Top 10 Greatest Players in the History of Super Bowl

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Welcome, readers; today, we are exploring the top 10 greatest players in the history of the Super Bowl!

Every year the Super Bowl is held as the season finale for NFL, where the NFL teams fight to win the prestigious Lombardi trophy. It is also when the best football players in the league come head-to-head.

Super Bowl 2023 is set to be held on February 13, 2023, at State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona. 

There is no doubt that the NFL has many great players, but few shine on the Super Bowl stage. The Super Bowl MVP is the best player who stands out during the Super Bowl game.

Tom Brady
Tom Brady (Source: The New York Times)

If you are an avid fan of the NFL, then you can guess who are the greatest players in the history of the Super Bowl. But even fans may dispute which player deserves the top spot in that greatest list.

Based on the player’s record and stats, in this article, we are attempting to rank the top 10 greatest players in the history of the Super Bowl. Stick with us till the end of the article.

Quick Overview

Here is a quick preview of our article.

Player Name Super Bowl Champion
10. Terry Bradshaw 4
9. Desmond Howard 1
8. John Elway 2
7. Troy Aikman 3
6. Santonio Holmes 1
5. Peyton Manning 2
4. Kurt Warner 1
3. Eli Manning 2
2. Joe Montana 4
1. Tom Brady 7

Top 10 Greatest Players in the History of Super Bowl

We have taken TheTopTens as our primary sources of reference.

10. Terry Bradshaw

Terry Bradshaw is the first player on our list of the top 10 greatest players in the history of the Super Bowl. He is a 75 year-old former player named Super Bowl MVP twice.

The former quarterback was Pittsburgh Steelers’ first overall pick during the 1970 NFL draft’s first round. He spent his career, which spanned from 1970 to 1983, with the Steelers.

Bradshaw became Super Bowl champion four times and Pro Bowl thrice during his career. Similarly, he earned a reputation for being a tough competitor and for his powerful arms among other players in NFL’s history.

Terry Bradshaw
Terry Bradshaw (Source: Britannica)

Bradshaw, who made four Super Bowl appearances, had the then Super Bowl record of 932 passing yards and nine touchdowns. Likewise, he was the first quarterback to win three and four Super Bowls.

Bradshaw is both the Pro Football Hall of Famer and Pittsburgh Pro Football Hall of Famer.

9. Desmond Howard

The 54 year-old Desmond Howard is a former wide receiver who played 11 seasons in NFL. He was Washington Redskins’ fourth pick in the 1992 NFL draft’s first round.

Howard made his debut with the Redskins and remained with the team until 1994. After that, he played for other NFL franchises like Jacksonville Jaguars, Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders, ad Detroit Lions.

In 1996, Howard set the NFL record for most punt return yards (875) in a single season. In his career, he only made a single Super Bowl appearance with Green Bay at Super Bowl XXXI.

Desmond Howard
Desmond Howard (Source: Maize n Brew)

He became the Super Bowl champion. Similarly, Howard returned the-then longest return in Super Bowl history when he returned a kickoff for a 99-yard touchdown. The move earned him Super Bowl MVP.

Howard is the only special teams player to receive Super Bowl MVP to date in Super Bowl history.

8. John Elway

John Elway is a former quarterback who played for 16 seasons in NFL. The 63 year-old is currently a football executive and Denver Broncos’ president of football operations.

The Broncos drafted Elway at the 1983 NFL draft as their first round’s first pick. He made his debut with the team and spent his entire career with them.

Elway established himself as a prolific rusher of the ball in his professional career. He is statistically the second most prolific passer in the history of the NFL.

John Elway
John Elway (Source: Si Kids)

He is a Super Bowl champion of Super Bowl Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII. Similarly, he was named the Super Bowl MVP for Super Bowl XXXIII and set a record for five Super Bowl starts.

Elway became the Pro Football Hall of Famer in 2004. Likewise, he was named among the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.

7. Troy Aikman

The seventh player on our top 10 greatest players in the history of the Super Bowl ranking is Troy Aikman. The 57 year-old is a former quarterback who played 12 seasons in NFL.

The Dallas Cowboys drafted Aikman as their first pick in the first round of the 1989 NFL draft. He made his debut with the team and spent his entire career playing for the Cowboys.

His career spanned from 1989 to 2000, during which he became Super Bowl champion thrice. Similarly, he was named the Super Bowl MVP of Super Bowl XXVII, the franchise’s first title in over a decade.

Troy Aikman
Troy Aikman (Source: People)

Aikman was also named Pro Bowl six times within the period 1991 to 1996. His other career achievement includes being the NFL completion percentage Leader in 1993 and NFL Man of the Year in 1997.

In 2006, Aikman was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He ventured into commentating career and, for a while, co-owned the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team Hall of Fame Racing.

6. Santonio Holmes

The next player making it on number 6 is former wide receiver, Santonio Holmes. The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted him during the 2006 NFL draft as their 25 picks in the first round.

The 40 year-old spent nine seasons in NFL, and his career spanned from 2006 to 2014. Besides the Steelers, Holmes played for the New York Jets and Chicago Bears.

Santonio Holmes
Santonio Holmes (Source: Behind the Steel Curtains)

He made his first and only Super Bowl appearance with the Steelers during Super Bowl XLIII. Similarly, he became the Super Bowl champion and was named the Super Bowl MVP.

In 2017, Holmes returned to the Steelers and retired as a franchise member.

5. Peyton Manning

48 year-old Peyton Manning is a former quarterback who played 18 seasons in NFL. He is considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in NFL history.

The Indianapolis Colts drafted Manning as their first pick during the first round of the 1998 NFL draft. He made his debut with the team in 1998 and stayed until 2011. He played for the Denver Broncos from 2012 to 2015.

Manning played an integral part in rejuvenating the struggling Colts franchise. He helped the team to become a consistent playoff contender, making two Super Bowl appearances while winning the Super Bowl XLI championship.

Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl Win
Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl Win; Peyton Manning (Source: Reuters)

Manning was named the Super Bowl MVP for the Super Bowl XLI. Similarly, he helped the Broncos win Super Bowl 50. It made him the first starting quarterback to win the Super Bowl with more than one team.

In 2021, Manning was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He holds several records in NFL and is the only quarterback to have several Super Bowl starts with more than one team.

4. Kurt Warner

The fourth player on our list of the top 10 greatest players in the history of the Super Bowl is 52 year-old former quarterback Kurt Warner. He played 12 seasons in NFL.

Warner’s career in NFL is considered one of the greatest Cinderella stories ever seen in the league’s history. He began as an undrafted free agent in the NFL and became Super Bowl MVP.

In 1994, Green Bay Packers signed Warner, but he was released before the regular NFL season. He made his NFL debut four years later, in 1998, with the St. Louis Rams. In his career, he also played for the New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals.

Kurt Warner
Kurt Warner (Source: AP Photos)

During his first Super Bowl appearance in Super Bowl XXXIV, Warner led The Greatest Show on Turf offense to Ram’s victory. As a result, he was named the Super Bowl MVP.

Warner is the league’s greatest undrafted player and the only undrafted quarterback to win Super Bowl MVP and NFL MVP. In 2017, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

3. Eli Manning

We are down to the top three players. Former quarterback Eli Manning is the third greatest player in the history of the Super Bowl on our ranking. The 43 year-old played 16 seasons in NFL.

The New York Giants drafted Manning during the 2004 NFL draft as their first round’s first pick. His career spanned from 2004 to 2019, when he spent entirely with the Giants.

Although he struggles with consistency in his career, Manning led the Giants twice to the Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI. 

New York Giants' Eli Manning After Super Bowl Victory
New York Giants Eli Manning After Super Bowl Victory (Source: Big Blue View)

Manning was named Super Bowl MVP at both Super Bowls. It made him one of the only five players in the league to be named Super Bowl MVP.

Similarly, he was named Pro Bowl four times in his career. From 2004 to 2019, Manning held the Giants’ franchise records for passing yards, completions, and touchdown passes.

2. Joe Montana

Number 2 on our top 10 greatest players in the history of the Super Bowl ranking is 67 year-old Joe Montana. He is considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, who played 16 seasons.

San Francisco 49ers drafted Montana in the third round of the 1979 NFL draft as 82 overall picks. He spent 14 seasons with the 49ers and his remaining career playing for Kansas City Chiefs.

Montana enjoyed much success with the 49ers. While playing for the franchise, he won four Bowls and was named Super MVP three times. He was the first league player to be named Super MVP three times.

Joe Montana
Joe Montana (Source: SBNation)

Similarly, Montana holds the career record in Super Bowl for most passes without an interception and the highest passer rating. He was named Pro Bowl eight times in his career.

Nicknamed “the Comeback Kid” and “Joe Cool,” Montana has a decorated list of wins and achievements. In 2000, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

1. Tom Brady

Widely regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in the NFL, Tom Brady takes our number one spot for the greatest players in the history of the Super Bowl. The 46 year-old currently plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The New England Patriots drafted Brady as their 199 overall picks in the 2000 NFL draft’s sixth round. From 2000 to 2019, he played with the Patriots, leading the team to nine Super Bowl appearances and winning six Super Bowl championships.

Brady was an integral part of the New England Patriots dynasty. He and the Patriot’s head coach, Bill Belichick, helped the franchise to win their first Super Bowl in Super Bowl XXXVI.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady
Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady (Source: Wikipedia)

In 2020, Brady joined the Buccaneers and helped the team to win the Super Bowl LV championship. His 2020 Super Bowl was his tenth Super Bowl appearance and his seventh Super Bowl championship. 

Brady holds multiple major quarterback records and is the only Super Bowl MVP for two NFL teams. He has been named Super Bowl MVP five times and is the oldest player to become Super Bowl MVP at age 43.

Honorable Mentions

Conclusion

These were our top picks for the top 10 greatest players in the history of the Super Bowl. Their achievements speak volumes, and they are some of the greatest players in the NFL.

We know that your opinion may differ from ours, so do share your opinion. Thank you for your time!

Boby Rai
Boby Raihttps://playersbio.com/

Boby Rai

Boby Rai is a dedicated writer who specializes in capturing the essence of sporting excellence through his unique lens. As the creative mind behind numerous sports-centric projects, he brings a fresh perspective to the world of athletics, blending insightful commentary with captivating narratives.

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