The Super Bowl is filled with drama, record-breaking athleticism, iconic performances, and important tributes. That holds true for Super Bowl betting surprises too. Between fumbles and last-minute touchdowns, we cover everything on our list of top 25 Super Bowl moments in the championship’s history. And don’t miss the top Super Bowl halftime shows.
- 25. Super Bowl III: Joe Namath Wags His Finger
- 24. Super Bowl XXI: The First of Many Gatorade Showers
- 23. Super Bowl XXII: The Redskins Score 35 Points in Quarter Two
- 22. Super Bowl XXXI: Desmond Howard’s 99-Yard Kick
- 21. Super Bowl XLVII: 2013’s Third Quarter Power Outage
- 20. Super Bowl XVI: The 49ers Famous Goal-Line Stand
- 19. Super Bowl XLIV: Sean Payton Stuns with Onside Kick
- 18. Super Bowl XLVI: Mario Manningham Lands Sideline Catch
- 17. Super Bowl VII: “Garo’s Gaffe”
- 16. Super Bowl XVIII: Marcus Allen’s 74-Yard Touchdown
- 15. Super Bowl V: Jim O’Brien’s Field Goal
- 14. Super Bowl XXV: Whitney Houston Sings the National Anthem
- 13. Super Bowl LII: Nick Foles Catches a Touchdown Pass
- 12. Super Bowl XXXIV: Kevin Dyson Gets Tackled
- 11. Super Bowl XVII: John Riggins’ 43-Yard Touchdown Run
- 10. Super Bowl X: Lynn Swann’s Unbelievable Catch
- 9. Super Bowl XXXVI: Patriots Achieve First of Many Victories
- 8. Super Bowl XXV: Scott Norwood Misses a Field-Goal
- 7. Super Bowl XLIII: Santonio Holmes’ Game-Winning Catch
- 6. Super Bowl XLIX: Malcolm Butler’s Game Saving Interception
- 5. Super Bowl XXXII: John Elway Spins Sideways
- 4. Super Bowl XXIII: Joe Montana’s 92-Yard Drive
- 3. Super Bowl LI: First Super Bowl Overtime
- 2. Super Bowl III: Joe Namath Promises An Unlikely Win
- 1. Super Bowl XLII: David Tyree’s Helmet Catch
25. Super Bowl III: Joe Namath Wags His Finger
Super Bowl III was pivotal for a lot of reasons. First, Joe Namath lands himself on this list twice. With this New York Jets win, the future of football quite literally changed after this game. Though usually quite talkative, Namath found himself not needing words after their win. He simply raised his finger in the air and ran off on the field letting everyone know where his team stood.
24. Super Bowl XXI: The First of Many Gatorade Showers
A Super Bowl moment people cannot seem to agree on is who first started the Gatorade shower. However, it became a tradition after a particularly memorable Super Bowl moment with the Giants drenching their head coach Bill Parcells. This was after their win against the Denver Broncos in 1987.
23. Super Bowl XXII: The Redskins Score 35 Points in Quarter Two
This 1988 game between the Washington Redskins and the Denver Broncos places on this list several times. Furthermore, this particular Super Bowl moment refers to the remarkable 35 points the Redskins scored in the second quarter alone. After ending with a final score of 42-10, the Redskins destroyed predictions of the Broncos winning by three in a record-breaking Super Bowl moment.
22. Super Bowl XXXI: Desmond Howard’s 99-Yard Kick
Next, this 1997 game between the New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers was played in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. Setting a then-Super Bowl record, Desmond Howard made a 99-yard kickoff return, cementing his team’s win in the final touchdown of the game. Likewise, this Super Bowl moment also awarded him the distinction of MVP.
21. Super Bowl XLVII: 2013’s Third Quarter Power Outage
This game between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers had a lot of variables. Unexpectedly, one of them was a power outage that lasted 34 minutes and earned Super Bowl XLVII the nickname, “Blackout Bowl”.
Before the outage, the Ravens led 28-23. However, once the power came back on, the 49ers pushed forward and scored an unanswered 17 points, landing them the victory.
20. Super Bowl XVI: The 49ers Famous Goal-Line Stand
This 1982 game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Cincinnati Bengals, led “Cool Joe” Montana to his first Super Bowl MVP award. It also led to this iconic goal-line stand by the 49ers which after four tries, the Bengals were still unable to break. The defensive line held their position in a Super Bowl moment of endurance unmatched to this day.
19. Super Bowl XLIV: Sean Payton Stuns with Onside Kick
In this 2010 game between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts, things didn’t really go as anticipated. The Colts were favored to win by five points and ended up losing 17-31.
In what was considered a gamble, this Super Bowl moment was brought to you by Saints’ head coach Sean Payton. He surprised the Colts with an onside kick at the start of the second half and his gamble paid off. The Saints recovered and scored; changing the Super Bowl outcome.
18. Super Bowl XLVI: Mario Manningham Lands Sideline Catch
In this 2012 game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, Mario Manningham managed to keep the Giants alive with an impressive catch along the sidelines. Seconds later, he’s tackled and out of bounds, but his feet hit the ground and the pass is good. His catch helped earn his team the win and a spot in amongst the greatest Super Bowl moments in history.
17. Super Bowl VII: “Garo’s Gaffe”
Though the Washington Redskins were favored to win this 1973 game, the Miami Dolphins beat them 14-7. The Dolphins were attempting to close out their perfect season (17-0) with a perfect game (17-0) which would have been a great Super Bowl moment. However, this was botched in a failed field goal by Garo Yepremian in a moment now known as “Garo’s Gaffe”.
16. Super Bowl XVIII: Marcus Allen’s 74-Yard Touchdown
This 1984 game between the Washington Redskins and the Los Angeles Raiders saw a huge upset from the predicted Redskins win. Winning 38-9, the Raiders shocked the nation with their unexpected victory and a great Super Bowl moment. Marcus Allen, the Raiders running back displayed some pure alchemy in a then Super Bowl record 74-yard touchdown.
15. Super Bowl V: Jim O’Brien’s Field Goal
This 1971 game, nicknamed the “Blunder Bowl” for its many errors, ended pretty much as predicted with the Baltimore Colts beating the Dallas Cowboys 16-13. However, unpredictably, the game was won with the Colts’ rookie kicker Jim O’Brien’s 32-yard field goal in the last five seconds of the game.
14. Super Bowl XXV: Whitney Houston Sings the National Anthem
Though it is not a sporting moment, this Super Bowl moment deserves recognition. The 1991 game was memorable for several reasons, but Whitney Houston was definitely one of them. Opening up the game with the national anthem, Whitney set the stage and raised the bar.
13. Super Bowl LII: Nick Foles Catches a Touchdown Pass
In the recent 2018 game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots, the Patriots were favored to win by at least five points. Nick Foles however, had other ideas.
Starting as the backup quarterback, he took over after Carson Wentz had an injury late in the season. He was underestimated and ended up winning MVP for his game-winning touchdown catch.
12. Super Bowl XXXIV: Kevin Dyson Gets Tackled
In this 2000 game between the St. Louis Rams and the Tennessee Titans, the odds were on the Rams. With six seconds remaining Tennessee wide receiver Kevin Dyson seemed like he might change the outcome of the game. He got within one yard of the goal line before being tackled by Rams’ linebacker Mike Jones. Such an upset lands firmly as one of the top Super Bowl moments.
11. Super Bowl XVII: John Riggins’ 43-Yard Touchdown Run
Washington Redskins running back John Riggins makes an unbelievable 43-yard touchdown in this 1983 Super Bowl moment with the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins were favored to win by three and ended up losing by 10, an outcome that would’ve been a lot different without John’s incredible drive.
10. Super Bowl X: Lynn Swann’s Unbelievable Catch
In this 1976 Super Bowl moment between the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers, wide receiver Lynn Swann caught a 64-yard touchdown reception which helped him set a Super Bowl record of 161 yards total. Another record? Swann was also the first wide receiver to be named Super Bowl MVP.
9. Super Bowl XXXVI: Patriots Achieve First of Many Victories
In this 2002 game, the New England Patriots beat their rivals, The St. Louis Rams in a game they were predicted to lose by 14 points. Though it was kicker’s Adam Vinatieri’s 48-yard field goal that technically won them the game, it was a second-year quarterback and newcomer Tom Brady who won MVP. The beginning of an era of Super Bowl moments for the Patriots.
8. Super Bowl XXV: Scott Norwood Misses a Field-Goal
This 1991 Super Bowl moment between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Giants involves a game-changing last-minute field goal. Scott Norwood, the Bills’ placekicker at the time, kicked the ball too far to the right and ended up costing Buffalo the game.
7. Super Bowl XLIII: Santonio Holmes’ Game-Winning Catch
This 2009 game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals ended with a game-winning touchdown by Santonio Holmes, the Steelers’ wide receiver. The catch was made with 35 seconds left on the clock and clinched the win for Pittsburgh. It also earned Holmes that year’s MVP award, along with being one of the best Super Bowl moments.
6. Super Bowl XLIX: Malcolm Butler’s Game Saving Interception
In this 2015 game between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks, Malcolm managed to seal the Patriot’s victory with a last-minute interception literally at the goal line. Butler was a rookie reserve cornerback and he more than earned his place in this memorable Super Bowl win.
5. Super Bowl XXXII: John Elway Spins Sideways
Nicknamed “The Helicopter” and considered the “greatest 8-yard run in Super Bowl history”, John Elway literally went above and beyond in this Super Bowl moment. At 37, after having lost three Super Bowls, John pushed his team, the Denver Broncos to break their 17-17 tie with the Green Bay Packers in 1998. Spinning in the air to pick up the first down, this career-defining moment won him the game.
4. Super Bowl XXIII: Joe Montana’s 92-Yard Drive
In this 1989 game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Cincinnati Bengals, Joe Montana had already cultivated his “Joe Cool” reputation. So his ability to calm his team and lead a 92-yard drive that won them the game with only 34 seconds left, seems to fit with his persona.
3. Super Bowl LI: First Super Bowl Overtime
Naturally, there’s a first time for everything and for Super Bowl LI in 2017, it was the first time a game was tied and had to go into overtime. Tied at 28-28, the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons had already put on quite the show. The Patriots were down 25 points in the third quarter and somehow managed to come back and win the whole shebang. It was the largest comeback in the sport’s history.
2. Super Bowl III: Joe Namath Promises An Unlikely Win
Just a few days before he was expected to play in the Championship game, Namath made a pretty ballsy promise. Suddenly, at an appearance at the Miami Touchdown Club, he publicly declared that the Jets would win.
Since the odds were against him, a lot of people laughed at his boldness. However, the Jets pulled out a 16-7 win against the Baltimore Colts who were originally favored to win by a staggering 18 points. Plus, he proved to be a man of his word and earned himself MVP, as well as a place on our list.
1. Super Bowl XLII: David Tyree’s Helmet Catch
Finally, of all the greatest Super Bowl moments, this one lands at number 1 on our list. Undoubtedly, David Tyree’s “Helmet Catch” in his game against the favored New England Patriots helped lead the New York Giants to an unprecedented victory. In a one-handed catch, Tyree pinned the ball with his right hand against the crown of his helmet while running for a 32-yard first down. The catch and the win earned him MVP in 2007.