David Tyree knows the meaning of never letting go. His leaping 32-yard catch, while clutching the football against his helmet, put the New York Giants in position score four plays later and upset the New England Patriots.
2 of 5JOHN BIEVER FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
2. Super Bowl XLIII — A Long, Long Run
On the last play of the first half, Pittsburgh's James Harrison took everyone's breath away — including his own. The Steelers had a 10-7 lead on Arizona, but the Cardinals had the ball at the Pittsburgh two-yard line with 18 seconds left and looked ready to take a halftime lead. Quarterback Kurt Warner tried to hit wide receiver Anquan Boldin on a slant pattern, but Harrison jumped in front of Boldin, snagged the ball, and bulldozed his way down the sideline. One hundred yards later, he collapsed in the end zone. "I've never been more emotionally drained in my life," he said. He was also drained of oxygen. Once he was back on the Steelers' bench, he received an oxygen mask to help him breathe. Harrison didn't mind the long-distance sprint, though, considering the Steelers won 27-23.
3 of 5WALTER IOOSS JR. FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
3. Super Bowl XXXII — Taking the QB Out for a Spin
Denver quarterback John Elway dropped back to pass on third-and-six at the Green Bay 12-yard line in the third quarter in search of an open Broncos receiver. There were none. So, the 37-year-old Elway — ringless and past his prime — ran. And ran. And then catapulted his body over Packers safety Leroy Butler in an attempt to avoid the hit. Butler caught a piece of Elway, which sent the Hall of Famer spinning like a helicopter before landing on the four-yard line. That gave Denver a first down. Two plays later, the Broncos scored to take a 24-17 lead. They held on to win 31--24, giving Elway the first of his two rings.
4 of 5HEINZ KLUETMEIER FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
4. Super Bowl X — Lynn Swann A-Leapin'
He soared, juggled, and stumbled. It wasn't pretty. But that didn't matter. Pittsburgh wide receiver Lynn Swann caught the pass. With the Steelers facing third-and-six at their own 10-yard line in the second quarter, Terry Bradshaw launched a bomb downfield. Swann jumped up and got his hands on the ball, but Dallas Cowboys cornerback Mark Washington knocked it free. Swann then tipped the ball before grabbing it as he fell to the ground at midfield. It was the second high-flying catch of the game for Swann, who added a 64-yard TD in the fourth quarter. He was named MVP in the Steelers' 21-17 win.
5 of 5HEINZ KLUETMEIER FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
5. Super Bowl XLIV — One Happy Return
The New Orleans Saints were up 24-17 late in the fourth quarter, but the Indianapolis Colts were moving downfield behind quarterback Peyton Manning. The Colts faced a third-and-five from the New Orleans' 31 when Manning found his target: wide receiver Reggie Wayne. But Saints cornerback Tracey Porter read the route and jumped in front to pick off the pass. He zoomed 74 yards to the end zone for a stunning pick-six that secured a 31-17 victory for the Saints, who won their first championship.
You May Like
More SI Kids
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!