Analysis: All-time Super Bowl team

379043.jpg

Analysis: All-time Super Bowl team

Feb. 3, 2011NFL PAGE Ray Didinger
Comcast SportsNet

OffenseQB Joe Montana, San Francisco Undefeated in four trips to the big game, MVP three times, QB rating of 127.8.

RB Franco Harris, Pittsburgh Most rushing yards in Super Bowl history (354) and scored four touchdowns in the Steelers four victories.
RB Terrell Davis, Denver Set a Super Bowl record with three rushing touchdowns in 31-24 win over Green Bay. Dominated the game with 157 rushing yards despite missing most of the second quarter with migraine headaches.

WR Jerry Rice, San Francisco, Oakland Holds Super Bowl records for points (48), touchdowns (eight), pass receptions (33) and yards (589). Enough said.

WR Lynn Swann, Pittsburgh The first wide receiver to earn Super Bowl MVP honors for his spectacular performance (four catches, 161 yards, one touchdown) in a 21-17 win over Dallas.

TE Dave Casper, Oakland Outstanding receiver and devastating blocker, scored a touchdown and helped pave the way for the Raiders 32-14 rout on Minnesota in Super Bowl XI.

T Art Shell, Oakland Pitched a shutout at Viking defensive end Jim Marshall (no tackles, no assists) in Super Bowl XI.

T Joe Jacoby, Washington The Redskins offensive line, known as the Hogs, were the key to the team winning three Super Bowls. Jacoby was the tackle who most often pulled to lead the counter trey, their bread and butter play.

G Bob Kuechenberg, Miami Played Super Bowl VIII with a cast on his broken arm and dominated Vikings All-Pro Alan Page as Miami ran the ball 53 times in a 24-7 win.
G Larry Allen, Dallas Big, mauling blocker cleared the path for Emmitt Smith to rush for 289 yards and a record five touchdowns in three Super Bowls.

C Mike Webster, Pittsburgh The only Hall of Famer on an underrated offensive line. Outstanding run blocker.
DefenseE Reggie White, Green Bay Set Super Bowl record with three sacks in one game, the 35-21 win over New England.

E Charles Haley, San Francisco, Dallas Played on five Super Bowl winners, more than any other player. Holds the Super Bowl record with 4.5 career sacks.

T Joe Greene, Pittsburgh Mean Joe was the heart and soul of the Steel Curtain defense that crushed Minnesota (17 yard rushing) in Super Bowl IX.
T Manny Fernandez, Miami Should have been the MVP of Super Bowl VII. Had 17 tackles in the Dolphins 14-7 win over Washington.

OLB Rod Martin, Oakland -- Set a Super Bowl record with three interceptions in the Raiders 27-10 win over the Eagles.

MLB Ray Lewis, Baltimore Tough call, Lewis over Jack Lambert of the Steelers, but the Ravens won with defense and Lewis was the MVP of the Super Bowl rout of the New York Giants.

OLB Mike Vrabel, New England Had two sacks and a forced fumble in the win over Carolina in Super Bowl XXXVIII as well as catching a touchdown pass. Had a sack and another touchdown reception the following year in the win over the Eagles.

CB Larry Brown, Dallas The only cornerback to earn Super Bowl MVP honors. He had a mediocre career except for Super Bowl XXX when his two interceptions (OK, they were gifts from Steelers quarterback Neil ODonnell but still) set up 14 points in a 27-17 Cowboys win.

CB Ty Law, New England Returned an interception 47 yards for a touchdown to lift the Patriots to a 20-17 upset of the favored St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.
S Ronnie Lott, San Francisco Leader of the 49er defense, played both corner and safety. His head-snapping hit on Cincinnati fullback Icky Woods was a tone-setter in Super Bowl XXIII.

S James Washington, Dallas Overlooked, but a key performer in the Cowboys 30-13 win over Buffalo in Super Bowl XXVIII. Washington had 11 tackles, an interception and returned a fumble for a touchdown.

Special TeamsPlacekicker Adam Vinatieri, New England Kicked two last minute field goals to win Super Bowls for the Patriots. Sure bet to become only the second kicking specialist voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Jan Stenerud of Kansas City is the other.

Punter Jerrel Wilson, Kansas City Averaged 46.5 yards per punt in two Super Bowls, highest average in Super Bowl history.
Kick Returner Desmond Howard, Green Bay The only return specialist voted Super Bowl MVP. His 99 yard kickoff return for a touchdown helped the Packers defeat New England, 35-21, in Super Bowl XXXI.

CoachChuck Noll, Pittsburgh The most underrated coach in NFL history. Transformed the NFLs most hapless franchise into a dynasty. A perfect 4-0 in the Super Bowl.

Headed for 100 losses, Giants quietly give up on "Don't Stop Believin'" tradition

Headed for 100 losses, Giants quietly give up on "Don't Stop Believin'" tradition

SAN FRANCISCO — At some point over the last month, the Giants quietly stopped playing “Don’t Stop Believin’” in the late innings of games they trail. 

It’s unclear exactly when it started, or who made the decision. A number of team employees, surveyed over the past week, had noticed. But nobody knew the exact details. Perhaps the longtime staple of AT&T Park was shelved on July 9, when FanGraphs dropped the playoff odds to 0.00 percent for the first time in a lost season. Maybe it was during a bad loss before that or a bad loss after that. You can take your pick. This season has been filled with so many of them it’s hard to keep track. 

Friday’s stood out, in part because this was the kind of night where Journey briefly made sense. The Giants gave Jeff Samardzija a 4-0 lead in the first inning against a Padres team that spent the early innings kicking and throwing the ball all over the field and making mistakes on the bases. It was 5-1 after three innings. By the sixth, the Padres had tied it. By the seventh, they had the lead. By the eighth, it was a three-run lead. 

Before the bottom of the eighth, the in-stadium crew played Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” for a crowd of a few thousand. Last weekend, Huey Lewis was the fill-in for Journey. On Wednesday, a game the Giants actually came back to win, the scoreboard played a singalong game to “Happy Together” by The Turtles. 

On this night, the Giants actually would come back. Conor Gillaspie hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth, tying the game and sending it into extras. The Giants had trailed by three with one out remaining, but the momentum provided by Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Gillaspie was just a blip. The Padres scored three in the 11th off George Kontos, who has pitched five times over the last eight days and was supposed to get a night to rest. 

Kontos was the last to give up runs in a 12-9 loss, but hardly the only one. Samardzija took blame after failing to get through five with a big early cushion. That put pressure on the tired bullpen, and the relievers blew it over and over again. The Padres scored runs in six consecutive innings at one point and had 20 hits. 

“We couldn’t stop them,” Bruce Bochy said, shaking his head. 

Nothing can apparently stop this skid. The Giants are 37-61 and six games behind the Padres. They are much closer to the No. 1 draft pick than they are to fourth place in their division. 

“Don’t Stop Believin’” survived the 2013 season. It survived 2015 and the second half of last year. Nothing can survive this season.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants lose marathon in extras to Padres

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants lose marathon in extras to Padres

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — A few hundred, maybe a few thousand, stayed to watch the Giants late Friday night. The Giants did not make it worth the effort. 

Conor Gillaspie’s two-out homer in the ninth sent the game to extras, but the Giants lost 12-9 in a game that lasted nearly five hours. The Giants had trailed by three with two outs and nobody on in the ninth. They tied it. Instead of carrying that momentum over, they suffered yet another demoralizing loss. 

They have dropped both games of this series and they trail the Padres -- who had 20 hits -- by six games in the race for fourth place. Those are facts. Here are five more, mostly from earlier, when a young man harbored dreams of leaving a ballpark before 1 a.m. … 

—- Hector Sanchez took Jeff Samardzija deep to lead off the fourth, and at this point it’s flat-out hilarious. Sanchez has seven homers this season and three have come against his former team. He hit two homers at AT&T Park in 296 plate appearances as a Giant, and the fourth-inning blast gave him three in 11 plate appearances as a Padre. He also doubled in a run and singled. It’s an all-time revenge tour. Just go along for the ride. 

—- There were a ton of scouts on hand to watch two starting pitchers who could move in the next 10 days, and they left disappointed. Trevor Cahill gave up six earned on seven hits and four walks and lasted just 3 2/3 innings. Jeff Samardzija gave up eight hits and five earned in 4 1/3 innings. 

—- I dunno man, it’s really hard getting to five of these every night. Sam Dyson was good again. 

—- Gillaspie's pinch-hit homer was the sixth of his career. He's a hero around these parts, but perhaps Bobby Evans should see if a team out there was watching Friday and remembers his October run. Gillaspie could help a contender. 

—- When MLB inevitably introduces a pitch clock and pitchers start complaining, this will be the game I tell them to sit down and try to watch start to finish.