The best of the best: Super Bowl Most Valuable Players through the years

The score is final. There's confetti floating through the air and covering the field. Two weeks of preparation and 60 minutes of intense action later, the Super Bowl is over and the NFL has crowned a new champion.

Don't turn off the television too fast, though! There's still one major decision to be made -- who of the nearly 100 players on the field was the most valuable of the night?

SEE ALSO: 50 years of elation and heartbreak: Looking back at the history of the Super Bowl

The Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award is one of the most coveted trophies a player can receive, if only because it means he made it to (and likely was an integral part of winning) the big game.

An MVP has been selected after every Super Bowl since the big game's establishment in 1967. The award has been largely dominated by quarterbacks. Signal-callers have been declared most valuable 27 times out of 50 games. Running backs come in at a distant second, having won the award seven times.

The record for most Super Bowl MVP awards won belongs to two legendary quarterbacks who are tied at three apiece: Joe Montana and Tom Brady. Quarterbacks Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw and Eli Manning have all won the award twice.

While the MVP of the big game is generally assumed to be on the winning team, there has been one instance in history -- Super Bowl V -- when the award was given to a player who lost the game. Chuck Howley, a linebacker on the Dallas Cowboys, was declared most valuable despite the Cowboys' 16-13 loss to the Baltimore Colts.

There has also only been one instance in the past 50 years when co-MVPs were named. Defensive end Harvey Martin and defensive tackle Randy White, who both played for the Dallas Cowboys, shared the award after Super Bowl XII

White's win also marked the only time a defensive tackle has won the award. Cornerbacks and punt returners are in the same boat, with Larry Brown (Super Bowl XXX) and Desmond Howard (Super Bowl XXXI) winning the only awards at those positions, respectively.

The MVP of Super Bowl LI could also be a record-setter. If a Falcons player wins the award, he would be the first game MVP in team history. If Tom Brady is selected, he would set records as both the oldest player to win and as the only player to win the award four times.


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