Crafting a listing of the greatest players in Tremendous Bowl history is a shut to-very no longer actually endeavor. Do you just like the greatest stars? These who shone brightest on Tremendous Sunday? These with sustained ranges of excellence? Whereas undertaking this fool’s errand, I weighed every consideration, attempting to also produce it representative of all positions in state of skew too intently toward quarterbacks or offensive players who more with out quandary mask up in the box regain (and MVP log).
With that prologue in mind, that is my listing of the 55 greatest players in Tremendous Bowl history as we head into Tremendous Bowl LV between the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
1. QB Tom Brady: The longtime New England Patriots extensive title has more rings (6) and Tremendous Bowl MVPs (4) than any varied participant. His file nine Tremendous Bowl starts – rapidly to be 10 – fill allowed him to change into the sport’s all-time chief in crawl makes an try (392), completions (256), yards (2,838) and TDs (18). Brady aired it out for a Tremendous Sunday file 505 yards in the Tremendous Bowl 52 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles following the 2017 season, breaking his notice of 466 space the outdated year. Nevertheless his Tremendous Bowl 51 effort would possibly perchance effectively be essentially the most spectacular given he orchestrated the greatest comeback in the sport’s history, leading the Tremendous Bowl’s lone time previous law force against Atlanta after digging out of a 25-point hole. And but the e book quiet is rarely in fact closed.
2. QB Joe Montana: He is been overtaken in numerous categories by Brady, who grew up idolizing the individual who space the gold comparable outdated for Tremendous Bowl quarterback play. Montana went 4-0 on Tremendous Sunday, turned into as soon as named MVP thrice and had 11 TD passes with nary an interception, which explains his outstanding file for passer rating (127.8). And who can neglect the methodical, 92-yard TD force he led – capped by the sport-winning throw to John Taylor in the final minute – to win Tremendous Bowl 23?
3. WR Jerry Rice: As you would place a question to of the original “GOAT,” he’s in a class by himself. He owns Tremendous Bowl occupation information for receptions (33), receiving yards (589) and TDs (8). No person else has more than three TD catches, a total Rice matched in Tremendous Bowl 29. His single-sport file of 215 receiving yards made him Tremendous Bowl 23’s MVP.
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4. QB Terry Bradshaw: He’ll consistently fill his detractors. Nevertheless it certainly turned into as soon as Bradshaw, no longer the Pittsburgh Steelers’ illustrious Metal Curtain, who confirmed the contrivance to victory in Tremendous Bowls 13 and 14, taking MVP honors in both video games. He turned into as soon as the main quarterback with four Lombardi Trophies, and his nine TD strikes trek most efficient Brady and Montana. And what in regards to the toughness factor? Bradshaw threw the sport-winning touchdown in Tremendous Bowl 10 while taking a helmet to the jaw that literally knocked him out.
5. OLB/DE Charles Haley: Depend ’em, 5 Tremendous Bowl rings (two with the 49ers, three with the Dallas Cowboys) – a figure exceeded most efficient by Brady. Since sacks turned into legit in 1982, Haley’s 4½ are essentially the most in the Tremendous Bowl file e book. He bagged Cincinnati Bengals QB Boomer Esiason twice in Tremendous Bowl 23, the Niners’ narrowest Tremendous Sunday win.
6. QB Doug Williams: He most efficient played in one Tremendous Bowl. Nevertheless the total Washington extensive title did turned into as soon as mask to any remaining naysayers that a Dusky quarterback would possibly perchance win all of it … while doing it on a hyperextended knee … while throwing four TD passes in an unreal 35-point second quarter.
7. RB Emmitt Smith: The Tremendous Bowl 28 MVP turned into as soon as the Cowboys’ closer that evening (132 yards, 2 second-half of TDs) and again in Tremendous Bowl 30. Smith’s 5 rushing TDs are a file, and his 289 rushing yards infamous third.
8. QB Eli Manning: We’re no longer suggesting he’s better than tall brother Peyton. Nevertheless Eli is definitely more deserving of a put on this listing given his heroics in twice winning Tremendous Bowl MVP honors for the New York Giants with some in fact miraculous plays in upsets of the Patriots.
9. RB Terrell Davis: In what turned into as soon as arguably the greatest Tremendous Bowl effort by a tailback, he ran for 157 yards and a file-tying three TDs – while combating a migraine – on his technique to Tremendous Bowl 32 MVP honors because the Denver Broncos gained their first title. Davis added 102 rushing yards and 50 more receiving when Denver repeated the subsequent year.
10. QB Joe Namath: He turned into all over again sport supervisor than gunslinger on Tremendous Sunday and did no longer throw a touchdown in the New York Jets’ monumental upset of the Baltimore Colts in Tremendous Bowl 3. Nevertheless Broadway Joe turned into as soon as quiet that contest’s MVP, properly calling for effective gainers from his backs while delivering on his sage pregame guarantee and changing the direction of expert soccer history by vanquishing the NFL institution.
11. K Adam Vinatieri: His 34 Tremendous Bowl points trek most efficient Rice’s 48. None had been better than the pair of sport-winning field aims Vinatieri drilled for the Patriots to finish Tremendous Bowls 36 and 38. He snagged a fourth ring with the Indianapolis Colts in 2006.
12. QB Bart Starr: The numbers would possibly perchance no longer wow you – 452 passing yards and three TDs combined over the direction of two video games – but the favorite hand of the Green Bay Packers mountainous also clutched the main two Tremendous Bowl MVPs as a capstone to a legendary dynasty.
13. WR Lynn Swann: He in most cases built a Hall of Fame occupation over four Tremendous Sundays. Three of his four catches (totaling 161 yards) in Tremendous Bowl 10 had been of the acrobatic differ, including the sport-deciding 64-yard TD in the fourth quarter, which is why Swann turned into as soon as the MVP. His three occupation TD grabs and 364 yards trek most efficient Rice.
14. QB Steve Younger: His six TD passes in the Niners’ Tremendous Bowl 29 victory remain a single-sport Tremendous Bowl file. And don’t neglect, Younger serene two more rings as Montana’s backup.
15. MLB Jack Lambert: The vampire-toothed man in the center racked up 46 tackles during Pittsburgh’s four victories and famously chucked Cowboys S Cliff Harris after he taunted Steelers K Roy Gerela in Tremendous Bowl 10.
16. QB Kurt Warner: With a ruin here and there, he’d fill three championships instead of 1. Nevertheless credit ranking Warner for leading the long woebegone Rams and Cardinals out of the desert. And no longer most efficient did the Tremendous Bowl 34 MVP space a then-file with 414 passing yards, his 377 yards in Tremendous Bowl 43 and 365 in Tremendous Bowl 36 gave him the three most prolific passing days in the sport’s history till Brady’s explosions in Tremendous Bowls 51 and 52.
17. RB Franco Harris: A four-time champion, practically half of of his occupation file 354 rushing yards came when the Tremendous Bowl 9 MVP posted a since-damaged comparable outdated of 158 en route to Pittsburgh’s first title. Harris’ four rushing ratings trek most efficient Smith.
18. MLB Ray Lewis: He turned into as soon as the villain of the week sooner than the sport, but Lewis emerged as Tremendous Bowl 35’s MVP after the dominant 2000 Baltimore Ravens protection shut out the Giants offense. Twelve years later, Lewis serene more bling in his final trek.
19. DE L.C. Greenwood: His four sacks of Dallas QB Roger Staubach in Tremendous Bowl 10 signify an unofficial file since the NFL did no longer officially inspect sacks till 1982. Same goes for the 5 occupation sacks of Greenwood, who started all four of Pittsburgh’s victorious Tremendous Sundays in the 1970s.
20. RB Roger Craig: The Niners’ main man in the backfield, he earned three rings as one in every of the original do-it-all backs. He piled up 410 yards and four TDs from scrimmage, both figures valid for third state in the Tremendous Bowl file e book.
21. OLB Ted Hendricks: He is continuously remembered as a Raider, but the main of Hendricks’ four Tremendous Bowl wins came with the Baltimore Colts in Tremendous Bowl 5. No longer one in every of the defenses he played on surrendered more than 14 points.
22. WR John Stallworth: Fancy Swann, his Steelers wingman, he has three Tremendous Bowl TD grabs, two covering more than 70 yards. Stallworth’s 73-yard TD from Bradshaw in the fourth quarter of Tremendous Bowl 14 broke the backs of the courageous Los Angeles Rams.
23. RB Larry Csonka: The workhorse for the Miami Dolphins, including the 17-0 1972 team, his 297 rushing yards in three video games are second most efficient to Harris. Csonka scored twice and had a then-file 145 yards to construct up Tremendous Bowl 8 MVP honors and had 112 yards the outdated year when Miami capped its perfect season.
24. WR Julian Edelman: He owns three rings after his 10-clutch, 141-yard showing in Tremendous Bowl 53 earned him the MVP trophy. Two years earlier, Edelman’s sage shoestring scoop of a Brady crawl that turned into as soon as deflected by Falcons CB Robert Alford helped spark New England’s sage comeback. The Tremendous Bowl 52 loss to Philadelphia would possibly perchance well well need had a distinct final consequence had Edelman no longer been sidelined by a knee injury. His 337 Tremendous Bowl receiving yards trek most efficient Rice and Swann.
25. QB Phil Simms: He threw 25 passes in Tremendous Bowl 21, and most efficient three hit the bottom. Very finest high bar because the MVP led the Giants to the main of their four Lombardi Trophies.
26. QB Troy Aikman: He captained the ’90s Cowboys to three titles and turned into as soon as named MVP for the main one in Tremendous Bowl 27 after throwing for 273 yards and four TDs. Aikman’s 70% completion rate in his three appearances makes him essentially the most correct Tremendous Sunday passer.
27. S Jake Scott: His pair of interceptions, including the sport-clincher, place a bow on the Dolphins’ perfect season and introduced him Tremendous Bowl 7’s MVP.
28. OLB Rod Martin: The most efficient man to settle off three passes in one Tremendous Bowl – Martin thrice victimized the Eagles’ Ron Jaworski in Tremendous Bowl 15 – he bought one ring when the Raiders had been in Oakland and any other after they moved to L.A.
29. DT Joe Greene: No person embodies the Metal Curtain Steelers more than Mean Joe, who started all four Tremendous Bowls in the 1970s.
30. WR Deion Department: He is greatest remembered as MVP of the Patriots’ Tremendous Bowl 39 triumph (then file-tying 11 catches for 133 yards). Nevertheless Department would possibly perchance well well had been even better the outdated year against Carolina, when he snatched 10 Brady passes for 143 yards and a TD.
31. CB Malcolm Butler: He turned into as soon as an undrafted rookie no-title when he made arguably the clutchest of all Tremendous Bowl plays by undercutting Seattle Seahawks WR Ricardo Lockette’s route at the purpose line to intercept Russell Wilson’s crawl and flip what regarded shut to certain defeat into the Patriots’ fourth title. Butler would possibly perchance no longer ever be a no-title the remainder of his life … even supposing he did garner undesirable consideration for in fact being benched by Bill Belichick in Tremendous Bowl 52, a resolution that certainly regarded as if it will backfire.
32. OLB Chuck Howley: He is truly the most efficient man to win the MVP award despite playing for the losing aspect when the Cowboys fell in Tremendous Bowl 5. Howley, who established the Tremendous Bowl occupation file with three INTs, gained a ring the following year.
33. DT Manny Fernandez: He had a outstanding 17 tackles and one sack – unofficial totals – in the Dolphins’ Tremendous Bowl 7 win and nearly certainly would possibly perchance quiet had been named the MVP.
34. CB Ty Legislation: His 47-yard settle-six off Warner in Tremendous Bowl 36 helped chart the direction for New England’s dynastic droop. Legislation injury up winning three championships with the Patriots.
35. DT Justin Tuck: His contributions on the entire win overshadowed in the Giants’ dual victories over New England. Nevertheless Tuck turned into as soon as Brady’s inner most nemesis, sacking him twice in every sport.
36. G Gene Usa: The Oakland Raiders stalwart played in three Tremendous Bowls, every in a distinct decade. In Tremendous Bowls 11 and 15, he teamed with fellow Hall of Famer Art Shell – they formed presumably the fitting left aspect of any O-line in history – to embarrass both the Minnesota Vikings’ illustrious Pink Folks Eaters and Eagles protection because the Silver & Dusky gained their first two titles.
37. CB Mel Blount: The Steelers’ clear-sized nook serene a pair of Tremendous Bowl picks and four rings.
38. CB Deion Sanders: The original shutdown nook went wait on-to-wait on with the 49ers and Cowboys in Tremendous Bowls 29 and 30, respectively. Sanders picked off a crawl for San Francisco, and the Steelers’ unwillingness to take a look at him the following year turned into as soon as a tall motive MVP Larry Brown snagged two INTs.
39. OLB Von Miller: A uncommon defender who gained the Tremendous Bowl MVP, Miller turned into as soon as picked because the fellow from the vaunted 2015 Broncos protection to eliminate the hardware home after registering 2½ sacks and two compelled fumbles in Tremendous Bowl 50.
40. DE Richard Dent: A uncommon defender who gained the Tremendous Bowl MVP, Dent turned into as soon as picked because the fellow from the vaunted ’85 Bears protection to eliminate the hardware home after registering 1½ sacks and two compelled fumbles in Tremendous Bowl 20.
41. DE Reggie White: Perchance the greatest defensive discontinue ever, he space the legit Tremendous Bowl file with three sacks of Drew Bledsoe in the Packers’ Tremendous Bowl 31 victory.
42. DB Ronnie Lott: The tone-setting defender of the 49ers’ mountainous teams started at both cornerback and safety on his technique to four championships.
43. T Joe Jacoby: He turned into as soon as one in every of most efficient two Hogs to originate on the offensive line in all three of the Redskins’ Tremendous Bowl wins. RBs John Riggins (166 rushing yards in Tremendous Bowl 17) and Timmy Smith (204 yards in Tremendous Bowl 22) both had file days running behind Jacoby and Co.
44. OLB Mike Vrabel: A consummate Patriot, he played in four Tremendous Bowls and injury up with three rings. He also racked up 16 tackles, three sacks, a compelled fumble … and two TDs on two receptions while lining up as a valid discontinue in purpose-line packages. No longer execrable.
45. OLB James Harrison: He picked up a pair of Lombardis in three trips with the Steelers. He also left his imprint with an unforgettable 100-yard INT return off a Warner misfire – producing at least a 10-point swing – In Pittsburgh’s 27-23 victory over the Cardinals in Tremendous Bowl 43.
46. TE Win Gronkowski: No tight discontinue has ever taken over a Tremendous Bowl, but Gronk came rather shut against the Eagles, finishing with nine receptions, 116 yards and a pair of ratings in a losing effort. His influence in New England’s Tremendous Bowl 49 victory went previous six catches for 68 yards and a TD as he thoroughly occupied the dignity of the Seahawks. In Tremendous Bowl 53, his 29-yard reception on a badly bruised thigh space up the sport’s most efficient touchdown (a 2-yard droop by Sony Michel) on the following play. And despite playing on a bum ankle that would possibly require surgical treatment, Gronkowski practically corralled what would had been a sport-winning Hail Mary on the final play of Tremendous Bowl 46. Gronk is truly the most efficient tight discontinue with three Tremendous Bowl TD grabs and his 23 occupation receptions on Tremendous Sunday are essentially the most at his state – a notice he can toughen while with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
47. C Mike Webster: One more four-time Steelers champ, he turned into as soon as a tricky-as-nails throwback who also handled long-snapping duties.
48. RB James White: Compelling case to be made that White, no longer Brady, would possibly perchance quiet had been Tremendous Bowl 51’s MVP. He space single-sport information with 14 receptions and 20 points (he scored 3 TDs and a key 2-point conversion in New England’s comeback). White’s 2-yard TD droop in time previous law supplied the winning margin against the Falcons. He added any other 66 yards from scrimmage and a TD against Philadelphia the subsequent year.
49. WR Max McGee: Fancy this man. After a protracted evening of partying on the eve of the main Tremendous Bowl – McGee contrivance he’d be warming the pine for the Packers – he stepped in for injured Boyd Dowler and scored again. Regardless of being lower than 100%, McGee caught seven passes for 138 yards and two ratings, one a behind-the-wait on snare.
50. OLB Lawrence Taylor: He by no contrivance notched a Tremendous sack, but we’re no longer leaving the two-time champion and greatest crawl-rushing linebacker ever off the all-time team.
51. CB Dwight Smith: He had a pair of settle-sixes (covering 94 yards) in the Bucs’ Tremendous Bowl 37 beatdown of the Raiders.
52. KR/WR Jacoby Jones: He will get the nod over Tremendous Bowl 31 MVP Desmond Howard as our return ace. Jones had a terrific case to be the Ravens’ Tremendous Bowl 47 MVP after posting a single-sport file 290 all-motive yards, which included a file 108-yard TD on the opening kickoff of the second half of. And that turned into as soon as after he ended the main half of along with his most efficient clutch of the sport – a 56-yard TD.
53. OL Randy Substandard: Needed to present the linemen fairly of more love. Substandard turned into as soon as a Pro Bowl guard for the 49ers’ first two title teams and moved to center for their third Tremendous Bowl win, which came about to be his final sport.
54. LB Mike Jones: A journeyman who would fill receded into NFL anonymity had he no longer seized his Tremendous Bowl second by making a sport-ending, title-saving form out of Tennessee Titans WR Kevin Dyson fair disturbed of the purpose-line (and a attainable sport-tying TD) in the Rams’ most efficient Tremendous Bowl victory.
55. P Thomas Morstead: He is constantly been a fine punter. Nevertheless it certainly turned into as soon as the perfectly performed onside kick by the New Orleans Saints kickoff specialist – the play turned into as soon as designated “Ambush” – to originate the second half of of Tremendous Bowl 44 against Indianapolis that continuously minted him as a myth in The Huge Easy.
Apply USA TODAY Sports actions’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis
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