The fastest score can be looked at two ways. Either by number of plays or time taken off the clock. In Super Bowl XLI, Bears speedster Devin Hester scored on the opening kickoff, speeding from one end of the field to the other in 14 seconds. One play, one score.
But several years later, in Super Bowl XLVIII in MetLife Stadium, the first outdoor cold weather Super Bowl, the first snap of the game went into the end zone for a safety.
Hester would be the answer as far as an unbreakable record goes: you can’t score before the opening kickoff. But what about the time factor?
Because Broncos kickoff returner Trindon Holliday didn’t get a chance to run as much as Hester did on his return, Denver started the first play from scrimmage with 14:53 on the clock, and the safety came five seconds later, making 12 seconds the new record for earliest points on the board, beating Hester by two full seconds.
It’s possible to get a faster score than that, and even a faster safety, if a returner fielded the opening kickoff at the 1-yard line and had a brain fart to down the ball in the end zone. It’s probably more likely that someone could run back a kickoff for a touchdown in under 12 seconds, as Hester’s dash covered a lot more ground than the 92 yards he got credit for — he went from one side of the field to the other along the way.
But as far as “number of plays into the game” goes, you can’t beat Devin Hester’s one.
One fascinating note is Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning was part of both scores (technically), and on the wrong end of both. Directly invoiced in Super Bowl XLVIII when Manny Ramirez snapped the ball over his head and into the end zone for a safety when Knowshon Moreno dove on it, and indirectly when he was on the Colts’ sideline watching Hester run back the opening kick 92 yards for a score.