As the annual championship game of the National Football League, the Super Bowl is one of the world’s most watched events every year. And for good reason, as the game is never short on dramatic moments. The following are a handful of the many notable plays in the recent history of the Super Bowl.
Malcolm Butler’s interception, Super Bowl XLIX, February 1, 2015: An epic battle between the reigning Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots effectively ended when one of the most questionable play calls in NFL history resulted in a goal-line interception by Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler. With just 26 seconds to go and trailing 28-24, Seattle decided to pass the ball from New England’s 1-yard line. The more conventional play call would have been to hand the ball off to running back Marshawn Lynch, who had already scored a touchdown and run for more than 100 yards in the game. But Seattle chose to pass, and Russell Wilson’s throw was intercepted, resulting in the Patriots winning their first Super Bowl in a decade.
David Tyree’s catch, Super Bowl XLII, February 3, 2008: It’s fitting that this Super Bowl is widely regarded as one of the greatest upsets in Super Bowl history, as it also featured one of the most unlikely heroes in the sport’s history. With his team trailing the New England Patriots 14-10 late in the fourth quarter, New York Giant David Tyree, a little-used wide receiver and special teams stalwart, made a miraculous catch on third down, leaping into the air and pinning the ball to his helmet. That 32-yard reception kept the eventual game-winning drive alive. The loss would mark the Patriots’ only defeat of the season.
Mike Jones’ tackle, Super Bowl XXXIV, January 30, 2000: A thrilling affair that featured a 16-point comeback from the Tennessee Titans, Super Bowl XXXIV came down to the final play of the game. With just six seconds remaining, the Titans trailed the St. Louis Rams 23-16 but had the ball at the Rams’ 10-yard line. Titans quarterback Steve McNair completed a pass to wide receiver Kevin Dyson, only to see Rams linebacker Mike Jones tackle Dyson at the 1-yard line as time expired, stopping another Titans comeback and earning the Rams their first Super Bowl victory.
James White’s touchdown run, Super Bowl LI, February 5, 2017: While the moment itself may not be as amazing as other Super Bowl plays, it remains among the most memorable for what it represented. Trailing the Atlanta Falcons 28-3 midway through the third quarter, the New England Patriots were written off by viewers across the globe. But those eulogies proved premature, as the Patriots orchestrated the largest comeback in Super Bowl history, culminating with White’s 2-yard overtime scamper into the end zone to seal the victory for New England.