Where does Julian Edelman‘s Super Bowl catch rank? Is David Tyree still the king? Here’s a breakdown of the top Super Bowl catches of all time.
Sunday’s Super Bowl will likely be talked about for years to come, but it was the play from Julian Edelman late in the fourth quarter that clearly stole the show. His mid-air grab of an errant Tom Brady pass will live in NFL lore forever.
After a Super Bowl for the ages, fans have begun the time-honored offseason tradition of debating who made the top plays this season. Here are five of the best from the history of football’s biggest game.
5. Super Bowl XLIX: Jermaine Kearse catch vs. Patriots
Let’s be honest, if the Seahawks win this game (and Pete Carroll runs the HB dive or power on the goal line) this is probably number one.
It’s tough to beat the amazing concentration Kearse shows on this play after the ball ricochets off multiple parts of his body, only to end up snugly in his hands with his entire body in bounds.
Not only is the catch by itself amazing, but the stakes could not be higher. In the dying minutes of the Super Bowl, Seattle was driving down the field to tie the game when Kearse makes this catch. If not for an incredible play by Malcolm Butler, and some questionable play calling from the Seattle sideline, this catch would be viewed very differently by history.
4. Super Bowl XLIII: Santonio Holmes toe drag vs. Cardinals
In one of the best Super Bowl performances for a wide receiver in recent memory, Santonio Holmes provided Pittsburgh Steelers fans with the memory of a lifetime against Arizona.
With the clock winding down and the hopes of another Pittsburgh championship on the line, Holmes caught a dart from Ben Roethlisberger in the back corner of the end zone, keeping his feet wholly in bounds to secure a Steelers victory.
The stakes involved, and the body control necessary to complete that catch has elevated Holmes to Super Bowl immortality.
3. Super Bowl LI: Edelman’s juggling grab vs. Falcons
Fresh in the minds of every football fan is Julian Edelman’s stunning, acrobatic grab from Sunday’s championship game.
Both the intense focus required for the catch, as well as the incredible hand strength required to hang onto the ball elevated Edelman into the halls of Super Bowl glory.
When you consider the difficulty of the catch, the high-pressure situation, and the impact this catch had on the outcome of the game, it’s impossible not to consider Edelman’s grab as one of the best of all time.
2. Super Bowl X: Swann catch out of thin air vs. Cowboys
In an era where passing was hardly in vogue, Lynn Swann made a career out of highlight catches.
Consider this: against the Cowboys, Terry Bradshaw completed just nine passes. Swann caught four of those, including this acrobatic grab, earning himself MVP honors.
With the difficulty of this catch, Swann’s impact on the game, and the fact that the Steelers won 21-17, it’s hard to discount this catch as one of the best in Super Bowl history.
1. Super Bowl XLII: Tyree’s helmet catch vs. Patriots
It simply does not get better than this, for Giants fans or just football fans in general.
The incredible scramble by Eli, the catch by Tyree, the stakes, the rivalry, it was all just so perfectly set up for a Super Bowl moment. Watching YouTube videos of this play legitimately gives me chills a decade later.
Every football fan in the world will remember where they were when Tyree caught that football. Fans will tell their grandkids about it. The legend will grow. And that’s exactly why it’s the best Super Bowl catch of all time.