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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 →

Are These Players Really Deserving Of Being In The Pro Football Hall of Fame? 16

Posted on August 04, 2010 by Dean Hybl

While Lynn Swann made some of the most spectacular catches in Super Bowl history, his play during the rest of his career is hardly Hall of Fame worthy.

Over the last two years I have spent a significant amount of time analyzing the players that are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and those who have Hall of Fame caliber credentials, but have not been inducted.  It has reaffirmed my belief that there are a lot of deserving football players who have yet to get a bust in Canton. It also has made me scratch my head over a few of the players that have received football immortality.

Overall, I will say that for the most part, the Hall of Fame voters have done a very good job of selecting top players for the Hall of Fame. While I believe there are at least two dozen deserving players who have been overlooked, the number of players in the Hall of Fame that I question is significantly less.

In fact, when I originally created my list of the top 10 players in the Hall of Fame that I think you could argue don’t belong I actually was able to only come up with nine players from the modern era that I really questioned. However, the selection this year of Dick LeBeau provided the 10th name for my list.

In creating my list I did not analyze any of the players from the pre-1950 era who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. My reasoning being that the game during that time period and selection process in the early days of HOF is so different than today that trying to argue for or against certain players from the pre-modern era made little sense.

Instead, players had to have played a majority of their careers after 1950 to be considered for this list.

The one player that this rule may have saved was Bob Waterfield, the former Rams quarterback. I have seen a number of articles in recent years questioning if his numbers justified being in the HOF or if he got in primarily because he was married to then pinup girl Jane Russell.

So, here is my list of players whose Hall of Fame status I think could be questioned. In some cases it isn’t necessarily that I think they don’t belong, but rather question how they could have been inducted before other players from their era or who played the same position.

However, there are a couple that I think were selected purely because of politics and the “scratch my back” network. I’m sure there will be strong disagreement to some of my choices, but remember, these are my opinions and the great thing about having opinions and living in the United States is that everyone is entitled to one and encouraged to share it.

I have given mine, and now I encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions. Read the rest of this entry →

Who Is, But Maybe Shouldn’t Be, In The Pro Football Hall of Fame? 11

Posted on August 07, 2009 by Dean Hybl
In the opinion of the author, no member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame is less worthy of the honor than Lynn Swann.

In the opinion of the author, no member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame is less worthy of the honor than Lynn Swann.

It has been quite interesting over the past two months analyzing the best players at each position who have not yet earned a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It has reaffirmed my belief that there are a heck of a lot of deserving football players who have yet to get a bust in Canton. It also has made me scratch my head over a few of the players that have received football immortality.

Overall, I will say that for the most part, the Hall of Fame voters have done a very good job of selecting top players for the Hall of Fame. While I believe there are as many as two dozen deserving players who have been overlooked, the number of players in the Hall of Fame that I question is significantly less.

Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Joe Cronin: Player-Manager
      October 1, 2017 | 8:21 am
      Joe Cronin

      Joe Cronin

      In recognition of the start of the baseball playoffs, we recognize as the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month a man who managed pennant winning teams in Washington and Boston and spent more than decade as a player-manager.

      When the Boston Red Sox acquired Joe Cronin following the 1934 season they didn’t just get an All-Star player, they also got a new manager.

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