The Sports Daily > Buc Stop
Remembering the greatest finishes in Super Bowl history

In the lead up to Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos, The Sports Daily will be remembering some of the most iconic moments and players from Super Bowl history.

Our series continues with the greatest finishes in the game’s history:

Super Bowl XLII

The New York Giants ended the New England Patriots’ bid for a perfect season, using one of the iconic catches in Super Bowl history to set up the game-winning touchdown. Eli Manning created magic on the final drive, as he escaped a sure-fire sack on third down and connected with little-known receiver David Tyree, who pinned the pass on his helmet with one arm to secure the catch. A few plays later, Manning found Plaxico Burress in the corner of the end zone for the go-ahead score, giving the Giants an improbable 17-14 win.

Super Bowl XXIII

Trailing 16-13 to the Cincinnati Bengals with roughly three minutes left, Joe Montana calmly took the field and led the San Francisco 49ers on a historic drive to win the game. Joe Cool completed eight of his nine passes, including first downs of 17 and 27 yards to Jerry Rice and the game-winning touchdown to John Taylor with 34 seconds left. He threaded the needle to Taylor between three Bengals defenders, and the 49ers went on to win by a 20-16 final.

Super Bowl XXXIV

After Kurt Warner gave the St. Louis Rams a 23-16 lead with a 73-yard touchdown to Isaac Bruce, Steve McNair and the Tennessee Titans needed to go 88 yards in under two minutes to send the game into overtime. The Titans’ final drive gained only 87. On 1st-and-goal with five seconds left, McNair hit receiver Kevin Dyson on a short slant. Rams linebacker Mike Jones quickly wrapped up Dyson, who reached for the goal line but came up just a yard short. The clock ran out and the Rams were World Champions.

Super Bowl XLIX

Last season’s Super Bowl had all the elements of the greatest finish in the game’s history. First, Tom Brady led the New England Patriots to back-to-back touchdown drives against the top defense of the decade to take the lead with 2:02 left. On the ensuing drive, Jermaine Kearse set up the Seattle Seahawks at the 5-yard line with an insane bobbling catch after Malcolm Butler had first deflected away Russell Wilson’s deep attempt. Butler then played a starring role in game’s defining play, as he intercepted Wilson’s short throw at the goal line to preserve New England’s win. Would Marshawn Lynch have scored from the 1-yard line? We’ll never know.

Super Bowl XLIII

The Arizona Cardinals came back from being down 13 points in the fourth quarter to take a 23-20 lead on Kurt Warner’s 64-yard touchdown to Larry Fitzgerald with 2:37 left. The lead was short lived, as Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers rallied to win the game on the ensuing drive. MVP Santonio Holmes caught four passes on the final possession, including the game-winning touchdown with 42 seconds left. Roethlisberger made an impossible throw to the corner of the end zone, and Holmes tapped two feet in to complete the memorable score.

Honorable Mentions

Super Bowl X: The Steelers held off the Cowboys’ comeback bid, as Glen Edwards intercepted Roger Staubach in the end zone on the game’s final play to preserve Pittsburgh’s 21-17 win.

Super Bowl XLVII: The 49ers rallied late in the fourth quarter, but Colin Kaepernick’s fourth-down throw to the end zone fell incomplete, and the Ravens survived after once holding a 28-6 lead.   

Super Bowl XXXVI: Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl after delivering a game-winning drive, which was capped off by Adam Vinatieri’s 48-yard field goal as time expired.

Super Bowl XXV: The Buffalo Bills’ four-year run of Super Bowl misery began on the right foot of Scott Norwood, who missed a 47-yard field goal with four seconds left and the Bills down just one point.

Super Bowl V: Colts linebacker Mike Curtis intercepted Cowboys quarterback Craig Morton with 1:09 left and the game tied at 13, setting up Jim O’Brien’s 32-yard field goal with nine seconds left.

Super Bowl XLVI: The Giants scored 12 straight points to end the game, with Ahmad Bradshaw’s 6-yard run with 57 seconds left serving as the knockout blow to the Patriots.