The first touchdown scored in a Super Bowl way back in Super Bowl I was by Max McGee for the Green Bay Packers and perhaps for the fact that it was the first one ever it should have made the list.
Super Bowl I was attended by 61,000 people (33,000 seats were unsold) and had a television audience of an estimated 51 million. Compare that to the last Super Bowl played, Super Bowl XLVIII, which had an attendance of 70,000 and a television audience estimated around 114 million in the U.S alone
Therefore, the real reason for McGee’s exclusion is because it is much less memorable today as it was seen by a lot less people, a sign of the times of course and of how much the Super Bowl has grown since its inception not just in America but around the world. To put this into perspective, a 30-second commercial cost a mere $42,000 during Super Bowl I in 1967, but the same 30 seconds will cost you a cool £4.5 million in 2016.
McGee does, however, get an honourable mention for his history-making touchdown catch as do some others who were close to making the list such as Thurman Thomas (SB XXV), Isaac Bruce (SB XXXIV), Larry Fitzgerald (XLIII) and Jacoby Jones (SB XLVII).
As for the touchdowns that did make the list, they are not necessarily the most spectacular but they are the ones that hopefully impacted your viewing pleasure the most and in some cases the impact they had on the outcome of the game itself.
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10. The trick play – Super Bowl XL
The Pittsburgh Steelers lead 14-10 in the fourth quarter when they ran a play that caught the Seattle Seahawks out and clinched the game in the process. The play starts with a toss left to running back Willie Parker, who hands it to receiver Antwaan Randle El on a reverse, who then launches it downfield to fellow wide-out Hines Ward for a 43-yard score. The entire play was beautiful in both design and execution.
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9. Bradshaw to Stallworth – Super Bowl XIV
In a back and forth game it wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Pittsburgh Steelers sealed the victory over the St Louis Rams with Terry Bradshaw connecting on a gorgeous pass to wide receiver John Stallworth for a 73-yard touchdown which gave the Steelers the lead for good.
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8. The Fridge hits the end zone – Super Bowl XX
The game may well have been over as a contest by the time this moment occurred, but the sight of defensive tackle William ‘The Refrigerator’ Perry lining up as a running back and knocking a defender clean over on his way to the end zone really put an exclamation mark on the Bears dominance and just typified what the 85 Bears and head coach Mike Ditka where all about.
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7. James Harrison’s 100-yard dash – Super Bowl XLIII
The Cardinals had first and goal at the Steelers 2-yard line just before the half looking to take a 14-7 lead. Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner throws a quick pass to his left looking for receiver Anquan Boldin, but didn’t see linebacker James Harrison who intercepted the pass and took it 100 yards the other way for a 17-7 Steelers lead.
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6. Devin Hester to the house – Super Bowl XLI
The forty year wait to see the opening kick-off returned for a touchdown was finally over. Rookie Devin Hester of the Chicago Bears took a relatively short opening kick 92 yards to the house against the Indianapolis Colts. It was the 6th time Hester had a returned a kick or punt for a touchdown this season.
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5. Tracey Porter game-sealing pick 6 – Super Bowl XLIV
The Saints led by 7, but the Colts had 3rd and 5 at the Saints 31 yard line. Peyton Manning steps back and tries to find Marvin Harrison on a quick pass, but Tracey Porter sees it and steps in front of Harrison for the interception and takes the ball 74 yards the other way for the game-sealing touchdown.
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4. The Holmes toe tap – Super Bowl XLIII
The second touchdown on the list from Super Bowl XLIII, which was a belter and got the dramatic ending it deserved. Trailing by 3, Pittsburgh has the ball on its own 18-yard line with just over two minutes to play. The Steelers march downfield and with 43 seconds on the clock Ben Roethlisberger finds Santonio Holmes in the corner of the end zone. Holmes not only needed to make a fingertip catch, but get both feet down all in a split second.
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3. Desmond Howard breaks the Patriots resolve – Super Bowl XXXI
With just over three minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter the New England Patriots had just scored a touchdown and trailed the Green Bay Packers 27-21. On the ensuing kick-off the Packers’ Desmond Howard caught the ball at his own one-yard line and ran straight up the middle virtually untouched to seal the win for Green Bay. Howard’s run was a then Super Bowl record for the longest kick return touchdown and Howard had a total of 244 return yards, another record.
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2. Marcus Allen runs with the night – Super Bowl XVIII
The Washington Redskins entered this game as the favourite, but thanks to running back Marcus Allen’s 191 yards and his magical 74-yard touchdown, both records at the time, the Los Angeles Raiders ran out easy winners. The run was designed to go to the left, but the Redskins sniffed this out so Allen turned back inside and outran the remainder of the Redskins defense to the end zone.
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1. Montana to Taylor – Super Bowl XXIII
It wasn’t just the winning touchdown that people will remember, but the entire 92-yard drive that came before it. It was Joe Montana at his very best as the well-oiled machine that was the 49ers offense went downfield and with 39 seconds remaining Bill Walsh, in his last game as the 49ers head coach, called ’20 half back curl x up’ and Montana hit John Taylor for a 10-yard game winning touchdown.