The OG List: Complete Tally of Super Bowl MVP Winners

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.

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Bart Starr, two-time MVP with the Green Bay Packers surveys the Kansas City Chiefs defense during the first Super Bowl.

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Bart Starr, two-time MVP with the Green Bay Packers, surveys the Kansas City Chiefs defense during the first Super Bowl. (Image: Getty)

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 SUPER BOWL MVP 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.

Joe Namath Super Bowl III NY Jets MVP
Joe Namath, the brash NY Jets quarterback, guaranteed a victory in Super Bowl III against the Baltimore Colts. (Image: AP)

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.


SUPER BOWL MVP (1966-1973)
SB PLAYER TEAM POSITION
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.

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Terry Bradshaw, seen here in Super Bowl XIII against the Dallas Cowboys, won back-to-back Super Bowl MVP awards.

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Terry Bradshaw, seen here in Super Bowl X against the Dallas Cowboys, won back-to-back Super Bowl MVP awards. (Image: Getty)

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.


SUPER BOWL MVP (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.

Super Bowl XVI Joe Montana San Francisco 49ers
Joe Montana, QB of the San Francisco 49ers, seen here celebrating a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XVI. (Image: Getty)

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 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.

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Desmond Howard is the only kick returner and special teams player to win the Super Bowl MVP.

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Desmond Howard is the only kick returner and special teams player to win the Super Bowl MVP. (Image: AP)

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.


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.

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Tom Brady drops back for a pass during his first Super Bowl victory with the 2001 New England Patriots.

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Tom Brady drops back for a pass during his first Super Bowl victory with the 2001 New England Patriots. (Image: Doug Mills/AP)

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 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.

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Eli Manning from the New York Giants wins his second MVP with a comeback win in Super Bowl 46.

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Eli Manning from the New York Giants wins his second MVP with a comeback win in Super Bowl 46. (Image: Getty)

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 SUPER BOWL MVP (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.

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Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers during his epic performance in Super Bowl XXIII.

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Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers during his epic performance in Super Bowl XXIII. (Image: Getty)

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.


LIST 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.

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Take a peek at more from the OG’s List such as a complete list of Super Bowl winners and champions.

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