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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Five Super Bowls to remember
By Bob Carter
Special to ESPN Classic

Super Bowl XIII
Pittsburgh 35, Dallas 31

  • Jan. 21, 1979 at Miami: In the week before the game, Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw was ridiculed by Dallas linebacker Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson, who called Bradshaw "dumb."

    Bradshaw, completing 17 of 30 passes, set a Super Bowl record for passing yards, 318, and touchdowns, four. Two of his touchdown passes went to John Stallworth, including a 75-yarder that tied the score at 14 in the second quarter.

    Afterward he told reporters, "Go ask Henderson if I was dumb today."

    Mel Blount picked off a Roger Staubach late in the second period, which gave Pittsburgh time for the go-ahead score, a 7-yard pass from game MVP Bradshaw to running back Rocky Bleier.

    "Of all the passes I've ever thrown," said Staubach, who was angry over the play call, "that one will haunt me the longest."

    The Steelers built a 35-17 advantage with two fourth-quarter touchdowns, Franco Harris' 22-yard run and an 18-yard pass from Bradshaw to Lynn Swann.

    Dallas rebounded with two Staubach touchdown passes, cutting the deficit to four before Bleier fell on an onside kick with 17 seconds left to protect the victory.

    Super Bowl XXXIV
    St. Louis 23, Tennessee 16

  • Jan. 30, 2000 at Atlanta: An inability to score from the red zone kept the Rams from running away early, opening the way for a record comeback by Tennessee.

    The Rams got inside the Titans' 20 on their first six possessions but led only 16-0 after Kurt Warner's nine-yard scoring pass to Torry Holt in the third quarter, St. Louis' first touchdown.

    The Titans then scored on two short Eddie George runs after long drives and tied the game on Al Del Greco's 43-yard field goal with 2:12 left.

    Warner, the game MVP who threw for a record 414 yards, quickly untied it. On the first play after the kickoff, from his 27, Warner threw deep down the right sideline to Isaac Bruce just inside the Tennessee 40. Bruce (six receptions, 162 yards) came back on the ball to catch it, then cut inside and outran the Titan secondary to the end zone. St. Louis led 23-16 with 1:54 left.

    Steve McNair moved the Titans downfield, and in an incredible display of mobility, eluded two defenders to avoid a sack for a 16-yard completion to Kevin Dyson. That gave Tennessee a final chance from the 10 with six seconds to go. McNair went to Dyson again, this time on a short slant pattern, and Dyson caught the ball just inside the 5. Linebacker Mike Jones reacted quickly and tackled Dyson a yard short of the end zone as the clock ran out.

    "This is what Super Bowls are made of," said Rams running back Marshall Faulk.

    Super Bowl XXIII
    San Francisco 20, Cincinnati 16

  • Jan. 22, 1989 at Miami: In a game dominated offensively by San Francisco, the Bengals led late on the strength of Stanford Jennings' 93-yard kickoff return and three Jim Breech field goals.

    After Breech's 40-yarder put Cincinnati ahead 16-13, the Niners started on their eight-yard line with 3:10 left.

    Quarterback Joe Montana's message in the huddle was brief: "Let's go. Be tough."

    On the Bengals sideline, a teammate told receiver Chris Collinsworth the game was theirs. Said Collinsworth: "Have you taken a look at who's quarterbacking the 49ers?"

    What followed was the greatest scoring drive in Super Bowl history, 92 yards in less than three minutes.

    Montana hit eight passes, the sixth a 27-yarder to game MVP Jerry Rice (11 catches for a record 215 yards) to the Bengals' 18. An eight-yard toss to Roger Craig put the ball at the 10. With 39 seconds left, Montana called a play to Craig again, but the running back was double-covered, so he passed to wideout John Taylor in the back of the end zone for the winning touchdown.

    Super Bowl X
    Pittsburgh 21, Dallas 17

  • Jan. 18, 1976 at Miami: The Steelers won their second consecutive Super Bowl, thanks to a strong defense and the offensive skills of game MVP Lynn Swann.

    The wide receiver had suffered a concussion in the AFC title game but showed Dallas he was ready to play. "I looked at the films of me being carried off and I was limper than a piece of spaghetti," he said. "I made a vow then I'd play."

    Swann had four receptions, three of them outstanding, for a then-record 161 yards.

    Leading 14-10 with three minutes left, Pittsburgh'sTerry Bradshaw threw deep on a third-and-four from his 36. Dallas was in a blitz and Swann, in single coverage, beat Mark Washington for a 64-yard touchdown.

    The Cowboys closed to 21-17 on a Roger Staubach touchdown pass to Percy Howard, but a final Dallas drive ended on an interception by Glen Edwards.

    Super Bowl III
    New York Jets 16, Baltimore 7

  • Jan. 12, 1969 at Miami: The Jets and quarterback Joe Namath turned the heads of NFL owners who thought AFL teams couldn't compete with them.

    Namath boldly guaranteed victory over the Colts, 19-point favorites, and led a balanced, methodical offense to the biggest Super Bowl upset ever.

    Fullback Matt Snell rushed for 121 yards, including a 4-yarder for a go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter, and game MVP Namath completed 17 of 28 passes for 206 yards.

    Baltimore's Earl Morrall, subbing for the injured Johnny Unitas, threw three first-half interceptions, one when he failed to see a wide-open receiver just before halftime.

    "We beat them in every phase of the game," Namath said. "If ever there was a world champion, this is it."

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