Can You Identify These Super Bowl MVPs?

By: Gavin Thagard

The Cowboys won their last Super Bowl in 1996. Although the dynasty wasn't completely over, the Cowboys missed the playoffs the next season and haven't been back to a Super Bowl since.

Nick Foles took over for Carson Wentz after Wentz tore his ACL in Week 14 of the 2017 regular season. Wentz was on his way to winning the NFL MVP that year, but instead, he had to watch the last few weeks of the regular season and the playoffs from the bench.

A lifetime​ Packer, Bart Starr played under legendary head coach Vince Lombardi. The two won five NFL titles together, including the first two Super Bowls.

Prior to playing in Super Bowl III, Joe Namath promised the city of New York that he would deliver a championship. He did just that, completing 17 passes for 206 yards.

Eli Manning has never been viewed as an all-time great quarterback, but he did have two of the greatest playoff runs in NFL history. During both runs, he walked away with two Super Bowl rings and was named the MVP in both games.

Chuck Howley was part of a Cowboys team that lost Super Bowl V to the Baltimore Colts. Howley played lights out, however, recording two interceptions in the game.

The Kansas City Chiefs have one Super Bowl title throughout the entire franchise history, which was won in 1970. That team was coached by Hank Stram, who was the first head coach to be miked up during a Super Bowl.

Tom Brady has played in nine Super Bowls with the New England Patriots throughout his NFL career. Of those nine games, he was named the MVP four times.

Jake Scott played for a 1972 Miami Dolphins team that went undefeated throughout the season. They remain the only undefeated team in NFL history.

Roger Staubach went to college at the U.S. Naval Academy where he got his first start in his sophomore season. He was named the Heisman Trophy winner the next season after throwing for more than 1,400 yards.

Larry Csonka was drafted as the eighth overall pick in the 1968 NFL draft. He was one of eight players from that draft to make it into the Hall of Fame.

Franco Harris led the league in rushing touchdowns in 1976. That season, Harris rushed for 14 touchdowns, helping the Steelers reach the playoffs where they lost in the Conference Championship to the Raiders.

Prior to the 2013-2014 season, Malcolm Smith had never started in an NFL playoff game. In his first start against the Saints, he recorded nine tackles in a 23-15 victory.

After failing to live up to his Super Bowl-winning season, Joe Flacco was benched in 2018 for rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson. Jackson led the Ravens to the playoffs, but they lost in the first round.

Despite only playing nine seasons in the NFL, Lynn Swann was a four-time Super Bowl champion and made the 1970s' All-Decade Team. He was elected to the NFL Hall of Fame in 2001.

Aaron Rodgers replaced legendary Packers quarterback Brett Favre after the 2007 season. In his first season as a starter, Rodgers threw for more than 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Fred Biletnikoff was never known as a speed receiver in the NFL, but he had some of the greatest hands in the game. He recorded 589 receptions during his time in the league.

Super Bowl XII marks the only time in the history of the championship game that two players were named the MVP. Harvey Martin shared the award with Randy White after the Cowboys' defense dominated the Broncos, holding them to 10 points.

Terry Bradshaw was never a great regular season quarterback, throwing nearly as many interceptions as touchdowns throughout his career. However, he still knew how to win as he finished his career with a 132-68-1 record.

Drew Brees holds multiple NFL passing records, from career passing yards to career pass completions. However, the quarterback has only reached one Super Bowl over the course of his career.

In a league where the offense has become the premium, Super Bowl LIII turned into a defensive showdown. Led by Julian Edelman, the Patriots were able to move the ball just enough to secure a 13-3 victory over the Rams.

Jim Plunkett is one of the most contested candidates for the Hall of Fame. Plunkett had poor statistics throughout his regular season career. However, he was 8-2 in the playoffs with two Super Bowls and a Super Bowl MVP under his belt.

Joe Montana was undefeated in the Super Bowl, going 4-0 throughout his career. The legendary 49ers quarterback also earned three Super Bowl MVP awards.

Peyton Manning won Super Bowls with two different teams, the Broncos and the Colts. He also lost a Super Bowl with each team, including a 43-8 blowout in 2014.

Hines Ward was known for his blocking ability, which often was more physical than need be. His over-physicality broke Keith Rivers', a linebacker for the Bengals, jaw in 2008.

A physical runner, John Riggins was able to play at a high level well into his 30s. In fact, he is the oldest player to rush for more than 150 yards in a game, which he did at the age of 35.

Marcus Allen was an NFL star from his first season in the league when he earned the Rookie of the Year award. That season, he led the league​ in rushing touchdowns with 11.

The 1985 Bears defense was coached by Buddy Ryan. Ryan implemented a defensive scheme that loaded the line of scrimmage with four down linemen and two linebackers.

Between the 2001 and 2004 seasons, the Patriots won three Super Bowls in four years. In their third Super Bowl victory, they defeated the Eagles 24-21.

In Super Bowl XXII, Doug Williams threw four touchdowns in a single quarter, the only quarterback to ever do this. He also threw for 340 yards, which was a record at the time.

Drafted in 1996, Ray Lewis made 13 Pro Bowls over the course of his 17-year career. He was also named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year twice.

Few receivers rival Jerry Rice when it comes to career accomplishments. Rice holds several NFL records, including career receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and receptions.

Phil Simms was drafted by the Giants as the seventh pick in the 1979 NFL draft. He played his entire 15-year career with the team, retiring after the 1993 season.

"The Greatest Show on Turf" set a new precedent for offensive performances. Guided by Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk, the team led the league in total offense three years in a row.

Desmond Howard was a Heisman Trophy winner in college, earning the award in 1991. He famously struck the Heisman pose during the 1991 Michigan-Ohio State game, which became a cultural phenomenon.

John Elway lost the first three Super Bowls of his career, all in the '80s. He failed to reach the Super Bowl again until 1997 when he won back-to-back championships in 1997 and 1998.

In 1991, the Giants gave the Bills their first of four straight Super Bowl losses. The Bills lost the game on a missed field goal as time ran out.

Troy Aikman played college football at UCLA, who retired his No. 8 jersey. Aikman has also been elected to both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame for his career accomplishments.

Terrell Davis is one of only seven running backs to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season. He accomplished the feat in 1998 when he rushed for 2,008 yards.

Steve Young replaced Joe Montana as the 49ers' starting quarterback after Montana requested a trade in 1993. Young struggled to live up to the shadow of Montana, though he did finally win a Super Bowl for the franchise in 1995.

Explore More Quizzes

Image: WikiCommons

About This Quiz

Every team in the NFL works throughout the year, from the offseason through the preseason and into the regular season, for a chance to make a run at a Super Bowl championship. It's the highest achievement, not only for a team in the NFL but also for the players. All of their hard work finally pays off with a championship ring. 

Of course, for one player in the Super Bowl, the championship game will mean even more as the game provides them with the opportunity to prove they are one of the best athletes in the world as they are pitted against the toughest competition. That player who is able to handle the moment while putting on their best performance, they will win an award for which few players even have the opportunity to compete -- the Super Bowl MVP. 

Are you an expert on the previous Super Bowls and the players who earned the MVP for their legendary performances in the big game? Do you think you can identify those MVP winners from an image we provide you? Here's a quiz where you can find out just that.

When you're ready to test your knowledge on the previous winners of the Super Bowl MVP, get started and see if your final score is MVP worthy! 

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!