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In the 47-year history of the Super Bowl, we have had 48 players (there were co-MVPs in 1978) who were selected as the MVP of the game. Joe Montana, quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers won three of those awards, most in the game’s history. Four other players won the award twice: Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw, Tom Brady and Eli Manning, all QBs.
As we take a look at the list of Super Bowl MVPs, several interesting stats evolve:
First, quarterbacks seem to be the primary focus of the Super Bowl MVP award. Of the 48 MVPs, 26 have been QBs. The 2013 Super Bowl as no exception as Baltimore QB Joe Flacco was chosen as the game’s MVP.
Here’s a position look at the MVPs.
Super Bowl MVP Awards, position, (average age of those MVPs)
26: Quarterbacks (30.0)
8: Defensive players (26.6)
7: Running backs (27.0)
6: Wide receivers (26.5)
1: Kick returners (26.0)
Secondly, we notice that when it comes to the age of the player named the game’s MVP, most are in their 20′s. In fact, of the 48 MVPs, 30 were in their 20′s, 18 were in their 30′s. Here’s a look at the number of MVPs within each age. The age with the most MVPs is 25 with seven.
Age, Super Bowl MVP Awards
Age 23: Two
Age 24: Five
Age 25: Seven
Age 26: Five
Age 27: Five
Age 28: Three
Age 29: Three
Age 30: Two
Age 31: Three
Age 32: Four
Age 33: Four
Age 34: Four
Age 38: One
* The oldest Super Bowl MVP was Denver’s John Elway in 1999. He was 38 years old.
* The youngest Super Bowl MVP was Raiders running back Marcus Allen who was 23. Pittsburgh receiver Lynn Swann was also 23 when he won his Super Bowl MVP in 1976, but Allen beat him by 15 days; Allen was 23 and 302 days, Swann was 23 and 317 days.
* Of the 18 players who were in their 30′s when they won the Super Bowl MVP, 14 of them were quarterbacks.
* Dallas’ Randy White, who shared MVP honors with teammate Harvey Martin in the 1978 game, is the only MVP to win his award on his birthday. He won his MVP on his 25th birthday.
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Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.
We all remember Joe Montana, Dwight Clark and “The Catch.” Or Joe Namath’s guarantee. Or Lynn Swann’s great catch. Or how about Jerry Rice… Bart Starr’s two MVP awards. Yes, we remember the great performances from the teams that won the Super Bowl.
But what about the great performances from players whose team lost? Here’s my list of the 20 best (offensive) performances from players who were on the losing side of the Super Bowl. Had things been a little different, some of these listed may have been hoisting an MVP trophy.
What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Who would be at the top of your list?
1. Jake Delhomme, Carolina, QB (Super Bowl 38; lost to New England 32-29) 16 of 33, 323 yards, three TDs, no interceptions. 113.6 passer rating. Nine of 13 in the fourth quarter for 212 yards and two scores.
2. Thurman Thomas, Buffalo, RB (Super Bowl 25; lost to New York Giants 20-19) 15 rushing attempts for 135 yards, one touchdown. Five receptions for 55 yards. Had 68 yards on four carries in the fourth quarter.
3. Kurt Warner, Arizona, QB (Super Bowl 43; lost to Pittsburgh 27-23) 31 of 43, 377 yards, three TDs and one interception. 112.3 passer rating. Fourteen of 19 in the fourth quarter with two TDs. Second most passing yards in a Super Bowl game.
4. Antonio Freeman, Green Bay, WR (Super Bowl 32; lost to Denver 31-24) Nine catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns. Also returned six kickoffs for 104 yards.
5. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona, WR (Super Bowl 43, lost to Pittsburgh 27-23) Seven catches for 127 yards and two scores. Six of his seven catches came in the fourth quarter.
6. Eddie George, Tennessee, RB (Super Bowl 34; lost to St. Louis 23-16) Rushed for 92 yards on 28 carries with two touchdowns. Two receptions for 35 yards.
7. Dan Ross, Cincinnati, TE (Super Bowl 16; lost to San Francisco 26-21) Eleven receptions for 104 yards and two touchdowns. Six of his 11 catches and his two TDs came in the fourth quarter. Tied with three other players for most receptions in a Super Bowl game.
8. Andre Reed, Buffalo, WR (Super Bowl 27; lost to Dallas 52-17) Eight catches for 152 yards. Tied for fifth on the all-time list for most receiving yards in a Super Bowl.
9. Tom Matte, Baltimore, RB (Super Bowl 3; lost to New York Jets 16-7) Eleven carries for 116 yards. Two receptions for 30 yards. Second-most rushing yards for a player from the losing team.
10. Joseph Addai, Indianapolis, RB (Super Bowl 44; lost to New Orleans 31-17) Thirteen carries for 77 yards and a touchdown; seven receptions for 58 yards.
11. Brett Favre, Green Bay, QB (Super Bowl 32; lost to Denver 31-24) Completed 25 of 42 passes for 256 yards. Three TDs and one interception. Passer rating of 91.0.
12. Dorsey Levens, Green Bay, RB (Super Bowl 32; lost to Denver 31-24) Nineteen carries for 90 yards; six receptions for 56 yards. Had four runs of 10 yards or more. Had five catches in the fourth quarter.
13. Terrell Owens, Philadelphia, WR (Super Bowl 39; lost to New England 24-21) Nine catches for 122 yards.
14. Muhsin Muhammad, Carolina, WR (Super Bowl 38; lost to New England 32-29) Four receptions for 140 yards (three catches for 117 yards in the fourth quarter).
15. Tony Dorsett, Dallas, RB (Super Bowl 13; lost to Pittsburgh 35-31) Ninety-six yards on 18 carries. Five catches for 44 yards.
16. Roger Staubach, Dallas, QB (Super Bowl 13; lost to Pitsburgh 35-31) Seventeen completions in 30 pass attempts for 228 yards. Three TDs and one interception. Passer rating of 100.4. Rushed for 37 yards on four carries. Completed 11 of 16 with two scores in the final period.
17. Vance Johnson, Denver, WR (Super Bowl 21; lost to New York Giants 39-20) Five receptions for 121 yards. Had catches of 47 and 54 yards.
18. Bill Miller, Oakland, WR (Super Bowl 2; lost to Green Bay 33-14) Had a pair of 23-yard touchdowns. Five catches for 84 yards.
19. Kenny Anderson, Cincinnati, QB (Super Bowl 16; lost to San Francisco 26-21) Completed 25 of 34 passes for 300 yards with two TDs and two picks. Passer rating of 95.2. Rushed for a TD. Completed 10 of 12 with two touchdowns in the fourth qaurter.
20. Wes Welker, New England, WR (Super Bowl 42; lost to New York Giants 17-14) Had 11 catches for 103 yards. Also returned a punt 15 yards. Tied with three other players for most receptions in a Super Bowl game.