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Best of ratings, worst of ratings

One Pittsburgh passer excelled, while the QB faltered

Posted: Wednesday February 8, 2006 1:46PM; Updated: Wednesday February 8, 2006 5:08PM
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Antwaan Randle El made history with his 43-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward.
Antwaan Randle El made history with his 43-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward.

No quarterback has ever played this poorly and won a Super Bowl.

And no passer has ever played this well and not been a quarterback.

Steelers WR Antwaan Randle El's 43-yard TD pass to Hines Ward in the Steelers' 21-10 win over the Seahawks Sunday in Super Bowl XL, made him the first non-quarterback to throw a Super Bowl touchdown pass in 25 years. In doing so, he accomplished something the last six winning Super Bowl quarterbacks haven't done -- throw a touchdown pass of 40 yards or more.

Meanwhile, teammate Ben Roethlisberger became a Super Bowl winner despite fashioning the seventh-lowest passer rating in Super Bowl history -- and by far the lowest by a winning QB.

Let's look at Randle El's accomplishments first.

Although he threw just one pass this postseason, Randle El had more TD passes of at least 40 yards during the playoffs than eight other 2005 playoff quarterbacks combined -- Matt Hasselbeck, Jake Plummer, Mark Brunell, Chris Simms, Jon Kitna, Rex Grossman, Byron Leftwich and Eli Manning. And they threw 378 passes.

Randle El's TD pass is the longest by a player on the winning Super Bowl team in six years, since Rams QB Kurt Warner had a 73-yarder to Isaac Bruce against the Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV.

Only 12 quarterbacks have thrown a longer TD pass while winning a Super Bowl, most of them Hall of Famers -- Warner, John Elway, Brett Favre, Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Doug Williams, Terry Bradshaw, Jim Plunkett, Roger Staubach, Johnny Unitas, Len Dawson and Bart Starr.

Randle El now has more career Super Bowl TD passes of 40 yards or more than Joe Montana, Tom Brady and Bob Griese combined in their nine Super Bowls.

The only previous Super Bowl TD pass by a non-quarterback was a 29-yarder from Cowboys RB Robert Newhouse to Golden Richards against the Broncos 28 years ago. Randle El's TD pass is the longest in postseason history by a non-quarterback.

In the game's final 31 minutes, Randle El had more net passing yards (43) than Roethlisberger (39).