Where Does Matthew Stafford’s Game-Winning Drive Rank in Super Bowl History?

by Blaine Grisak
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The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals un Super Bowl LVI, 23-20. To take the lead, Matthew Stafford led the Rams on a 79 yard, 15 play drive that ended with the go-ahead touchdown. in Super Bowl history there have been 21 game-winning drives. However, a game-winning drive qualifies as any drive that takes the lead in the fourth quarter. This could happen with 13-minutes left or two minutes left.

With 6:13 remaining, the Rams drove down the field and scored with under two minutes on the clock. Stafford threw the game-winning touchdown to Cooper Kupp with 1:25 remaining. Where does Stafford’s game-winning drive rank in Super Bowl history?

8. Super Bowl XLVI – Eli Manning

In 2011, the New York Giants faced the New England Patriots for the second time in the Super Bowl. The Giants led for most of the game, but trailed 17-15 with 3:46 to go. Manning needed to bring out some of the same magic that he had in 2007 against the same Patriots.

This drive will be remembered for the pass to Mario Manningham that went for 37 yards. Manning finished the drive five-for-six for 74 yards. However, it was Ahmad Bradshaw that won the game with a six-yard rushing touchdown in which he accidentally fell into the end zone. Needing just a field goal, leading the entire game, and capping the drive off with a rushing touchdown hurts Manning here in my eyes, despite the throw to Manningham.

7. Super Bowl XXXVI – Tom Brady

This might be one of the more iconic game-winning drives, but in terms of being among the best, this one falls short. With 1:37 left on the clock, John Madden thought the Patriots should take a knee and go to overtime. Instead, Brady went five-for-eight for 53 yards.

Tied 17-17 against the St. Louis Rams, the Patriots only needed a field goal. Brady got the Patriots in field goal range and Adam Vinatieri did the rest. The Patriots led the entire game and didn’t face a single third down on the drive.

6. Super Bowl LVI – Matthew Stafford

When it comes to all-time great drives, Matthew Stafford led one of them on Sunday. Where this falters compared to other drives, Stafford and the Rams had 6:13 on the clock. The biggest play was a 4th-and-1 and that was a handoff to Cooper Kupp.

However, that’s not to take away from Matthew Stafford. He still went 79 yards on 7-for-11 passing for 61 yards and capped it off with a touchdown pass. The Rams also needed a touchdown and not a field goal which also increased pressure. Stafford’s no-look pass will be remembered as one of the best in Super Bowl history.

5. Super Bowl XXIII – Joe Montana

Backed up at their own eight yard line, the San Francisco 49ers looked to cap off what would be an incredible comeback. The 49ers trailed 13-6 to enter the fourth quarter and with 3:20 to play, they were down 16-13 with 92 yards of grass in front of them.

The famous story is that Montana saw John Candy up in the stands and pointed him out in the huddle. Montana threw for 97 yards on 8-of-9 passing and capped it off with a touchdown to John Taylor.

4. Super Bowl XLIII – Ben Roethlisberger

After leading the majority of this game, the Steelers trailed 23-20 with 2:47 to play. The needed just a field goal to go to overtime. Ben Roethlisberger went six-for-eight for 76 yards and capped it off with one of the best moments in Super Bowl history.

The Steelers looked like they might give up a 20-7 lead after the Cardinals went ahead 23-20. Roethlisberger had other plans. The Steelers faced a 3rd-and-6 early in the drive and a 40-yard pass to Santonio Holmes gave the drive a spark.

3. Super Bowl LI – Tom  Brady

This capped off the greatest Super Bowl comeback of all-time. The Patriots trailed 28-3 at one point and 28-9 heading into the fourth quarter. With 3:30 to play, the Patriots were down 28-20. That’s when Brady pulled off his Super Bowl magic. The Patriots needed 91 yards and faced a 3rd-and-10 early, but Brady found Chris Hogan for 16 yards to convert.

This wasn’t the game-winning drive, but Brady went 7-for-10 for 92 yards and hit Danny Amendola for the two-point conversion. The Patriots then went down the field and won in overtime. One of the all-time great drives, but not the greatest.

2. Super Bowl XLIX – Tom  Brady

The Patriots trailed 24-14 heading into the fourth quarter against one of the best defenses of all-time. With 6:52 to play, they trailed 24-21 to the Seahawks. Despite just needing a field goal, Brady led the Patriots down for a touchdown.

Brady went a perfect 9-for-9 on the drive for 71 yards and capped it off with a touchdown to Julian Edelman. The Patriots defense needed to get the final stop with an interception. However, going 9-for-9 with the game on the line is what makes this drive so great. Brady was flawless.

1. Super Bowl XLII – Eli Manning

While maybe not the best drive, the implications of this drive are what make it great. What happened on this drive is what makes it great. Manning only went 5-for-9, but finished the drive with 77 yards and the go-ahead touchdown pass. Oh, and the Giants were going up against the undefeated 18-0 Patriots.

On 3rd-and-5 with 1:15 to go, Manning escaped what looked to be a sure-sack and found David Tyree 32-yards down the field. Tyree caught the ball on his helmet. From that point, it felt like the Giants couldn’t lose. Manning hit Plaxico Burress four plays later to go up 17-14 and complete the greatest upset in Super Bowl history.

 

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