Relive top highlights in Super Bowl history with our comprehensive guide to the top 7 most exciting moments from past Super Bowl games.

The Super Bowl is the most prestigious award in American football and one of the biggest global events of the year. It is the championship game of the National Football League (NFL), played annually on the first Sunday in February.

The Super Bowl brings together the best teams from the AFC and NFC conferences to compete for the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named after the legendary head coach of the Green Bay Packers.

The game is also famous for its halftime show, which features top musical performers, and its commercials, which are eagerly anticipated by millions of viewers. The Super Bowl has become a cultural phenomenon, attracting not just football fans, but also those who tune in for the halftime show and the commercials.

Over the years, there have been many incredible moments that have left fans on the edge of their seats. In this article, we’ll be counting down the 7 most exciting moments in Super Bowl history.

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The ‘Kick off Touchdown’ - Super Bowl XLI

The first moment on our list is the ‘Kick off touchdown’ from Super Bowl XLI, the most electrifying opening to a Super Bowl in history. The game was contested by the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears who finished their respective campaigns with records of 12-4 and 13-3.

Both teams came into the game looking to end their Super Bowl droughts. The game was tipped to be a hotly contested affair, but nobody could have predicted how this titanic clash would start.  

The Colts got the game started with an up field punt, and Devin Hester, a return specialist for the Chicago Bears, carried the opening kick-off of the game 92 yards for a seemingly impossible touchdown.

The NFL rookie weaved his way through the entire Indianapolis team and charged into the end zone, setting the tone for the fantastically exciting game.

Hester, who holds the NFL record for the most punt return touchdowns (14), scored six of them in the 2006 season, and this one was definitely the most famous of them all, cementing his status as one of the NFL's top return specialists.

However, Hester's Super Bowl performance was not enough to seal the victory for the Chicago Bears, as they slumped to a 29-17 defeat to the Indianapolis Colts after an inspiring performance from future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning.

But Hester’s magnificent game-opening return touchdown forever etched his name in Super Bowl lore and remains one of the most exciting plays in Super Bowl history.

The ‘One Yard Short’ - Super Bowl XXXIV

Another classic Super Bowl moment is the “One Yard Short” from Super Bowl XXXIV. This moment will forever be remembered as one of the most nail-biting finishes in Super Bowl history.

The game was contested by the Tennessee Titans and the St Louis Rams. Both teams headed into the game with a 13-3 record, and the Rams, led by their record-breaking ‘Greatest Show on Turf’ offense, were tipped as the favourites.

The St Louis, Missouri team did not disappoint, beating Tennessee 23-16. However, they didn't have it all their own way, as the Titans miraculously came back from a 16-point deficit in the 4th quarter and came agonisingly close to sending the game into overtime.    

With just seconds left on the clock, the Titans were trailing the Rams by seven points. In a last-ditch effort to tie the game, Titans quarterback Steve McNair quickly got the ball out to receiver Kevin Dyson, who looked set to waltz into the end zone and tie the game.

However, it was not to be for the Tennessee side, as linebacker Mike Jones tackled Dyson to the ground just one yard short of the end zone, winning the game for the Rams and ending the Super Bowl in heart-breaking fashion for the Tennessee Titans.

The ‘Helmet Catch’ - Super Bowl XLII

The ‘Helmet Catch’ from Super Bowl XLII is rightly considered one of the greatest catches in Super Bowl history.

Super Bowl XLII was contested between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. The result seemed to be a foregone conclusion, as the 16-0 Pats looked to become the first team to go a season undefeated since the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

However, it seems like Eli Manning and his Giants team didn't read the script. Their pass rush swamped Tom Brady and they held New England to just 14 points, in a defensive masterclass.

With two minutes left on the clock Giants QB Eli Manning was tasked with delivering a game-winning drive in the dying embers of the match, and he did just that.

In the drive's most memorable play, and one of the most brilliant plays the sport has ever seen, Manning scrambled to escape the New England Patriots pass rush and launched a deep pass to wide receiver David Tyree.

Tyree, with a defender draped all over him, secured the ball against his helmet with one hand and held on despite the pressure from the defender.

The catch set up the game-winning touchdown for the Giants with 35 seconds left on the clock, to upset the heavily favoured Patriots and win the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy.

The ‘Helmet Catch’ remains one of the most brilliant and innovative plays in Super Bowl history and a testament to the determination, skill, and athleticism of Tyree and Manning.

The ‘Malcolm Butler Interception’ - Super Bowl XLIX

The ‘Malcolm Butler Interception’ from Super Bowl XLIX is another classic Super Bowl moment that is remembered as one of the most exciting finishes in Super Bowl history.

Super Bowl XLIX saw the New England Patriots take on the Seattle Seahawks. The New England Side were on the hunt for their fourth Super Bowl championship win, as Pete Carroll’s Seahawks side looked to defend their 2014 title.

The game was a close contest until the third quarter when the Seahawks took a commanding 10-point lead. The Pat’s answered back by scoring 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to step into a narrow 4-point lead with little over 2 minutes remaining.

With just 20 seconds left on the clock, and the Seattle Seahawks trailing the New England Patriots 28-24, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson unbelievably opted to pass the ball rather than handing it off to Seattle’s ‘Beast Mode’ running back Marshawn Lynch.

Wilson launched a deep pass, but it was incredibly intercepted by Patriots rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler at the goal line, securing a dramatic victory for the Patriots.

The Patriots won the game with a final score of 28-24, earning their fourth championship in 14 years and cementing Tom Brady's legacy as one of the NFL's all-time great quarterbacks.

The ‘Philly Special’ - Super Bowl LII

The ‘Philly Special’ from Super Bowl XVI is another classic Super Bowl moment that is cemented as one of the most gloriously ingenious plays in Super Bowl history.

Super Bowl LII was played at the U.S. Bank Stadium in 2018 and was a thrilling showdown between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. Defending champs the Patriots looked to retain their title, as the Eagles were seeking their first-ever Super Bowl win.

The match was a thrilling contest that broke numerous NFL records, including the most yards gained in an NFL game (1,151), the fewest punts from both teams in a Super Bowl (1), and the most points scored by the losing team in the Super Bowl (33).

However, it was a bit of brilliance from Philly's backup QB Nick Foles that stole the show.

On fourth down near the end of the first half, Nick Foles went to the side-line and appeared to signal for a field goal attempt.

However, instead of kicking the ball, holder, and punter Donnie Jones ran to the right side-line and flipped the ball to tight end Trey Burton, who then threw a touchdown pass to a wide-open Foles in the end zone.

This play caught the Patriots off guard and gave the Eagles a 22-12 lead going into halftime. The play became an instant classic and a defining moment in the Eagles' Super Bowl victory.

The Eagles went on to win the game 41-33, earning their first-ever Super Bowl championship and ending a 57-year championship drought in Philadelphia.

The ‘Philly Special’ is remembered as one of the greatest trick plays in NFL history, that helped give the Eagles the momentum they needed to win their first-ever Super Bowl championship.

The ‘Last Minute Winner’ - Super Bowl XLIII

Up next on our list of greatest Super Bowl moments of all time is the ‘Last minute winner’, the most tantalizing ending to a Super Bowl ever.

Super Bowl XLIII was played on February 1 2009 and was a thrilling game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals. The game was filled with drama and tension as both teams fought for the championship title.

The Steelers dominated for most of the game, taking a 20-7 lead after the first three quarters. However, the Cardinals came out with a vengeance in the fourth, scoring 16 unanswered points to take a 20-23 lead.

With 2:37 left on the clock, the Steelers seemingly needed a miracle, and that miracle came in the shape of wide receiver Santonio Holmes.

Pittsburgh marched 72 yards up the pitch before legendary QB Ben Roethlisberger found Holmes for a miraculous backward-leaning, game-winning touchdown in the back corner of the end zone with just a second left on the clock.

The play was dubbed the ‘Last Minute Winner’ and is considered one of the most clutch catches in Super Bowl history. The Steelers went on to win the game with a final score of 27-23, securing their sixth Super Bowl victory and cementing their place among the NFL's elite teams.

The ‘Adam Vinatieri Field Goal’ - Super Bowl XXXVI

The “Adam Vinatieri Field Goal” from Super Bowl XXXVI is another classic Super Bowl moment that will forever be remembered as the moment that the New England Patriots dynasty was born.

Super Bowl XXXVI was played on February 3, 2002, and was a historic game between the aforementioned New England Patriots and the St. Louis Rams. A Young Tom Brady and new head coach Bill Belichick looked to secure Pat’s first-ever championship win against the more experienced St Louis Rams.

The Patriots dominated the first three-quarters of the game, taking a 17-3 lead into the fourth. In The final quarter, the Rams scored 14 unanswered points to level the game up with 1:30 remaining on the clock.

With only seconds remaining, the fierce contest was all tied up at 17-17 as Tom Brady led his Pat’s team down the field on one last drive, looking to score the winning points and stop the game heading into overtime.

In a dramatic turn of events, kicker Adam Vinatieri was called upon to make a 48-yard field goal. Despite the pressure, Vinatieri calmly split the uprights to give the Patriots a 20-17 victory, securing the franchise's first-ever Super Bowl championship.

The field goal by Vinatieri is remembered as one of the most iconic moments in Super Bowl folklore and is considered to be the greatest clutch kick in Super Bowl history.

It was a defining moment in the Patriots' dynasty, launching a new era of excellence in New England and solidifying Vinatieri's reputation as one of the NFL's all-time great kickers.

How Can I Watch Super Bowl LVIII From The Best Seats in The House?

Super Bowl LVIII will take place at the Las Vegas Raiders new state of the art Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, USA, and will no doubt be a clash for the ages.

Will 2020's winners the Kansas City Chiefs make it to the Super Bowl for the fourth time in five years? Will the New England Patriots begin a new golden era post Tom Brady? Or could we get a Cinderella story in the play-offs?

The 2024 Super Bowl will also no doubt see some of the biggest names in music take to the stage in the iconic half time show. To find out about the greatest Super Bowl halftime shows ever, check out our blog.

Seat Unique is delighted to offer fans the chance to watch one of the greatest sporting events on earth from the best seats in the house and with an added level of luxury, with a VIP hospitality package.

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