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When the day of the big game is upon you, there’s no better time to reminisce about the greatest plays in Super Bowl history. One way to impress your friends with your knowledge of the game is to start citing the best Super Bowl catches. But, before you inundate the guests at your next Super Bowl party with fun facts about the big game, it’s important to know that you’re more likely to impress them with your culinary skills than your knowledge of areas such as the best Super Bowl catches.

A recent survey of 2,000 football-loving Americans asked why they enjoy attending Super Bowl parties every year. The survey found that most Super Bowl party-goers enjoy the food more than the actual game itself. Maybe that’s because unless your team is in the Super Bowl, you’re just not that interested. Or maybe that’s due to Super Bowl parties being more of a social gathering than a legit viewing party. 

Regardless of the reasons for hosting or attending a Super Bowl party, we can all agree that the food is one of the best parts. And when we say Super Bowl food, most of our minds go to hot wings. However, a recent survey shows that meatballs are actually the preferred food for Super Bowl Sunday. 

A survey of 1,000 people finds that meatballs are the most popular Super Bowl food followed by guacamole and chips and salsa. Other foods that crack the top ten include tater tots, chili, as well as spinach and artichoke dip. 

Surveys and food stats aside, you came here looking for the best Super Bowl catches and that’s exactly what we have for you. Study Finds did the research, consulting 10 pro sports websites to find the best Super Bowl catches. As always, feel free to share your favorite Super Bowl catches with us in the comments section below!

The List: Top 5 Best Super Bowl Catches, According To The Pros

1. David Tyree’s Helmet Catch in Super Bowl XLVI

Topping the expert lists of the best Super Bowl catches is David Tyree’s infamous “Helmet Catch” in Super Bowl XLVI. Tyree and the New York Giants squared off against the undefeated New England Patriots and one of the best quarterbacks of all time, Tom Brady. Tyree’s catch came in the final minutes of the fourth quarter of a close game and lead to the eventual game-winning touchdown for the New York Giants. 

“Down 14-10 with 1:15 left, the Giants faced a 3rd-and-5. The Patriots, looking to become the first team to go 19-0 at all time, pressured Eli Manning, but Manning escaped and heaved up a prayer in the direction of little-used tight end David Tyree. Tyree pinned the football to his helmet and somehow made the catch, and the Giants would go on to win 17-10,” explains Sports Illustrated

The fact that this catch came on a crucial third down for the Giants makes it unforgettable. Without it, the Giants likely would have lost that Super Bowl. 

“Tyree went up and grabbed it under immense pressure, and somehow managed to maintain control by pinning the ball to his helmet with one hand,“ adds Mansion

“Every football fan in the world will remember where they were when Tyree caught that football. Fans will tell their grandkids about it. The legend will grow. And that’s exactly why it’s the best Super Bowl catch of all time,” furthers Elite Sports NY

2. Santonio Holmes Game Winner vs Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII

Next up on the list of the best Super Bowl catches is Pittsburgh’s Santonio Holmes’s game-winning catch to beat the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII. This catch certainly made a case for the top spot on the list of the best Super Bowl catches, and for good reason. Holmes made a spectacular grab in the corner of the endzone with only 35 seconds remaining on the clock and his team trailing by three. 

“Pittsburgh began their final drive on their own 22-yard line, trailing 23-20 with 2:37 left in the game. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger moved the Steelers down the field and, with 35 seconds remaining, threw a perfect pass into the corner of the end zone. WR Santonio Holmes caught the pass for a touchdown, managing to land with his toes inbounds before falling out of bounds,” explains Bleacher Report

This catch didn’t come without its fair share of controversy, though. “After a booth review, the touchdown pass stood. Holmes would be named MVP and the Steelers became the first team to win six Super Bowls,” adds Bleacher Report. 

“It was an incredible catch—I’m still unsure as to how Holmes managed to get both feet down—but it’s the clutchness of the grab that makes it one of the absolute best in Super Bowl history,” writes Sports Illustrated

The fact that Holmes made the game-winning catch with mere seconds remaining on the clock is what makes this Super Bow grab so great. Still, there’s no shortage of credit when it comes to the quarterback throwing the ball to Holmes in Super Bowl XLIII. 

“Ben Roethlisberger gets a lot of credit — deservedly so — for the throw, but Holmes ability to locate the ball, make the catch and stay in bounds all in that moment went down in history,” explains For The Win

3. Julian Edelman’s Fingertip Catch in Super Bowl LI  

Next up on the list of the best Super Bowl catches is Julian Edelman of the New England Patriots making an improbable fingertip catch in Super Bowl LI. This catch by Edelman helped set up a crucial score in the Patriots’ epic comeback win against the Atlanta Falcons, a game in which Edelman’s team trailed 28-3 at one point.

“Both the intense focus required for the catch, as well as the incredible hand strength required to hang onto the ball elevated Edelman into the halls of Super Bowl glory. When you consider the difficulty of the catch, the high-pressure situation, and the impact this catch had on the outcome of the game, it’s impossible not to consider Edelman’s grab as one of the best of all time,” writes Elite Sports NY

“If you were transported back in time to halftime of the 2017 SB game and told a Patriots fan that Julian Edelman would be making a fourth quarter catch that would lead to a game-tying touchdown, they’d probably become a pissed off ‘Masshole’. Yet, it happened,” adds Sportskeeda

The catch by Edelman is a testament to that entire game for the New England Patriots – they wouldn’t give up. Edelman simply wasn’t going to be denied that football and lead his team to perhaps the best Super Bowl comeback win of all time. 

“Where would Tom Brady’s epic comeback against the Falcons be without this amazing catch from Edelman? In fact, Brady’s pass was tipped by Robert Alford, adding a degree of difficulty for Edelman, who was already surrounded by three defenders. After the deflection, Edelman and the three defenders all laid out for the ball. But it was Edelman who got his hands on it first and then briefly lost it but re-collected the ball while on his way to the ground,” adds The Sports Drop

4. Lynn Swann’s Acrobatic Juggling Catch in Super Bowl X

The next spot on the list of the best Super Bowl Catches takes us back to Super Bowl X in 1976. Just before half time of Super Bowl X, Lynn Swann made an acrobatic, juggling catch that eventually helped lead the Steelers to victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

“In the 2nd quarter of Super Bowl X, Pittsburgh’s Terry Bradshaw completed a 53-yard pass to Lynn Swann to get the ball inside the Dallas 40-yard line. Swann’s catch has become one of the most memorable acrobatic catches in Super Bowl history. The Steelers would go on to win Super Bowl X, 21-17,” explains Bleacher Report

Lynn Swann’s efforts came during a time when the passing game wasn’t as advanced as it is today, making it all the more spectacular. 

“And while his overall effort was the stuff of legends, the acrobatic catch Swann made in the game’s second quarter was, hands down, his standout moment. There aren’t many people who could’ve made that 53-yard reception off the rebound. But let’s be real, there aren’t many people like Swann,” explains Sportscasting

Lynn Swann made more than one spectacular catch in this game, and for some, it can be hard to narrow down which is the better Super Bowl grab.   

“Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Lynn Swann had several miraculous catches against the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl X, including his final 64-yard snag that gave the Steelers’ a 21-10 lead in the fourth. However, it’s the juggling 53-yarder over Dallas DB Mark Washington that is most fondly remembered,” adds Hot New Hip Hop

5. Mario Manningham’s Sideline Catch in Super Bowl XLVI

Rounding out the list of the best Super Bowl catches is Mario Manningham’s incredible sideline catch in Super Bowl XLVI. Manningham’s sideline grab helped the New York Giants once again defeat Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Yet again, it was Eli Manning making an incredible throw to beat the Patriots, and Manningham was the target. 

“While this catch didn’t win the Super Bowl, the Giants never would have won without it. Eli Manning made a great throw, but it was Manningham who did the rest, extending his arms, tapping his two feet down right along the sidelines, and bracing for the hit,” explains The Sports Drop

The spectacular sideline catch by Mario Manningham helped kickstart the Giants’ game-winning drive, something that felt all too familiar to the Patriots. Still, this catch deserves its spot on the list of best Super Bowl catches. 

“New York Giants receiver Mario Manningham will forever be remembered for this spectacular catch down the sideline to help the G-Men win Super Bowl 46. The Giants would go on to score with less than a minute to go in the game, defeating New England 21-17,” writes Bleacher Report

“We understand that it was a perfect throw by Eli Manning, but still, No. 82 knew he was going to get lit up on this play. And yet, he still managed to haul it in (in traffic), get both feet down, and hang on to the ball. We truly believe that the New York Giants don’t defeat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI if Manningham doesn’t make this grab,” adds Sportscasting

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About Matthew Sherdan

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