Jalen Hurts joined a list he would have preferred not to join following the Eagles' 38-35 loss to the Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII. While he would have rather joined the list of Super Bowl winning quarterbacks, Hurts instead finds himself associated with a list of the greatest Super Bowl performances in a losing cause.
Hurts' performance against the Chiefs is unquestionably the best performance in a Super Bowl by a losing player. He became the first player ever -- regular season or playoffs -- to throw for 300 passing yards and run for 70 yards and three touchdown in a game. He further made history by breaking Steve McNair's Super Bowl record for rushing yards by a quarterback and matching Terrell Davis' record for rushing touchdowns in a single Super Bowl.
Hurts tops the following list of the greatest performances by a member of a losing Super Bowl team.
2. LB Chuck Howley, Super Bowl V
Howley earns this place in history as the only MVP from a losing Super Bowl team. While his team came up just short against the Colts, Howley did his part by intercepting Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas twice. Howley's efforts ended up in vein after an interception by Colts linebacker Mike Curtis set up Jim O'Brien's game-winning field goal with five seconds left.
3. QB Tom Brady, Super Bowl LII
Like every Super Bowl list, Brady is included here on the strength of his record-setting performance against the Eagles. In his third Super Bowl loss, Brady threw for a Super Bowl record 505 yards with three touchdown passes. Making Brady's performance more impressive was the fact that it was done without the help of Julian Edelman, who missed the entire season with a knee injury.
4. RB Thurman Thomas, Super Bowl XXV
Thomas easily would have won MVP had Scott Norwood's kick sailed through the uprights at the end of the game. Thomas led both teams with 135 yards on 15 carries that included his 31-yard touchdown run that gave Buffalo the lead early in the fourth quarter. He also caught five passes for 55 yards against the Giants' stout defense.
(1991) @thurmanthomas pulled off this great TD run in Super Bowl XXV 💯#thurmanthomas #thurman #thomas #nfl #buffalobills #buffalo #bills #billsnation #americanfootball #football #gridiron #run #touchdown #superbowl #superbowlxxv #sports #sport pic.twitter.com/HJshmu827A— In The Showcase (@intheshowcase) October 17, 2020
5. WR Larry Fitzgerald, Super Bowl XLIII
Quiet for most of the game, Fitzgerald and the Cardinals came alive in the fourth quarter. Down 20-7, Fitzgerald led Arizona's late charge with two touchdown catches that included his 64-yard score that gave the Cardinals a late lead. Fitzgerald (who caught seven passes for 127 yards) became a footnote in history, however, after Ben Roethlisberger hit Santonio Holmes for the winning score in the game's final minute.
6. QB Steve McNair, Super Bowl XXXIV
Down 16-0, McNair -- with the help of running back Eddie George -- willed the Titans to 16 unanswered points. McNair also led the Titans on a dramatic drive in the game's final minutes after the Rams had re-gained the lead with 1:54 left.
McNair accounted for each of the Titans' 87 yards on a drive that ended with receiver Kevin Dyson being tackled one yard short of possibly forcing overtime. One play earlier, McNair authored one of the most memorable plays in Super Bowl history after he shed two tackles before hitting Dyson for a 16-yard gain.
Super Bowl 34 was one for the ages. Steve McNair lead the Titans from their own 12 with under two minutes to go before Kevin Dyson was tackled one yard short of the goal line as time expired. pic.twitter.com/luCaVQnLWx— Kyle Lindemann (@LuckIsMadeFF) February 5, 2023
7. DE Kony Ealy, Super Bowl 50
Ealy had the game of his life in the biggest game of his career. The former Panthers' pass rusher sacked Peyton Manning three times and also came down with the final interception of Manning's career. He also forced a fumble and broke up one pass.
What a snag by Kony Ealy.— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) April 22, 2020
The Panthers DT picks off Peyton Manning in the red zone. pic.twitter.com/LHlb4Hqtuq
8. RB Marshawn Lynch, Super Bowl XLIX
Like Thomas, Lynch would have been a shoo-in for MVP had one thing gone differently. Had Pete Carroll decided to call his number instead of calling a pass (that was intercepted by then-Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler), Lynch likely would have scored the game-winning touchdown from one yard out.
Instead, Lynch finds himself on this list after rushing for 102 yards and a score in a losing cause. He also caught a 31-yard pass on Seattle's final drive.
9. LB Levon Kirkland, Super Bowl XXX
Pittsburgh's former Pro Bowl linebacker would have been MVP had his quarterback not thrown two inexcusable interceptions that set up the Cowboys' only two scores in the second half. Kirkland led the Steelers with 10 tackles while helping hold the Cowboys' high-powered offense to just 64 yards in the second half. Trailing 20-17, his sack of Troy Aikman forced a Cowboys punt with 4:15 remaining.
Despite its best effort, Pittsburgh's defense watched as Larry Brown's second pick of the game set up Dallas' game-clinching score. Brown, not Kirkland, was named the game's MVP.
10. TE Dan Ross, Super Bowl XXIII
Trailing the 49ers, 20-0, at halftime, Ross led the Bengals' second-half charge. Ross caught two of the Bengals' three second-half touchdowns as the Bengals managed to get within five points of the 49ers before they ran out of time. Ross tallied 104 receiving yards while catching a then-Super Bowl record 11 passes.
Honorable mention: WR Antonio Freeman, Super Bowl XXXII
Brett Favre's favorite target during his run of three MVP awards, Freeman caught nine passes for 126 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Super Bowl XXXII. Freeman's big game was bested by Broncos running back Terrell Davis, however, as Davis won MVP honors after running for a Super Bowl record three touchdowns.