44 DECISIVE MOMENTS IN SUPER BOWL HISTORY

January 10, 2011

SUPER BOWL I1/15/67

PACKERS 35

CHIEFS 10

Green Bay safety Willie Wood picks off a wobbling Len Dawson pass early in the third quarter and returns it 50 yards to the Kansas City five. That sets up the first of three second-half TDs as the Pack turns its four-point lead into a rout.

II1/14/68

PACKERS 33

RAIDERS 14

At halftime, guard Jerry Kramer implores teammates to "play the final 30 minutes for the old man," meaning coach Vince Lombardi. Green Bay expands a nine-point lead into a blowout in the old man's final game with the Pack.

III1/12/69

JETS 16

COLTS 7

Setting the gold standard for guarantees, QB Joe Namath prophesies a Jets victory three days before kickoff, then goes out and completes 17 of 28 passes for 206 yards before jogging off the field as a champion, wagging his right index finger.

IV1/11/70

CHIEFS 23

VIKINGS 7

Five-and-a-half minutes before halftime, Kansas City coach Hank Stram sends 65 Toss Power Trap into the huddle. Tailback Mike Garrett (21) takes an inside handoff and goes five yards to score virtually untouched as the Chiefs take a 16--0 lead.

V1/17/71

COLTS 16

COWBOYS 13

With just over a minute to go, a Dallas pass glances off running back Dan Reeves's fingers, pops up and falls into the arms of Colts linebacker Mike Curtis. He returns it 13 yards to the Dallas 28, setting up Jim O'Brien's game-winning 32-yard kick.

VI1/16/72

COWBOYS 24

DOLPHINS 3

Juking past two defenders to pay dirt, Duane Thomas (33) gives Dallas a 17--3 lead at the start of the second half. The touchdown caps an eight-play, 71-yard drive that features four rushes by Thomas, on which he gains 37 of his 95 yards.

VII1/14/73

DOLPHINS 14

REDSKINS 7

With just over five minutes left to play, Miami safety Jake Scott steps in front of a crossing route to intercept Billy Kilmer's pass in the end zone. Scott returns the pick (his second of the day) 55 yards to protect the Dolphins' 14--0 lead.

VIII1/13/74

DOLPHINS 24

VIKINGS 7

On fourth-and-inches at the Miami six, Minnesota's Oscar Reed takes a handoff, gets slammed into by linebacker Nick Buoniconti and fumbles. Safety Jake Scott recovers with 30 seconds left in the first half to keep the Dolphins ahead 17--0.

IX1/12/75

STEELERS 16

VIKINGS 6

Terry Bradshaw (12) throws a 30-yard, fourth-quarter pass to Larry Brown that leads to Brown's losing the ball as he hits the turf at the Vikings' 28. Minnesota recovers, but the head ref (correctly) rules Brown down by contact. Pittsburgh goes on to score the game's final points.

X1/18/76

STEELERS 21

COWBOYS 17

When the pocket collapses on third-and-four, Terry Bradshaw holds firm and delivers a 64-yard strike to Lynn Swann down the middle, giving Pittsburgh a 21--10 lead with 3:02 remaining and making Swann (four catches, 161 yards) the game's MVP.

XI1/9/77

RAIDERS 32

VIKINGS 14

Midway through the last quarter, on third-and-six at the 50, Oakland's Fred Biletnikoff (25), who would wind up with four receptions for 79 yards, catches Ken Stabler's 48-yard pass in the middle of the field. A snap later, the Raiders go up 26--7.

XII1/15/78

COWBOYS 27

BRONCOS 10

Wideout Butch Johnson outruns double coverage and lays out to haul in Roger Staubach's 45-yard pass for a 20--3 Dallas lead midway through the third quarter. Johnson lets go of the ball before he gets to his feet, but the touchdown stands.

XIII½1/79

STEELERS 35

COWBOYS 31

In the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh's Franco Harris rumbles up the gut on third-and-nine and goes 22 yards into the end zone for a 28--17 Steelers lead. Pittsburgh recovers a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and, 19 seconds later, scores again.

XIV½0/80

STEELERS 31

RAMS 19

Early in the final quarter the Steelers go ahead for good, 24--19, when Terry Bradshaw hits John Stallworth with a 73-yard bomb down the middle of the field. Despite having a defender swipe at the ball, Stallworth cradles it with outstretched arms.

XV½5/81

RAIDERS 27

EAGLES 10

Scrambling in the first quarter and throwing across his body, Oakland QB Jim Plunkett connects with running back Kenny King for an 80-yard catch-and-run, giving the Raiders a 14--0 lead. It's the second of three TD passes for Plunkett, the game's MVP.

XVI½4/82

49ERS 26

BENGALS 21

Protecting a 13-point lead late in the third quarter, San Francisco makes a goal line stand. Cincinnati back Pete Johnson (46) is stopped three times, and Charles Alexander is stopped inches shy of the line on a punishing hit by linebacker Dan Bunz.

XVII1/30/83

REDSKINS 27

DOLPHINS 17

Needing about a foot on fourth down early in the fourth quarter, the Skins' John Riggins goes for 43 of his 166 yards, breaking a tackle in the secondary to give Washington the lead for good, 20--17, and secure his game MVP trophy.

XVIII½2/84

RAIDERS 38

REDSKINS 9

Less than 10 seconds before halftime, Raiders backup linebacker Jack Squirek intercepts Joe Theismann's pass in the left flat and runs five yards into the end zone, untouched, putting Los Angeles up 21--3. Led by game MVP Marcus Allen, L.A. romps in the second half.

XIX½0/85

49ERS 38

DOLPHINS 16

San Francisco defensive end Dwaine Board (76) gets the first of his two sacks early in the second half, toppling Dan Marino for a nine-yard loss at Miami's 16-yard line. Following a punt, the 49ers drive down and kick a field goal to take a commanding 31--16 lead.

XX½6/86

BEARS 46

PATRIOTS 10

Sandwiched by Richard Dent and Steve McMichael late in the first quarter, New England QB Tony Eason fumbles at the Pats' 13-yard line. Chicago's Dan Hampton recovers, and the Bears go on to convert a field goal and never relinquish the lead.

XXI½5/87

GIANTS 39

BRONCOS 20

In the final minute of the third quarter, New York calls for a flea flicker and QB Phil Simms finds wideout Phil McConkey (80) down the left side for 44 yards to the Denver one. The trick play sets up a Joe Morris TD plunge for a 26--10 lead.

XXII1/31/88

REDSKINS 42

BRONCOS 10

Having connected with Ricky Sanders on an 80-yard TD earlier, Washington quarterback Doug Williams (17) finds the wideout again for a 50-yard score on a play-action pass late in the second quarter to put the Redskins up 28--10.

XXIII½2/89

49ERS 20

BENGALS 16

Joe Montana breaks the tension before the Niners' late fourth-quarter drive. "Look," the QB says, pointing into the crowd, "isn't that John Candy?" Eleven plays later Montana finds John Taylor for a 10-yard TD to cap a 92-yard march.

XXIV½8/90

49ERS 55

BRONCOS 10

On San Francisco's opening drive in what would be the most lopsided Super Bowl, Joe Montana hits Jerry Rice, who bounces off a defender at Denver's eight-yard line before going in to complete a 20-yard scoring play, the first of his three TD catches.

XXV½7/91

GIANTS 20

BILLS 19

With eight seconds left, Buffalo's Scott Norwood's potential game-winning 47-yard field goal attempt sails wide right and the favored Bills go down. It is the first of four straight Super Bowl losses by Buffalo, and easily the most heartbreaking.

XXVI½6/92

REDSKINS 37

BILLS 24

In what would prove a symbol of Buffalo's futility, running back Thurman Thomas sits out the Bills' first two plays when he can't locate his helmet. Thomas finds his helmet but not his footing, rushing 10 times for 13 yards.

XXVII1/31/93

COWBOYS 52

BILLS 17

With Dallas up 14--7 in the second quarter, linebacker Ken Norton Jr. (51) slams Buffalo QB Jim Kelly to the turf as Kelly releases a pass. Out with a sprained right knee, Kelly watches from the sideline as counterpart Troy Aikman picks apart the Bills' secondary.

XXVIII1/30/94

COWBOYS 30

BILLS 13

On Dallas's first possession of the second half, with the score tied at 13, Emmitt Smith powers an eight-play, 64-yard drive by rushing seven times for 61 yards, including a 15-yard scamper off right tackle to score what holds up as the decisive touchdown.

XXIX½9/95

49ERS 49

CHARGERS 26

On the third offensive play of the game, Steve Young fakes a handoff, freezing the pass rush. Then he hits Jerry Rice (80) down the middle for a 44-yard touchdown, despite double coverage. It is the first of three Young-to-Rice TD connections.

XXX½8/96

COWBOYS 27

STEELERS 17

Dallas cornerback Larry Brown makes his second interception with four minutes remaining and the Cowboys leading 20--17. Brown returns the ball 33 yards to the Pittsburgh six, setting up Emmitt Smith's second rushing touchdown.

XXXI½6/97

PACKERS 35

PATRIOTS 21

Moments after New England cuts Green Bay's lead to six in the third quarter, Desmond Howard scores on a 99-yard kickoff return. He finishes with a record 244 return yards, becoming the first special teams player to be named Super Bowl MVP.

XXXII½5/98

BRONCOS 31

PACKERS 24

On third-and-six from Green Bay's 12 late in the third quarter, a scrambling John Elway dives over two tacklers. A midair hit sends him whipping around like a helicopter blade, but he gains eight yards; Denver then goes up 24--17 on a Terrell Davis run.

XXXIII1/31/99

BRONCOS 34

FALCONS 19

Denver's Darrien Gordon picks off passes on back-to-back Atlanta possessions—both leading to touchdowns. He returns his first pick 58 yards to the Falcons' 24-yard line, and five plays later the Broncos take a 24--6 lead.

XXXIV1/30/00

RAMS 23

TITANS 16

Making the most dramatic tackle in Super Bowl history, St. Louis linebacker Mike Jones (52) jumps a slant route, wraps up Kevin Dyson and drags the wideout to the turf one yard from the goal line on the game's final play.

XXXV½8/01

RAVENS 34

GIANTS 7

Jermaine Lewis's 84-yard kickoff return puts Baltimore up 24--7 late in the third quarter. The TD is the third in as many plays, following a 49-yard pick-six by the Ravens' Duane Starks and a 97-yard kickoff return by the Giants' Ron Dixon.

XXXVI2/3/02

PATRIOTS 20

RAMS 17

Instead of playing it safe and waiting for overtime, New England, under coach Bill Belichick, takes shots downfield with 1:21 to play, no timeouts and the end zone 83 yards away. The result: Adam Vinatieri's 48-yard field goal as time expires.

XXXVII½6/03

BUCCANEERS 48

RAIDERS 21

Making the defining play of a 14-play, 89-yard drive at the start of the second half, Tampa Bay wide receiver Joe Jurevicius (83) hauls in a 33-yard reception at the Raiders' 14. Three plays later, the Bucs score the back-breaking touchdown, taking a 27--3 lead.

XXXVIII2/1/04

PATRIOTS 32

PANTHERS 29

Carolina ties the game with 1:08 remaining, but John Kasay boots the ensuing kickoff out-of-bounds, giving New England the ball at its 40-yard line. The Pats drive, and with four seconds to go, Adam Vinatieri (4) splits the uprights from 41 yards out.

XXXIX2/6/05

PATRIOTS 24

EAGLES 21

Trailing by 10 points with less than six minutes left, the Eagles reel off a 13-play, 79-yard TD drive but do so without going to a no-huddle offense. They burn nearly four minutes off the clock, forcing a last-ditch onside kick that the Patriots recover.

XL2/5/06

STEELERS 21

SEAHAWKS 10

Getting the ball on a reverse around the right end, wideout Antwaan Randle El throws on the run and hits Hines Ward in stride for a 43-yard TD to give Pittsburgh a two-score lead with a little less than nine minutes remaining.

XLI2/4/07

COLTS 29

BEARS 17

In the fourth quarter, with Indy up 22--17, the Colts' Kelvin Hayden (26) picks off Rex Grossman and sprints 56 yards down the left sideline for a TD. Hayden makes the play with the ball of his left foot inbounds, his heel hovering over the sideline.

XLII2/3/08

GIANTS 17

PATRIOTS 14

On third down from the New York 44, with 1:15 left, QB Eli Manning avoids two tacklers and throws a ball that David Tyree (85) leaps to snag, pinning it against his helmet as he crashes down with a 32-yard gain. The Giants score the winning TD four plays later.

XLIII2/1/09

STEELERS 27

CARDINALS 23

Surrounded by three defenders in the back corner of the end zone, Pittsburgh's Santonio Holmes pulls down Ben Roethlisberger's spiral and, using his tiptoes, keeps his feet inbounds to score the winning TD with 35 seconds left.

XLIV2/7/10

SAINTS 31

COLTS 17

Trailing 10--6, New Orleans coach Sean Payton orders an onside kick to start the second half, and the Saints' Chris Reis recovers. Six plays later, New Orleans takes its first lead, on a TD pass from Drew Brees to Pierre Thomas.

EIGHT THAT ENDURE

Which of these decisive Super Bowl moments is the most memorable?

Cast your vote at www.si.com/supermoments

1III Namath's guarantee

2XXV Norwood's miss

3XXXII Elway's dive

4XLII Tyree's catch

5XLIV Saints' onside kick

6X Swann's catch

7XXXIV Jones's tackle

8XXIII Montana's cool

PHOTOWALTER IOOSS JR. PHOTOROD HANNA/WIREIMAGE.COM PHOTONFL/WIREIMAGE.COM PHOTOHEINZ KLUETMEIER PHOTOJOHN IACONO PHOTOSYLVIA ALLEN/WIREIMAGE.COM PHOTOTONY TRIOLO PHOTORONALD C. MODRA PHOTOANDY HAYT PHOTOPETER READ MILLER PHOTOJERRY WACHTER PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH PHOTOBILL FRAKES PHOTOWALTER IOOSS JR. PHOTOJOHN BIEVER PHOTOKEVIN TERRELL/WIREIMAGE.COM PHOTOJOHN BIEVER PHOTODAMIAN STROHMEYER

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)