicking range, especially on a grass field.

Norwood lined up from the right hash of the 37-yard line for the game-winning field goal, with Frank Reich as the holder and Adam Lingner as the long snapper. While having enough distance, the kick went approximately a foot to the right of the right goalpost, and the field goal attempt missed.

Al Michaels, calling the game for ABC, revealed the incident to a surprised television audience: “No good…wide right.” Later video analysis indicated that Frank Reich had incorrectly positioned the laces to the right, causing the kicked ball to fade right once in the air.

The Bills lost their first of four consecutive Super Bowls, which was the closest the club came to winning. The Bills lost the next three Super Bowls by significant scores.

5. Santonio’s last-minute game-winning catch – 2009

Player to noticeSantonio Holmes
SeasonSuper Bowl XLIII, Tampa Bay, 2009
Team Pittsburg Steelers
Key MomentCatch at the last minute to win
VenueRaymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida

With a 27-23 triumph over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII, the Pittsburgh Steelers clinched a then-record sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy with this Ben Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes touchdown. Arguably it should be one of the greatest Super Bowl moments of all time.

After a title-game record 100-yard interception returns for a touchdown by James Harrison, Pittsburgh led 17-7 at halftime. Still, Arizona receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s 127-yard and two-TD effort had put them up by three heading into the final two minutes.

Driving the Steelers down the field and crushing the hearts of Card fans worldwide with the most precisely put pass for Holmes in the back corner of the endzone with only 35 seconds remaining on the clock.

Pittsburgh took a 17-7 advantage into halftime, thanks to linebacker James Harrison’s Super Bowl-record 100-yard interception return for a touchdown. With 2:37 remaining in the fourth quarter and behind 20-7, Arizona scored 16 straight points.

Including a Pittsburgh safety that set up wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s 64-yard touchdown catch. To gain the game’s initial lead. With 35 seconds remaining, the Steelers marched 78 yards to score on wide receiver Santonio Holmes’s 6-yard game-winning touchdown reception.

Holmes was voted Super Bowl MVP after catching nine passes for 131 yards and a score, including four grabs for 73 yards on the game-winning drive. He earned the award’s sixth wide receiver winner.

6. Dyson’s agony: one yard away from glory – 2000

Player to noticeKevin Dyson
SeasonSuper Bowl XXXIV, Atlanta, 2000
Team Tennessee Titans
Key MomentKevin Dyson was brought down one yard shy of the goal line.
VenueGeorgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia.

This is yet another one of the greatest Super Bowl moments of all time. The New Orleans Saints urgently needed a huge play to stop Peyton Manning and the Colts, and they got it.

Young cornerback Tracy Porter intercepted Peyton Manning’s ball to cause the first takeaway in Super Bowl XLIV. The former Indiana Hoosier’s 76-yard return for a touchdown dashed any prospects of an Indianapolis comeback.

After rallying from a 16-point deficit against the St Louis Rams and their ‘Greatest Show on Turf’ in the third quarter, the Tennessee Titans were marching down the field in the final seconds of Super Bowl XXXIV, hoping for a game-tying touchdown to force OT.

With six seconds left on the clock, quarterback Steve McNair swiftly got the ball out of his hands and found receiver Kevin Dyson just at the three-yard line, who appeared to be on his way to the endzone.

Not so. Rams linebacker Mike Jones made a game-saving tackle, stopping Dyson just short of the goal line, and the Rams held on for a shocking victory. It was truly shocking and one of the greatest Super Bowl moments of all time.

The Titans reached St. Louis’ 10-yard line with six seconds remaining, but linebacker Mike Jones stopped wide receiver Kevin Dyson one yard short of the goal line, preventing a possible game-tying score. “One Yard Short” and “The Tackle” were nicknames for the play.

Kurt Warner of the Los Angeles Rams was voted Super Bowl MVP after establishing Super Bowl records for throwing yards and pass attempts without an interception. Warner was the first undrafted quarterback and first first-year starter to win a Super Bowl.

7. Helmet catch of Tyree – 2008

Player to noticeDavid Tyree
SeasonSuper Bowl XLII, Phoenix, 2008
Team New York Giants
Key MomentTyree made a ‘Helmet Catch’ to win the match
VenueUniversity of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona

It was expected to be a parade as the 16-0 Patriots faced up against the 10-6 New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII, trying to become the first team to finish an entire season unbeaten since the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

The Giants’ fierce pass rush consistently got to Brady, limiting New England’s dynamic attack to 14 scores into the final two minutes. With the ball back in his hands, Manning was charged with guiding his team on a game-winning drive and accomplished the unfathomable.

The most memorable play of the drive, and arguably the greatest in Super Bowl history, saw Manning elude the Patriot’s pass rush and launch the ball downfield on a prayer to David Tyree, who made the catch – a stunning, one-handed grab on the side of his helmet – for a crucial 32-yard pickup on third-and-five. It was a moment to witness one of the greatest Super Bowl moments of all time.

David Tyree of the New York Giants intercepted an Eli Manning ball in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLII, saving the matching drive with one of the greatest performances in NFL history. To determine the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2007 season, the National Football Conference (NFC) champion New York Giants faced up against the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

With 2:39 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Giants behind 14-10, they began their game-winning drive from their own 17-yard line. On third down, David Tyree made the “Helmet Catch,” a leaping one-handed catch pinning the football to the crown of his helmet with his right hand for a 32-yard first down convert.

With 35 seconds remaining, wide receiver Plaxico Burress scored the game-winning touchdown on a 13-yard grab after Steve Smith converted his second first-down conversion on 3rd and 11. The Giants’ game-winning drive is considered the best in NFL history.

8. Butler’s game-winning goal-line pick

Player to noticeMalcolm Butler
SeasonSuper Bowl XLIX, Phoenix, 2015
Team New England Patriots
Key MomentButler intercepts a pass at the goal line
VenueUniversity of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona

Although it’s difficult to believe considering Tom Brady’s record seven Super Bowl rings, he was in somewhat of drought between his third in 2005 and this one a decade later – and it seemed for the world as if Super Bowl XLIX might be the third to slip through his hands in that time.

Malcolm Butler’s infamous interception will live on in the memories of Patriots supporters forever, making this one of the greatest Super Bowl moments of all time. With less than 30 seconds remaining in Super Bowl XLIX, the Seahawks are down by four points but still have a chance to score the game-winning touchdown.

Jermaine Kearse’s acrobatic reception had helped set up the Seattle Seahawks near the goal line, losing by four points but with 26 seconds to go – more than enough time to hand the ball off to ‘Beast Mode’ running back Marshawn Lynch for the game-winning touchdown, right? Wrong.

Seattle chose to pass in one of the weirdest play-calls in football history, and quarterback Russell Wilson was intercepted by rookie Patriots defender Malcolm Butler in this incredibly spectacular ending.

Until Seattle established a 10-point lead in the third quarter, Super Bowl XLIX was a one-possession game. New England rallied with 14 consecutive points in the fourth quarter to grab a 28-24 lead with little over two minutes remaining.

The game is best known for the Seahawks’ last play, in which they threatened to score a winning touchdown from New England’s 1-yard line but were intercepted by Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler in the closing seconds. Butler’s interception is considered one of the best in NFL history. The margin of victory in Super Bowl XLIX was held at one possession up until the third quarter when Seattle gained a 10-point advantage. 

With little over two minutes left, New England replied by scoring 14 straight points to grab a 28-24 lead. The Seahawks’ last play, when they appeared to score the game-winning touchdown from the New England 1-yard line but instead were stolen by Patriots defender Malcolm Butler in the closing seconds, will live in infamy.

9. Eagles ‘Philly Special’ touchdown by Foles

Player to noticeNick Foles
SeasonSuper Bowl LII, Minneapolis, 2018
Team Philadelphia Eagles
Key MomentAs part of their ‘Philly Special’ play, Foles catches a touchdown pass.
VenueU.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Several marks were broken in this thriller, including the total yards gained in an NFL game (1,151), the fewest punts by both teams in a Super Bowl (one), and the most points scored by a Super Bowl losing team (33).

The greatest moment was likely when Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback Nick Foles, who had inspired their run to the big game following the late-season injury to starter Carson Wentz, dialed up the ‘Philly Special’ with head coach Doug Pederson soon before halftime. Certainly, it was a moment to witness and one of the greatest moments of all time in NFL history.

With 38 seconds remaining in half and a fourth-and-goal on the one-yard line, the play called for running back Corey Clement to take a direct snap and throw the ball to tight end Trey Burton, who would then select out a wide-open Foles in the right endzone. It gave Philadelphia a 22-12 lead at halftime, and they would go on to defeat the Patriots 41-33.

The Eagles started the rest of the season with backup quarterback Nick Foles, who had been heavily criticized and undervalued by pre-game shows. The Eagles made their third Super Bowl appearance with Foles, having previously fallen to the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XV and the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.

10. Namath’s sure win – 1969

Player to noticeJoe Namath
SeasonSuper Bowl III, Miami, 1969
Team New York Jets
Key MomentJoe Namath personally guaranteed by making a grand appearance at the Miami Touchdown Club that they would win, which they did. 
VenueMiami Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida

One of the greatest super bowl moments of all time in American football history and the annals of sports are said to have occurred in Super Bowl III. The absurd win promise made by Joe Namath over the greatly favored Baltimore Colts will live in infamy.

Jets quarterback Joe Namath reputedly appeared at the Miami Touchdown Club three days before the Super Bowl and personally promised his team’s win. His squad followed up his statements by dominating the majority of the game.

Racing out to a 16-0 lead in the fourth quarter thanks to a touchdown run by Matt Snell and three field goals by Jim Turner. Earl Morrall, the Colts’ quarterback, threw three interceptions before being replaced by Johnny Unitas, who guided Baltimore to their sole score in the last few minutes of the game.

Namath was chosen the Super Bowl’s most valuable player after completing 17 of 28 passes for 206 yards, making him the only player in Super Bowl history to be awarded MVP without scoring or passing for a touchdown.

11. The History-Making Miami Dolphins – 1973

Player to noticeJake Scott
SeasonSuper Bowl VII, Los Angeles, 1973
Team Miami Dolphins
Key MomentThe Miami Dolphins were the first team to go unbeaten throughout the full season.
VenueLos Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California

Another one of the greatest Super Bowl moments of all time is when the Miami Dolphins were the first team to go undefeated for the whole season. The American Football Conference (AFC) champion Miami Dolphins and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Washington Redskins squared off in Super Bowl VII to determine the National Football League (NFL) championship for the 1972 campaign.

The Dolphins won their first Super Bowl trophy, but more significantly, they were the first team to go unbeaten from start to finish. The Dolphins had a perfect 14-0 regular season record before beating the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns in the postseason.

The Redskins had an 11-3 preseason record and postseason victory against the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys when they made their first five Super Bowl appearances during a 20-year span. The 5-foot-7 Yepremian attempted to pick up and toss the ball after Bill Brundige of Washington blocked his kick.

When he attempted to kick the ball out of bounds after it dropped from his hands, defender Mike Bass unintentionally received it and sprinted 49 yards for a score.

12. The Best Kick by Adam Vinatieri – 2002

Player to noticeAdam Vinatieri
SeasonSuper Bowl XXXVI, 
Team St. Louis Rams
Key MomentThe most impressive demonstration of a clutch kicking by Adam Vinatieri
VenueLouisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana

To determine the National Football League (NFL) title for the 2001 season, the National Football Conference (NFC) champion St. Louis Rams played against the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI.

It was New England’s first Super Bowl and league victory of any type. The Patriots lost the game for the first time in 13 years due to their kicker missing a field goal. Two years before he kicked himself and the Patriots into NFL history and established himself as the greatest defensive kicker of all time, Adam Vinatieri was simply a future legend.

Despite having 427 more total yards than the Patriots (427 to 267), the Rams’ three turnovers in the third quarter allowed New England to go ahead 17-3. With 1:30 left in the game, Warner tied it at 17-17 with a 2-yard touchdown run and a 26-yard touchdown throw after a personal foul in the fourth quarter prevented the Patriots from scoring on a punt recovery for a score.

Brady marched his team down the field without using any timeouts to set up Adam Vinatieri’s game-winning 48-yard field goal as the clock ran out.


Most casual viewers tune in to the Super Bowl, hoping to see a thrilling, close-call match. The greater the score and the more heart-pounding moments. But occasionally, one squad completely destroys the competition. The greatest Super Bowl moments of all time are listed above. In addition, other instances in Super Bowl history are truly breathtaking emotional experiences.

Golam Muktadir is a passionate sports fan and a dedicated movie buff. He has been writing about both topics for over a decade and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with his readers. Muktadir has a degree in journalism and has written for several well-known publications, including Surprise Sports.


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