(Photos courtesy of the New York Giants and Washington Redskins)
Talk of Fame Network
Von Miller’s 2-1/2 sacks keyed a brilliant defensive effort by Denver that delivered the Broncos a 24-10 upset victory over the Carolina Panthers in the Super Bowl. Miller was voted the Super Bowl MVP — an elite fraternity that includes Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and pass rushers. But was Miller’s game the greatest Super Bowl performance of all-time? In this week’s Talk of Fame Network poll, we ask you just that – what was the greatest Super Bowl performance of all-time? Here are your options:
Marcus Allen. The former Heisman Trophy winner enjoyed the best day of his career on the biggest stage of his career. Allen rushed 20 times for 191 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-9 romp over the Washington Redskins in the 1984 game. His average of 9.6 yards per carry is a Super Bowl record, and his 74-yard touchdown run was a classic. He took a handoff running left, then cut back to the middle and raced 74 yards through the heart of Washington’s No. 1-ranked run defense.
Von Miller. The Denver linebacker made six tackles and broke up a pass, but it was his 2-½ sacks that were the difference in the game. His first and final sacks of the game paved the way for the only two Denver touchdowns. His first-quarter sack of Cam Newton inside the Carolina 10 knocked the ball loose, and end Malik Jackson recovered it in the end zone. His final sack of Newton came in the fourth quarter, and T.J. Ward recovered at the Carolina 4. Three players later, the Broncos added their insurance touchdown.
Phil Simms. The Giants were clinging to a 10-9 lead over the Broncos at halftime of the 1987 Super Bowl. But Simms played perfect football in the second half, completing all 10 of his passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns to deliver the Giants a 39-20 rout of the Broncos. On the day, Simms set a Super Bowl record by completing 88 percent of his passes, 22 of 25 for 268 yards and three scores.
Timmy Smith. The author of the greatest single day by a running back in Super Bowl history. Smith was a fifth-round pick by the Redskins out of Texas Tech in 1987. He carried the ball only 29 times during his rookie season before Washington coach Joe Gibbs gave him his first NFL start in the Super Bowl. And what a start it was. Smith rushed 22 times for 204 yards and two touchdowns in a blowout victory over the Broncos. He averaged 9.3 yards per carry scored his touchdowns on runs of 58 and 4 yards.
Kurt Warner. Take your pick. Warner has the three best passing games in Super Bowl history, throwing for 414 yards against Tennessee in a St. Louis victory in the 2000 game. He also threw for 377 yards for the Cardinals in a loss to the Steelers in the 2009 game and 365 yards for the Rams in a loss to the Patriots in the 2002 game against the Patriots. For the sake of this slate, let’s go with the only 400-yard passing game in Super Bowl history. Warner completed 24 of 45 passes with touchdown throws of nine yards to Torry Holt and 73 yards to Isaac Bruce.
Doug Williams. The author of the greatest quarter by any player at any position in Super Bowl history. With his Redskins trailing the Broncos 10-0 entering the second quarter of the 1988 game, Williams completed 9 of 11 passes for 228 yards and four touchdowns to turn the game around and give Washington a 35-10 halftime edge. Williams finished the day 18 of 29 for 340 yards in a 42-10 romp over the Broncos. His touchdown passes covered 80, 50, 27 and 8 yards.