Six Unforgettable Super Bowl Moments
Sure, the preseason just started, but its never too early to take a walk down NFL memory lane. In honor of the NFL kicking off, here’s a look at six of the most unforgettable moments in Super Bowl history.
Mike Jones Tackles Kevin Dyson on the One Yard Line
Super Bowl XXXIV, 2000
After trailing by 16 points with just over 20 minutes left in the game, Steve McNair and the Tennessee Titans rallied back to tie the game but found themselves down by a touchdown with 1:48 to go. McNair led the Tennessee offense all the way to the Rams 10-yard line. On the final play of the game, Titans receiver Kevin Dyson had a mismatch against Rams linebacker Mike Jones and McNair was able to complete a slant pass at the two-yard line, but Jones was able to wrap Dyson up just short of the end zone, dramatically preserving the Rams seven-point victory.
Adam Vinatieri’s Last-Second Game-Winning Kick
Super Bowl XXXVI, 2002
Just two years after the dramatic tackle on the one-yard line, the New England Patriots secured their first championship via a last gasp field goal by kicker Adam Vinatieri. An unproven 24-year-old quarterback by the name of Tom Brady led the Patriots on a 53-yard drive without any time outs, which put New England in field goal position for the last play of regulation. Adam Vinatieri’s 48-yard field goal split the uprights and proved to be the foundation for a dynasty that is still flourishing some 15 years later.
Devin Hester’s Electrifying Opening Kickoff Return Touchdown
Super Bowl XLI, 2007
Prior to Super Bowl XLI, the opening kickoff of the big game had never been returned for a touchdown. Devin Hester, who has made a career out of returning kicks and punts, received the ball at his own eight-yard line and proceeded to juke and cut his way through the initial wave of tacklers. Once the former Miami Hurricane hit the open field, he turned on the jets and blew by Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri to put the Bears up 7-0 on the first play of the game. His incredible return was not enough for the Bears, however, as they lost to the Colts 29-17.
David Tyree’s Helmet-Pinning Catch
Super Bowl XLII, 2008
As a lifelong Patriots fan, this catch still haunts my nightmares almost a decade later. The New England Patriots came into the Super Bowl on the heels of an 18-0 run, and were a 12-point favorite against a New York Giants team that went 10-6 in the regular season. The Giants trailed the Patriots with just over two minutes left and faced a tough 3rd and 5. Giants quarterback Eli Manning somehow stayed upright, despite getting pressured by Adalius Thomas, and chucked a jump-ball pass that was miraculously caught when receiver David Tyree jumped and pinned the ball to his helmet for a 32-yard completion. The Giants drive ended in a score, sinking the Patriots hopes at an undefeated season.
Santonio Holmes Acrobatic Game-Winning Touchdown Catch
Super Bowl XLIII, 2009
Super Bowl XLIII was a game for the ages that featured 23 points scored in the game’s final quarter. After trailing to the Steelers by 13 points going into the fourth, the Arizona Cardinals scored 16 unanswered points and appeared to be in great shape to win the game. Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes had other ideas, however. Big Ben led the Steelers on a 78-yard drive that culminated with an unbelievable toe-tapping touchdown catch in triple coverage by Holmes with just 37 seconds to play. Holmes showed unbelievable poise and control over his body as he contorted in the corner of the end zone to make sure that both feet were down. The Super Bowl win was the sixth in the storied history of the Steelers franchise.
Malcolm Butler’s Improbable Game-Winning Interception
Super Bowl XLIX, 2015
The New England Patriots and the defending champion Seattle Seahawks combined to play one of the most exciting and best-executed Super Bowls of all time back in February of 2015. The Patriots were clinging to a narrow four-point lead with just 26 seconds left in the contest. Seattle had the ball at the 1-yard line and looked destined to repeat as Super Bowl champions. Coach Pete Carroll, despite having one of the best running backs in the league in Marshawn Lynch, bizarrely decided to throw the ball at the one-yard line which cost Seattle their season. The route run by Ricardo Lockette was jumped by undrafted rookie free agent Malcolm Butler, who intercepted the ball and gave the Patriots their fourth Lombardi Trophy.