Top Super Bowl Performances of the Decade
Over the past ten years, we’ve been treated to some of the most exciting Super Bowls in the fifty-plus year history of biggest game in the sport’s history.
We saw the third-biggest blowout in Super Bowl history, a record-breaking 25-point comeback, a literal stadium blackout and much more.
But in a sport so focused on team success, we want to end the decade by focusing on the individual for a moment by breaking down the top Super Bowl performances of the past decade.
Whether of not these players were named MVP, we believe their contributions, whether over an entire game or within one play, are worth honoring as we enter 2020.
Tracy Porter, New Orleans Saints — 2010 Super Bowl
When: February 7, 2010
Where: Miami, Florida
Final Score: Saints 31, Colts 17
With 3:25 left in the fourth quarter of the 2010 Super Bowl in Miami, the Indianapolis Colts were trailing the New Orleans Saints, 24-17, but had the ball on their opponent’s 31-yard line.
On the next play from scrimmage, Peyton Manning tried to hit receiver Reggie Wayne on a slant route, but what resulted was one of the greatest defensive touchdowns in Super Bowl history.
Cornerback Tracy Porter read Manning’s eyes perfectly and cut the route off at full speed, picking the ball off in stride and taking it all the way back to push New Orleans’ lead to two scores and help secure the franchise’s first Lombardi Trophy.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers — 2011 Super Bowl
When: February 6, 2011
Where: Dallas, Texas
Final Score: Packers 31, Steelers 25
Aaron Rodgers had to put on a show in his first, and only, Super Bowl to come away with the win.
With Green Bay depending heavily on their franchise quarterback, Rodgers delivered one of the best performances of his career, throwing for 304 yards and three touchdowns to help the Packers win their first Lombardi Trophy since 1996.
Rodgers relied heavily on receiver Jordy Nelson, who he hit nine times for 140 yards and a touchdown.
During the celebration, Rodgers was presented with a replica heavyweight wrestling title belt to represent the one he mimed in several touchdown celebrations throughout the season.
Eli Manning, New York Giants — 2012 Super Bowl
When: February 5, 2012
Where: Indianapolis, Indiana
Final Score: Giants 21, Patriots 17
Eli Manning has gotten the better of the New England Patriots in two separate decades.
With under four minutes left in the two franchise’s second Super Bowl meeting, the Giants found themselves trailing 17-15 and 90 yards away from the endzone.
But Manning’s clutch gene kicked in as he drove his side down the field and got them all the way to the Patriots’ six-yard line. On the Giants final offensive play of the game, Manning handed the ball to Ahmad Bradshaw for the game-winning score.
Manning was named MVP with 296 passing yards on 30-for-40 passing and one touchdown.
If the Patriots have proven to have a kryptonite, it’s the youngest Manning brother.
Anquan Boldin, Baltimore Ravens — 2013 Super Bowl
When: February 3, 2013
Where: New Orleans, Louisiana
Final Score: Ravens 34, 49ers 31
In a game that will be remembered as the “Harbowl” and for the ominous stadium blackout, we’d like to remind you about the invaluable performance of Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin.
While Joe Flacco was named the MVP, he wouldn’t have been able to hoist the Lombardi Trophy without his favorite receiver.
Boldin finished the game with 104 yards and a touchdown on six catches.
His most vital grab came on a third-and-inches with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter and the Ravens leading, 31-29. Flacco lobbed the ball near the sidelines and Boldin showcased his hangtime to bring the ball down and put the Ravens into field goal range.
Malcolm Smith, Seattle Seahawks — 2014 Super Bowl
When: February 2, 2014
Where: New York, New York
Final Score: Seahawks 43, Broncos 8
Defense wins championships.
Malcolm Smith was named the first defensive Super Bowl MVP of the decade after an immaculate performance that included picking off Peyton Manning and returning it 69 yards for a score.
Smith also finished the game with 10 combined tackles and a fumble recovery to cap off one of the most dominant performances of the decade.
Malcolm Butler, New England Patriots — 2015 Super Bowl
When: February 1, 2015
Where: Glendale, Arizona
Final Score: Patriots 28, Seahawks 24
“The Butler did it.”
While this list mostly awards full game performances, Malcolm Butler pulled off the biggest play of the decade.
His goal line interception of Russell Wilson with 25 seconds remaining in the 2015 Super Bowl single-handedly won the Patriots their first title of the decade and changed the course of history.
Butler jumped Doug Baldwin’s route perfectly and corralled the ball while still getting blasted as Baldwin crossed into the endzone.
One play can make a difference and even decide a champion.
Von Miller, Denver Broncos — 2016 Super Bowl
When: February 7, 2016
Where: Santa Clara, California
Final Score: Broncos 24, Panthers 10
Von Miller celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl by putting on a defensive performance that no one had seen before.
Miller was a menace for Carolina’s offensive line, forcing two fumbles and sacking Cam Newton 2.5 times.
His performance goes beyond the stat sheet as the Panthers had to game plan around Miller in the second half after he had his way in the first 30 minutes.
James White, New England Patriots —2017 Super Bowl
When: February 5, 2017
Where: Houston, Texas
Final Score: Patriots 34, Falcons 28
It’s only fitting that the greatest comeback of all-time was orchestrated by one of the game’s greatest players.
Tom Brady threw for 466 yards on 66 passing attempts to help lead the Patriots back from a 28-3 third quarter deficit against the Falcons.
But it was his pass catching running back that was the main cog in the comeback machine. Brady found James White 14 times for a whopping 110 receiving yards in the victory.
In total, White scored three times (two rushing and one receiving touchdown), including the game-winning score in overtime.
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles — 2018 Super Bowl
When: February 4, 2018
Where: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Final Score: Eagles 41, Patriots 33
It was a performance so good that they built a statue outside of Lincoln Financial Field.
Nick Foles, the mythical backup quarterback who put the entire Eagles team on his back, out dueled Tom Brady to deliver Philadelphia its first ever Super Bowl title.
Foles threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns in the victory but will be remembered for his receiving touchdown after head coach Doug Peterson called for the “Philly Special.”
If there was an award for “Least Expected Super Bowl Performance of the Decade” — we have a winner here.
Ryan Allen, New England Patriots — 2019 Super Bowl
When: February 3, 2019
Where: Atlanta, Georgia
Final Score: Patriots 13, Rams 3
Punters typically don’t get the love they deserve, but it’s impossible to not recognize Ryan Allen’s performance in the Patriots third Super Bowl victory of the decade.
Allen punted the ball five times for an average of 43 yards per kick, but most importantly he kept the Rams offense in its own backyard. Three of his five punts pinned the Rams offense within their own 20-yard line, with them starting from the 6-, 7- and 2-yard line on three separate possessions.
In a game where both offenses sputtered for four quarters, Allen was in serious contention for the game’s MVP.
Start the New Decade at the 2020 Super Bowl
A new decade of Super Bowl history begins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on February 2, 2020. Be a part of the action with a 2020 Super Bowl Ticket Package from HOF Experiences, including a game ticket, access to the Gold Jacket Club hosted by Jerry Rice, hotel and transportation accommodations and much more.
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