Super Bowl countdown
Gimme that ring: the top five individual Super Bowl performances
VIDEO: There’s no ‘i’ in team, but there is in ‘win’ and there are times when one individual can make all the difference.

As we begin to countdown towards Super Bowl XLV in Dallas on Sunday week, Steven O’Rourke takes a look at his five favourite individual displays in the big one.

5. Marcus Allen

LA Raiders – Super Bowl XVIII – 1984

The Los Angeles Raiders, as they were known then, went into this game as such heavy underdogs that their victory over the Washington Redskins is still known as ‘Black Sunday’.

In becoming just the third Heisman Trophy winner to be named a Super Bowl MVP, Allen ran 20 times for 191 yards, including a then record 74-yard touchdown run at the end of the third quarter.

4. Kurt Warner

St Louis Rams – Super Bowl XXXIV – 2000

Fairytale stuff this. Warner had worked in a grocery store and played in NFL Europe before being picked up as a third string quarterback for the Rams and only got his chance to play the 1999 season after an injury to Trent Green.

Having led his team to the Super Bowl, Warner then threw 24 of 45 passes for 414 yards, including 277 yards in the first half alone. However, this game will be remembered for his 73-yard pass to Issac Bruce with just two minutes remaining to secure victory over the Titans.

3. Joe Montana

San Francisco 49ers – Super Bowl XXIV – 1990

Perhaps the greatest quarterback in history, Montana is without doubt the best Super Bowl QB. Having already won three rings, you’d have imagined that Montana’s drive was diminished. However, he saved his best performance until last.

Against the Broncos –led by John Elway – Montana completed 22 of 29 passes for a then record five touchdowns. Connecting with Jerry Rice on three of those passes, Montana led the 49ers to the most lopsided victory in Super Bowl history, 55-10.

2. Phil Simms

New York Giants – Super Bowl XXI – 1987

One thing you can say about Denver is that they know how to let players stand out. Three years before Montana tore them apart, Phil Simms and the New York Giants turned in an impressive second-half performance to defeat the Broncos.

Simms threw 22 of 25 passes – an incredible 88% –  for 268 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran three times for 25 yards to secure a 39-20 victory despite trailing 10-9 at half time.

1. Steve Young

San Francisco 49ers – Super Bowl XXIX – 1995

It seems crazy that the best individual Super Bowl performance is from a 49er but doesn’t include the names Jerry Rice or Joe Montana but the fact is that Steve Young’s 1995 performance eclipsed anything either achieved in their career.

Young completed 24 of 36 passes for 315 yards including an incredible six touchdowns, a Super Bowl record. Two of those touchdowns came in the first seven plays of the game. Oh, and he managed to do all this without a single interception.

Steven O’Rourke is the offensive coordinator of Tullamore Phoenix American Football Club. When not obsessing with football he can be found at 4fortyfour.

Do you agree with Steven’s picks?