Super Bowl MVPs, then and now

The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots in a classic Super Bowl thriller on Sunday night.

Both teams saw great performances from their top stars and the game came down to a late score from the Eagles.

Nick Foles and Tom Brady were both spectacular during the game. Both players were vying for a chance to win Super Bowl MVP.

Brady was coming off his fourth Super Bowl MVP title from the Patriots' win in 2017. He surpassed Joe Montana's record of three Super Bowl MVPs -- all with the San Francisco 49ers.

So who took the hardware home Sunday?

2018: Nick Foles; Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles' Nick Foles holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis.

Philadelphia Eagles' Nick Foles holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the NFL Super Bowl 52 football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP)

Ealges quarterback Nick Foles was electric during his Super Bowl LII victory against the New England Patriots.

Foles threw for 373 yards and three touchdown passes on his way to leading the Eagles to its first Super Bowl win and first NFL title since 1960.

However, his prowess on the field was not limited to just throwing the ball. On a trick play in the second quarter, Foles caught a touchdown pass from Trey Burton. Foles became the first quarterback to catch a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl, according to ESPN's Stats & Info.

2017: Tom Brady; New England Patriots

Tom Brady was named Super Bowl LI MVP in 2017 after the quarterback led his team to victory following a 25-point deficit at the half. The Patriots’ win was the largest comeback in Super Bowl history, according to the NFL.

2016: Von Miller; Denver Broncos

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller hold the MVP Trophy.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller hold the MVP Trophy. (Reuters/Picture Supplied by Action Images)

The Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in Super Bowl 50 in 2016. Von Miller, a linebacker, was named MVP. Miller was credited for causing the Panthers’ fourth fumble in the game.

2015: Tom Brady; New England Patriots

After he led the Patriots to a victory despite a 10-point deficit starting the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLIX, Tom Brady was named the game’s MVP. Brady set a career Super Bowl record with 13 touchdown strikes in the six Super Bowl games he’s played in, according to the NFL.

2014: Malcolm Smith; Seattle Seahawks

It was all about the Seahawks’ defense in Seattle’s Super Bowl XLVIII win over the Denver Broncos in 2014. Malcolm Smith, a linebacker, was awarded the game’s MVP.

2013: Joe Flacco; Baltimore Ravens

Super Bowl XLVII was quarterback Joe Flacco’s game as the Baltimore Ravens player led his team to a three-point victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

The game was nicknamed the “Harbaugh Bowl,” as Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh are brothers.

2012: Eli Manning; New York Giants

Following the New York Giants’ Super Bowl XLVI win in 2012 over the New England Patriots, the NFL called quarterback Eli Manning a “king of comebacks” and “far more than Peyton’s little brother.” Manning won the game’s MVP award as he passed for 296 yards,  including one touchdown pass and zero interceptions.

2011: Aaron Rodgers; Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers celebrates with the Vince Lombardi trophy after the Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL's Super Bowl XLV football game in Arlington, Texas, February 6, 2011.

Green Bay Packers MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers celebrates with the Vince Lombardi trophy after the Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL's Super Bowl XLV football game in Arlington, Texas, February 6, 2011. (Reuters/Mike Segar)

After the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, quarterback Aaron Rodgers was dubbed MVP. Rodgers had three touchdown passes and zero interceptions.

2010: Drew Brees; New Orleans Saints

In 2010, five years after Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana, the New Orleans Saints won Super Bowl XLIV and quarterback Drew Brees was named the game’s MVP. In his team’s decisive victory over the Indianapolis Colts, Brees completed two touchdown passes and tied a Super Bowl record with 32 total completions.

2009: Santonio Holmes; Pittsburgh Steelers

With under a minute left in the game, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes kept his feet inbounds and clutched the football – perfectly executing a 6-yard touchdown catch that gave his team its Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

Holmes was named MVP, and his controversial catch was heralded as “one of the most thrilling finishes,” “the greatest Steelers’ Super Bowl moment” and “one of the greatest and dramatic catches in Super Bowl history.”

2008: Eli Manning; New York Giants

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning helped lead his team to victory in Super Bowl XLII over the New England Patriots in 2008. After winning the game by three points, Manning was awarded Super Bowl MVP.

2007: Peyton Manning; Indianapolis Colts

Petyon Manning’s Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears 29 to 17 in Super Bowl XLI – but it wasn’t smooth sailing for the quarterback. Manning threw multiple passes that were nearly intercepted or actually intercepted during the Colts’ victory game. But he also completed 247 passing yards and one touchdown during the game, earning him the MVP award.

2006: Hines Ward; Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward holds his son as he waves the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the Steelers beat the Seattle Seahawks 21-10 in the NFL's Super Bowl XL in Detroit, Michigan February 5, 2006.

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward holds his son as he waves the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the Steelers beat the Seattle Seahawks 21-10 in the NFL's Super Bowl XL in Detroit, Michigan February 5, 2006. (Reuters/Shaun Best)

Wide receiver Hines Ward caught five passes for 123 yards and one touchdown, helping propel his Pittsburgh Steelers to victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL.

During the game, Ward also caught a 43-yard touchdown pass from fellow wide receiver Antwaan Randle El off a reverse with less than 10 minutes left in the game.

2005: Deion Branch; New England Patriots

When the New England Patriots beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX, some football fans thought quarterback Tom Brady would be awarded the game’s MVP. But Deion Branch led the Patriots’ receivers with 11 receptions for 133 yards, earning him the coveted award.

Branch also tied a record of most receptions in a single Super Bowl game during the contest.

2004: Tom Brady; New England Patriots

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston, February 1, 2004.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston, February 1, 2004. (Reuters/Win McNamee PJ)

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was named MVP after leading his team to victory over the Carolina Panthers in the 2004 Super Bowl XXXVIII. Brady completed 32 passes for 354 yards and three touchdowns.

2003: Dexter Jackson; Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Dexter Jackson set a Super Bowl record when he caught two interceptions in the first half of his team’s Super Bowl XXXVII victory over the Oakland Raiders. Jackson was named the game’s MVP – only the third defensive back in Super Bowl history to win the honor.

2002: Tom Brady; New England Patriots

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl MVP when his team beat the St. Louis Rams in 2002. Brady threw two touchdowns in the final minutes of the game to secure his team’s Super Bowl XXXVI victory.

2001: Ray Lewis; Baltimore Ravens

Ray Lewis didn’t intercept any passes or return a fumble for a touchdown, but the Baltimore Ravens linebacker did have three tackles, four passes defensed and two assists in his team’s win over the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV.

2000: Kurt Warner; St. Louis Rams

With 414 passing yards, St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner set a new Super Bowl record and won the game’s MVP honors. The Rams defeated the Tennessee Titans 23-16 in Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000.

1999: John Elway; Denver Broncos

John Elway holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy as he is interviewed by former Steelers quarterback and broadcaster Terry Bradshaw after leading his Denver Broncos team to a second consecutive Super Bowl victory, January 31

John Elway holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy as he is interviewed by former Steelers quarterback and broadcaster Terry Bradshaw after leading his Denver Broncos team to a second consecutive Super Bowl victory, January 31 (Reuters/Marc Serota)

Quarterback John Elway helped lead the Denver Broncos to victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII in 1999. Elway announced his retirement only a few months after he was named Super Bowl MVP.

1998: Terrell Davis; Denver Broncos

With three touchdowns and 157 yards, running back Terrell Davis was named MVP for leading the Denver Broncos to victory in Super Bowl XXXII.

1997: Desmond Howard; Green Bay Packers

Desmond Howard won the Heisman Trophy as a University of Michigan football player in 1991. And in 1997, Howard was the Super Bowl XXXI MVP return specialist for the Green Bay Packers.

The Packers beat the New England Patriots 35 to 21. During the game, Howard returned a kick for a record 99 yards and a touchdown.

1996: Larry Brown; Dallas Cowboys

With less than 5 minutes remaining in Super Bowl XXX, the Pittsburgh Steelers appeared to have a good chance of at least tying the game. But Dallas Cowboys cornerback Larry Brown caught an interception and ran the ball down 33 yards, setting his team up to secure a Super Bowl victory.

Brown, a 12th round draft pick, was named the Super Bowl MVP in the Cowboy’s 27-17 win.

1995: Steve Young; San Francisco 49ers

Breaking Joe Montana’s Super Bowl record, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young threw for 325 yards and six touchdowns in his team’s victory over the San Diego Chargers, earning him the MVP title for Super Bowl XXIX.

1994: Emmitt Smith; Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith was instrumental in propelling his team to victory over the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVIII. Smith had 30 carries for two touchdowns and 132 yards during the game, becoming the night’s MVP.

1993: Troy Aikman; Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys easily defeated the Buffalo Bills 52-17 in Super Bowl XXVII – largely thanks to quarterback Troy Aikman.

Aikman was named the Super Bowl MVP, four years before he would become the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.

1992: Mark Rypien; Washington Redskins

Quarterback Mark Rypien helped guide the Washington Redskins to victory in Super Bowl XXVI. Rypien, named the game’s MVP, completed 292 passing yards and two touchdowns in the Redskins’ victory over the Buffalo Bills.

1991: Ottis Anderson; New York Giants

The New York Giants won Super Bowl XXV by just one point in 1991 – thanks in part to MVP Ottis Anderson, the Giants’ running back. Anderson had one touchdown and carried the ball for 102 yards in the win over the Buffalo Bills.

1990: Joe Montana; San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco quarterback Joe Montana scrambles for yardage during the first quarter of Super Bowl XXIV on January 28, 1990.

San Francisco quarterback Joe Montana scrambles for yardage during the first quarter of Super Bowl XXIV on January 28, 1990. (Reuters/Gary Hershorn)

Joe Montana won his third Super Bowl MVP in 1990 with the San Francisco 49ers victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXIV. The quarterback had five touchdown passes in the game.

1989: Jerry Rice; San Francisco 49ers

Setting Super Bowl records, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice, had 215 receiving yards in his team’s Super Bowl XXIII win. The 49ers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 20-16.

1988: Doug Williams; Washington Redskins

Doug Williams set a Super Bowl record as he threw 340 yards in the Washington Redskins Super Bowl XXII victory over the Denver Broncos. In the second quarter, Williams, the game’s MVP, tied another Super Bowl record with four touchdown passes.

1987: Phil Simms; New York Giants

In what the NFL called “a display of precision passing unmatched in Super Bowl history,” New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms became the game’s MVP in 1987. With Simms’ 268 passing yards and three touchdowns, the Giants defeated the Denver Broncos 39-20 in Super Bowl XXI.

1986: Richard Dent; Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears defensive end Richard Dent helped lead his team to a sound victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX in 1986. Dent, named MVP, was credited with one and a half sacks and forced two fumbles.

The Bears defense was so strong during the big game, the Patriots didn’t earn a first down until the second quarter, according to the NFL.

1985: Joe Montana; San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana earned his second Super Bowl MVP in his team’s victory over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX. Montana passed for 331 yards, completed three touchdown passes and rushed for one touchdown.

1984: Marcus Allen; Los Angeles Raiders

Playing for what was then the Los Angeles Raiders, running back Marcus Allen was named Super Bowl XVIII MVP – and is largely remembered for his 74-yard touchdown run at the end of the game’s third quarter.

The Raiders defeated the Washington Redskins 38-9 in what was then the largest Super Bowl victory margin, according to the NFL.

1983: John Riggins; Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins running back John Riggins helped drive his team to a comeback victory over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII. Nicknamed “the Diesel,” Riggins has long been praised for a 43-yard touchdown run that helped solidify the Redskins’ 27-17 victory.

1982: Joe Montana; San Francisco 49ers

Quarterback Joe Montana won his first Super Bowl MVP honor in 1982’s matchup between his San Francisco 49ers and the Cincinnati Bengals. In Super Bowl XVI, Montana scored on a short run and threw a touchdown pass.

1981: Jim Plunkett; Oakland Raiders

Although the Philadelphia Eagles were favored to win Super Bowl XV, the Oakland Raiders came out on top, thanks in part to MVP Jim Plunkett. The quarterback passed for three touchdowns and 261 yards during the championship game.

1980: Terry Bradshaw; Pittsburgh Steelers

Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and Emmy award winning television football commentator Terry Bradshaw poses with his newly unveiled star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was named the Super Bowl MVP in 1979 and 1980.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and Emmy award winning television football commentator Terry Bradshaw poses with his newly unveiled star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was named the Super Bowl MVP in 1979 and 1980. (Reuters/Rose Prouser)

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw grabbed his second consecutive Super Bowl MVP award with his team’s Super Bowl XIV win in 1980. The Steelers defeated the Los Angeles Rams, 31-19.

During the game, Bradshaw, who played college football for Louisiana Tech, had two touchdown passes and threw for 309 total yards.

1979: Terry Bradshaw; Pittsburgh Steelers

Setting a Super Bowl record with four touchdown passes, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Bradshaw earned his first MVP award in 1979. Bradshaw helped lead the Steelers to victory over the Dallas Cowboys in a close 35-31 game, in Super Bowl XIII.

1978: Harvey Martin & Randy White; Dallas Cowboys

The only time two players were simultaneously named Super Bowl MVPs was in 1978, when the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Denver Broncos. Both defensive end Harvey Martin and defensive tackle Randy White led the Cowboys’ defense, which forced eight turnovers, helping their team win Super Bowl XII.

Though they weren't the first, Martin and White were some of the earliest defensive players to earn the MVP award.

1977: Fred Biletnikoff; Oakland Raiders

Wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff propelled the Oakland Raiders toward its first Super Bowl victory in 1977. The Raiders defeated the Minnesota Vikings, 32-14, in Super Bowl XI.

According to NFL statistics, Biletnikoff’s record during the championship game wasn't considerably impressive; he only had four receptions for 79 yards. But three of his catches easily set up his team for touchdowns.

1976: Lynn Swann; Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Lynn Swann helped his team win Super Bowl X over the Dallas Cowboys in 1976. At the time, Swann, the game’s MVP, set a Super Bowl record with his 161 receiving yards.

1975: Franco Harris; Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers earned its first Super Bowl championship title in 1975 – thanks in part to running back Franco Harris. The Steelers defeated the Minnesota Vikings, 16-6, in Super Bowl IX.

During the game, Harris rushed for 158, setting a new record.

Harris was a key player in football’s iconic “Immaculate Reception” play in 1972. Then, quarterback Terry Bradshaw had a pass deflected by an Oakland Raiders player during an AFC playoff game. Somehow, Harris was able to scoop up the ball seconds before it hit the ground – which would have ended the game in a loss for Pittsburgh – and run it in for a game-winning touchdown.

1974: Larry Csonka; Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins running back Larry Csonka led his team to victory in Super Bowl VIII over the Minnesota Vikings, 24-7. Csonka set a Super Bowl record for the time when he carried the ball for 145 yards, according to the NFL.

1973: Jake Scott; Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins won its first Super Bowl in 1973, defeating the Washington Redskins, in what was an unbeaten season for the AFC team. Dolphins safety Jake Scott was named Super Bowl VII MVP – the second defensive player to do so.

Scott had two interceptions during the game.

1972: Roger Staubach; Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach led his team to a solid victory over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VI in 1972. This was the Cowboys’ first-ever Super Bowl title.

Staubach, who played for the U.S. Naval Academy in college, was named MVP after the game.

1971: Chuck Howley; Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Chuck Howley is the only Super Bowl MVP from a losing team. He is also the first defensive player to earn the award.

The Cowboys lost to the Baltimore Colts, 16-13, in the 1971 Super Bowl V game.

1970: Len Dawson; Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson was named Super Bowl IV MVP for leading his team to their first and only Super Bowl win over the Minnesota Vikings in 1970.

1969: Joe Namath; New York Jets

Former NFL quarterback Joe Namath talks with reporters at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Namath, who led the New York Giants to their only Super Bowl win and was named the game's MVP in 1969, graduated from the university in 2007.

Former NFL quarterback Joe Namath talks with reporters at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Namath, who led the New York Giants to their only Super Bowl win and was named the game's MVP in 1969, graduated from the university in 2007. (Reuters/Dave Martin)

New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath was the Super Bowl III MVP in 1969 when his team defeated the Baltimore Colts, 16-7. Namath, who led the University of Alabama to a national championship title while in college, had 206 yards in the Super Bowl game.

1968: Bart Starr; Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr was named Super Bowl MVP for the second time in 1968. The Packers defeated the Oakland Raiders, 33-14, in Super Bowl II.

Star passed for 202 yards and one touchdown during the game.

1967: Bart Starr; Green Bay Packers

In the very first Super Bowl, Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr was the inaugural MVP. He helped lead the Packers to a 35-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I – although it would not be called the “Super Bowl” until years later.

During the game, Star had 250 passing yards and three touchdowns.