Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award Winners

The Super Bowl is the single most bet-on event in the United States. There are so many different wagers that can be placed on the Super Bowl aside from the usual NFL games week in and week out. These bets are called propositions, which can stem from anything like how long it will take to sing the national anthem, to whether the first play from scrimmage will be a run or a pass.

One of the most common proposition bets is which player will be named the Super Bowl MVP. I’m going to go over the history of this award and break down how many different players from each position have won it. Your most recent Super Bowl MVP was Nick Foles, who earned the award for a spectacular performance in Super Bowl LII that included being the first Super Bowl quarterback to catch a touchdown pass.

42 of the 52 MVP Trophies have gone to an offensive skill position player. A running back has won the MVP seven times, while a wide receiver has won it six times. There have been ten defensive players and one special teams player to hold the trophy. Desmond Howard won it in Super Bowl XXXI, totaling a Super Bowl record 90 punt return yards and 154 kickoff return yards with a touchdown.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has the most Super Bowl MVPs (4) of any player in history.  Joe Montana is the only player to have won the Super Bowl MVP exactly three times (1982, 1985, 1990). There have been three others win the awards twice. They are Bart Starr (1967, 1967), Terry Bradshaw (1979, 1980), and Eli Manning (2008, 2012).

Harvey Martin and Randy White of the Dallas Cowboys were named co-MVPs of Super Bowl XII, which was the only time that has happened in the history of the big game.  Chuck Howley is the only player to win the Super Bowl MVP from a losing team.  He did it in 1971 as a member of the Dallas Cowboys.

Complete History of Super Bowl MVP Winners

Year Super Bowl Winner Position Team
2018 LII Nick Foles QB Philadelphia Eagles
2017 LI Tom Brady QB New England Patriots
2016 50 Von Miller LB Denver Broncos
2015 XLIX Tom Brady QB New England Patriots
2014 XLVIII Malcolm Smith LB Seattle Seahawks
2013 XLVII Joe Flacco QB Baltimore Ravens
2012 XLVI Eli Manning QB New York Giants
2011 XLV Aaron Rodgers QB Green Bay Packers
2010 XLIV Drew Brees QB New Orleans Saints
2009 XLIII Santonio Holmes WR Pittsburgh Steelers
2008 XLII Eli Manning QB New York Giants
2007 XLI Peyton Manning QB Indianapolis Colts
2006 XL Hines Ward WR Pittsburgh Steelers
2005 XXXIX Deion Branch WR New England Patriots
2004 XXXVIII Tom Brady QB New England Patriots
2003 XXXVII Dexter Jackson S Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2002 XXXVI Tom Brady QB New England Patriots
2001 XXXV Ray Lewis LB Baltimore Ravens
2000 XXXIV Kurt Warner QB St. Louis Rams
1999 XXXIII John Elway QB Denver Broncos
1998 XXXII Terrell Davis RB Denver Broncos
1997 XXXI Desmond Howard KR Green Bay Packers
1996 XXX Larry Brown CB Dallas Cowboys
1995 XXIX Steve Young QB San Francisco 49ers
1994 XXVIII Emmitt Smith RB Dallas Cowboys
1993 XXVII Troy Aikman QB Dallas Cowboys
1992 XXVI Mark Rypien QB Washington Redskins
1991 XXV Ottis Anderson RB New York Giants
1990 XXIV Joe Montana QB San Francisco 49ers
1989 XXIII Jerry Rice WR San Francisco 49ers
1988 XXII Doug Williams QB Washington Redskins
1987 XXI Phil Simms QB New York Giants
1986 XX Richard Dent DE Chicago Bears
1985 XIX Joe Montana QB San Francisco 49ers
1984 XVIII Marcus Allen RB Los Angeles Raiders
1983 XVII John Riggins RB Washington Redskins
1982 XVI Joe Montana QB San Francisco 49ers
1981 XV Jim Plunkett QB Oakland Raiders
1980 XIV Terry Bradshaw QB Pittsburgh Steelers
1979 XIII Terry Bradshaw QB Pittsburgh Steelers
1978 XII Harvey Martin DE Dallas Cowboys
1978 XII Randy White DT Dallas Cowboys
1977 XI Fred Biletnikoff WR Oakland Raiders
1976 X Lynn Swann WR Pittsburgh Steelers
1975 IX Franco Harris RB Pittsburgh Steelers
1974 VIII Larry Csonka RB Miami Dolphins
1973 VII Jake Scott S Miami Dolphins
1972 VI Roger Staubach QB Dallas Cowboys
1971 V Chuck Howley LB Dallas Cowboys
1970 IV Len Dawson QB Kansas City Chiefs
1969 III Joe Namath QB New York Jets
1968 II Bart Starr QB Green Bay Packers
1967 I Bart Starr QB Green Bay Packers

Count of Winners by Position

Like you would expect, quarterbacks have taken home by far the most MVP trophies.  What you may find fascinating is that running backs have won the MVP the second most of any position.  As a sign of the times, however, keep in mind that no running back has won since Terrell Davis in 1998.

Position Total
Quarterback 29
Running Back 7
Wide Receiver 6
Linebacker 4
Defensive End 2
Safety 2
Cornerback 1
Defensive Tackle 1
Kick Returner 1

List of Players with the Most Super Bowl MVP Trophies

Player Position Wins Super Bowls
Tom Brady QB 4 XXXVI, XXXVIII, XLIX, LI
Joe Montana QB 3 XVI, XIX, XXIV
Terry Bradshaw QB 2 XIII, XIV
Eli Manning QB 2 XLII, XLVI
Bart Starr QB 2 I, II

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