- From Joe Namath’s legendary upset and Jack Squirek’s pick-six to David Tyree’s unfathomable helmet catch and Malcolm Butler’s game-saving interception, few things are better remembered over time than legendary Super Bowl moments.
- INSIDER reviewed every big game from the event’s inception back in 1967 to figure out the biggest moment from each year.
- Check out the most iconic Super Bowl moment from the year you were born below and read all of our coverage of Super Bowl LIII here.
1967: Super Bowl I — The NFL reigns supreme
The first Super Bowl marked the legendary first meeting between NFL and AFL teams and opened the doors to the 1970 NFL-AFL merger that created the NFL as we know it today. The NFL’s Green Bay Packers took down the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs 35-10, and quarterback Bart Starr became the first Super Bowl MVP, completing 16 of 23 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns.
1968: Super Bowl II — Vince Lombardi’s final game in Green Bay
The Green Bay Packers once again dominated the NFL to return to the Super Bowl. This time, they faced the AFL’s Oakland Raiders and beat them 33-14. Bart Starr once again won Super Bowl MVP honours, but it was legendary Packers coach Vince Lombardi who was famously carried off the field in celebration.
1969: Super Bowl III — Joe Namath comes through on his guarantee
Super Bowl III is widely regarded as one of the greatest upsets in the history of the game. The Baltimore Colts represented the NFL as 18-point favourites to the AFL’s New York Jets, but Joe Namath guaranteed his Jets would win. The legendary quarterback led New York to a stunning 16-7 victory, marking the first time an AFL team won the Super Bowl.
1970: Super Bowl IV — The final AFL-NFL face off
Super Bowl IV marked the fourth and final meeting between the AFL and NFL before the two leagues merged. The AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs took revenge on the NFL with a dominating 23-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. The Chiefs used the rainy weather to their advantage, forcing three interceptions and recovering two fumbles in the game.
1971: Super Bowl V — The “Blooper Bowl”
Often referred to as the “Blooper Bowl” due to the low-quality play on both sides, Super Bowl V was the first Super Bowl after the AFL-NFL merger. The Baltimore Colts defeated the Dallas Cowboys, 16-13, and for the first and only time in Super Bowl history, a member of the losing team was awarded MVP. Dallas linebacker Chuck Howley recorded two interceptions in his team’s loss.
1972: Super Bowl VI — The Cowboys break through
After earning a reputation for choking in the postseason after their Super Bowl V loss, the Dallas Cowboys came out and destroyed the Miami Dolphins, 24-3, in the following Super Bowl. The Cowboys became the first and only team in NFL history to prevent their opponent from scoring a single touchdown in a Super Bowl game.
1973: Super Bowl VII — The Dolphins stay perfect
The Miami Dolphins bounced back from their Super Bowl VI loss in stunning fashion, beating the Washington Redskins 14-7 in Super Bowl VII to become the first and only undefeated season in the history of the NFL.
1974: Super Bowl VIII — Larry Csonka dominates the Vikings defence
Though they didn’t go undefeated for a second time, the Miami Dolphins won their second consecutive Super Bowl in 1974. This time, the Dolphins took down the Minnesota Vikings 24-7, holding the Vikings to zero points until the fourth quarter of the game. Miami’s Larry Csonka became the first running back to win Super Bowl MVP after rushing for 145 yards and two touchdowns.
1975: Super Bowl IX — Defensive End Dwight White makes a miraculous recovery
Though it featured a showdown between future Hall of Fame quarterbacks Terry Bradshaw and Fran Tarkenton, Super Bowl IX was a defensive battle through and through. Despite spending the week in the hospital and losing 20 pounds, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Dwight White managed to start the game and forced the first-ever safety in Super Bowl history for the only score of the first half. The Steelers went on to beat the Minnesota Vikings 16-6 thanks in large part to White’s brilliant return.
1976: Super Bowl X — Lynn Swann levitates
The Pittsburgh Steelers became the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls after taking down the Dallas Cowboys 21-17. Wide receiver Lynn Swann stole the show with a spectacular 161-yard, one touchdown performance on just four catches and became the first wide receiver to win Super Bowl MVP.
1977: Super Bowl XI — Willie Brown brings it home
With a then Super Bowl record of 429 yards, the Oakland Raiders walloped the Minnesota Vikings 32-14 and held them to zero points in the entire first half. The Raiders enjoyed two fourth-quarter interceptions, including one that cornerback Willie Brown ran back 75 yards for a touchdown.
1978: Super Bowl XII — Dallas “Doomsday Defence” dominates
Even with future Hall of Famer Roger Staubach under center, the Dallas Cowboys’ 27-10 win over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XII came down to their “Doomsday Defence.” The Cowboys held the Broncos to 61 yards on eight receptions and forced a whopping eight turnovers during the first Super Bowl played and broadcast in prime time on the East Coast. For the first and only time in Super Bowl history, two players – Dallas defensive tackle Randy White and defensive end Harvey Martin – were awarded MVP honours.
1979: Super Bowl XIII — Jackie Smith takes a tumble
The Dallas Cowboys trailed by one touchdown late in the third quarter of Super Bowl XIII when Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach spotted veteran receiver Jackie Smith wide open in the endzone. As the ball neared Smith’s hands, he slipped in the end zone, falling flat on his back as the ball bounced off his chest for an incompletion. Instead of becoming a crucial turning point for America’s Team, the drop yielded 14 unanswered points from the Pittsburgh Steelers that the Cowboys could not climb back from. The Steelers won 35-31, and the incompletion marked the last attempt of Jackie Smith’s NFL career.
1980: Super Bowl XIV — The Steelers win their fourth title in six years
To cap off an already unbelievable stretch that is now considered a dynasty, Terry Bradshaw and the Pittsburgh Steelers mounted a come-from-behind victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl XIV. The Steelers trailed the Rams 19-17 in the fourth, but Bradshaw hit wide receiver John Stallworth with a perfect 75-yard pass to spark a dominant 14-point quarter. Pittsburgh went on to win its fourth Lombardi Trophy in an unfathomable six-year span.
1981: Super Bowl XV — Rod Martin pulls in Super Bowl record three interceptions
With a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, the Oakland Raiders had Super Bowl XV wrapped up just as it started. The Philadelphia Eagles would only manage to score 10 points all game, while the Raiders tacked on another 13. Oakland linebacker Rod Martin also recorded a Super Bowl record three interceptions throughout the game.
1982: Super Bowl XVI — The 49ers defence saves the day on the one-yard line
The San Francisco 49ers held a 14-point lead over the Bengals midway through the third quarter of Super Bowl XVI, but Cincinnati had the ball on the one-yard line on second down. The 49ers made two huge stops to force fourth down, but the Bengals went for it instead of settling for a field goal. Cincinnati handed it off to fullback Pete Johnson, but the San Francisco defence stuffed him back for a loss and took over on downs. The stop would wind up being the difference maker for the 49ers, who won their first Super Bowl 26-21.
1983: Super Bowl XVII — John Riggins finds a hole on fourth-and-one
Down by four in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XVII, the Washington Redskins found themselves at the Miami Dolphins’ 43 on fourth-and-1. Head coach Joe Gibbs kept his offence on the field and running back John Riggins famously found a gap in the defence and threw Dolphins cornerback Don McNeal to the ground before running it all the way to the house. Washington went on to win the game 27-17, and Riggins was named MVP.
1984: Super Bowl XVIII — Jack Squirek’s pick-six
Super Bowl XVIII had the makings of a blowout early on, but the reigning champion Washington Redskins sealed their fate at the very end of the second quarter. Trailing the Oakland Raiders by a touchdown, the Redskins found themselves on their 10-yard line with 12 seconds remaining in the half. Instead of taking a knee – as they obviously should have – quarterback Joe Theismann tried to connect with a receiver near the line of scrimmage, but Raiders linebacker Jack Squirek snagged the ball out of the air for the pick-six. The Raiders would go on to win 38-9.
1985: Super Bowl XIX —Joe Montana beats out Dan Marino
Miami Dolphins second-year quarterback Dan Marino marched into the Bay Area to face Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers for Super Bowl XIX and came out on the other end limping. The 49ers won 38-16 thanks to a stunning performance from Montana while the defence held the Dolphins scoreless for the entire second half of the game.
1986: Super Bowl XX — The Bears defence stomps out Cinderella
After entering the postseason as a Wild Card team, the New England Patriots made something of a Cinderella run to reach Super Bowl XX. Their luck ended there, as the Chicago Bears’ staggering defence recorded two interceptions and four fumble recoveries while holding the Patriots to just seven total rushing yards in the 46-10 romp. The Bears defence was so impressive that defensive coordinator, Buddy Ryan, was carried off the field after the victory.
1987: Super Bowl XXI — Phil Simms throws a perfect second half
Super Bowl XXI became a showcase for New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms even though he faced off against Denver Broncos legend John Elway. Simms completed 22 of 25 pass attempts, including a perfect 10-for-10 second-half showing complete with 165 yards and two touchdowns. The Giants went on to beat the Broncos 39-20, and Simms earned MVP honours.
1988: Super Bowl XXII — Doug Williams’ offensive explosion
Washington quarterback Doug Williams – who became the first black quarterback to play in the Super Bowl – led the Redskins to an improbable 42-10 win over John Elway and the Denver Broncos thanks to a 35-point second quarter. Williams finished with 340 passing yards and four touchdowns to earn Super Bowl MVP honours.
1989: Super Bowl XXIII — Montana Magic on the biggest stage
Joe Montana was one of the best Super Bowl quarterbacks ever to live, winning all four of his Super Bowl appearances emphatically. In Super Bowl XXIII, the San Francisco 49ers trailed the Cincinnati Bengals 13-6 in the fourth quarter, but as he became so well known for, Montana channeled his uncanny ability to mount comeback victories – otherwise known as “Montana Magic” – to pull ahead with just 34 seconds remaining.
1990: Super Bowl XXIV — Montana thrashes the league’s best defence
The final of Joe Montana’s four Super Bowl appearances also became the most lopsided win in Super Bowl history. The Comeback Kid’s San Francisco 49ers crushed John Elway and the Denver Broncos 55-10 thanks to Montana’s 297 yards and Super Bowl record five touchdown passes. He won his third Super Bowl MVP award and is one of just three quarterbacks to win four or more Super Bowls during their NFL career.
1991: Super Bowl XXV — Wide right
Every point was crucial in the New York Giants’ razor-thin win over the Bills in Super Bowl XXV, but ultimately the game was Buffalo’s to lose. The Bills wound up on the Giants’ 29-yard line with just eight seconds left and a chance to win, but kicker Scott Norwood missed wide right on the 47-yard field goal attempt to give the Giants the one-point victory.
1992: Super Bowl XXVI — Washington stymies the Bills run game
After a scoreless first quarter on both sides, the Washington Redskins ran away with Super Bowl XXVI thanks to a 17-point second quarter. The Buffalo Bills finally got on the board in the third quarter, but they were already too far behind to catch Washington and ultimately lost 37-24. The Bills became the third team to lose back-to-back Super Bowls, and it would only get worse from there.
1993: Super Bowl XXVII — Leon Lett’s premature celebration
The Buffalo Bills surrendered a Super Bowl record nine turnovers to lose Super Bowl XXVII to the Dallas Cowboys 52-17, marking their third consecutive Super Bowl loss. However, the contest is best remembered for a gaffe from the winning team. Leon Lett celebrated a seemingly sure touchdown prematurely, and Don Beebe managed to strip the football away before he crossed into the endzone. Perhaps more notable than the game itself, however, was the NFL’s decision to book Michael Jackson for the Super Bowl halftime show and start the trend of signing high-profile acts for the event.
1994: Super Bowl XXVIII — Buffalo loses its fourth straight
Capping Buffalo’s streak of terrible luck in the Super Bowl, the Bills gave up a 13-6 halftime lead and fell to the Cowboys in Super Bowl XXVIII, marking their second straight Super Bowl loss against Dallas. The Cowboys erupted for 24 second-half points thanks in large part to Emmitt Smith’s 132 rushing yards, but Buffalo went completely cold, failing to score a single point after halftime.
1995: Super Bowl XXIX — Young sets Super Bowl touchdown record
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young came into Super Bowl XXIX with something to prove and walk away with one of the greatest performances ever recorded on football’s biggest stage. Young threw for 325 yards and a Super Bowl record six touchdowns in the 49ers’ 49-26 victory over the San Diego Chargers to win Super Bowl MVP.
1996: Super Bowl XXX — Larry Brown snags two picks, wins MVP
When the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers met in Super Bowl XXX, both teams were competing to be the winningest franchise in Super Bowl history. The Cowboys jumped out to a 13-point lead early in the second quarter, and although the Steelers mounted a bit of a comeback, two second-half interceptions from cornerback Larry Brown were enough to seal the deal for Dallas. The Cowboys won 27-17 and Brown became the first cornerback to win Super Bowl MVP honours.
1997: Super Bowl XXXI — Desmond Howard’s 99-yard kickoff return
Super Bowl XXXI looked to be a shootout after the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers combined for 24 first-quarter points, but both sides managed to find their defensive footing later in the contest. The Packers pulled away for a 13-point halftime lead. The Patriots cut the lead to six early in the third quarter, but Green Bay return specialist Desmond Howard took the following kickoff 99 yards to squander New England’s comeback attempt and secure the game for the Packers. He became the first special teams player to win Super Bowl MVP.
1998: Super Bowl XXXII — Elway dives for the first down
Super Bowl XXXII allowed legendary Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway to cement his legacy. Elway had lost each of his first three Super Bowl appearances, but his fearless play led the Broncos to a 31-24 win over the reigning champion Green Bay Packers. In a particularly timeless moment, Elway dove head first into a trio of Packers defenders and wound up getting spun around en route to securing a first down in the red zone that led to a Denver touchdown.
1999: Super Bowl XXXIII — John Elway’s last hurrah
Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway made Super Bowl XXXIII the final game of his legendary career, and he went out with a bang. Elway completed 18 of 29 passing attempts for 336 yards and a touchdown while also tacking on a three-yard rushing touchdown to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-19 and earn Super Bowl MVP honours.
2000: Super Bowl XXXIV — One yard short
In one of the most famous plays in Super Bowl history, St. Louis Rams linebacker Mike Jones tackled Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kevin Dyson as he dove for a last-second game-tying touchdown. Despite stretching out his arm, Dyson came up one yard short of the end zone, and the Rams walked away with the 23-16 Super Bowl victory.
2001: Super Bowl XXXV — 21 points in 36 seconds
The Baltimore Ravens destroyed Kerry Collins and the New York Giants in this one, but Super Bowl XXXV is most well remembered for the 36-second span in which the two sides combined for 21 points. Collins threw his fourth interception of the night into the arms of Duane Starks, who took it to the house to put the Ravens up by 17, but the Giants answered right back with a 97-yard kickoff return from Ron Dixon. Right after that, Baltimore’s Jermaine Lewis returned the favour with an 84-yard return of his own for the touchdown.
2002: Super Bowl XXXVI — Adam Vinatieri’s game-winning field goal
The New England Patriots dynasty begins here. Tom Brady is tapped to start in the Super Bowl just days before the big game, and the rest is history. The Patriots racked up an early 14-point lead over Kurt Warner and the St. Louis Rams, but Warner managed to tie it back up with just 1:30 left in the game. Brady marched the New England offence to put kicker Adam Vinatieri in field goal range with seven seconds remaining, and he drilled the 48-yard field goal to secure the Patriots’ victory.
2003: Super Bowl XXXVII — The “Gruden Bowl”
Known colloquially as the “Gruden Bowl,” Super Bowl XXXVII featured two teams tied to longtime head coach Jon Gruden. In his first year at the helm, Gruden led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their first-ever Super Bowl appearance, where they met the Oakland Raiders, the team Gruden had coached for the prior four years. Ultimately, Gruden’s “new” team beat out his former team 48-21 for their first Super Bowl victory in franchise history.
2004: Super Bowl XXXVIII — Janet Jackson’s halftime wardrobe malfunction
Dubbed one of the best Super Bowl contests in the history of the event, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots faced off with the Carolina Panthers in their first ever Super Bowl appearance. The teams combined for 61 points and 868 yards, but the difference once again came down to kicker Adam Vinatieri, who drilled a last-second, 41-yard field goal to give the Patriots their second Super Bowl win in three years. Super Bowl XXXVIII was also known for a Super Bowl halftime show controversy in which Justin Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson’s breast on live television.
2005: Super Bowl XXXIX — The Patriots become the first team to win three titles in four years
Tom Brady and the reigning champion New England Patriots returned to football’s greatest stage and survived a close contest against the Philadelphia Eagles for their third Super Bowl win in four years. Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch won the MVP award after tallying133 receiving yards and 11 catches.
2006: Super Bowl XL — Antwaan Randle-El’s touchdown pass
After a quiet first half, the Pittsburgh Steelers picked up the pace in the third and fourth quarters of Super Bowl XL. Running back Willie Parker broke through the Seattle Seahawks’ defence for a glorious 75-yard run, the longest in Super Bowl history. Then, midway through the fourth quarter, the Steelers clinched the victory with a stunning trick play. Receiver Antwaan Randle-El – who was a quarterback in college – took converted a handoff into a spiral pass downfield to Hines Ward, who caught the ball at the six and galloped into the endzone to secure the 21-10 win.
2007: Super Bowl XLI — Peyton Manning wins his first Super Bowl
The Chicago Bears jumped out to the quickest lead in Super Bowl history thanks to Devin Hester’s 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown 14 seconds into the game, but Peyton Manning refused to allow that to sully his Super Bowl debut. The Indianapolis Colts forced five turnovers, and kicker Adam Vinatieri kicked three field goals, but it was Manning who won MVP honours for his 247-yard, one-touchdown performance in the 29-17 win.
2008: Super Bowl XLII — David Tyree’s helmet catch
In one of the greatest upsets in Super Bowl history, Eli Manning and the New York Giants completed an improbable come-from-behind victory over the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Down 14-10 with just over a minute remaining in the game, Manning fired a pass way downfield on third down and connected with receiver David Tyree, who secured the ball with the help of his helmet. Manning would find wide receiver Plaxico Burress for the game-winning touchdown a few plays later to deliver Tom Brady’s first career Super Bowl loss.
2009: Super Bowl XLIII — Santonio Holmes’ game-winning snag
Although the Pittsburgh Steelers amassed a commanding lead over Arizona through the first three quarters of Super Bowl XLIII, the Cardinals scored 16 unanswered points to take their first lead of the game with just 2:37 remaining on the clock. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger managed to march the offence upfield and hit receiver Santonio Holmes for the game-winning touchdown with 34 seconds left. Holmes earned Super Bowl MVP honours and Pittsburgh made history as the first NFL franchise to win six Super Bowls.
2010: Super Bowl XLIV — Surprise onside kick to start the second half
Drew Brees led the New Orleans Saints to victory in their first Super Bowl appearance as a franchise. Though they were trailing the Indianapolis Colts by four at halftime, the Saints recovered a surprise onside kick in the first play of the second half that turned the tide for the rest of the game. They exchanged touchdowns with Indianapolis before erupting for 18 unanswered points to clinch the game. Brees completed 32 of 39 passes in his 288-yard, two-touchdown MVP performance.
2011: Super Bowl XLV — Aaron Rodgers proves he’s elite
In his first Super Bowl appearance, Aaron Rodgers led the Green Bay Packers to a commanding 21-10 halftime lead, leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers to try and play catch-up for the rest of the game. The Packers held on, and Rodgers won Super Bowl MVP in the most-watched TV event in U.S. history.
2012: Super Bowl XLVI — Mario Manningham catch
Four years after stunning Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, Eli Manning and the New York Giants did it again. The Giants jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead, but 17 unanswered points from New England left fans feeling as though their luck had run out. Two third-quarter field goals later, New York found itself in striking distance. The defence held Brady scoreless in the fourth and Manning led an 88-yard drive in the final minutes that featured a stunning catch from Mario Manningham and the game-winning touchdown. He won his second Super Bowl MVP award and secured his legacy as Brady’s Achilles’ Heel.
2013: Super Bowl XLVII — Stadium blackout
Brothers Jim and John Harbaugh faced off in Super Bowl XLVII as Jim’s San Francisco 49ers took on John’s Baltimore Ravens in what became informally known as the “Har-Bowl.” The Ravens jumped out to an early lead and went into the locker room at halftime with a 15-point advantage, but a 34-minute delay in the game after a stadium blackout allowed the 49ers to regain their composure and close the gap with 17 unanswered points. Ultimately John and the Ravens won out in what would become Ray Lewis’s final football game.
2014: Super Bowl XLVIII — Seahawks defence crushes Peyton Manning
In his second season in the league, Russell Wilson led the Seattle Seahawks past five-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos for their first Super Bowl victory in franchise history. The Seahawks amassed a commanding 22-0 lead by halftime and tacked on another 14 in the third quarter before the Broncos managed to get on the board. Seattle walked away with a dominant 43-8 victory thanks in large part to Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith, who ran back an interception 69 yards for a touchdown, recovered a fumble, and made nine tackles in the lopsided affair.
2015: Super Bowl XLIX — Malcolm Butler interception on the one-yard line
The Seattle Seahawks found their way back to football’s biggest stage after pummelling the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII the year prior. This time, they took on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in what became a tight contest to the end. The two sides were tied at 14 at halftime, but the Seahawks pulled away thanks to a 10-point third quarter. Brady led the Patriots to 14-point surge to take a four-point lead late, but Seattle looked poised to score on the final drive of the contest. With 26 seconds remaining and the ball on New England’s one-yard line, the Seahawks opted for a widely-scrutinised a passing play that resulted in an interception by Patriots undrafted rookie Malcolm Butler.
2016: Super Bowl 50 — Peyton Manning rides off into the sunset
Peyton Manning rode off into the sunset after leading the Denver Broncos to a 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl L, but it was linebacker Von Miller who stole the show and won MVP honours. Miller recorded six tackles, 2.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles in the contest.
2017: Super Bowl LI — Julian Edelman catch
After earning league MVP honours for the season, quarterback Matt Ryan led the Atlanta Falcons to Super Bowl LI to face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Atlanta got out to a fast start, amassing a 21-3 halftime lead and tacking on another touchdown before the Patriots could find their footing. But the Falcons famously surrendered that 28-3 lead and allowed Brady to drive upfield – thanks to an incredible Julian Edelman catch – and tie the game with 57 seconds remaining in regulation. In the first and only overtime game in Super Bowl history, New England won the coin toss and used a 75-yard drive to set up running back James White for the game-winning score.
2018: Super Bowl LII — Philly special
After starting quarterback Carson Wentz suffered an ACL tear in Week 14 of the regular season, backup quarterback Nick Foles led the Philadelphia Eagles on a Cinderella run through the NFL playoffs. They matched up against the reigning champion New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII and pulled off one of the greatest trick plays in Super Bowl history. On fourth down and goal, Foles and head coach Doug Pederson successfully ran a play dubbed the “Philly Special” in which the Eagles snapped the ball directly to running back Corey Clement. Clement pitched the ball to Trey Burton, who found Foles wide open for the touchdown. Foles earned MVP honours as the first and only player in Super Bowl history to both throw and catch a touchdown, and his underdogs won the game 41-33.
Now check out which players actually visited Disney World after winning the Super Bowl:
‘I’m going to Disney World!’ – 19 photos of Super Bowl winners who visited the most magical place on Earth
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