With each passing moment we are nearing the final NFL game of the season in which a champion will be crowned. Two of the NFL’s most talented teams in the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots will face off in Super Bowl XLIX to determine which team will reign supreme in 2014-2015 season. There are critical moments in every Super Bowl that paved the way for the eventual champion.
Below is a list of plays worthy of being considered the best in Super Bowl history:
A Decoy Becomes a Viable Option in Super Bowl VIII
Paul Warfield injured his hamstring in the Miami Dolphins’ first practice of the week leading up to the Super Bowl. Warfield desperately wanted to contribute to his team against the Minnesota Vikings, and subsequently limped through the majority of the game as a decoy. The Dolphins decided early in the third quarter to give Warfield an opportunity to make a play.
Warfield was able to sprint past a Viking defender to catch a 27-yard pass from Bob Griese. Though Warfield was unable to accelerate due to the hamstring injury, Warfield dove for the football to secure the catch. Warfield’s 27-yard catch set up the Dolphins’ final touchdown. Miami would go on to defeat the Vikings by the score of 24-7.
David Tyree Used His Head to Move the Chains Against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII
The New York Giants were facing a third-and-five from their own 44-yard line with 1:15 remaining in Super Bowl XLII. While David Tyree gets a ton of credit (and rightfully so) for making a spectacular contested catch, the play was actually made possible by Eli Manning’s pocket presence, strength and agility. Despite nearly being sacked by Richard Seymour, Manning was able to launch a 32-yard pass to Tyree who alertly worked his way back to his quarterback who was flushed from the pocket.
The pass was hotly contested by Patriots’ safety Rodney Harrison. Tyree initially caught the ball with both hands but he successfully secured the football by pinning it to his helmet with his right hand. Tyree’s catch set up Plaxico Burress’ eventual go-ahead touchdown. The Patriots carried a perfect record of 19-0 into Super Bowl XLII, but were upset by the Giants by the score of 17-14.
Tracy Porter Displayed tremendous Confidence in Super Bowl XLIV
Too often NFL defenses have allowed Peyton Manning, (the grandmaster of deception) to dictate the tempo and the flow of the game but the New Orleans Saints decided to buck that trend in Super Bowl XLIV. With the Indianapolis Colts driving down the field with 3:24 remaining in the game, the Saints took a gamble that worked in their favor. The Saints created a six-on-five matchup along the offensive line, which forced Manning to get the ball out of his hand quickly.
Once Manning hit his back foot on the third step of his drop, he threw the football in Reggie Wayne’s direction. Unfortunately Wayne did not locate the football once he came out of his break. Tracy Porter who had inside leverage on the play read Manning’s eyes, intercepted the football, and raced 74 yards for the score. While Manning is known for keeping defensive backs guessing, Porter was confident enough to trust his eyes and break on the football. The interception secured a victory for his team. The Saints defeated the Colts by the score of 31-17.
Super Bowl XXIV Taught Us All That Football Truly Is a Game of Inches
With six seconds to go in Super Bowl XXIV, the St. Louis Rams were nursing a 23-16 lead against the Tennessee Titans. The Titans drove 78 yards to the Rams 10-yard line and seemed poise to tie the game up at 23 points apiece. Rams’ linebacker Mike Jones’ responsibility was to cover Frank Wycheck but once Titan’s wide receiver Kevin Dyson slanted across the field, he sprinted toward him at full speed. Mike Jones made a tremendous tackle in space on Kevin Dyson to stop him at the one-yard line. Jones’ game saving tackle was the final, and best play of the game.
Marcus Allen Cements His Status as King of the Cutback in Super Bowl XVIII
The Los Angeles Raiders were defeating the Washington Redskins by the score of 28-9 when Raiders running back Marcus Allen got his hands on the football, reversed his field, found an opening and raced 74 yards for a touchdown. Allen at times made the game look easy; and the 191 yards he rushed for in Super Bowl XVIII is proof of just how talented he was. Allen was named the game’s MVP as the Raiders trounced the Redskins by the score of 38-9.
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