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Flacco, Foles, Brady, Mahomes: A decade in Super Bowl MVPs

Super Bowl LVIII is upon us, and the eyes of the sporting world will be focused squarely on two men on Sunday.

The Kansas City Chiefs’ hopes of retaining the Vince Lombardi Trophy rest squarely on Patrick Mahomes’ shoulders, with the 28-year-old finding form at the perfect time ahead of his fourth Super Bowl appearance.

Looking to deny Mahomes his third championship ring is Brock Purdy, with the San Francisco 49ers quarterback hoping to complete his rise from ‘Mr. Irrelevant’ to the pinnacle of the sport.

Prepare for Super Bowl LVIII by reading our other NFL stories here:
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The quarterbacks tend to take centre-stage in the biggest game in American football, with just four of the last 14 Super Bowl MVPs coming from any other position on the field.

As Mahomes and Purdy prepare to face off, we look back at some of the best quarterback displays from recent editions of the Super Bowl.

4. Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs, Super Bowl LVII, 2023)

Mahomes has two Super Bowl MVP awards to go with his two rings, and last year’s display against the Philadelphia Eagles was his finest Super Bowl performance yet.

A physically dominant Philadelphia team were considered pre-match favourites and led by 10 at the half, with Mahomes making a slow start after nursing an ankle injury ahead of the game.

However, he finished with 21 completions from 27 attempts and threw three touchdown passes, building on some electric running from Isiah Pacheco as the Chiefs fought back for a thrilling 38-35 win.

Could a repeat be in store this year?

3. Joe Flacco (Baltimore Ravens, Super Bowl XLVII, 2013)

Super Bowl XLVII was not short of intriguing narratives, with two brothers coaching against one another as John Harbaugh’s Baltimore Ravens faced Jim’s 49ers in New Orleans.

The 2012 postseason was defined by one of the most memorable quarterback runs in league history, with Flacco throwing for 1,140 yards with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions across the Ravens’ four playoff games.

In the Super Bowl itself, Flacco went 22-of-33 for 287 yards and three scores in a tense 34-31 win for the Ravens, throwing all three of his touchdown passes in the first half as a blistering start took the Vince Lombardi Trophy to Baltimore.

2. Nick Foles (Philadelphia Eagles, Super Bowl LII, 2018)

Doing it on the big stage is one thing, but doing it in the Super Bowl against the greatest player in league history is another matter.

Foles spent most of the 2017 season as backup to Carson Wentz, only making his first start of the campaign in Week 15 after the MVP candidate suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury. The rest, as they say, is history.

Foles came up against Tom Brady at his very best at Super Bowl LII, with the New England Patriots great throwing for a record-breaking 505 yards. However, Foles went head-to-head with the undisputed GOAT and came out on top, with Brandon Graham’s fourth-quarter strip sack decisive as the Eagles triumphed by a 41-33 scoreline.

Foles even became the first quarterback with a receiving touchdown in the Super Bowl, taking in tight end Trey Burton’s pass to cap the most memorable of trick plays.

1. Tom Brady (New England Patriots, Super Bowl LI, 2017)

No player in league history can match Brady’s five Super Bowl MVP awards, but he must look back at Super Bowl LI as his defining success.

Indeed, the ’28-3′ game was surely the one which best embodied the relentless drive and leadership qualities which made Brady an all-time great.

When Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan threw his second touchdown pass of the game with 8:31 remaining in the third quarter, Brady’s Patriots found themselves 28-3 down and facing a mammoth task.

Enter Brady. He went a remarkable 43-of-62 for 466 yards and two scores to lead New England to a stunning 34-28 success, sealed by James White’s overtime touchdown run.

This was the first – and so far only – Super Bowl to be decided in overtime, and the Patriots never led at any point in regulation. It was the game which proved Brady’s inevitability beyond all doubt, and must surely go down as the finest quarterback display of recent Super Bowls.

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