Each weekday until Super Bowl Sunday, Hulu and Football Outsiders’ Aaron Schatz are counting down the 10 best Super Bowl games in history with the help of NFL Films. Check our Spotlight page every day to see the latest pick. The final selection, and the greatest Super Bowl of all-time: the 2008 season’s showdown between the Cardinals and Steelers.
This recent entry onto the list of great Super Bowls didn’t include many lead changes, but it did feature a big comeback and a huge near-upset. The Arizona Cardinals were a surprise NFC champion after finishing the regular season 9-7, and Pittsburgh was leading the game 20-7 at the end of the third quarter. Then Arizona fought their way back with two Larry Fitzgerald touchdowns and a safety, taking a 23-20 lead. But Pittsburgh got the ball back with 2:37 left, and Ben Roethlisberger led a 78-yard drive that ended in an acrobatic Santonio Holmes touchdown grab with less than a minute remaining.
Great plays are what made this game particularly memorable. James Harrison’s 100-yard interception return to end the first half may be the greatest defensive play in Super Bowl history; Fitzgerald’s 64-yard touchdown reception is a thing of beauty; and Santonio Holmes’ ability to keep his feet in bounds for the catch that won the game was superhuman.
Follow Aaron Schatz on Twitter @FO_ASchatz.