Photo courtesy of New England Patriots
What was the single greatest individual defensive playoff performance?
Talk of Fame Network
SACK DANCE – The sack statistic didn’t exist in 1975 but sacks did, as L.C. Greenwood made clear in Super Bowl X, sacking Dallas’ Roger Staubach four times in a 21-17 Steelers’ victory.
A TRUE MUDDER – Miami Dolphins’ DE A. J. Duhe intercepted Jets’ quarterback Richard Todd three times in the second half of the 1982 AFC Championship game, returning one for a touchdown, in a muddy, 14-0 victory.
THE LAW WON – In the 2003 AFC Championship game, New England Patriots cornerback Ty Law not only intercepted three Peyton Manning passes in a 24-14 victory, he so incensed Colts’ GM Bill Polian over his rough-house style that Polian forced a rules change in the off-season to protect wide receivers.
SAFETY IN NUMBERS – For the first time in NFL history, the league’s No. 1 offense faced the No. 1 defense in Super Bowl XXXVII. The result was a defensive explosion by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who sacked Raiders’ quarterback Rich Gannon five times and intercepted five passes, two of which were returned for TDs by safety Dwight Smith yet Smith’s teammate, safety Dexter Jackson, was named MVP for intercepting two passes but not returning them for TDs in a 48-21 rout.
PICKING OFF A VICTORY – With quarterback Dan Pastorini, Hall of Fame running back Earl Campbell and leading receiver Ken Burrough all out with injuries, the outlook appeared bleak for the Houston Oilers in a 1979 AFC divisional playoff game against the powerful offense of the San Diego Chargers. But Oilers’ cornerback Vernon Perry intercepted four Dan Fouts passes, made eight tackles, defended two passes and blocked a field goal and returned it 57 yards.