Year after year, the Super Bowl is filled with huge plays. It is the proving ground for the NFL's greatest players, and many of the league's all-time greats have played in and won Super Bowls. To get to a Super Bowl is hard enough, but to win one is nearly impossible.
Each player on this countdown was a key component to their team's Super Bowl success, and their runs have been cemented in history as some of the greatest Super Bowl plays of all time. Without further ado, here are the top five Super Bowl runs of all time.
During the first quarter of Super Bowl XXII (22), things were looking pretty good for the Denver Broncos. The Redskins were not able to score, and the Broncos went up 10-0. Then, the Redskins played their finest quarter in team history.
The Skins scored five touchdowns in the second quarter to go up 35-10, four of those scores being passes from QB Doug Williams. The other touchdown was this run by Timmy Smith.
Smith takes the handoff from Doug Williams and follows his blocking on the right side of the field. As soon as he is past the defensive line, he explodes. Smith leaves nine Denver defenders in the dust and shakes off the other two while flying down the sidelines to the end zone.
The Redskins go up 21-10 after this 58-yard run, and eventually win Super Bowl XXII 42-10.
The run can be found 3:30 into the video.
With a 7-3 lead over the Seattle Seahawks in the third quarter of Super Bowl XL and the ball on their own 25-yard line, the Steelers handed the football off to running back Willie Parker, expecting at least a few yards.
What he gave them was the longest run in Super Bowl history.
Parker takes the handoff to the right side and follows his blocks into the secondary virtually untouched as only a few feeble attempts at arm tackles brush his jersey.
After that, Parker just uses his tremendous speed to blaze past potential tacklers into the end zone. The player who is closest to chasing him down gives up and dives after the first 25 yards.
The Steelers go up 14-3 and eventually win 21-10.
If you look at this play on paper, it doesn't look very impressive. After all, it was just an 8-yard run on third down by QB John Elway for a first down.
However, what makes this play so special is what is behind it. Throughout Elway's career, he took the Broncos to three Super Bowls, all of which they were blown out in.
At 37 years old during what was possibly his last season, Elway had a chance to finally win the Super Bowl title that had eluded him his entire career.
On 3rd-and-6 in the third quarter of Super Bowl XXXII (32), Elway drops back to pass but then notices an opportunity to run for the first down. He takes it, but four Green Bay defenders quickly begin to bear down on him.
Instead of sliding and allowing the Broncos to kick a field goal, Elway defines the term "putting the team on his back" (sorry, Greg Jennings) by leaping up over them in an attempt to gain enough yardage for the first down.
Two defenders collide with him so hard he spins around completely in midair, but Elway lands with enough yardage for the first down and gets up and jogs back to the huddle.
The Broncos score two plays later and win Super Bowl XXXII 31-24.
With about 10 minutes left in Super Bowl XVII (17), the Redskins faced a crucial 4th-and-1 on the Miami Dolphins' 43-yard line. After a Miami timeout, the Redskins hand the ball off to bruising running back John Riggins and the rest is history.
"The Diesel," as Riggins is affectionately called by Redskins fans, takes the handoff and immediately runs into cornerback Don McNeal. However, McNeal only slows down Riggins temporarily before being dragged along and left behind by the Diesel on his way to a 43-yard touchdown.
Riggins' toughness and bulldozing play style were both epitomized on that run, which gave the Redskins their first lead of the game and put them up 20-17 against the Dolphins. The Redskins would go on to win 27-17 with Riggins being the Super Bowl MVP.
The run can be found 1:30 into the video.
Marcus Allen's 74-yard touchdown run in Super Bowl XVIII (18) is undoubtedly the greatest Super Bowl run of all time. Allen took a play that looked like a bust and turned it into what was then the longest run in Super Bowl history.
At first when Allen takes the handoff and runs left, it looks like he will be tackled for a loss on a busted play, but then Allen turns it around and blows past every Redskins defender on the field for a 74-yard touchdown.
What really makes this play incredible is the fact that Allen was able to make an incredible spin away from several defenders and then find a hole on the opposite side of the offensive line to run through. The Raiders would go on to win 38-9 with Allen being named MVP.
Also, this is the only Super Bowl run on this list to be so spectacular that the president of the United States called the head coach after the game.