The Green Bay Packers have won four Super Bowls and played in five since the game was introduced in 1967. Winning the Super Bowl MVP places a player in a unique fraternity that features some of the best players in the history of the game. Three Packers players have been named Super Bowl MVP. Bart Starr won the first two awards in Super Bowls I and II. In Super Bowl XXXI, Desmond Howard became the first special teams player to win the award. Then, Aaron Rodgers won the MVP in Super Bowl XLV. But here are five players who could have been named Super Bowl MVPs but fell just short. They are listed in chronological order.
First Packers Player Who Could Have Been Named Super Bowl MVP: WR Max McGee, Super Bowl I
Starr won the MVP of Super Bowl I by completing 16-of-23 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw one interception and had a quarterback rating of 116.2 in the Packers 35-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
But it was veteran wide receiver Max McGee who truly shined in this game. Ironically, McGee didn’t even start the game and only caught four passes all season for the Packers.
But when Boyd Dowler was injured in the first series, McGee took his place and never looked back. He finished the game with seven catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns. McGee also scored the first touchdown in the history of the Super Bowl, a 37-yard effort in the first quarter that put the Packers ahead 7-0.
No other receiver or runner in the game gained more than 67 yards in the game. McGee’s effort made him a strong MVP candidate.
Second Player: Super Bowl II, DE Willie Davis
Starr won his second consecutive MVP award in Super Bowl II after completing 13-of-24 passes for 202 yards and one touchdown. His quarterback rating was 96.2 as the Packers downed the Oakland Raiders 33-14.
The Green Bay defense did a good job of stifling Daryle Lamonica and a potent Raiders offense in this game. Packers defensive end Willie Davis led the way with three sacks of Lamonica in this game for 22 yards in losses. As a result, Lamonica completed less than 50 percent of his passes.
In the game, the Raiders scored just 14 points and seven of them came late in the game after the Packers held an unsurmountable 33-7 lead.
Davis had a great Super Bowl, but his three-sack performance is largely overlooked today. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981.
Third Packers Player Who Could Have Been Named Super Bowl MVP: Super Bowl XXXI, QB Brett Favre
Howard won the MVP of Super Bowl XXXI due to his efforts as a kick and punt returner. His 99-yard kick return late in the third quarter closed out the scoring in the Packers 35-21 win over the New England Patriots. Howard had 244 total return yards in the game.
But Packers quarterback Brett Favre deserved serious consideration for the award. Favre finished the game with a quarterback rating of 107.9 after completing 14-of-27 passes for 246 yards and two touchdown passes. He also ran for a touchdown late in the first half.
Late in the game, broadcaster John Madden said he voted for Favre, but ultimately Howard was the winner.
Fourth Player: Super Bowl XXXI, DE Reggie White
Defensive end Reggie White won his first championship at any level of football when the Packers won Super Bowl XXXI. “The Minister of Defense” contributed to the win in a big way. White tied a Super Bowl record with three sacks in a game and they came at a big time.
Just after Howard gave the Packers a two-score lead with his 99-yard kick return, the Patriots got the ball back late in the third quarter. They needed to score on this drive to get back some momentum and get back to within one score.
But on 2nd-and-5 from their own 30, White sacked Drew Bledsoe on back-to-back plays for a combined 14 yards in losses. White showed his strength on one sack, literally pushing aside 315-pound offensive tackle Max Lane to get to the quarterback.
White added a third sack in the fourth quarter as the Packers defense shut down the New England offense entirely in the fourth quarter and won the game 35-21.
Fifth Packers Player Who Could Have Been Named Super Bowl MVP: Super Bowl XLV, WR Jordy Nelson
While Rodgers won the Super Bowl MVP, wide receiver Jordy Nelson was another strong contender for the award. The game was Nelson’s coming out party. The former Kansas State star caught nine passes for 140 yards and a touchdown in the game which led all receivers in the game by a large margin.
Nelson opened the scoring late in the first quarter on a 29-yard pass from Rodgers. His longest catch of the day was a big 38-yard catch in the fourth quarter that set up the touchdown pass to Greg Jennings. The play came on a 3rd-and-10 from the Pittsburgh 40 and was critical in keeping the drive alive. It eventual touchdown gave the Packers a 28-17 lead which they never relinquished.
After this game, Nelson was clearly Rodgers’ go-to-receiver. The following year, he had more than 1,200 yards receiving and 15 touchdowns.
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