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Super Bowl oddities

Long runs absent, but TD-catching linebackers aren't

Posted: Wednesday February 9, 2005 4:52PM; Updated: Wednesday February 9, 2005 4:52PM
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Longest Super Bowl runs since 1990
Super Bowl NFC Player AFC Player
XXXIX B. Westbrook 22 C. Dillon 25
XXXVIII S. Davis 21 K. Faulk 23
XXXVI M. Pittman 24 Garner/Crockett 4
XXXV M. Faulk 15 D. Patten 22
XXXIV T. Barber 27 J. Lewis 19
XXXIII J. Anderson 15 T. Davis 15
XXXII D. Levens 16 T. Davis 27
XXXI Levens/Favre 12 C. Martin 18
XXX E. Smith 23 B. Morris 15
XXIX S. Young 21 N. Means 11
XXVIII E. Smith 15 K. Davis 11
XXVII E. Smith 38 K. Davis 14
XXVI R. Ervins 21 K. Davis 13
XXV O. Anderson 24 T. Thomas 31
XXIV Craig/Rathman 18 B. Humphrey 34
XXIII R. Craig 13 J. Brooks 11

If you're a fan of long runs from scrimmage, don't bother watching another Super Bowl.

You'll never see one.

Sunday's Eagles-Patriots game continued a baffling trend in which long runs have been virtually extinct in the Super Bowl.

It's been more than a decade since there has been a run of longer than 27 yards, more than 15 years since an NFC back has had one longer than 38 yards, and more than 20 since an AFC player has had one longer than 34 yards.

To find the last time anybody has gained more than 27 yards you have to go back to Super Bowl XXVII, when Emmitt Smith scored on a 31-yard touchdown run eight seconds into the fourth quarter.

To find the last time an NFC back has gone 40 yards on a run you have to go all the way back to Super Bowl XXII in San Diego after the 1987 season, when Washington's Timmy Smith ran 58 yards for a TD during the 35-point second quarter.

And to find the last run by an AFC back longer than 34 yards you have to go way back to Super Bowl XVIII, when Marcus Allen had a 71-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

More obscure, bizarre and ridiculous from Super Bowl week

Catching TDs in back-to-back Super Bowls
Player Team Super Bowls
Butch Johnson Cowboys XII, XIII
John Stallworth Steelers XIII, XIV
Lynn Swann Steelers XIII, XIV
Jerry Rice 49ers XXIII, XXIV
John Taylor 49ers XXIII, XXIV
Don Beebe Bills XXVI, XXVII
Antonio Freeman Packers XXXI, XXXII
David Givens Patriots XXXVIII, XXXIX
Mike Vrabel Patriots XXXVIII, XXXIX

• Patriots LB Mike Vrabel entered some elite company Sunday -- not as a linebacker but as a receiver.

Vrabel's 2-yard touchdown catch from Tom Brady paired with his 1-yard TD catch from Brady last year made him only the ninth player in history -- and the first linebacker -- with a touchdown reception in consecutive Super Bowls (list, right).

• The Super Bowl was the 405th playoff game in NFL history but only the third that was tied at the end of the first, second and third quarters. The others were the 1948 NFL title game between the Eagles and Chicago Cardinals and a 1978 wild-card game between the Oilers and Dolphins.

• Brady is 71-for-108 (66 percent) for 735 yards with six touchdowns and one interception in his three Super Bowl appearances, a 99.9 passer rating. In Super Bowl history, he ranks third in career completion percentage behind Troy Aikman (70 percent) and Joe Montana (68 percent), third in interception ratio (neither Montana or Jim Plunkett threw one) and and third in TD passes (Montana has 11, Terry Bradshaw nine).

Brady and Plunkett are a combined 36-for-54 for 497 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions in two Super Bowls against the Eagles, a 133.0 passer rating.