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Archive for the ‘Super Bowl Performances’


Counting Down the 25 Greatest Individual Offensive Performances in Super Bowl History 3

Posted on January 30, 2014 by Dean Hybl
Has there ever been a better Super Bowl performance than Joe Montana in Super Bowl XXIII?

Has there ever been a better Super Bowl performance than Joe Montana in Super Bowl XXIII?

Sunday’s Super Bowl will feature the most prolific offense in NFL history against a squad that has a dominant running back and budding star at quarterback. Who will rise as the greatest star of the biggest game of the year? While Super Bowl history is full of second tier players having a career day, it is also full of future Hall of Famers who rose to the ultimate occasion.

This article marks part two of our look at the top 50 individual offensive performances in Super Bowl history. Of the 50 performances picked for the list, 31 were by players who either are in the Hall of Fame or should realistically expect to receive a bust in Canton at some point. However, when you look at the “best of the best” performances, 19 of the top 25 were by players who are Hall of Fame caliber.

So, as we look toward Sunday, expect the cream to rise to the top and the top performers to be from marquee players like Peyton Manning, Marshawn Lynch, Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Russell Wilson. However, I wouldn’t put it past Julius Thomas, Eric Decker, Golden Tate, Percy Harvin or Doug Baldwin to emerge as a Super Bowl hero.

Here is a look at our picks for the 25 best individual offensive performances in Super Bowl history. For this list we looked at statistics, but also considered game situations. That is why the Super Bowl where Joe Montana threw 5 touchdowns was highlighted in the first look at performances 50-26 and two others where he arguably wasn’t as statistically dominant are included here. We did take into account whether the team won the game, but did not give any weight to who won the game MVP Award as there have been many occasions where you can scratch your head at who received that award.

Be sure to check out part 1 with numbers 50-26. I welcome your comments or ideas as to which performances you think should be on this list.

25. Joe Montana – San Francisco 49ers – Super Bowl XIX – 24-35, 331 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT; 5 rushes, 59 yards, 1 TD
Even though Joe Montana already had a Super Bowl ring prior to facing the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX, he was generally considered the “second quarterback” entering the big game. Conventional wisdom was that Miami’s big armed quarterback Dan Marino was going to blow away Montana and the 49ers. As it turned out, Montana and his team proved dominant in a 38-16 victory. Montana passed for 13 more yards and tossed three touchdowns with no picks, compared to one TD and two interceptions for Marino.

 

Max McGee was an unlikely hero in Super Bowl I.

Max McGee was an unlikely hero in Super Bowl I.

24. Max McGee – Green Bay Packers – Super Bowl I – 7 rec., 138 yards, 2 TD
It was no surprise that the Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in the first Super Bowl, but it was quite a shocker that one of the stars of the game was aging wide receiver Max McGee. Having caught just four passes in limited action during the season, McGee expected his biggest score of the weekend to be when he broke curfew the night before the game. Yet, after Boyd Dowler suffered a broken collar bone in the first minutes, McGee made history by scoring the first touchdown in Super Bowl history.

23. Kurt Warner – St. Louis Rams – Super Bowl XXXIV – 24-45, 414 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
Before the 1999 season Kurt Warner had thrown all of 11 passes in the NFL. In Super Bowl XXXIV he threw the ball 45 times for 414 yards (still the single game Super Bowl record) to lead the Rams to a 23-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans. The Rams marched up and down the field, but were held to just three field goals in the first half and the Titans came all the way back to tie the score at 16. Warner then connected with Isaac Bruce for a 73-yard touchdown that proved to be the game winner.

22. Eli Manning – New York Giants – Super Bowl XLVI – 30-40, 296 yards, 1TD, 0 INT
With his team trailing 17-9 after the New England Patriots scored on the first drive of the second half, Eli Manning completed 17 of 23 passes for 176 yards to lift the New York Giants to their second Super Bowl victory over the Patriots in five years. He was especially impressive when marching the Giants down for the game-winning touchdown as he completed five of six passes for 74 yards.

21. John Elway – Denver Broncos – Super Bowl XXXIII – 18-29, 336 yards, 1TD, 1INT; 1 rushing TD
In his final NFL game, John Elway went out in style by passing for 336 yards and a touchdown and scoring another touchdown on the ground as the Broncos won their second straight Super Bowl. The Broncos seized control early with Elway’s 80-yard touchdown pass to Rod Smith giving them a 17-3 lead. Read the rest of this entry →

Counting Down the 50 Greatest Individual Offensive Performances in Super Bowl History: 50-26 2

Posted on January 26, 2014 by Dean Hybl
Despite losing Super Bowl XLVII to the Baltimore Ravens, Colin Kaepernick still had one of the finest performances in Super Bowl history.

Despite losing Super Bowl XLVII to the Baltimore Ravens, Colin Kaepernick still had one of the finest performances in Super Bowl history.

Since Super Bowl I in 1967, the “big game” has become the premier stage for NFL players to either create or cement their legacy. The first 47 Super Bowls are full of special Super Bowl performances. Some were by familiar names that used the Super Bowl to either put a stamp on a Hall of Fame career or propel them into a spot in Canton. But not every Super Bowl hero was a household name before their performance on the big stage. There have been several players whose otherwise unspectacular career includes one shining performance in front of one of the largest television crowds of all-time.

In this article and the second part (which will be posted later this week), we are looking specifically at the 50 best individual performances on offense in a Super Bowl. This list includes only offensive performances and not kickers or special teams players.

To develop the list we did take into account game statistics, but also looked at game situations when analyzing which players and moments were worthy of inclusion. For example, though Joe Montana tossed five touchdowns as the 49ers routed Denver in Super Bowl XXIV, he actually was ranked higher in other Super Bowls because his performance in critical moments was instrumental to their victory.

In ranking performances whether the team won the game was considered, but there have been some Super Bowl performances by players on losing teams that were clearly among the most important. One thing that received little consideration was who was awarded the Super Bowl MVP as there have been numerous occasions when the MVP award has gone to someone other than the player who seemingly provided the best performance.

So below is a countdown of performances 50-26.

50. Colin Kaepernick – San Francisco 49ers – Super Bowl XLVII – 16-28, 302 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 7 rushes, 62 yards, 1 TD
If he has been able to lead the 49ers to a final touchdown and victory over the Baltimore Ravens, Kaepernick’s performance in his first Super Bowl would have certainly been higher on the list. However, even in defeat the first year starter led his team to a near-comeback victory using both his arm and feet.

49. Mark Rypien – Washington Redskins – Super Bowl XXVI – 18-33, 292 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Utilizing a talented receiving corps that included Art Monk, Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders, Rypien picked apart the Buffalo Bills with a pair of touchdown passes and time consuming drives to lift the Redskins to their third Super Bowl in a decade (all with a different starting quarterback).

48. Kurt Warner – Arizona Cardinals – Super Bowl XLIII – 31-43, 377 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT
For a fleeting moment, it appeared that Kurt Warner was going to be the first quarterback to lead two different franchises to Super Bowl victory. He and the Cardinals played well enough to win, but a late Pittsburgh drive denied them of victory. Interestingly enough, Warner holds the record for the top three passing yardage totals in Super Bowl history with his 377 yards in Super Bowl XLIII ranking second.

47. Rod Smith – Denver Broncos – Super Bowl XXXIII – 5 rec., 152 yards, 1 TD
While Terrell Davis and John Elway are the best remembered offensive players from their back-to-back Super Bowl wins, receiver Rod Smith also played an important role in their win over the Falcons. His 80-yard reception in the second quarter helped break the game open and he finished with 152 receiving yards.

46. Michael Pittman – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Super Bowl XXXVI – 29 rushes, 124 yards, 0 TD
While the defense garnered all the headlines during the Buccaneers victory over the Raiders, Michael Pittman was the workhorse for the offense. He rushed for 124 yards, including 75 in the first half as the Buccaneers established control of the contest. Read the rest of this entry →

One Career Ends And Another Is Born: Super Bowl XLVII Storylines 0

Posted on February 05, 2013 by Andy Larmand
Ravens receiver Torrey Smith celebrates on the field of the Superdome following Super Bowl XLVII.

Ravens receiver Torrey Smith celebrates on the field of the Superdome following Super Bowl XLVII.

The good news? Super Bowl XLVII had just about everything one could have asked for in the final professional football game for 213 days. It featured a pair of brothers facing off against each other, an icon of a generation going out on top, an energizing rookie quarterback, a jaw-dropping halftime show, an intentional safety, a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and one 33-minute power outage. Not to mention a furious comeback in the second half that fell just short of making it the greatest Super Bowl ever played.

The bad news? It’s the final football game for 213 days. It was a great one though.

As always, we have a lot to get to in the last edition of the weekly NFL storylines being that this was the final game of the 2012-13 season. I’d just like to thank God for giving me the fingers to type this with. God is so great.

Joe Flacco, Super Bowl XLVII MVP, tied the all-time record with 11 touchdown passes in a single postseason in the first Super Bowl since 2002 without either Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger or Peyton Manning. Only he and Joe Montana have ever accomplished that. All five quarterbacks to ever throw eight-plus touchdowns and no interceptions in the playoffs have won the Super Bowl. Ray Lewis is going out on top if you haven’t heard. After 12 seasons, Lewis won his second career title. It is the longest span between titles by any player in NFL history. Baltimore has won four straight against the 49ers, outscoring them 103-50. San Francisco lost its first Super Bowl in their history and Baltimore improved to 8-1 all-time as the No. 4 seed in the playoffs. They also improved to 2-0 all-time in Super Bowls (won Super Bowl XXXV in 2000). When they won it all in 2000, they were the No. 4 seed as well and the last two Super Bowl champions have been the No. 4 seed in their respective conferences. The previous two meetings between these two teams featured a total of two touchdowns; this one had six.

Baltimore finished the regular season with a record of 10-6. In each of the last three seasons, the eventual Super Bowl champion finished the regular season with no better than 10 wins (Packers with 10 in 2010, Giants with nine last season). The NFC had won three straight Super Bowls before the Ravens win. The last AFC team to win a title before this was the Steelers in 2008. With 65 points being scored in the Super Bowl, the total from this postseason grew to 571, which broke the previous record of 530 set in 1995. No. 2 seeds had been 4-1 in their last five Super Bowl appearances before the 49ers’ loss. With Flacco winning MVP, six of the last seven Super Bowl MVP’s have been quarterbacks. Only Santonio Holmes in 2008 won the award as a non-quarterback. Baltimore became just the second team to ever win a championship after leading the league in penalty yards during the regular season (1974 Steelers). After 19.5 sacks in his first 13 games, Aldon Smith hasn’t recorded one since. In the Super Bowl, he had no sacks and made just two tackles. Six games are the longest he has ever gone without a sack.

No NFL team had ever even reached the Super Bowl after ranking 15th or worse in both total defense and total offense during the regular season. The Ravens were the first and they won it all. Flacco has no interceptions in his last 195 pass attempts. With a second-quarter interception of Colin Kaepernick, Ed Reed tied the all-time record with his ninth career postseason interception. Baltimore improved to 11-5 in road or neutral playoff games in their history, the best win percentage of any NFL franchise. The 49ers had 15 former first-round picks on their roster for the Super Bowl to the Ravens’ eight, but Baltimore beat them anyway. With his first-quarter TD catch, the fourth for him this postseason, Anquan Boldin tied the amount he had in the regular season. Kaepernick was able to set the record for the most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single postseason with 264. He came up just two yards shy of tying the all-time record for rushing yards by a quarterback in the Super Bowl as he finished with 62, but did have the longest ever TD run by a quarterback in the big game with his 15-yarder.

Read the rest of this entry →

Aaron Rodgers Adds His Name To The List of Best-Ever Playoff Performances 3

Posted on February 09, 2011 by A.J. Foss

Aaron Rodgers didn't have just one great game, his play throughout the Playoffs lifted Green Bay to the title.

With his MVP performance in Super Bowl XLV, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has just completed on of the finest postseason runs in NFL history.

In light of this accomplishment and recent articles about the greatest individual performances in NFL playoff and Super Bowl history, here are the 10 greatest performances over the course of a single postseason in NFL history.

10. Thurman Thomas-1990 Buffalo Bills
Thomas showed his versatility as he gained 544 yards of total offense in three games during the Bills’ first of four runs to the Super Bowl.

Thomas run for more than 100 yards in all three games, rushing for 390 yards on 72 carries and scored four touchdowns, to go along with 13 catches for 154 yards.

But Buffalo fell short of winning the Super Bowl as Scott Norwood missed his potential game-winning field goal against the New York Giants.

9. Kurt Warner-1999 St. Louis Rams
The former grocery clerk completed his Cinderella season as he became the first quarterback as Warner completed 77 of 121 passes for 1, 063 yards, 414 of those yards coming in Super Bowl XXXIV, and threw eight touchdown passes, including the game-winning touchdown passes in the NFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl, to lead the St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl title after nine non-winning seasons for the franchise. Read the rest of this entry →

Titletown Gets Another Championship as the Packers Hold Off the Steelers 1

Posted on February 06, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Aaron Rodgers proved that the Super Bowl stage wasn't too much for him to handle.

It was billed as a classic matchup between two of the most storied franchises in the NFL and Super Bowl XLV did not disappoint. The Green Bay Packers started strong and then held on to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25. The victory is the fourth Super Bowl win for the Packers and their 13th overall NFL title.

Early on it looked like the Packers might have an easy day at the office as they scored twice in a 24 second period in the first quarter and led 21-3 with less than a minute remaining in the first half.

However, the Pittsburgh Steelers have too much pride and experience to go quietly into the night and they drove down the field late in the first half and suddenly changed the momentum when Ben Roethlisberger hit Hines Ward for an eight yard touchdown with 39 seconds remaining before intermission.

The Steelers kept it going early in the second half as they scored less than five minutes into the second half to cut the margin to four points at 21-17.

It looked like Pittsburgh might take the lead as they were driving down the field before a hit by Clay Matthews knocked the ball from running back Rashard Mendenhall and was recovered by the Packers.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers then quickly took advantage as the Packers went 55 yards in just eight plays culminating with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers to Greg Jennings. Read the rest of this entry →

Steelers and Packers Recall Prestigious Pasts in First Time Super Bowl Matchup 2

Posted on February 05, 2011 by Chris Kent

Black and gold versus green and gold. Legacies like the “Steel Curtain” and the “Frozen Tundra.” Past history like The “Immaculate Reception” and the Ice Bowl.

Great moments like the grace of Lynn Swann’s acrobatic catch in Super Bowl X against Dallas and the one-yard plunge by Bart Starr off a key block by guard Jerry Kramer and center Ken Bowman to beat the Cowboys in the famous Ice Bowl. Pittsburgh versus Green Bay. Super Bowl XLV.

Sunday’s Super Bowl matches two of the National Football League’s storied franchises. A past filled with premier players, many who are today’s hall of famers. Steeler icons such as Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Rocky Bleier, Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, and Mike Webster on offense.

One of the best ever catches in Super Bowl history came from Lynn Swann against the Cowboys in Super Bowl X as shown by this diving catch.

“Mean Joe” Greene and L.C. Greenwood combined with the late Dwight White and the late Ernie Holmes in the trenches to form the vaunted “Steel Curtain” defense. Jack Lambert, Jack Ham, Mel Blount, and Donnie Shell teamed with that foursome to create one of the best defenses ever. Super Bowl winning coaches like Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher, both who coached Rod Woodson, a hall of fame defensive back and kick returner who played most of his career for Pittsburgh.

The prestigious heritage for the Packers on offense lies in the names of Starr, Jim Taylor, Forrest Gregg, Fuzzy Thurston, Jerry Kramer, Jim Ringo, Don Hutson, James Lofton, and more recently Brett Favre. Green Bay’s defensive history lies behind the likes of Ray Nitschke, Willie Davis, Ted Hendricks, Willie Wood, and the late Reggie White, who was known as the “Minister of Defense.” White shares the Super Bowl record for most sacks in a game with three which he recorded in the Packers’ 35-21 win over New England in Super Bowl XXXI, Green Bay’s first Super Bowl win in 29 years. Coaches like Earl Louis “Curly” Lambeau, Vince Lombardi, and Mike Holmgren.

While the permanent status of today’s Steelers and Packers are still to be determined, each team boasts some of the game’s top players.

Ever since the Ice Bowl game in December of 1967, Lambeau Field has been called the Frozen Tundra.

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is already 2-0 in Super Bowls and a win Sunday would make him 3-0 before he turns age 30. The Steelers’ all-time leading receiver, Hines Ward is a crafty veteran and was the most valuable player of Super Bowl XL.

Second-year wide receiver Mike Wallace is perhaps the fastest player in the league and lead Pittsburgh in receiving with 60 catches for 1,257 yards and 10 touchdowns, giving him a 21 yards per catch average. Third-year running back Rashard Mendenhall scored a team-high 13 touchdowns and lead the team in rushing with 1,273 yards on 324 carrries.

Although he has a ways to go to equal Webster, rookie center Maurkice Pouncey had an excellent first season. However his status as to whether or not he will play Sunday is unclear as he suffered an ankle injury in the loss to the Jets in the AFC Championship game on Jan. 23. Second-year center Doug Legursky is Pouncey’s backup.

Although he was considered to be on the downside of his career after 12 inconsistent seasons in Dallas, offensive tackle Flozell Adams has helped solidify the Steelers’ line. Tight end Heath Miller has emerged as a quality receiver and blocker to help give Pittsburgh options on offense. Miller caught 42 passes for 512 yards this season and scored a pair of touchdowns. Read the rest of this entry →

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