The Super Bowl MVP Award is bestowed upon the player who has the biggest impact on the outcome of the game. While it may just be the icing on the cake for a player who has just experienced his most memorable career milestone, there’s a lot of personal pride involved in winning MVP, too.
On Feb. 7, 2021, the world will be betting on Super Bowl 55, which will bring together, as always, the top two teams in the AFC and the NFC.
There are 54 Super Bowls already in the annals of history and an equal number of players who have their name attached to football lore forever with an award-worthy performance on the game’s biggest possible stage. Predicting the winner of the Super Bowl MVP trophy is always fun and there are undeniably some heavy favorites worth a look going in.
This year’s Super Bowl will be on Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. There’s still time before kickoff but the action on who will win the NFL Super Bowl MVP trophy is already fast and furious.
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For the 2019 Super Bowl, the New England Patriots faced off with the Los Angeles Rams at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The Patriots were slight favorites at the kickoff for what was expected to be a compelling contest.
For the football purists, it was. This game was a low-scoring affair that was akin to a chess match, but fans who prefer a higher-scoring style of play found it to be rather boring.
In any event, New England won by a score of 13-3. The final score broke the record for the lowest final score in a Super Bowl, eclipsing the mark previously held by Super Bowl VII. In that game, the Miami Dolphins defeated the Washington Redskins by a score of 14-7. The game was played on Jan. 14, 1973, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. For the Dolphins, the victory capped off a perfect undefeated season. They remain the only NFL team ever to finish a year undefeated while also winning the Super Bowl.
Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman was awarded the NFL Super Bowl MVP Award after the game. Edelman had a stellar outing, catching 10 of 12 targets for 141 yards, with a number of his catches being of the impressive variety.
For Edelman, the honor was incredibly emotional. Beyond helping his team reach its ultimate goal, it was also a bit of a redemption game for him. He had missed the 2017 season entirely with a torn ACL suffered in the preseason.
He was all set to come back at the beginning of 2018, but he wound up being suspended for the first four games of the year due to a violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. Edelman appealed the suspension and lost.
He returned to have a solid regular season as one of Tom Brady’s preferred targets in the Patriots offense. The cherry on top of his comeback was the ultimate individual award, the NFL Super Bowl MVP, on the game’s biggest stage.
The award going to Edelman marked the first time a wide receiver had received the MVP since 2009.
Santonio Holmes won it that year for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who defeated the Arizona Cardinals by a score of 27-23 in Super Bowl XLIII, which was played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
Let’s take a look at those who have won the award since Holmes:
|2018||Philadelphia vs New England||Eagles 41-33||QB Nick Foles (PHI)|
|2017||New England vs Atlanta||Patriots 34-28||QB Tom Brady (NE)|
|2016||Denver vs Carolina||Broncos 24-10||LB Von Miller (DEN)|
|2015||New England vs Seattle||Patriots 28-24||QB Tom Brady (NE)|
|2014||Seattle vs Denver||Seahawks 43-8||LB Malcolm Smith (SEA)|
|2013||Baltimore vs San Francisco||Ravens 34-31||QB Joe Flacco (BAL)|
|2012||NY Giants vs New England||Giants 17-14||QB Eli Manning (NYG)|
|2011||Green Bay vs Pittsburgh||Packers 31-25||QB Aaron Rodgers (GB)|
|2010||New Orleans vs Indianapolis||Saints 31-17||QB Drew Brees (NO)|
|2009||Pittsburgh vs Arizona||Steelers 27-23||WR Santonio Holmes (PIT)|
|2008||NY Giants vs New England||Giants 17-14||QB Eli Manning (NYG)|
|2007||Indianapolis vs Chicago||Colts 29-17||QB Peyton Manning (IND)|
|2006||Pittsburgh vs Seattle||Steelers 21-10||WR Hines Ward (PIT)|
|2005||New England vs Philadelphia||Patriots 24-21||WR Deion Branch (NE)|
|2004||New England vs Carolina||Patriots 32-29||QB Tom Brady (NE)|
|2003||Tampa Bay vs Oakland||Buccaneers 48-21||S Dexter Jackson (TB)|
|2002||New England vs St. Louis||Patriots 20-17||QB Tom Brady (NE)|
|2001||Baltimore vs NY Giants||Ravens 34-7||LB Ray Lewis (BAL)|
|2000||St. Louis vs Tennessee||Rams 23-16||QB Kurt Warner (STL)|
Bart Starr led the Packers to victory over the Chiefs in the first edition of the big game. The quarterback earned the first NFL Super Bowl MVP Award for his efforts.
Tom Brady, the quarterback of the Patriots, is at the top of the list with four MVP awards. No other player has reached that mark. Joe Montana, the former star quarterback for the 49ers, is next on the list with three.
Yes, and this is not as uncommon as you may think. Through 53 Super Bowls, a defensive player has won it 10 times.
Linebacker is the most awarded position on defense with four MVP awards. Defensive ends and safeties have won two each, while cornerbacks and defensive tackles have one apiece. The most recent defensive player to win was linebacker Von Miller of the Broncos in Super Bowl 50.
Quarterbacks top the list of NFL Super Bowl MVP Award winners with 29.
Running backs and wide receivers are next on the list with seven each. Over the last 10 Super Bowls, a quarterback has been selected as MVP seven times.
Yes, this happened once. In Super Bowl V, the Cowboys lost to the Baltimore Colts by a score of 16-13.
Dallas linebacker Chuck Howley had a fantastic game with two interceptions, and he received the award for his efforts.
The Cowboys lead the way with seven NFL Super Bowl MVP Award winners.
The Steelers and the Patriots are up next with six each. The next team on the list is the 49ers with four MVP trophies.
Initially, it was known as the Super Bowl MVP trophy. As of Super Bowl XXV, it is called the Pete Rozelle Trophy. Rozelle was NFL commissioner from 1960 through 1989, leading the league through a tremendous growth spurt.
The NFL Super Bowl MVP Award made its debut the same year as the big game itself.
It was Jan. 15, 1967, when the Green Bay Packers met the Kansas City Chiefs at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The game was billed as the “First World Championship Game,” as it pitted the NFL’s Packers versus the Chiefs of the AFL, a rival league which would eventually merge with the NFL.
The Packers were a dominant team of the era, and it showed on the field as they cruised to a 35-10 victory. Quarterback Bart Starr was named MVP for his efforts in leading the team to victory as he threw for 250 yards, two touchdowns and a pick on the day.
The following year, the Packers were in the big game once again, this time facing off with the Oakland Raiders at the Orange Bowl in Miami. This game was referred to as the Super Bowl. It also attached on the Roman numeral for two to signify its second year of existence. That naming combination remains in place to this day.
Green Bay won a second-consecutive title by a score of 33-14. Starr was once again named the MVP, throwing for 202 yards and a score in the win.
In Super Bowl III, a new team would claim the trophy. The upstart New York Jets, of the AFL, shocked the world and upset the favored Baltimore Colts by a score of 16-7.
Jets quarterback Joe Namath was awarded Super Bowl MVP honors with 206 passing yards. He gained a lot of notoriety in the runup to the game as he famously guaranteed a victory. Namath delivered on his promise in one of the biggest upsets of all time. The game itself – one of the most iconic and memorable in Super Bowl history – is viewed as the final catalyst to spark the merger of the NFL with the rival AFL.
The Super Bowl has been played every year since those early days. In roman numeral terms, the latest edition was Super Bowl LIV.