Top 50 clutch moments in Super Bowl history: 11-20

This is a look at those who came through at the key moments on the game's grandest stage. We count down the most clutch moments in Super Bowl history, revealing 10 epic moments each week during the playoffs until unveiling the greatest moment the week before the big game.

20. Over the Steel Curtain

Game:Super Bowl XIV: Pittsburgh Steelers 31, Los Angeles Rams 19
Date: Jan. 20, 1980
Location: Rose Bowl, Pasadena, Calif.

The Rams were giving the three-time Super Bowl champion Steelers everything they could handle. A halfback option touchdown pass from running back Lawrence McCutcheon to Ron Smith gave Los Angeles a 19-17 third-quarter lead. That lead held up going into the fourth quarter, but Pittsburgh would finally break through for a big play. On a third-and-8 situation, quarterback Terry Bradshaw threw deep for receiver John Stallworth, who collected the pass for a go-ahead 73-yard touchdown play.

The lead changed hands seven times in this game, which remains a Super Bowl record. The Steelers capped an amazing run of success in the 1970s, winning a fourth Super Bowl in six seasons.


19. Jack on the spot

Game:Super Bowl XVIII: Los Angeles Raiders 38, Washington Redskins 9
Date: Jan. 22, 1984
Location: Tampa Stadium, Tampa, Fla.

It was a curious play call from the Redskins, and it turned into a game breaker for the Raiders. With 12 seconds remaining in the first half, the Redskins had the ball at their own 12-yard line. Rather than run out the clock, the Redskins ran screen pass from quarterback Joe Theismann to running back Joe Washington. However, Raiders reserve linebacker Jack Squirek jumped the screen, picked off the pass and scored a touchdown that put the Raiders up 21-3 at halftime.

The Redskins entered the game after having scored an NFL-record 541 points in the regular season (a mark since broken multiple times, and currently owned by the 2013 Denver Broncos' 606 points). Rather than roll to a second consecutive Super Bowl triumph, the Redskins were routed by a Raiders team that became the first in Super Bowl history to score an offensive, defensive and special teams touchdown in the same Super Bowl.

For what seemed like the longest time, the Raiders were the last AFC team win in a Super Bowl. The NFC went on a 13-game Super Bowl-winning run that was finally put to an end when the Denver Broncos shocked the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII.


18. Howard's return powers Pack

Game:Super Bowl XXXI: Green Bay Packers 35, New England Patriots 21
Date: Jan. 26, 1997
Location: Superdome, New Orleans, La.

For the first four seasons of his NFL career, 1991 Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard had failed to live up to the hype that typically comes with winning college football's most prestigious award. However, that all changed when Howard signed with a Packers team that had been on the brink of excellence in 1995 and had its sights set on winning the proud franchise's first championship in nearly 30 years.

Howard emerged as a nearly unstoppable force as a return specialist, leading the NFL in punt return yardage and touchdowns in 1996. Howard cemented his Super Bowl MVP award after the Patriots cut the Packers' lead to 27-21 in the third quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, Howard went a then-Super Bowl record 99 yards for the final touchdown of the game. Howard finished the game with 244 total return yards (154 on kickoffs and 90 on punt returns).


17. TD TransPorter

Game:Super Bowl XLIV: New Orleans Saints 31, Indianapolis Colts 17
Date: Feb. 7, 2010
Location: Sun Life Stadium, South Florida

After the Saints took a 24-17 lead, Peyton Manning led the Colts into Saints territory late in the fourth quarter. Facing a third-and-5 situation, Manning threw a pass toward receiver Reggie Wayne, but Saints defensive back Tracy Porter stepped in front of the throw and returned it 74 yards for the game-clinching pick six.

The Super Bowl win gave a Saints franchise -- one for most of its history had only known disappointment -- its first NFL championship in 43 years of existence.


16. Williams-to-Sanders sparks offensive onslaught

Game:Super Bowl XXII: Washington Redskins 42, Denver Broncos 10
Date: Jan. 31, 1988
Location: Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego, Calif.

The Broncos built a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, and nobody at that time could have predicted what would transpire in the second quarter. A 35-point offensive onslaught before halftime was sparked by Redskins quarterback Doug Williams connecting with receiver Ricky Sanders for Washington's first score. The Redskins scored a record-breaking 35 points in the second quarter en route to scoring 42 unanswered points. Williams' long touchdown toss to Sanders was Williams' first of four touchdown passes in a Super Bowl MVP performance.

That 10-point deficit is also the largest overcome by a Super Bowl winner.


15. Superbowl Mario

Game:Super Bowl XLVI: New York Giants 21, New England Patriots 17
Date: Feb. 5, 2012
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.


14. Swann is sensational

Game:Super Bowl X: Pittsburgh Steelers 21, Dallas Cowboys 17
Date: Jan. 18, 1976
Location: Orange Bowl, Miami

Steelers receiver Lynn Swann earned game MVP honors for a series of outstanding plays in Pittsburgh's second consecutive Super Bowl win. Swann tight-roped the sideline for one of the most spectacular catches ever seen, made a juggling catch while falling to the turf for a 53-yard gain, and then scored on a 64-yard touchdown catch to put the Steelers up for good in this first of two titanic Super Bowl clashes with the Cowboys in the 1970s.


13. Ingram busts Bills tackles for key first down

Game:Super Bowl XXV: New York Giants 20, Buffalo Bills 19
Date: Jan. 27, 1991
Location: Tampa Stadium, Tampa, Fla.

The Giants' ball-control strategy against the high-powered, no-huddle Bills got a massive boost from receiver Mark Ingram. Down 12-10 to open the third quarter, the Giants embarked on a 75-yard, 14-play drive that sucked 9:29 off the game clock. The highlight of this epic march was a third-and-13 play in which Ingram caught a short pass, broke five Bills tackles to attain the first down and keep the drive alive. Running back Ottis Anderson capped this drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to put the Giants up 17-12.

Of course, in the end, the Giants needed a little bit of luck to emerge as champions in one of the greatest Super Bowls ever played.


12. Allen caps 'Black Sunday'

Game:Super Bowl XVIII: Los Angeles Raiders 38, Washington Redskins 9
Date: Jan. 27, 1991
Location: Tampa Stadium, Tampa, Fla.

This was a Super Bowl of big, game-changing plays, and Marcus Allen's 74-yard touchdown run was the greatest of all those dramatic moments. Allen reversed field and ran past the Redskins defenders for a then-Super Bowl record 74-yard rushing touchdown. Allen was named the game's MVP after carrying the ball 20 times for a then-Super Bowl record 191 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

Allen's play, along with a blocked punt recovered for a touchdown and Jack Squirek's pick six right before halftime, helped the Raiders shock the defending champion Redskins.


11. 49ers defense sparks first title

Game:Super Bowl XVI: San Francisco 49ers 26, Cincinnati Bengals 21
Date: Jan. 24, 1982
Location: Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Mich.

With momentum heavily favoring the Bengals -- who were trailing 20-7 but threatening to tighten up the contest -- the 49ers made a goal-line stand for the ages. Presented with a first-and-goal from the 49ers' 3-yard line, the Bengals could not penetrate the goal line. Two runs set up a third-and-goal situation from the 1-yard line. Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson threw a swing pass to running back Charles Alexander, but 49ers linebacker Dan Bunz made a dramatic open-field tackle short of the end zone. Rather than attempt a field goal to trim the 49ers' lead to 10, the Bengals went for it on fourth and goal from the 1-yard line, and Cincinnati fullback Pete Johnson was stuffed at the line of scrimmage.

This was the first of five 49ersSuper Bowl wins in 14 seasons, as San Francisco earned "Team of the '80s" designation.

Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.

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