All-Time Super Bowl Team

Joe Montana's 4-0 record and flawless performances on Super Sunday make him Athlon Sports' All-Time Super Bowl QB

There’s a reason the NFL’s biggest game is called the Super Bowl. Not only is it the most watched game of the year, it’s arguably the biggest stage in all of sports, a game where the legacies of Hall of Famers are cemented while formerly unknown players can leave their own indelible mark.

 

In the Super Bowl’s 50-year history, some of the best to ever play the game have shined while a fair share of under-the-radar players have taken advantage of the moment to earn MVP honors. So with more than a half-century’s worth of games to look back on, who has been the best at their respective position with the Lombardi Trophy on the line? Here is Athlon Sports’ All-Time Super Bowl Team. 

 

All-Super Bowl Offense

 

QB: Joe Montana, SF

One could make a strong argument for Tom Brady, who could win a record fifth Lombardi Trophy on Sunday, but for now the nod goes to Montana. The quarterback known as “Joe Cool” was a perfect 4-0 in Super Bowls as his 49er teams won by an impressive average margin of 19 points. Not only does Montana hold the career mark for passer rating in the Super Bowl (127.8), but the three-time MVP also was responsible for 13 total touchdowns (11 passing, 2 rushing) and no turnovers. Honorable Mention: Tom Brady, NE

 

Related: Joe Montana Talks Super Bowl, Tom Brady and John Candy

 

RB: Franco Harris, PIT

There is no shortage of candidates at running back. Harris rushed for 354 yards in Pittsburgh’s four Super wins in the 1970s and had another 114 yards receiving. In the four games, Harris had 18 touches on third down resulting in 10 first downs and three touchdowns. And Harris is the only runner with more than 100 carries in Super Bowl history. HM: Emmitt Smith, DAL

 

RB: Roger Craig, SF

In three Super Bowls for San Francisco, all wins, Craig amassed 413 yards from scrimmage with four touchdowns, including 101 yards receiving in Super Bowl XXIII. HM: Terrell Davis, DEN

 

WR: Lynn Swann, PIT

Fans who saw him in the Super Bowl probably remember flying, acrobatic catches. But Swann meant more to the Steelers than just a couple of circus catches. He is second all-time with 364 receiving yards, all coming in three Super Bowls. HM: John Stallworth, PIT

 

WR: Jerry Rice, SF

Rice is a no-brainer. Let’s see: most Super Bowl receptions in a career (33), most yards receiving in a career (589) and game (215), most yards from scrimmage in a career (604), the only player to score three TDs in a game twice. Oh, and he earned an MVP. HM: Isaac Bruce, STL

 

TE: Jay Novacek, DAL

One of quarterback Troy Aikman’s favorite clutch targets, Novacek scored the first Dallas touchdown in Super Bowls XXVII and XXX. In three wins he totaled 148 yards and two scores on 17 catches. HM: Shannon Sharpe, DEN/BAL

 

LT: Jon Kolb, PIT

The only constant along the Pittsburgh offensive line during their run of four Super Bowls in the 1970s, Kolb led the way for Franco Harris’ running and protected Terry Bradshaw in the passing game. HM: Mark Tuinei, DAL

 

LG: Nate Newton, DAL

Emmitt Smith became the all-time leading NFL rusher thanks in large — and we do mean large — part to Newton. In Newton’s three Super Bowls, the Cowboys scored 52, 30 and 27 points. HM: Russ Grimm, WAS

 

C: Jim Langer, MIA

Langer anchored the line during Miami’s back-to-back titles in the 1970s. In Super Bowl VIII, Miami rushed 53 times for 196 yards, most of it straight up the middle with bruiser Larry Csonka. HM: Ray Mansfield and Mike Webster, PIT

 

RG: Joe Andruzzi, NE

In three New England wins, the Patriots rushed for 372 yards, and Andruzzi helped protect MVP Tom Brady allowing him to stay comfortable in the pocket. HM: Jerry Kramer, GB

 

RT: Erik Williams, DAL

The heart and soul of the Cowboys’ offensive machine was the offensive line. Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin were the beneficiaries of the hard work done by the likes of Williams. HM: Forrest Gregg, GB

 

All-Super Bowl Defense

 

DE: Charles Haley, SF/DAL

Haley was more of an outside linebacker in San Francisco's 3-4 alignment. He is the only player to win five Super Bowls. Honorable Mention: Reggie White, GB

 

DE: Richard Dent, CHI

The Monsters of the Midway had a stacked roster of defensive stars but Dent won the MVP in Super Bowl XX with 1.5 sacks as the Bears gave up a total of 10 points to New England. HM: Richard Seymour, NE

 

DT: Joe Greene, PIT

As the heart of the front of the Steel Curtain, Greene intimidated quarterbacks, running backs and offensive linemen. In four Super wins, opponents averaged less than 100 yards rushing against Pittsburgh as Greene made life miserable for Roger Staubach, Fran Tarkenton and Vince Ferragamo. HM: Alan Page, MIN

 

DT: Russell Maryland, DAL

The offense received much of the credit, but Dallas recorded eight interceptions and held teams to less than four yards a carry in their three Super Bowl wins in the 1990s. Maryland was a load up front in all three games. HM: Jethro Pugh, DAL

 

LB: Jack Lambert, PIT

Lambert was in the middle of all things defensively for the Steelers for 11 seasons, including four trips to the Super Bowl. Pittsburgh would not have been 4-0 in the most important game of the season without him. HM: Tedy Bruschi, NE

 

LB: Ray Lewis, BAL

Lewis is one of four linebackers to win a Super Bowl MVP (XXXV) and nearly a decade later posted seven tackles in winning his second Lombardi Trophy with the Ravens. It was his final game in the NFL. HM: Keena Turner, SF

 

LB: Chuck Howley, DAL

This Cowboy is the only player to win an MVP for a losing team in Super Bowl history. He also won a Super Bowl the following year with a big performance (INT, fumble recovery) in Dallas' win over Miami. HM: Mike Vrabel, NE

 

CB: Herb Adderley, GB/DAL

Adderley was a member of Green Bay’s first two title teams, returning an interception 60 yards for a score in Super Bowl II. He played in two more for Dallas, winning one and losing one. HM: Ty Law, NE

 

CB: Mel Blount, PIT

Blount played for four winners, and contributed with an interception in Super Bowls IX and XIII. HM: Deion Sanders, SF/DAL

 

S: Cliff Harris, DAL

One of only 17 players to play in at least five Super Bowls, Harris changed the way the free safety positon was played. He won Super Bowl VI and XII. HM: Troy Polamalu, PIT

 

S: Ronnie Lott, SF

Instrumental in the Niners’ four Super Bowl wins, Lott played corner in the first two before moving to safety. None of his nine postseason interceptions came in the Super Bowl, probably because quarterbacks avoided him. HM: Jake Scott, MIA

 

RS: Desmond Howard, GB

Earned MVP honors in Super Bowl XXXI with a kick return for a touchdown, but also had two punt returns of more than 30 yards. HM: Jacoby Jones, BAL

 

K: Adam Vinatieri, K, NE/IND

Never has there been a more clutch kicker in the Super Bowl.

 

P: Larry Seiple, MIA

Always a threat to take off and run (also played some tight end), Seiple kept the Redskins and Vikings bottled up in Super Bowls VII and VIII.

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