The OG List returns with a complete rundown of Super Bowl MVP winners. With Super Bowl 55 on the horizon, take a look at the historical data before you make your Super Bowl MVP prop bets. It’s no surprise to see quarterbacks leading the pack with 30 Super Bowl MVP awards, including seven combined by Joe Montana and Tom Brady. A defensive player secured the Super Bowl MVP nine times, followed by running backs and wide receivers (seven each). A special teams player has only been named MVP once.
Only five players won the Super Bowl MVP more than once, with Brady leading the way with four trophies. All five multiple winners were quarterbacks.
|LIST of SUPER BOWL MVPs by POSITION|
- Quarterback 30
- Wide Receiver 7
- Running Back 7
- Linebacker 4
- Defensive End/Lineman 2
- Safety/Cornerback 3
- Kick Returner 1
A defensive lineman or defensive end won the MVP twice. At Super Bowl 12, Harvey Martin (DE) and Randy White (DT) were co-MVP winners from the Dallas Cowboys. At Super Bowl 20, DE Richard Dent won the MVP for the ferocious 1985 Chicago Bears team (aka the Monsters of Midway), which was considered the greatest defense in NFL history.
A running back hasn’t won the Super Bowl MVP in the 21st Century. The last running back to win the Super Bowl MVP occurred at Super Bowl 32 when Terrell Davis (Denver Broncos) earned the honor.
Desmond Howard is the only special teams player to secure a Super Bowl MVP. Howard won his MVP with the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl 31.
Super Bowl MVP: Early Days in Late 1960s
The quarterback is always the highest-profile player on any football team. Bart Starr stood out as the leader and field general for the Green Bay Packers during the Vince Lombardi glory years. Starr won back-to-back MVPs in the first championship games between the NFL and AFL.
|LIST of SUPER BOWL MVP WINNERS (1966-1973)|
|I||Bart Starr||Green Bay Packers||QB|
|II||Bart Starr||Green Bay Packers||QB|
|III||Joe Namath||New York Jets||QB|
|IV||Len Dawson||Kansas City Chiefs||QB|
|V||Chuck Howley||Dallas Cowboys||LB|
|VI||Roger Staubach||Dallas Cowboys||QB|
|VII||Jake Scott||Miami Dolphins||S|
|VIII||Larry Csonka||Miami Dolphins||RB|
After quarterbacks winning the top prize in the first four championship games, linebacker Chuck Howley (Dallas Cowboys) became the first defensive player to win the MVP.
Jake Scott became the first safety to secure the MVP for the perfect 1972 Miami Dolphins. The next year, teammate Larry Csonka became the first running back to win the MVP.
The Late 1970s: Pittsburgh Steelers Dynasty
The Pittsburgh Steelers won four championships during a six-year stretch between 1974 and 1979. Terry Bradshaw picked up two MVP trophies during their dynasty, while Franco Harris and Lynn Swann secured the others. Harris became the second running back to win an MVP.
|LIST of SUPER BOWL MVP WINNERS (1974-1980)|
|IX||Franco Harris||Pittsburgh Steelers||RB|
|X||Lynn Swann||Pittsburgh Steelers||WR|
|XI||Fred Biletnikoff||Oakland Raiders||WR|
|XII||Harvey Martin **||Dallas Cowboys||DE|
|Randy White **||Dallas Cowboys||DT|
|XIII||Terry Bradshaw||Pittsburgh Steelers||QB|
|XIV||Terry Bradshaw||Pittsburgh Steelers||QB|
|XV||Jim Plunkett||Oakland Raiders||QB|
Super Bowl 12 marked the only time two players were awarded the co-MVP. Teammates from the 1977 Dallas Cowboys, Harvey Martin and Randy White, hoisted the trophy together.
The 1980s: Joe Montana Era
The San Francisco 49ers won four Super Bowls in the 1980s. Quarterback Joe Montana won the MVP in three of those championship games, while WR Jerry Rice won the other in Super Bowl 23.
|LIST of SUPER BOWL MVP WINNERS (1981-1989)|
|XVI||Joe Montana||San Francisco 49ers||QB|
|XVII||John Riggins||Washington Redskins||RB|
|XVIII||Marcus Allen||Los Angeles Raiders||RB|
|XIX||Joe Montana||San Francisco 49ers||QB|
|XX||Richard Dent||Chicago Bears||DE|
|XXI||Phil Simms||New York Giants||QB|
|XXII||Doug Williams||Washington Redskins||QB|
|XXIII||Jerry Rice||San Francisco 49ers||WR|
|XXIV||Joe Montana||San Francisco 49ers||QB|
Doug Williams became the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl, and he also made history as the first black QB to win a most valuable player award.
John Riggins (Washington) and Marcus Allen (Oakland Raiders) were the only running backs to win the MVP in the 1980s.
The 1990s: Aikman, Smith, Elway, Desmond Howard
The Dallas Cowboys won three more championships in the 1990s thanks to an unstoppable offense spearheaded by Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith. They were both awarded MVP trophies, along with Larry Brown, who won a rare MVP as a cornerback.
Steve Young led the San Francisco Niners to a fifth championship in Super Bowl 29, which marked the first time that someone on the 49ers other than Montana or Rice won the most valuable player trophy.
|LIST of SUPER BOWL MVP WINNERS (1990-1999)|
|XXV||Otis Anderson||New York Giants||RB|
|XXVI||Mark Rypien||Washington Redskins||QB|
|XXVII||Troy Aikman||Dallas Cowboys||QB|
|XXVIII||Emmitt Smith||Dallas Cowboys||RB|
|XXIX||Steve Young||San Francisco 49ers||QB|
|XXX||Larry Brown||Dallas Cowboys||CB|
|XXXI||Desmond Howard||Green Bay Packers||KR|
|XXXII||Terrell Davis||Denver Broncos||RB|
|XXXIII||John Elway||Denver Broncos||QB|
|XXXIV||Kurt Warner||St. Louis Rams||QB|
Desmond Howard dazzled fans with a historic performance in Super Bowl 31 for the 1996 Green Bay Packers. Howard racked up 244 all-purpose yards, including a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to seal the victory for the Packers.
21st Century: Brady Era Begins, Back-to-Back Mannings
Tom Brady won the first two of his record-setting four MVP trophies in the early ’90s. The Manning brothers, Peyton and Eli, led their teams to a championship in back-to-back Super Bowls. They also became the first brothers to win the coveted award.
|LIST of SUPER BOWL MVP WINNERS (2000-2009)|
|XXXV||Ray Lewis||Baltimore Ravens||LB|
|XXXVI||Tom Brady||New England Patriots||QB|
|XXXVII||Dexter Jackson||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||S|
|XXXVIII||Tom Brady||New England Patriots||QB|
|XXXIX||Deion Branch||New England Patriots||WR|
|XL||Hines Ward||Pittsburgh Steelers||WR|
|XLI||Peyton Manning||Indianapolis Colts||QB|
|XLII||Eli Manning||New York Giants||QB|
|XLIII||Santonio Holmes||Pittsburgh Steelers||WR|
|XLIV||Drew Brees||New Orleans Saints||QB|
The 2000s saw the rise of passing offenses. As a result, wide receivers dominated the MVP race with three trophies: Deion Branch (New England), Hines Ward (Pittsburgh), and Santonio Holmes (Pittsburgh).
Drew Brees won the MVP for the 2009 New Orleans Saints during their only championship run in franchise history.
The 2010s: Brady Reprise
Eli Manning secured his second most valuable player award by leading the New York Giants to a second upset over the New England Patriots. Aaron Rodgers won his first and only Super Bowl and Super Bowl MVP with the 2010 Green Bay Packers.
Brady etched his name into the NFL history books two more times in the 2010s. Brady’s BFF, Julian Edelman, is the lone wide receiver to win the MVP in the 2010s.
|LIST of SUPER BOWL MVP WINNERS (2010-2019)|
|XLV||Aaron Rodgers||Green Bay Packers||QB|
|XLVI||Eli Manning||New York Giants||QB|
|XLVII||Joe Flacco||Baltimore Ravens||QB|
|XLVIII||Malcolm Smith||Seattle Seahawks||LB|
|XLIX||Tom Brady||New England Patriots||QB|
|L||Von Miller||Denver Broncos||LB|
|LI||Tom Brady||New England Patriots||QB|
|LII||Nick Foles||Philadelphia Eagles||QB|
|LIII||Julian Edelman||New England Patriots||WR|
|LIV||Patrick Mahomes||Kansas City Chiefs||QB|
Quarterbacks continued to dominate the MVP race in the 2010s. However, a pair of linebackers also stepped up in the big game. Seattle Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith secured the MVP in 2013. Von Miller, linebacker from the 2015 Denver Broncos, won the most valuable player in Super Bowl 50.
Patrick Mahomes led the Kansas City Chiefs back to the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years. Mahomes didn’t win the 2019 NFL Most Valuable Player, but he won the championship and secured the trophy as Super Bowl 54’s most outstanding player.
GOAT Watch: Tom Brady or Joe Montana?
If you’ve ever had a spirited debate about the greatest all-time football player, then you’re in one of two camps: Joe Montana or Tom Brady. Montana backers point out that he was the best quarterback during an era when quarterbacks were open game for defenders. Brady-stans will point out his six Super Bowl titles and four MVP trophies.
Montana won the most value player in the big game thrice in Super Bowls 16, 19, and 24. Brady won his first MVP in Super Bowl 36, and then won three more in Super Bowls 38, 49, and 51.
|MULTIPLE SUPER BOWL MVP WINNERS|
- Tom Brady 4
- Joe Montana 3
- Bart Starr 2
- Terry Bradshaw 2
- Eli Manning 2
Eli Manning won the MVP twice with the NY Giants, while his older brother won it only once with the Indianapolis Colts, despite winning a second Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos.
Bart Starr won back-to-back MVPs with the Green Bay Packers at a time when the big game was simply called the NFL Championship. The Super Bowl branding didn’t start until Super Bowl III, when Joe Namath won the MVP for the 1968 New York Jets.
Starr and Terry Bradshaw (Pittsburgh Steelers) are the only players in NFL history to win the Super Bowl MVP in consecutive years.
Take a peek at more from the OG’s List such as a complete list of Super Bowl winners and champions.