Friday, February 04, 2005SB: Top 5 Performances (RB)
But for now, running backs. I have a criteria here too, it's debatable and the obvious (no fumbles is where it starts)
-- Must score at least one touchdown and gained over a 100 yards. Not very difficult, but it excludes an excellent game by Roger Craig in Super Bowl XIX.
-- Team must've won. That eliminates Thurman Thomas' gutsy performance in Super Bowl XXV.
-- No time discrepancies here. Mainly because I didn't want to exclude performances by Matt Snell and Larry Czonka. Besides 100 yards was much more important in the 60s and 70s than it is today.
Here we go.
1) Marcus Allen (Super Bowl XVIII): One of the best money performances of all time. The Raiders had to run with Allen to control the clock and keep the ball out of Washington's hands. They wanted to pound the 'Skins front four but there was a problem -- the Skins couldn't stop the run, so Allen just scored instead. His 74-yard reverse field touchdown run will forever by etched in my mind.
2) Terrell Davis (Super Bowl XXXII): Another special performance enhanced by the one Broncos touchdown he didn't score. In case you forgot the story, he was suffering from migranes but Elway needed him on the field for the playfake. He went on the field, blind, couldn't see the hand in front of his face. He felt his way through the fake and Elway scored on the bootleg. That play was as important as his 157 yards and three touchdowns.
3) Franco Harris (Super Bowl IX): Here's how bad the NFC was in the 70s (if the 8-2 AFC advantage during that time isn't enough for you) -- the Vikings were thought to be the baddest front four around and they gave up over 400 yards rushing in back-to-back Super Bowl appearances. As for Harris, nothing great, 34 carries, 158 yards and a touchdown. Typical Franco, the one guy who wasn't sure if he was black or Italian.
4) Matt Snell (Super Bowl III): Sue me. I have reverence for Super Bowl III and believe me YOU should too. If the Jets don't win that game, there's no merger, there's no NFL that we know today. In actuality Dave Herman was the MVP of this game because he beat down Bubba Smith like a punk. Still Snell gained 121 yards on 30 carries against a team that was known for holding teams under 100 yards total. His performance gets LOST in the annals of the NFL.
5) Larry Csonka (Super Bowl VIII): Bob Griese's injury meant the Dolphins could only throw seven times and that Czonka had to carry the load. His load went past 33 carries and 145 yards, he also had to carry Alan Page and Jim Marshall along for most of those yards. It was a bruising display of ability and proof that the AFC was running circles (Figuritively and literally) around the NFC.
No Timmy Smith didn't get included...Why not? Because Doug Williams was the star, it's easy to run on three-man fronts. And no one knew who the hell Timmy Smith was before, during or after that game. I'm convinced he won some "Win $10,000 and play in the Super Bowl" contest.