The Super Bowl offers a unique format in crowning a NFL champion each season, unlike any of the other three major sports. All of the other three professional formats feature a seven-game series to determine a champion, but the NFL uses just one winner-take-all game. The highest stake of this situation is a big reason why it's usually the most watched American sports event every year.
With everything on the line, the Super Bowl creates a massive opportunity for the players involved to make a lasting impact on NFL history. One great performance can make any player legendary if it helps their team lift the Vince Lombardi trophy. Many have done so over the years on both sides of the football, including from the linebacker position.
Best performances by a linebacker in Super Bowl history
Linebackers are often among the most important NFL players on any defense, whether they play on the outside or the inside. Here are five of them who turned in some of the most iconic performances in Super Bowl history.
#5 - Nick Bolton
The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in SB LVII. Nick Bolton was a massive contributor in shutting down one of the best offenses in the NFL, especially in the second half of the game. He recorded nine total tackles and returned a crucial fumble for a defensive touchdown.
#4 - Devin White
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defense put on a dominant performance against the Kansas City Chiefs in SB LV. Devin White was one of the biggest standout players as he filled up the stat sheet all game. He was all over the field, recording 12 total tackles and an interception.
#3 - James Harrison
When the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals in SB XLIII, James Harrison had one of the most iconic individual plays in NFL history. On the final play of the first half, he recorded an interception and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown. While he recorded just four tackles, his touchdown changed the entire game.
#2 - Von Miller
The Denver Broncos won the Vince Lombardi trophy for SB L when they destroyed the Carolina Panthers. Their dominant defense was a big reason for the dominance and Von Miller stood out above the rest. He totaled six tackles with 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles on his way to being named the Super Bowl MVP.
#1 - Malcolm Smith
The Seattle Seahawks had an unexpected hero when they defeated the Denver Broncos in SB XLVIII. Malcolm Smith was more of a role player than anything on their iconic defense, but he elevated his perormance on the biggest stage. He was named the Super Bowl MVP after recording 10 total tackles, a fumble recovery, an interception and a touchdown.