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Has a player on the losing team ever won Super Bowl MVP?

The Super Bowl MVP Award is a great accomplishment, but how often does it go to a player on the losing team?

Dallas Cowboys Chuck Howley, Super Bowl V SetNumber: X15535 R11 F25

Super Bowl 58 takes place on Sunday, February 11, from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, featuring the San Francisco 49ers taking on the Kansas City Chiefs.

We’ve seen outstanding individual performances in this game through the decades and typically, the most impactful player on the winning team wins Super Bowl MVP. But has there ever been a player from the losing team to win the award? The answer is yes, it has happened...just once.

Chuck Howley is the only player in NFL history to win Super Bowl MVP after his team lost the game, taking home the award in 1971 after his Dallas Cowboys fell to the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl 5. The future Hall of Fame linebacker recorded two interceptions in a game that has since been dubbed the “Blunder Bowl,” a mistake-filled contest where the Cowboys and Colts combined for 11 turnovers in the championship showdown. So this was a situation where play was so poor on both sides, that Howley effectively won MVP by default for his positive contributions. He’d go on to help lead the Cowboys to a victory in Super Bowl 6 the following year.

Patrick Mahomes enters as the favorite to win this year’s Super Bowl MVP with +130 odds at DraftKings Sportsbook. Brock Purdy has the shortest odds of 49ers players at +210.

This article can also be found in our Ultimate Guide to Super Bowl 58, presented by Frank’s Red Hot.