50 Most Memorable Super Bowl Moments, No. 5: Santonio Holmes' corner TD

As the NFL approaches its highly anticipated golden anniversary Super Bowl, Yahoo Sports takes a look back at some of the most memorable moments in the game's history.

In our rankings, the moments go beyond the great scores and plays. We also take a look at entertainment performances, scandals/controversies and other events associated with corresponding Super Bowls.

Here's a look at moment No. 5:

Holmes' fancy footwork

Santonio Holmes catches a 6-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter vs. the Cardinals during Super Bowl XLIII. (Getty)
Santonio Holmes catches a 6-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter vs. the Cardinals during Super Bowl XLIII. (Getty)

Santonio Holmes sat on the bench next to backup quarterback Byron Leftwich as the clock wound down in Super Bowl XLIII, shouting to no one in particular, "Time to be great. Time to be great. Who dares? I'm daring to be great right now."

Scroll to continue with content

It would take something great for the Pittsburgh Steelers to come from behind and defeat the Arizona Cardinals and win their NFL-record sixth Super Bowl championship.

The underdog Cardinals stunned the Steelers when Larry Fitzgerald burst through a seam after taking a Kurt Warner pass and went 64 yards for a touchdown that gave Arizona a 23-20 lead with just 2:37 left in the game to overcome a 20-7 fourth-quarter deficit.

Pittsburgh needed someone who dared to be great, or who could at least make a great play.

Holmes made three good plays in the drive, each successively better and more significant. On third-and-6 with 1:56 remaining and the Steelers deep in their own end, Holmes made a critical first down, getting 13 yards and taking the ball to the Steelers' 39-yard line.

More Most Memorable Super Bowl Moments:

6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26-30 | 31-35 | 36-40 | 41-45 | 46-50
Greatest 'forgotten' plays

• NEXT (Feb. 2): No. 4


Great play No. 2 came with 1:02 left when Holmes caught a pass and raced through a hole past several defenders to get the ball to the Cardinals' 6 with 49 seconds remaining.

At that point, Pittsburgh was in chip-shot field-goal range and at least had to feel comfortable it could force overtime.

After an incompletion, there were 42 seconds left. And Holmes once again spoke up.

"We need this play, man," Holmes said in the huddle. "Let's win the championship for us right here, man."

He proceeded to go and do just that with one of the most spectacular catches in Super Bowl history.

Ben Roethlisberger was in the shotgun and took the snap. He made a scan of the field, looking to his right, down the middle and then to the left. No one was open.


Just then, Cardinals defensive tackle Bryan Robinson gets off a block and, for an instant, starts to come free.

The first read was the running back [Mewelde Moore], in the flat, but he wasn't open," Roethlisberger said. "Then I was going to try to bang it to Hines [Ward] real quick, but someone was closing, and I was a little nervous about it."

Roethlisberger pump fakes and then throws to the right corner of the end zone.

"It was a play that we drew up that we were hoping to get open in the back of the corner," Holmes said.

After the pump fake, Roethlisberger eyes Holmes. He had a down to play with, so he elects to go for the corner.


"I looked back, scrambled a little bit and saw 'Tone in the corner," Roethlisberger said. "I tried to throw it high so he was going to catch it, or no one was."

Three Cardinal defenders, safety Aaron Francisco and cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Ralph Brown, surround Holmes. Brown leaps in an effort to bat the ball down, but it barely eludes him.

Francisco and Rodgers-Cromartie are trailing, so there is a little daylight between them and Holmes. However, Holmes is quickly running out of room.

Holmes reaches up with both hands and grabs the ball, as his momentum is taking him down and out of bounds. He taps his left toe and then tries to drag his right.


If the right foot hits inbounds, Pittsburgh will go ahead. If it's not, it's third down from the 6. Immediately, the side judge signifies touchdown.

It goes to a replay, but Rodgers-Cromartie is certain of the ruling.

"I was right there," Rodgers-Cromartie said. "I knew he caught the ball."


he caught it is another matter. First, the odds were against him given Pittsburgh's lack of success with the play.

If Holmes is to be believed, the Steelers had no luck with it during practice despite a lot of work on it.

"We'd run that play from the first play of postseason practice up until the day before the Super Bowl, and we had never completed that pass, not one time," he said. "The catch was amazing. The throw was even better."


The best part of it was Holmes' ability to concentrate on two things at the same time: He was surrounded by defenders, and one flashed right past him just as the ball was on its downward arc. He also had to be aware of where he was on the field.

"My feet never left the ground," Holmes said. "All I did was extend my arms and use my toes as extra extension to catch up to the ball."

When he grabbed it, he cemented his place in professional football lore.