Top 10 Craziest Super Bowl Moments of All Time

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Top 10 Craziest Super Bowl Moments of All Time

VOICE OVER: Tom Aglio WRITTEN BY: Timothy MacAusland
These are the kinds of epic NFL moments the Super Bowl is made for! For this list, we'll be looking at individual moments from various Super Bowls that had our jaws on the floor. Our countdown includes Surprise Onside Kick, Wide Right, Philly Special, and more!
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Top 10 Craziest Super Bowl Moments of All Time


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Craziest Super Bowl Moments of All Time.

For this list, we’ll be looking at individual moments from various Super Bowls that had our jaws on the floor. We’ll focus specifically on plays that happened on the field, so while the blackout in Super Bowl XLVII arguably changed the game, it won’t be considered.

Are there any we missed? Let us know in the comments.


#10: Surprise Onside Kick

Super Bowl XLIV (2010)

Though most of these moments come at crucial, climactic points in the game, this one proves that something crazy can happen at any moment. Down by four to start the second half, the Saints lined up to kickoff to the Colts. However, they surprised everyone when they went for the onside kick, usually reserved for desperation time. Astoundingly, the Saints recovered, and would then cap off the ensuing drive with a TD that gave them their first lead. This sequence was a huge momentum changer, lasting all the way to when the Saints would stop the Colts’ potential game-tying drive with a pick six. (x-ref) This sealed an emotional win for New Orleans, just a few years after the city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

#9: The Helicopter

Super Bowl XXXII (1998)

Whenever a quarterback decides to run for it, it can make for a scary moment as he’s met by defenders. Oftentimes quarterbacks will give themselves up to avoid heavy tackles, but not John Elway. Not on this play, anyway. With the game tied in the third quarter, Elway decided to run with the ball on 3rd and 6 in the red zone, diving for a first down. What’s crazy isn’t that he got the first down, but how he was simultaneously hit by two Packers from opposite directions, causing him to spin in midair. Thankfully, the thirty-seven-year-old Elway was okay, especially so after the Broncos would subsequently take the lead in a game they would eventually win.

#8: Game-Winning Field Goal

Super Bowl XXXVI (2002)

It’s every kicker’s dream to hit the game-winning field goal in the Super Bowl, and Adam Vinatieri got just such an opportunity in Super Bowl XXXVI. Though we eventually knew better than to doubt Tom Brady’s Patriots, they were fourteen-point underdogs heading into this one. With no timeouts in a tie game with just 1:30 left on the clock, Brady spearheaded the kind of clutch drive we’d see throughout his career. He brought the ball to the Rams’ 30-yard line with just seven seconds left, setting up Vinatieri to walk them off on a field goal. This was just the first of six titles Brady would win with New England, and the first entry of theirs on this list.

#7: Philly Special

Super Bowl LII (2018)

Off the bat, the “Philly Special” definitely sounds more like a delicious sandwich than anything else, but Eagles fans will know it as the moment their team looked primed to upset a Patriots team that had won two of the previous three Super Bowls. Going for it on 4th and 1 on the 1-yard line, the Eagles ran a trick play whereby the ball was snapped to running back Corey Clement. Clement pitched it to tight end Trey Burton, who then tossed it to quarterback Nick Foles in the endzone. The Eagles would win their first Super Bowl, and Foles became the first player to both throw and catch a touchdown in the big game.

#6: Julian Edelman Catch

Super Bowl LI (2017)

By all accounts, the New England Patriots shouldn’t have won this game. They were down by a whopping twenty-five points midway through the third quarter, yet somehow put themselves in a position to tie the game in the fourth quarter. The drive nearly went awry when Tom Brady’s pass was almost intercepted by the Falcons’ Robert Alford. However, amidst the chaos, Patriot Julian Edelman managed to make the catch with the ball just centimeters from the ground. If this isn’t proof the Patriots were destined to win, we don’t know what is, as they’d go on to force the first overtime in Super Bowl history and complete the comeback on a James White game-winning touchdown. (x-ref)

#5: Santonio Holmes Catch

Super Bowl XLIII (2009)

Speaking of game-winning touchdowns, there aren’t many more spectacular than Santonio Holmes’s in Super Bowl XLIII. The game was full of incredible moments, including James Harrison’s record-breaking 100-yard interception returned for a touchdown to end the first half. (x-ref) However, Steelers and Cardinals fans remember the game for the back-and-forth battle that concluded it. After the Cardinals took the lead with just about two-and-a-half minutes to play, the Steelers marched down the field before quarterback Ben Roethlisberger found Santonio Holmes in the endzone, who was somehow able to keep both toes in bounds as he caught the game-winning touchdown with just thirty-five seconds in regulation. The Steelers would hold the Cardinals on their next possession, securing the team’s second championship in four years.

#4: Wide Right

Super Bowl XXV (1991)

Few teams have had such championship woes like the Buffalo Bills. They lost four-consecutive Super Bowls in the early 1990s, and it all began in the most soul-crushing fashion. For what it’s worth, the game was pretty close throughout, and could’ve gone either way. After the Giants took the lead about halfway into the fourth quarter, the Bills later had just over two minutes to drive down to kick a game-winning field goal. They definitely put themselves in a position to win, getting to the Giants’ 29-yard line with eight seconds left. Though a 47-yard kick should’ve been doable, Scott Norwood sent it wide right, ensuring the Bills’ defeat. This has since been the only Super Bowl decided by a single point.

#3: One Yard Short

Super Bowl XXXIV (2000)

Though offenses tend to come up with the most dramatic plays, this time it was the defense that ensured the win. With just under two minutes to play, the Tennessee Titans began a drive that needed to see a touchdown if they wanted to tie the game. They eventually found themselves on the Rams’ 10-yard line, but with just six seconds to play, they knew they only had one shot to get into the endzone. Quarterback Steve McNair made a completion to Kevin Dyson, but defender Mike Jones promptly wrapped him up. Dyson tried to stretch for the goal line, but came up a yard short as time expired. Kurt Warner of the Rams then became the first undrafted quarterback to win the Super Bowl.

#2: Goal Line Interception

Super Bowl XLIX (2015)

We just can’t get away from Tom Brady’s Patriots, can we? Well, this one’s different in the fact that the decisive play didn’t come from one of their offensive drives. Rather, it was the defending champions Seattle Seahawks who were knocking on the door at the end of the game. After an incredibly fortuitous catch by Jermaine Kearse, the Seahawks were set up with a 1st and goal with over a minute to play down by four. On second down from the 1-yard line, the Seahawks ran a slant route over the middle to Ricardo Lockette, but cornerback Malcolm Butler bumped his way to a game-saving interception. The Seahawks’ play call was highly criticized, but they unfortunately didn’t get another chance to redeem themselves.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Opening Kickoff Touchdown, Super Bowl XLI (2007)
Though the Bears Would Lose, Devin Hester Showed Why He Was Known for His Returns

4th Down Touchdown, Super Bowl XVII (1982)
John Riggins Put Washington on Top, & They’d Never Look Back

Underdog Jets Triumphant, Super Bowl III (1969)
The Colts Were 19 ½-Point Favorites, but Joe Namath Made Good on His Upset Promise

Terry Bradshaw Knocked Out, Super Bowl X (1976)
Bradshaw Wouldn’t Return, but What a Dramatic Way to Score a 64-Yard Touchdown

Mario Manningham Catch, Super Bowl XLVI (2012)
This Catch Started Off the Giants’ Game-Winning Drive

#1: Helmet Catch

Super Bowl XLII (2008)

As incredible as that Manningham catch against the Patriots was, there’s no forgetting this incredible Giants play against the same team just four years earlier. Going into the game, the Patriots were looking to complete their perfect season after going 16-0 in the regular season, favored by a whopping twelve points. However, the Giants showed their fortitude by staying in a back-and-forth affair. On a drive that required a touchdown, quarterback Eli Manning somehow eluded a plethora of Patriots defenders on third down before heaving it up. Miraculously, wide receiver David Tyree made the catch with the ball pinned to his helmet. The Giants scored the game-winning touchdown later, but this was the play everyone remembered.
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