QB or not QB? That is the question. When talking Super Bowl MVPs, the conversation always begins with the men under center, and more often than not during the previous 51 big games, that's where it ended. Of the 51 MVPs named, 28 were quarterbacks, more than all other positions combined. There have been five multiple winners, and all of them are QBs as well - Tom Brady (four), Joe Montana (three) and Terry Bradshaw, Bart Starr and Eli Manning with two apiece.
MVPs By Position
Should the MVP of Super Bowl LII turn out to be someone other than one of the two QBs - Brady of the New England Patriots or Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles - the next logical place to look is to the men they hand the ball off to. Running backs are a distant second on the MVP list at seven selections, and also distant in terms of recent winners, the last being Denver's Terrell Davis in Super Bowl XXXII. Wide receivers (six) are next, surprisingly followed by linebackers with four selections, including two in the last four games.
The quarterback dominance of the Super Bowl MVP award was given a great head start when each of the first four winners were all QBs. Starr of the Green Bay Packers was MVP of the first two games, followed by Joe Namath of the New York Jets in Super Bowl III - the only QB to be named Super Bowl MVP who didn't throw a touchdown pass in the game - and Len Dawson of the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl IV. QBs are also trending well recently, winning six of the past eight and eight of the last 11 Super Bowl MVP honors.
Most Valuable Facts
The Baltimore Colts (Super Bowls III and V) were the first team to appear in multiple Super Bowls without earning an MVP nod. In fact, until Peyton Manning was named MVP of Super Bowl XLI with the Indianapolis Colts, they remained the only NFL franchise to have won a Super Bowl but not have won a Super Bowl MVP award. The Miami Dolphins are the only team to win multiple Super Bowls and never have a quarterback be named MVP of the game.
Best Of The Rest
When Chuck Howley of the Dallas Cowboys got the nod as MVP of Super Bowl V, he set several firsts. He was the first linebacker and first defensive player to earn the award and remains the only player from the losing team to be named Super Bowl MVP. Linebackers (four) are the most frequently awarded defensive players in Super Bowl history. Wide Receivers (six) are third on the list, even though the first time a receiver grabbed Super Bowl MVP recognition wasn't until Lynn Swann of the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl X.
Super Bowl MVPs Props Guide
Green Bay's Desmond Howard (Super Bowl XXXI) is the only kick returner to be named MVP of the game, and he's one of four players to turn the Heisman Trophy/Super Bowl MVP double, along with Roger Staubach of Dallas (Super Bowl VI), Marcus Allen of the Los Angeles Raiders (Super Bowl XVIII) and Jim Plunkett of the Oakland Raiders (Super Bowl XV). QB Mark Rypien of the Washington Redskins (Super Bowl XXVI) is the Canadian-born Super Bowl MVP.
Half of the six receivers to be named Super Bowl MVP played for the Steelers - Swann (Super Bowl X), Hines Ward (Super Bowl XL) and Santonio Holmes (Super Bowl XLIII). Both safeties to earn Super Bowl MVP honors played for Florida-based teams - Jake Scott with the Dolphins in Super Bowl XII and Dexter Jackson of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII. Bob Griese of the Dolphins and Pittsubrgh's Ben Roethlisberger are the only QBs to win multiple Super Bowls and never be named MVP of the game.
The Dallas Cowboys lead the way with seven Super Bowl MVPs, partially because they were the only team to produce co-MVPs. Defensive tackle Randy White and defensive end Harvey Martin shared the award in Super Bowl XII. White is the only DT to be Super Bowl MVP, while Martin is joined by Richard Dent of the Chicago Bears (Super Bowl XX) as defensive ends to be honored. Larry Brown of the Cowboys (Super Bowl XXX) is the lone cornerback to be awarded MVP recognition.
The Denver Broncos have had a different player from a different position named MVP in each of their three Super Bowl wins - RB Davis (Super Bowl XXXII), QB John Elway (Super Bowl XXXIII), and LB Von Miller (Super Bowl 50). New York Giants QB Phil Simms, MVP of Super Bowl XXI when they beat the Broncos, was the first Super Bowl MVP to proclaim the slogan that he was going to Disneyland. Simms put up an astonishing 88 percent completion percentage in that game.
The Manning brothers, Eli (Super Bowls XLII, XLVI) and Peyton (Super Bowl XLI) are the only siblings to be named Super Bowl MVP. On top of that, they won in consecutive Super Bowls. And in case you were wondering who was the only Patriot not named Brady to be Super Bowl MVP, it was wide receiver Deion Branch in Super Bowl XXXIX. The last time a player was MVP of the regular season and Super Bowl was St. Louis Rams QB Kurt Warner in Super Bowl XXXIV.