Santonio Holmes vs. David Tyree Super Bowl catches

The last two Super Bowls have given fans two of the greatest catches in NFL history.

It seemed that David Tyree’s amazing “helmet reception” in the Giants’ thrilling upset of the Patriots in last year’s Super Bowl would never be topped given the magnitude of the game and the fact that it led to New York’s game-winning touchdown. But after Santonio Holmes’ amazing sideline grab in Super Bowl XLIII on Sunday night, maybe Tyree’s catch was bested.

What catch was better?

David Tyree’s against the Patriots:

Santonio Holmes’ against the Cardinals:

There truly isn’t a wrong answer here because both were freaking phenomenal. But if a gun were placed to my head and I had to choose one, I would go with Holmes’ catch against the Cardinals and not just because it was more recent.

The magnitude of both catches were both incredibly high, as well as the degrees of difficulty. Tyree had to fight with Rodney Harrison in midair just to catch the ball, then as it’s slipping from his grasp, press it against his helmet and make sure that it didn’t bounce out when the two players hit the ground. He also had to make sure that no part of the ball touched the turf, which is probably the most amazing part.

Holmes had to jump up, snag Ben Roethlisberger’s pass as it was heading out of bounds, use only his hands to make the catch, make sure both of his feet came down in bounds and as he was falling to the turf, make sure he remained in complete control. He also had to show immense concentration because three defenders were around him at the time.

Both were amazing, but I give the slight edge to Holmes because his catch actually scored the game-winning touchdown. I know Tyree’s led to the Giants’ game winning touchdown and without it, New York probably doesn’t win the game. But Holmes’s was officially worth six points, so I’m giving the nod to him.

Related content:

Holmes’ catch the best ever?

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Holmes’ catch the best ever?

Gregg Doyel of CBSSportsline.com writes that Santonio Holmes’ game-winning touchdown grab was the best catch in NFL history.

Santonio HolmesYou can’t dispute that Pittsburgh receiver Santonio Holmes, given the stakes and the degree of difficulty, just gave us the greatest catch in the history of professional football — a 6-yard, leaping, tightrope grab in the back corner of the end zone with 35 seconds left to give the Steelers a 27-23 victory Sunday night against Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII.

The ball was high, and heading out of bounds. Holmes wasn’t merely going to have to make a leaping catch — that’s routine enough; Holmes himself said later that he didn’t leap, but he did a little bit — but he had to make a leaping catch as his momentum was taking him out the side door near the back of the end zone. Leap, focus on the ball long enough to make the catch, then forget about the hands and worry about the feet. Get them down, both of them, because this isn’t Ohio State, son. Two feet down in the NFL, or it’s no catch.

Do all that … oh, and did we mention this is the Super Bowl? And that there is less than a minute left? That the other team leads 23-20?

Doyel goes onto compare Holmes’ catch to Lynn Swann’s in Super Bowl X and David Tyree’s in last year’s Super Bowl.

Swann and Tyree made their catches in the Super Bowl, so they’re still in the running. I guess. But neither guy made his catch in the end zone. Neither guy scored on the play. Swann made the prettiest catch we’ve ever seen, and Tyree made one of the most difficult catches we’ve ever seen, but they came in the middle of the field. Tyree’s grab led to the winning touchdown, true, but it didn’t score it. So give Swann credit for being a ballerina in cleats, and applaud Tyree for making one of the most ridiculous catches you’ve ever seen.

But don’t compare their non-scoring catches to what Holmes did — not just in the end zone in the Super Bowl, but in the final minute with his team trailing 23-20.

I don’t find myself saying this too often but I actually agree with Doyel. I didn’t think that anything could top Tyree’s catch last year considering the degree of difficulty in which he had to hang onto the ball by pressing it against his helmet while he was falling to the ground and wrestling with Rodney Harrison at the same time. But if you were like me last night when Holmes caught that ball you said, “No way – no way was he in.” But he was and it was incredible.

Holmes had to use his hands and his hands only to snag that ball. Not only that, but he also had three defenders around him and while Roethlisberger’s pass was placed in a spot only Holmes could catch it, it was still sailing well out of bounds when the Steeler wideout snagged it out of the air. And as Doyel points out, when you factor in the magnitude of the game and the fact that Holmes had to get two feet down while his momentum was being carried out of bounds, it all adds up to the greatest catch ever.

Related Posts