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COLUMN: Ranking the Top 10 Super Bowl MVPs

Ashley Landis | AP Photo
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes gets ready to throw a pass during Super Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11. Mahomes was named Super Bowl MVP after leading the Chiefs to a game-winning drive in overtime. (Ashley Landis | AP Photo)

Every Super Bowl there’s one player that shines brightest under the lights of the big game. For this list I have determined what I believe to be the top ten players’ performances. 

  1. NICK FOLES (SB 52, 2018) 

 The ultimate underdog performance, Nick Foles threw for 3 touchdowns and caught another in an all time play dubbed “The Philly Special.” He upset the dynasty that was the New England Patriots, and as a viewer delivered my all time favorite Super Bowl performance. 

  1. VON MILLER (SB 50, 2016)

 An incredible defensive performance carried the ghost of Peyton Manning to a championship against a Carolina Panthers team that had gone 15-1, with the best version of Cam Newton. Eye test wise, Miller was impeccable and his stats (2.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles) back that up.  

  1. TERRELL DAVIS (SB 32, 1998)

 Davis rushed for a Super Bowl record with 3 rushing touchdowns to go along with 157 yards. Beyond that, he also overcame a migraine that kept him out of the second quarter of this game. He came back in the third and was the driving force behind the Denver Broncos closing out the Green Bay Packers 31-24. 

  1. TROY AIKMAN (SB 27, 1993)

 Aikman threw for 4 touchdown passes on great efficiency against a really solid Buffalo Bills squad. It was a 52-17 win and about as good of quarterback play as you’ll see, as the Cowboys won their first of three Super Bowls in the ‘90s. 

  1. PHIL SIMMS (SB 21, 1987) 

Simms threw for more touchdowns (4) than incompletions (3) in this game while leading the New York Giants to a 19-point win over the Broncos. This was truly an all time great performance and one that honestly gets overlooked more than it should. 

  1. JERRY RICE (SB 23, 1989)

 An all-time great receiving performance by the greatest receiver of all time. 11 receptions for 215 yards and a touchdown is absolutely insane and just another example of why no one at the position has ever surpassed Jerry Rice.  

  1. TOM BRADY(SB 51, 2017) 

Tom Brady solidified his GOAT case with this game as he orchestrated the greatest comeback in NFL — and arguably sports — history. 28-3 will live in the minds of football fans forever. 

  1. JOE MONTANA (SB 24, 1990) 

1990 saw Montana’s best Super Bowl MVP performance. He threw for 5 touchdowns and led the 49ers to a 55-10 win over John Elway and the Broncos. This was the final Super Bowl win of a legendary career, and Joe Cool went out with a bang. 

  1. DOUG WILLIAMS (SB 22, 1988) 

Williams threw for 4 touchdowns and 420 yards. He led Washinton to overcome a 10-0 deficit as his offense scored 42 straight points. Another note in this game is that Williams was also the first Black starting quarterback in Super Bowl history. This was a performance worthy of that milestone.

  1. STEVE YOUNG (SB 29, 1995) 

Young delivered the greatest Super Bowl MVP performance of all time as he threw for a record 6 touchdowns on 24-36 pass attempts to go along with 325 yards. The 49ers won this game over the San Diego Chargers 49-26, and Young stepped out of Joe Montana’s shadow and established himself as an all time great caliber quarterback. This is truly one of the greatest performances in the history of football. 


In Super Bowl 58 the Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes added to his ever growing legacy winning another Super Bowl MVP,  the third of his career. As to the performance itself, it was a solid one. 

The most important aspect was something that Mahomes has become known for: his ability to come through in the clutch. Throughout the end of the fourth quarter and into overtime he continued to show up big in every crucial moment.

Ultimately, it was his elite play that was the deciding factor for the Chiefs as they overcame a 49ers team that, at least on paper, had a much better all around roster.

If I was to rank Mahomes’ performance amongst the all-time Super Bowl MVP performances it’d probably land around the #20 spot. I’d put it slightly above his performance in last year’s game and definitely above his 2020 showing. 

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