Top 5 Super Bowl Wide Receiver Performances

David Bastl | Updated Jan 31, 2024

Jerry Rice, San Francisco 49ers

Here are five remarkable Super Bowl wide receiver performances that have left an indelible mark on the history of the game.

The Super Bowl brings out the best of the best. Let’s count them down from five to one.

Top 5 Super Bowl Wide Receiver Performances

5. Santonio Holmes, Super Bowl XLIII (2009)

Santonio Holmes etched his name in Super Bowl lore with a game-changing performance in Super Bowl XLIII. Holmes made a series of critical receptions, but nothing better than a remarkable toe-tapping touchdown catch in the waning moments of the game to secure a 27-23 victory for the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Arizona Cardinals. It might be the greatest catch in Super Bowl history, seriously, if you haven’t seen it, check it out online. To no one’s surprise, he was named Super Bowl MVP and cemented his place among the top Super Bowl wide receiver performances.

4. Jerry Rice, Super Bowl XXIV (1990)

Widely regarded as one of THE greatest wide receivers in NFL history, Jerry Rice delivered a stellar performance in Super Bowl XXIV. Rice caught 7 passes for 148 yards and a Super Bowl-record 3 touchdowns, showcasing his unparalleled skill set and ability to dominate on the game’s biggest stage. The 49ers’ rocked the Denver Broncos 55-10 and earned the Super Bowl MVP award.

3. Deion Branch, Super Bowl XXXIX (2005)

Deion Branch delivered a clutch performance in Super Bowl XXXIX, recording 11 receptions for 133 yards and earning the Super Bowl MVP award. Branch’s reliable hands proved crucial in the New England Patriots’ 24-21 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. On a team that had one Pro Bowler on offence (Tom Brady), Branch provided much needed relief on that side of the ball.

2. Lynn Swann, Super Bowl X (1976)

Lynn Swann’s acrobatic and game-changing catches in Super Bowl X are legendary. Despite battling through an injury, Swann hauled in four receptions for a crazy 161 yards and a touchdown, including a series of remarkable, highlight-reel catches that showcased his exceptional athleticism and ball skills. His performance was pivotal in the Steelers’ 21-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Swann captured the Super Bowl MVP award.

1. Jerry Rice, Super Bowl XXIII (1989)

Jerry Rice makes another appearance on this list due to his exceptional performance in Super Bowl XXIII. Rice caught 11 passes for a Super Bowl-record 215 yards and a touchdown, showcasing his exceptional route running, hands, and big-play ability. His contributions were instrumental in the San Francisco 49ers’ 20-16 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Of course, he won another Super Bowl MVP award.

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These five Super Bowl wide receiver performances exemplify the impact that exceptional pass-catching displays can have on the grandest stage in American sports. From clutch catches to game-changing receptions, these wide receivers have left an enduring football legacy.

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