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Top 10 Forgotten Heroes of the Super Bowl

Guys who don't get enough credit
Publish Date: 02/08/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Everybody knows Kurt Warner, Jim Plunkett, Johnny Unitas, etc., as they were Super Bowl winners, but today we’re e going to look at some of the players who made some big plays to help these men to become legends!

1) Dwight Smith, Tampa Bay, Super Bowl XXXVII

Dwight Smith is still the only player in Super Bowl history to intercept two passes and return them both for touchdowns in Super Bowl history. He did not win the MVP award for the game. When asked about the denial, Smith said it best: “They give out the MVP every year. I own a record that can stand forever. So far so good.

Video: Dwight Smith in Super Bowl XXXVII

Dwight Smith in Super Bowl XXXVII

2) Max McGee, Green Bay Packers, Super Bowl I

Packers wide receiver Boyd Dowler was supposed to be the star of this show, but Dowler got hurt early in the game. So who would take over and save the day, you might ask. Well, it was an aging receiver hungover from a late night of partying, that’s who! Max McGee had the game of his life, catching seven passes for 138 yards and two TDs.

Video: The Max McGee Story: The Greatest Untold Story Ever

The Max McGee Story: The Greatest Untold Story Ever

3) Timmy Smith, Washington Redskins, Super Bowl XXII

Smith’s first start was in the Super Bowl and in that first start, he shocked everybody by running for 204 yards and two touchdowns. Smith disappeared seemingly from the face of the earth afterward and was never heard from again. But, for one magical game in San Diego, Smith was a legend!

Video: Timmy Smith - Superbowl XXII

Timmy Smith – Superbowl XXII

4) Larry Brown, Dallas Cowboys, Super Bowl XXX

If I asked you who was the first cornerback in Super Bowl history to win the MVP  award and I told you he played in Super Bowl XXX with the Cowboys, you would probably guess Deion Sanders. The answer would be little-known journeyman cornerback Larry Brown, who intercepted two passes that sealed a Super Bowl victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Video: Larry Brown Highlights

Larry Brown Highlights

5) Mike Jones, St. Louis Rams, Super Bowl XXXIV

Everybody remembers Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner’s fourth-quarter heroics and most remember a Titan tackled at the one-yard line to end the game. The question is: What Ram saved the game on that final play? That man would be Mike Jones, who tackled Kevin Dyson as the clock run out.

Video: The Tackle (Rams vs Titans 1999 Super Bowl XXXIV)

The Tackle (Rams vs Titans 1999 Super Bowl XXXIV)

 

6) Rod Martin, Oakland Raiders, Super Bowl XV

Rod Martin was a solid linebacker during his NFL career, but on this Sunday, he would become a legend in Raider lore. Martin picked off three Ron Jaworski passes as the Raiders upset the Eagles and became the first wild card team to win a Super Bowl.

Video: Wild Card Raiders Make a Run and Win Super Bowl XV | Las Vegas Raiders

Wild Card Raiders Make a Run and Win Super Bowl XV | Las Vegas Raiders

7) Jim O’Brien, Baltimore Colts, Super Bowl V

O’Brien was a straight-on kicker, one of the last of a dying breed in the early 1970s. For his career, O’Brien made 60 out of 108 kicks. On this day, he would go down in history as the first kicker in Super Bowl history to kick a game-winning field goal. O’Brien booted a 32-yard field goal to give the Colts a 16-13 win over the Dallas Cowboys in a game filled with errors.

Video: Super Bowl V Jim O'Brien's game winning FG

Super Bowl V Jim O’Brien’s game winning FG

8) Jack Squirek, Los Angeles Raiders, Super Bowl XVIII

Squirek had a short-lived NFL career, but for one day he was a legend. The Raiders had a commanding lead heading into halftime, and that lead only grew bigger when the Redskins decided for some reason, with time running out in the first half, to try to pass from their own goal line.

Redskin QB Joe Theismann threw the ball, and Jack Squirek caught the pass and raced into the end zone to win the game for the Raiders. Defensive coordinator Charlie Sumner put Squirek in the right spot to make the play, Squirek graced Sports Illustrated’s cover the very next week.

Video: Squirek

Squirek

9) James Washington, Dallas Cowboys, Super Bowl XXVIII

The rematch of Super Bowl XXVII saw the Bills outplay the Cowboys in the first half. The turning point came in the third quarter as Cowboy defensive back scooped up a Thurman Thomas fumble and scored on a 46-yard TD return. The Cowboys dominated the game after the Fumble and would go on to win their second straight Super Bowl. Washington also intercepted a pass in the previous year’s matchup with Buffalo.

Video: Super Bowl Champion James Washington Shares Secrets To Success On And Off Field | CNBC Make It.

Super Bowl Champion James Washington Shares Secrets To Success On And Off Field | CNBC Make It.

10) Chris Reis, New Orleans Saints, Super Bowl XLIV

In this game, Saints coach Sean Payton made one of the gutsiest calls in Super Bowl history: With his Saints down 10-6 at the start of the second half against the Indianapolis Colts, Payton decided to onside kick to open the second half. After about a minute of fighting to recover the fumble, Chris Reis came out of the pile to spark the Saints to victory.

Video: Chris Reis Super Bowl Interview

Chris Reis Super Bowl Interview

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