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Greatest drives in Super Bowl history: Nos. 10-6

02/02/2013 10:20 AM ET
By Joe Auriemma

Jeff Hostetler led one of the longest drives in Super Bowl history in the Giants' win.(AP)

Honorable Mention

Super Bowl XXXVIII: In what turned out to be a shootout Super Bowl, the underdog Carolina Panthers showed a lot of grit in coming back at the end of the game. The Patriots just took a 29-22 lead after a two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter, putting a near dagger in the Panthers' heart and looking poised to win their second Super Bowl in three years. Jack Delhomme had other ideas.

The Panthers final drive began at the 20-yard line and Jake Delhomme caught fire. The drive became the Delhomme and Ricky Proehl show. Seven plays, 80-yards, capped off by a Proehl 12-yard touchdown reception in a drive that lasted 1:43, letting the Panthers tied the score with 1:08 left in the game. It looked like this would be the first Super Bowl to go into overtime, but Panthers' kicker John Kasay became the goat of the game when he kicked the ball out of bounds. That blunder gave Brady and company the ball at the 40-yard line and just enough time to set up another Adam Vinatieri Super Bowl winning kick.

Number 10

Super Bowl XIII: With the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys trading scores, it looked like the first team to make a mistake would wind up losing the game. With Dallas down 21-14 to start the second half, Roger Staubach led the Cowboys down the field in impressive fashion. Then on a key third down, Staubach threw an absolutely perfect pass to future Hall of Fame tight end Jackie Smith … who dropped the ball in the end zone. This mistake would lead to a field goal, and in one of the most entertaining Super Bowl's ever, Dallas would never recover from that flub. This drive makes the list because this one solidified the Steelers as the team of the '70s over "America's Team."

Number 9

Super Bowl XXV: With 2:16 left in the game and the Bills down, 20-19, the Bills were starting at their own 10-yard line. With virtually no passing game, Jim Kelly orchestrated one of the gutsiest drives in Super Bowl history. Kelly took led the Bills down to the Giants' 29-yard line with an array of short passes, quarterback draws and Thurman Thomas rushes. The Giants defense, which played brilliantly against the high-octane Bills offense, couldn't stop a quarterback who played as if he couldn't be denied. But with no timeouts left, the Bills needed to kick a 47-yard field goal if they wanted to win the game. The rest is history.

Number 8

Super Bowl XXXIV: The Greatest Show on Turf, St. Louis Rams were heavily favored over the Tennessee Titans. Steve McNair and the Titans narrowed the score and actually had the momentum going into the final drive of the game. Starting at their own 12-yard line with just 1:48 left in the game, McNair went to work. The Titans led an air assault, picking apart the Rams defense in the process. They also took advantages of penalties that would have seemingly ended the game for the Rams. Then with six second left, no timeouts and the ball at the Rams' 10-yard line, Steve McNair stepped to the line to see whether he could tie up the Super Bowl and send the game to OT. He completed a pass to Kevin Dyson, who was on his way to the end zone when a desperate Mike Jones leapt to make a leg tackle at the two-yard line. Dyson reached and came up just short of the goal line. This play will forever be known as "the tackle." But even though the Titans didn't score, this drive is one of the greats in Super Bowl history.

Number 7

Super Bowl XXV: With the Bills seemingly controlling the action in the first half, the Giants mounted a rally before the half to cut the Bills' lead to 12-10. Then the Giants opened the second half with a drive that will go down as truly one of the more epic drives in NFL history. The Giants needed to keep the ball out of the high-octane Bills' hands, and that's just what they did. Jeff Hostetler led the Giants on a 14-play, 9:29 drive, going 75 yards and capping it off with a one-yard touchdown run by game MVP Ottis Anderson to give the Giants the 17-12 lead. The Giants converted four straight third downs, and Mark Ingram had one of the most improbable catches on the drive. On third down and 13, Ingran broke tackles, spun and would not be denied the first down. This drive set the tone for the rest of the game.

Number 6

Super Bowl III: Joe Namath made the guarantee, and then led the Jets on a second quarter drive that would make good on the guarantee and put him in football lore forever. The drive started at the 20-yard line, and 12 plays later the Jets took a lead they would not relinquish. Going 80 yards in 5:03, the Jets capped off the drive with a Matt Snell four-yard touchdown to put the Jets up, 7-0. Gang Green controlled the action from there on out against a team that was extremely favored to beat them. This win set the wheels in motion for the NFL-AFL merger, legitimizing the AFL and making the NFL what it is today.

Check out the completed list, with drives No. 5-1, here.
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