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Chillicothe News - Chillicothe, MO
  • Super Bowl history: The greatest performances from the big game

  • Super Bowl XLVII approaches, and with it another opportunity for players to etch their names in Super Bowl lore. Colin Kaepernick, Joe Flacco, Michael Crabtree, Ray Lewis and the rest of the championship game's participants will attempt to make their mark next week.
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    • But what are some of the game's best performances of yesteryear? Forty-six years of history have given us plenty from which to choose. Legends have been made with fantastic performances, while others have all but faded from memory.
      Will any of this week's players carve their name in Super Bowl tradition alongside the greats? Perhaps. In the meantime, here are the top 10 performances in title tilt history.
      10. Phil Simms, New York Giants: Super Bowl XXI
      How often do quarterbacks complete 88 percent of their passes during the regular season, let alone the Super Bowl? Phil Simms did just that, annihilating the Denver Broncos with killer precision. Simms threw for 268 yards and three touchdowns in Super Bowl XXI, leading the Giants to their first of two championships in a span of four years. Simms won the game's MVP award for his masterful performance.
      9. Jerry Rice, San Francisco 49ers: Super Bowl XXIII
      How telling is it that Jerry Rice makes this list three times? How much more telling is it that he broke the record for most catches and receiving yards in this game? The only reason this is his worst entry on his list is that he scored just one touchdown. Rice had 215 receiving yards on 11 catches that day, winning MVP honors and leading the 49ers to a 20-16 victory over the Bengals.
      8. John Riggins, Washington Redskins: Super Bowl XVII
      John Riggins famously held out in 1980 because he was getting paid just $300,000. The Redskins retaliated by putting him on the retired list, and he sat out the season. Joe Gibbs coaxed him back the following year, though, and the move paid off in Super Bowl XVII. It took Washington another year to get there after Riggins returned, but he was a fireball in the playoffs. During the championship tilt against the Dolphins, the big running back rushed for a then-record 166 yards and a touchdown. That included a bone-crushing 43-yard touchdown run on 4th-and-1 that gave Washington its first lead at 20-17. The Redskins would wind up winning the game 27-17, and Riggins wound up with MVP honors.
      7. Marcus Allen, Los Angeles Raiders: Super Bowl XVIII
      Marcus Allen held a couple of Super Bowl records for a time, both coming in Super Bowl XVIII. The legendary running back rushed for a then-record 191 yards in that game, including one of the most memorable runs in Super Bowl history. Allen took a handoff to the left, where he was walled off by Washington defenders. He wheeled around and reversed field, knifing through the Redskins defense and racing upfield into the end zone. The 74-yard scamper would hold up as the Super Bowl's longest rush until Willie Parker broke it in Super Bowl XL.
      Page 2 of 3 - 6. Kurt Warner, St. Louis Rams: Super Bowl XXXIV
      Perhaps the best feel-good story in Super Bowl history manifested itself in February of 2000. Kurt Warner was bagging groceries a scant few years before his improbable rise to the top. He spent some time in the Arena Football League before the Rams took a chance on him to back up Trent Green. When Green was injured during the preseason, Warner took over. The Greatest Show on Turf was born. Warner threw for a record 414 yards that day in Super Bowl XXXIV, including a game-winning 73-yard bomb to Isaac Bruce.
      5. Jerry Rice, San Francisco 49ers: Super Bowl XXIX
      New quarterback, same result. There is a reason Jerry Rice is the greatest receiver of all time. Rice matched his three-touchdown performance from five years before, making him the only wide receiver to catch three touchdowns in multiple Super Bowls. The legendary receiver totaled 149 yards and those three touchdowns receiving, though against a severely outmatched Chargers team. He helped Steve Young get to six passing touchdowns, as the 49ers routed the Chargers for their fifth championship in franchise history.
      4. Timmy Smith, Washington Redskins: Super Bowl XXII
      What other running back could top the list than the record-holding Timmy Smith? Despite the quick burn that was his career—this game was pretty much it—Smith's 204-yard, two-touchdown performance in Super Bowl XXII was impressive. He broke Marcus Allen's record as the Redskins broke the Broncos.
      3. Jerry Rice, San Francisco 49ers: Super Bowl XXIV
      How could Jerry Rice follow up his MVP performance from Super Bowl XXIII? By scoring a record three touchdowns, of course. He got the scoring started with a 20-yard strike from Joe Montana, and the 49ers never looked back. Rice wound up with a scant seven catches for 148 yards—four catches and nearly 70 yards shy of his record-breaking performance from the year before—and an additional two touchdowns. Joe Montana won his third MVP award that game on the wings of five touchdown passes, but Rice was a close runner-up.
      2. Steve Young, San Francisco 49ers: Super Bowl XXIX
      If there is an untouchable record in Super Bowl lore, it might be Steve Young's. It was never a fair fight as San Francisco was favored by a staggering 18.5 points over San Diego heading into the game. Steve Young made sure his team covered the spread with ease. The 49ers quarterback threw for six touchdowns against the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX. He had plenty of help from Jerry Rice, but Young was simply spectacular. Not only did Young throw for 325 yards to go along with those six touchdowns, he led the game with 49 rushing yards.
      1. Joe Montana, San Francisco 49ers: Super Bowl XXIV
      Page 3 of 3 - The fact Joe Montana threw for five touchdowns in his ultimate Super Bowl performance should not be surprising. The fact that he did it against the NFL's top defense is cause for pause. Montana annihilated the Broncos in his final Super Bowl victory, throwing for five touchdowns in a laugher. There was no need for dramatic, last-minute heroics like the stuff he pulled against the Bengals just a season earlier. The future Hall of Famer won his third Super Bowl MVP as the 49ers spanked the Broncos in the biggest rout in Super Bowl history, 55-10.
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