Keeping with our Super Bowl theme of the past two weeks, The Law Dog returns with his latest Top 10. I asked him to do the Top 10 Super Bowl Commercials of All Time or the Top 10 Players Never to Win a Super Bowl.
In typical Law Dog fashion, he did neither. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sit back and enjoy another great one from the Law Dog and don’t forget to chime off where he went wrong in the comments!
THE LAW DOG’S TOP 10 SUPER BOWL PERFORMANCES OF ALL-TIME
BY RYAN LAW
It’s Super Bowl Week! This is always a bittersweet week for me. Of course it’s great because the most anticipated game in sports is about to be played with an estimated total of over $115 million dollars on the line (not personally, but overall. I will have zero money on this game). However, it also means football is almost over. I can always tell when football is about to end because the amount of televised college basketball games goes through the roof, something I can never get behind until March.
This year has a very intriguing matchup. The Panthers opened as a 3.5 point favorite, but that line has ballooned to 6 which means all the heavy money is on Cam the Man and the Panthers. I expect a huge performance from him….a top ten performance if you will. So what will it take to make the list you ask? To know that, you need to know the top ten performances of all time. Allow me to educate you.
10. Reggie White: Super Bowl XXXI
I haven’t looked, but this might be the only player on the list to have an all time performance who DIDN’T win MVP. Reggie White dominated this game. I know Desmond Howard had a good game returning kicks and punts, including a huge 99-yard kickoff return just as the Patriots had closed the game to six points, but all I remember is watching Reggie every play.
Reggie was that type of player. Every snap you watched him. He had three sacks for 23 yards lost, along with countless hurries and knockdowns. Bledsoe threw four picks, mostly with Reggie in his face. The Minister of Defense completely transformed that defense into a championship squad, and he played like it that day.
9. Max McGee: Super Bowl I
Statistically this might not be a top ten performance, but it’s definitely the best performance ever by a player in the Super Bowl who was hungover. That’s right, Max McGee got hammered the night before the first ever Super Bowl.
The reason? He didn’t think he was going to play. He caught four passes the entire season and was considered a bench warmer. Max decided to break curfew and go out on the town with two flight attendants he met at the hotel bar. He got back to the hotel at 6:30am for a few Zs and barely made it to the field on time.
Starting WR Boyd Dowler got hurt on the third play of the game and Lombardi called upon McGee to play in his place. With his massive hangover, McGee ended the game with 7 receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns (one being an amazing one handed, behind the back catch that should have been intercepted).
He makes the list at nine, and we still don’t have an MVP on the board. Uh oh. (*sidenote: This has to be the best 24 hours in the history of sports. Go out all night, score a threesome, and win the Super Bowl)
8. Lynn Swann: Super Bowl X
Ok…the guy had four catches. Not exactly burning up the stat sheet. However, he averaged 40 yards a catch for a total of 161 yards. Aside from all of that, two of those catches you’ve seen about a million times. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you don’t know Super Bowl history. His 64-yard touchdown in the 4th quarter clinched the victory and cemented Lynn Swann as an all time great and first MVP to be included on my list…thank the Lord.
7. John Riggins: Super Bowl XVII
This performance was just bruising. 38 carries for 166 yards against the best defense that year in the Miami Dolphins. Riggins was a truck, kind of a throwback to the old days of Csonka, Franco, Jim Taylor, Jim Brown. Big and tough, he broke tackle after tackle, including a huge one on a 4th down play that went for 43 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter. I don’t think you will ever see 38 carries in a Super Bowl again. Old school.
6. Joe Montana: Super Bowl XXIV
If you are talking about Super Bowls, Joe Montana better come up in the conversation. The guy was straight up clutch. A three-time MVP and 4-0 in Super Bowls, Montana’s best performance was the beatdown the 49ers put on the Broncos in Super Bowl 24. Montana was 22-for-29 for 297 yards and 5 TD’s. It could have been much worse and I have no doubt Montana could have thrown for at least 350 yards, but the rout was on. Montana had other great Super Bowl performances, but this one tops them all and is good enough to make six on our list.
5. Phil Simms: Super Bowl XXI
No one has ever had the perfect game in the Super Bowl, but Phil Simms came pretty damn close in 1986. (ok…technically the game was played in 1987 but I’m talking about the 86 season. I also hate anyone that was ready to correct me there.) Simms went 22-for-25 for 268 yards and 3 TDs. It was quite a performance.
4. Marcus Allen: Super Bowl XVIII
We’ve all seen the run. Marcus Allen dancing in the backfield, escaping defenders, then busting out a 74-yard touchdown run that Redskins fans still have nightmares about. The Raiders absolutely destroyed the Skins (can’t say I’m sad about that fact), and Marcus ended with 191 yards on 20 carries to go with his 2 touchdowns…20 CARRIES! That’s 9.55 yards a carry for all your math aficionados. Absolute beast performance
3. Jerry Rice: Super Bowl XXIII
Everyone remembers the last drive of Super Bowl XXIII. Well, I should say everyone remembers two things: (1) Joe Montana throwing the game winning TD to John Taylor and (2) Joe Montana pointing out John Candy in the end zone while standing on his own 8-yard line with 3:10 remaining on the clock. Amazing. However, not many people remember that Jerry Rice won the MVP of that game and he definitely deserved it (even though he always said Joe was the MVP of that game). Jerry ended the game with 11 catches for a still record 215 yards and a TD.
2. Timmy Smith: Super BowlXXII
I wanted to make this number one so bad, but (spoiler alert) I’m already feeling bad about not including Doug Williams on this list, so I’m saving number one for the best QB performance. Timmy Smith’s story is amazing. First, he was a rookie. Second, he had 29 carries all year for a total of 126 yards. And finally, he went OFF in this Super Bowl. He rushed 22 times for a record 204 yards and two TDs. People always talk about Doug Williams throwing four TDs in the 2nd quarter, but Smith rushed five times for 122 yards including a 58-yard TD in the same quarter. The most amazing thing is he really never played again. Between getting injured all the time and struggling with drug use, he was out of the league three years later. (*Sidenote: I’m really struggling with the fact that my No. 2 performance didn’t win MVP…ok, I’m over it).
1. Steve Young: Super Bowl XXIX
I’m not sure this can be debated. Steve Young obliterated the San Diego Charger defense right out of the gate. His stat line is off the charts. Young went 24-for-36 for 325 yards and 6 touchdowns….6 TOUCHDOWNS! Oh yea, he also ran 5 times for 49 yards (the most underrated scrambling QB of all time is Steve Young).
I remember watching the game. I think I went to the bathroom and came back and it was 14-0. I asked my dad what happened and he said, “Steve Young happened”. He threw two TDs to Rice and Watters for 41 and 55 yards respectively in like 20 seconds. And the TDs just kept on coming. This performance earns Young number one on this list…no ifs, ands or (Marion) buts.
Terrell Owens (XXXIX): 9 catches 122 yards on one leg
Photo Cred: AP Image
Doug Williams (XXII): 18 for 29, 340 yards and 4 TDs (1 INT)
Terrell Davis (XXXII): 30 carries for 157 yards and 3 TDs
Kurt Warner (XXXIV): 24 for 45, 414 yards and 2 TDs