10 most unlikely Super Bowl MVPs

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 18: Safety Dexter Jackson
TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 18: Safety Dexter Jackson /
4 of 10
Mandatory Credit: Getty Images
Mandatory Credit: Getty Images /

Desmond Howard

Wide Receiver/Returner, Green Bay Packers

To this day, Desmond Howard is the only returner to win a Super Bowl MVP. He won it during Super Bowl 31 when the Green Bay Packers beat the New England Patriots 35-21. Howard tied an Super Bowl record with 244 return yards during the big game.

Though the former Heisman Trophy winner only scored one touchdown in the game, it was a huge one. The Patriots cut the Packers lead to 28-21. On the ensuing kickoff, Howard took it to the house. Even before the huge return, the Packers returner consistently helped put Green Bay in good field position with his stellar returns.

What’s weird is he was the true MVP of the game, as the Packers relied heavily on a variety of contributors. Brett Favre threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns. Antonio Freeman had three receptions for 105 yards, including an 81 yard touchdown reception. Even though Drew Bledsoe threw four interceptions, four Packers recorded an interception. So Howard was the most logical choice since he was the playmaker on the game’s biggest play.

While he’s one of the strangest MVPs in Super Bowl history, he’s also one of the more deserving. The game was largely forgettable sans Freeman’s touchdown reception and Howard’s kickoff return.