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Thursday, January 22, 2004
Updated: January 23, 8:40 PM ET
Most memorable Super Bowl moments

By John Clayton
ESPN.com

We asked ESPN.com's two senior NFL writers, Len Pasquarelli and John Clayton, to compile a list of their 10 most memorable Super Bowl moments. Here is John's list.

10. Super Bowl XXXII: Denver 31, Green Bay 24
John Elway was running out of gas as a Super Bowl quarterback. But Mike Shanahan gave him a running back, Terrell Davis, that gave him another chance to overturn all his disappointments in past Super Bowls. Elway won with sheer tenacity. He made a key first-down run in which he was spun in the air like a helicopter. He wanted this game bad. And even though he completed only 12 passes and looked old, Elway was the old warrior who finally got his first Super Bowl ring.

John Elway
John Elway went all out to get his first Super Bowl win against the Packers.
9. Super Bowl X: Pittsburgh 21, Dallas 17
This game was a war. Steelers middle linebacker Jack Lambert wouldn't let Cowboys safety Cliff Harris intimidate his kicker, Roy Gerela. Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw battled Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach in a game of nerves. The game was capped by a spectacular Bradshaw throw as he was hit to Lynn Swann for a game-winning 64-yard touchdown.

8. Super Bowl XXV: N.Y. Giants 20, Buffalo 19
Bills fans still haven't forgotten Scott Norwood's game-losing 47-yard field goal miss. They all remember it sailed right. The kick occurred on the game's final play. The Bills recovered enough to make the next three Super Bowls, but this game was their best chance to win.

7. Super Bowl IX: Pittsburgh 16, Minnesota 6
This was the first Super Bowl I attended and even though it wasn't a great game, it was memorable. Steelers defensive end L.C. Greenwood continuously batted down passes from Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton. The potent Vikings offense was dominated, held to 119 yards. And, as the game progressed, Steelers halfback Franco Harris kept gaining strength and rushed for 158 yards.

6. Super Bowl XVIII: L.A. Raiders 38, Washington 9
This was a game of big plays. Marcus Allen's reverse-the-field 74-yard touchdown run still flashes in my mind as one of the great plays in Super Bowl history. Allen didn't have the greatest speed, but his ability to find the goal line and his unique running style made him a treat to watch. One of the most surprising plays in Super Bowl history was when Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann threw an easy 5-yard interception that Raiders linebacker Jack Squirek walked into the end zone, giving the Raiders a 21-3 halftime lead.

5. Super Bowl XIV: Pittsburgh 31, L.A. Rams 19
This was the most entertaining of the four Steelers Super Bowls I've witnessed. It wasn't the defensive domination of the past. The Steel Curtain was getting a little older. The Steelers were getting away from being just a running team and were relying more on the arm of Terry Bradshaw, who threw two touchdown passes to reverse a 19-17 deficit. His 73-yard touchdown pass to John Stallworth with 2:56 left was one of the most exciting in Super Bowl history.

4. Super Bowl XXII: Washington 42, Denver 10
Watching a Super Bowl blowout isn't usually fun. This one was the exception. Everyone rooted for Doug Williams, the Redskins quarterback who never achieved greatness in Tampa Bay. Williams put on one of the greatest shows in Super Bowl history by putting 35 points on the scoreboard in the second quarter. The Broncos had jumped out to a 10-0 lead. Williams threw four touchdown passes in that quarter, including 50- and 80-yarders to Ricky Sanders.

Joe Montana & John Taylor
Joe Montana and John Taylor embrace after the game-winning touchdown against the Bengals.
3. Super Bowl XXIII: San Francisco 20, Cincinnati 16
The Bengals appeared to have won the Super Bowl. Then Joe Montana started a 92-yard drive to win the game, as they trailed 16-13. That game best illustrated the cool nature of Montana performing in pressure situations.

2. Super Bowl XXXVI: New England 20, St. Louis 17
The final few minutes made this game the second most memorable Super Bowl I've seen. Though the Rams dominated the game statistically, they made three turnovers that cost them 17 points. Mike Martz righted the problems with a gutsy call in which Kurt Warner hit Ricky Proehl with a 26-yard touchdown pass to tie it at 17-17 with 1:30 left. Then Tom Brady completed three passes to J.R. Redmond to set up one of the best kicks I've seen in a pressure situation. Adam Vinatieri won the game with a 48-yard field goal as time expired.

1. Super Bowl XXXIV: St. Louis 23, Tennessee 16
Steve McNair rallied the Titans from a 16-0 deficit in the second half and appeared to be sending the game into overtime. McNair did it with great scrambles and good throws. The end of the game was classic. McNair fired a pass to Kevin Dyson, who appeared to be heading toward a touchdown. Rams linebacker Mike Jones made the stop at the Rams' 1-yard line to prevent the overtime and give the Rams the victory.

John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com