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Von Miller joins list of defensive players to win Super Bowl MVP

Von Miller joins the list of defensive players to be named Super Bowl MVP.
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Nine defensive players had previously won Super Bowl MVP honors before Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller became the 10th on Sunday night after Denver’s 24–10 win over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.

Miller recorded six total tackles, 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one defended pass in the game.

Here’s a look at the nine previous defensive players to be named Super Bowl MVP.

• Worst statistical performances by winning QB in last 20 Super Bowls

Malcolm Smith, Seattle Seahawks

Super Bowl XLVIII: Smith recorded six total tackles, returned an interception 69 yards for a touchdown and recovered a fumble in a 43–8 blowout against the Denver Broncos.

Dexter Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Super Bowl XXXVII: Jackson intercepted Oakland Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon twice in the first half of Super Bowl XXXVII. Gannon was picked off five times in the game, as the Buccaneers cruised to a 48–21 victory.

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Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens

Super Bowl XXXV: A Lewis-led Ravens defense didn’t allow an offensive touchdown against the New York Giants in a 34–7 win. The Baltimore linebacker recorded three tackles, two assists and four passes defended in the game.

Larry Brown, Dallas Cowboys

Super Bowl XXX: Brown intercepted Pittsburgh quarterback Neil O’Donnell twice in the second half of Super Bowl XXX.

Richard Dent, Chicago Bears

Super Bowl XX: The Chicago Bears’ defense recorded a Super Bowl-record seven sacks, including 1.5 from Dent. Chicago held New England to seven rushing yards in the game.  

Randy White & Harvey Martin, Dallas Cowboys

Super Bowl XII: White and Martin are the only players to share Super Bowl MVP honors after Dallas’s defensive linemen spearheaded a Cowboys’ defense that forced eight turnovers in the game.

Jake Scott, Miami Dolphins

Super Bowl VII: Scott recorded a pair of interceptions in Super Bowl VII that were the difference in Miami’s 14–7 victory over Washington.

Chuck Howley, Dallas Cowboys

Super Bowl V: Howley became the first defensive player and the first player from the losing team to be named Super Bowl MVP. He had two interceptions and recovered a fumble in the game. 

— Andy Wittry