Tag Archives: NFL

The History Of The Super Bowl MVP Award

Since it inception in 1967 the Super Bowl has been the game of the year.  The game that has the world watching in anticipation of the crowning of a Champion.  People  also looking for exciting play and the player of the game.  Every Super Bowl ever played has had an Most Valuable Player (MVP) in fact in 1978 Super Bowl XII had two of them, Dallas Cowboys defensive end Harvey Martin and defensive tackle Randy White.  The MVP Award is the one constant and a distinction that could be a ticket into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.

The Super Bowl MVP Trophy (Getty Images)

The Super Bowl MVP Trophy (Getty Images)

When you look at the history of the Super Bowl MVP Award the numbers and details of those numbers create an interesting legacy.  Forty-eight Super Bowls have been played and forty-nine players have had the honor of being named MVP of the game.  Nineteen of those MVP’s are now enshrined at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH.  Nine different positions have won the award at least once with the quarterback position having the most with twenty-six.  Running backs (7) and wide receivers (6) fall second and third respectively on the list of positions to win the award.

Two time Super Bowl MVP Bart Starr (Getty Images)

Two time Super Bowl MVP Bart Starr (Getty Images)

The first ever MVP was Bart Starr who led the Green Bay Packers to victory in Super Bowl I in 1967.  He would also be the first player to win the MVP more than once when he was crowned after Super Bowl II.  Only five players have won the MVP Award more than once and they are all quarterbacks.  San Francisco 49er legend Joe Montana holds the record with three.  He is followed by Starr, Terry Bradshaw, Tom Brady and Eli Manning who have all been honored twice.

Typically the MVP goes to someone on the winning team.  However in 1971 linebacker Chuck Howley who was on the losing Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V won the game’s big honor.  That is the first and only time that scenario has occurred.

The four of the last five MVP’s have been quarterbacks.  The most recent MVP was Seattle Seahawks Linebacker Malcolm Smith.  Who will be next? Only time will tell but we don’t have to wait much longer because we are less than four days from Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix, Aruzona.  So be on the look out for the next big play because it could come from the next Super Bowl MVP.

“Going Out On Top”: The Story Of Jim Brown’s Nine Season NFL Career

When football fans think of the greatest running backs of all time a few names usually come up.  Names like Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith, Gale Sayers.  There is a player some would consider greater than those previously named, Jim Brown.

The legendary Jim Brown. (Getty Images)

The legendary Jim Brown. (Getty Images)

Jim Brown was taken by the Cleveland Browns with the 6th overall pick in the 1957 NFL Draft.   Brown was a first-team All American at Syracuse University.  His senior season at the school was the most impressive.  During the 1956 College Football season Brown ran for 986 yards and scored 14 touchdowns in only eight games that season.

Jim Brown’s pro career would mirror the success of his college days.  When he came to Cleveland the Browns had yet to find an incredible running back since Hall Of Fame running back Marion Motley quit the team in 1954.  During his rookie season Brown ran for 942 yards and had 9 touchdowns.  Brown really turned it up a notch in his second season in 1958, rushing for 1527 yards with 17 touchdowns.

This amazing running back went on to seven seasons with 1,000-yards or more during his nine year career.  His highest rushing yardage season came in 1963 when he ran for 1,863- yards.  Brown’s 1963 season became the running back record for most rushing yards in a single season.  The record stood until 1973 when O.J. Simpson ran for 2,003-yards.

Jim Brown’s final season came in 1965.  His final game was on January 2, 1965 in the NFL Championship game against the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, WI.  Brown ran for 50-yards, caught 3 passes for 44-yards but scored no touchdowns.  The Packers defeated the Cleveland Browns by a score of 23-12.

During his final campaign Brown ran for 1,544 yards and once again recorded 17 touchdowns on the ground.  Brown would decide to leave football following 1965 season to pursue an acting career.  Many around football could not believe he would leave the NFL while still proving to be one of the best players in the game. At the age of 29 Jim Brown was retired from football and would never play again in the NFL.  

His nine season career still stands out as one of the best in NFL History.  Jim Brown amassed 12,312 yards (An NFL record not broken until 1984 by Walter Payton) while rushing for 80 touchdowns and caught 20 touchdown passes.  Brown led the league in rushing for eight of his nine seasons and was selected as a Pro Bowler in every season he played in the NFL.  In 1971 Jim Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.

When going back through the records and accomplishments during his playing days it is hard to deny that Jim Brown is one of the greatest players of all time.  He may no lomger hold any of the amazing records he set during his career but they are still impressive 49 years after he retired. He was a bruising power back the likes we have never seen since and may never see again.  Jim Brown truly left the game of football while still on top.

Record Holders: Willie “Flipper” Anderson – Single Game Receiving Yards

On November 26, 1989 the L.A. Rams visited the New Orleans Saints in a game that would make history. A record was broken on that day, a record that has stood ever since. The star of the game was Rams Wide Receiver Flipper Anderson. On that day he amassed 336 receiving yards and scored one touchdown.

NFL Record Holder - Willie "Flipper" Anderson (Getty)

NFL Record Holder – Willie “Flipper” Anderson (Getty)

The previous record had been held by Stephone Paige of the Kansas City Chiefs. Paige broke the previous record on December 22, 1985. Paige recorded 309 total receiving yards against the San Diego Chargers in that game.

Since Flipper Anderson’s incredible performance in 1989 only one player has had more than 300 yards receiving in a single game. That player is Detroit Lions star Calvin Johnson. On October 27, 2013 Johnson had 329 yards receiving in a game between the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys. Johnson missed the record by 7 yards but holds the second place position on the all time list for this particular record.

Flipper Anderson went on to have a respectable career after his amazing feat in 1989. He retired with a career total of 5,357 yards and 28 touchdowns. He played from 1988-1997 for the Rams, Colts, Redskins and Broncos. In fact his final season win the NFL was with the 1997 Denver Broncos who defeated the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII to become the Champions.

1983 NFL Draft – “The Best NFL Draft Ever”

The first ever NFL Draft took place in 1936. That draft only consisted of 81 players. Four of those players would become Hall Of Famers. Since then the NFL has developed the draft into a giant event. Another one of the players selected in that draft, Paul “Bear” Bryant would later give up playing football to become a coach. He would become one of the greatest college football coaches ever while at the University of Alabama. There have been many great draft classes in the years since but they all pale in comparison to one in particular.

The 1983 NFL Draft took place on Arpil 26th and 27th of that year in New York City. It included twelves rounds and 335 players were selected. Over 30 of those players selected would go to the Pro Bowl. Eric Dickerson, Jim Kelly, John Elway, Dan Marino, Bruce Matthews, Darrell Green and Richard Dent who were all selected that day would later be inducted into the Hall Of Fame. Other than all of the things I have mentioned the draft is remembered for another reason, the Quarterbacks.

This was the best draft class of quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. It also holds the record for most quarterbacks selected in the first round with six. Three of those six would make it into the Hall Of Fame. The standout quarterbacks of the class were by far John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino.

John Elway (Getty Images)

John Elway (Getty Images)

John Elway was taken with the first overall pick by the Baltimore Colts. He was eventually traded before the season to Denver due to his unwillingness to play for the Colts head coach Frank Kush. During his career he established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the league. When his career was over he won two Super Bowl Championships and was inducted to the Hall Of Fame in 2004.

Jim Kelly (Getty Images)

Jim Kelly (Getty Images)

With the fourteenth overall pick the Buffalo Bills selected Jim Kelly. Kelly played the season prior in the United States Football League after leaving the University Of Miami. Of the quarterbacks drafted that day Kelly made more Super Bowl appearances than any one else. Kelly lead the Buffalo Bills to the Super Bowl from 1990 through 1993. Unfortunately the Bills never won any of those Super Bowls. Nonetheless Kelly proved himself to be a great quarterback and was Inducted to the Hall Of Fame in 2002.

Dan Marino (Getty Images)

Dan Marino (Getty Images)

The final legendary quarterback taken in this draft was Dan Marino. He was projected to go early in the first round but fell back on a lot of teams boards due to reports of him using marijuana in college. The Miami Dolphins were willing to take a chance on this young man with a powerful arm and selected him with the twenty seventh overall pick. Marino played 17 season but only made one trip to the Super Bowl, the Dolphins lost that game to the San Fransisco 49ers. Marino did however finish career holding almost every quarterback record that existed. He was inducted into the Hall Of Fame in 2005.

An interesting note about this draft is all of the first round quarterbacks went to AFC teams. Also the three half Of Fame quarterbacks all played for only one team during their NFL career.

The Draft is such an intriguing event. Full of Pro Bowlers, Busts and Hall Of Famers. There will probably never be a quarterback class this good again. Some might argue that the 2012 class will stand the test of time but until it does the 1983 Draft will remain the best ever.

The Quaterbacks Drafted Before Tom Brady

Tom Brady (Photo By Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Tom Brady (Photo By Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

With the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft the New England Patriots select from Michigan, quarterback Tom Brady.  Those words spoken by then NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue would change the future of the the Patriots and the NFL.  Tom Brady has gone on to have a great career and is considered to be one of the best quarterbacks of not only his era but in football history.  Brady has led the Patriots to 5 Super Bowl appearances and 3 Championships.  He is the biggest late round draft pick ever, being selected in the 6th round.  But their were 6 QB’s selected before Brady.  Here is a look at the six that came before Brady and the teams that missed out on greatness.

1st Round

18th Overall Pick – Chad Pennington, New York Jets

Pennington was the most hyped QB going into the draft.  Pennington had a solid college career with Marshall.  Pennington retired after the 2010 season.  He played for the Jets the majority of his career and played his final 3 season with the Miami Dolphins.  Pennington would play in 4 post seasons and had a post season record of 2 wins and 4 loses.  Pennington did make history during his career, holding the record for career passing percentage among QB’s with more than 1500 pass attempts at 66.0%.

2nd Round

No Quarterbacks Drafted

3rd Round

65th Overall Pick – Giovanni Carmazzi, San Francisco 49ers

Carmazzi played at Hofstra during his college years.  He would never play in a regular season NGL game.  Carmazzi finished his pro football career in the CFL in 2005.

75th Over All Pick – Chris Redman, Baltimore Ravens

Redman has played for the Ravens, Patriots, Titans and most recently the Falcons before his release in August of 2012.  He was lucky enough to win a Super Bowl ring as a backup to Trent Dilfer on the 2000 Ravens championship team.  Redman would best be described as a career back up QB.

4th Round

No Quarterbacks Drafted

5th Round

163rd Overall Pick – Tee Martin, Pittsburgh Steelers

Tee Martin played only one game for the Steelers and never started a game in his career.  He spent the 2002 season in NFL Europe playing for the Rhein Fire.  In 2003 he signed with the Oakland Raiders for his final NFL season.  Martin ended his professional career in 2005 as a part of the CFL.  In total Martin played only 3 games in the NFL.

6th Round

168th Overall Pick – Marc Bulger, New Orleans Saints

Marc Bulger was the only Pro Bowl QB selected before Tom Brady.  In the first of his two Pro Bowl appearances Bulger won the MVP award in that game. He went on a crazy ride after the draft by signing with the Saints, Falcons and the Ravens before the 2000 season began. Bulger took over at QB for the Rams when Kurt Warner retired.  Bulger retired in 2010 with the Ravens.

183 Overall Pick – Spergon Wynn, Cleveland Browns

Spergon Wynn spent his career as a back up QB.  He played for 2 NFL teams and 4 CFL teams.  Wynn retired from football in 2006.

The list QB’s selected before Tom Brady is pretty shocking.  Only one of those players made it to a Pro Bowl.  The majority were career back up QB’s and none of these players are still professionally active.  There was a lot of belief that Brady’s frame was not built for the NFL which was the greatest ding against him.  The Patriots saw something in Brady that no other team did and they were able to reap the benefits of that faith.  When Tom Brady retires he will undoubtedly head to the Hall Of Fame and the history books.  While all of the others before him are just history.

 

History Now: Matt Prater Breaks Record For Longest NFL Field Goal

Matt Prater, record holder of longest field goal in NFL history. (Getty Images)

Matt Prater, record holder of longest field goal in NFL history. (Getty Images)

On Sunday the 8th of December, 2013 Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater made NFL history.  He made a 64-yard field goal in the final seconds of the 1st half in the Broncos game against the visiting the Tennessee Titans.  The previous record was held by four players, each with 63-yard field goals.  Those players he beat out for the record today were Tom Dempsey (1970), Jason Elam (1998), Sebastian Janikowski (2011) and David Ackers (2012).  With this field goal Prater becomes just the 13th man to kick a +60-yard field goal in an NFL game.

Sebastian Janikowski
Sebastian Janikowski
Sebastian Janikowski

The 1967 NFL Playoffs “The Ice Bowl And The First Real Post Season”

The National Football League’s 48th season began on September 17th, 1967.  It was the first season in the history of the NFL to have a playoff after the regular season had ended.  The previous 34 seasons had only included one post season game which was the championship game consisting of two teams with the best record (the NFL champion was the team with the best record during the first 12 seasons of the NFL). The NFL expanded to 16 teams with the newest being the New Orleans Saints.  This allowed for a post season that included a four team playoff for the championship.  The 1967 season paved the way for the current 12 team playoff structure.

The first game of the playoffs took place on December 23 and pitted the Los Angeles Rams against Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers.  The game was played at County Stadium in Milwaukee, WI.  The Rams drew first blood with the first touchdown of the game but would give up four consecutive touchdowns before the game was finished. The Packers would win by a score of 28-7.  With that win the Packers were on their way to the NFL Championship Game.

The second playoff game took place at the Cotton bowl in Dalls, TX on December 24th. The teams competing for a trip to the NFL Championship game were the Cleveland Browns and the Dallas Cowboys.  The Cowboys won the game in blowout fashion with the final score being 52-17.  With that win the Cowboys would advance to what would become one of the greatest games in NFL history.

The Packers Bart Starr's game winning QB sneak to win the "Ice Bowl" (Getty Images)

The Packers Bart Starr’s game winning QB sneak to win the “Ice Bowl” (Getty Images)

The NFL Championship Game was held at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI on December 31st.  The game was dubbed “The Ice Bowl” due to its game time temperature of -15 F, the wind chill was -48 F.  The Cowboys took on the Packers in this epic contest.  This game was a brutal and very close game that went into halftime with the Packers leading 14-10.  The Cowboys took the 17-14 lead with a 50-yard touchdown pass by running back Dan Reeves to wide receiver Lance Renzel in the 4th quarter.  But the biggest play of the game would be one of it last plays.  With just 4:50 remaining in the game the Packers quarterback Bart Starr led his team down the field, Starr would be the man that won the game for the Packers when he ran the ball into the end zone with just seconds remaining on the clock.  The final score was Packers 21 and the Cowboys 17.  To this day it is considered by many the greatest game and from what the players endured and the result on the field there is no arguing that.

The Packers would not only go down in history that year for winning the first ever NFL Playoffs but would also win another important game in their history.  Two weeks after the NFL Championship game the Packers played the American Football League Champions the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl II.  The Packers would be the victor in that contest as well and continued what is viewed now as a “Dynasty Team”.

The NFL took an important step in their history in 1967.  A step that has lead to some of the most iconic games in the sports history.  Who know the next great NFL Playoff game might be the next.

History Now: Peyton Manning Ties Single Game TD Record

Future Hall Of Famer Peyton Manning added his name to another record in NFL history on  September 5th, 2013.  The Denver Broncos and Manning defeated the defending Champions the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 47-29 in Denver tonight.  The most remarkable stat of all in the game was the number of touchdown passes Manning threw.

Quarterback Peyton Manning (Getty Images)

Quarterback Peyton Manning (Getty Images)

Peyton Manning threw 7 touchdown passes.  The receivers on the other end of these TD’s were Demaryius Thomas (2), Wes Welker (2), Julius Thomas (2) and Andre Caldwell (1) .  Five of the touchdowns came in the second half of this opening game.

With this feat Peyton Manning joins only five other QB’s who have thrown this many touchdowns in a single game. Some of those he now shares the record with are all time greats like Sid Luckman, Adrian Burk, George Blanda, Y.A. Tittle and Joe Kapp.  Joe Kapp was the last to throw 7 TD’s in a single game in 1969.  This is a truly amazing record and one that Manning will add to all of his other records to land him in Canton.

Otto Graham: The Greatest Quarterback Ever

Many modern football fans have never even heard the name Otto Graham.  Decades before Bernie Kosar was taking the Browns through many playoff runs.  Otto Graham was the best quarterback not only in Cleveland but in the NFL.  Years before Jim Brown dominated teams, Otto Graham was dominating the league.  Graham will go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game.  He was the 1st and possibly the biggest Cleveland sports star ever.

Otto Graham goes for a pass in Cleveland's Municipal Stadium. (Getty Images)

Otto Graham goes for a pass in Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium. (Getty Images)

Otto Graham started his professional career in Cleveland during the 1946 season.  At the time the Browns played in the All American Football Conference (AAFC).  In that season Graham lead the Browns to their 1st Championship and the team finished with a 12-2 record.  The winning did not stop there.  The Browns went on to win the 1947, 1948 and 1949 AAFC Championship prior to entering the NFL in 1950.  During his first 4 seasons he played in 54 games and had 86 TD’s and 10,085 yards passing in total.  Many people considered the AAFC to be the minor leagues so to speak.  The Browns were not expected to be as dominant in the NFL.

The critics were completely wrong with their assumption.  Graham had almost the same numbers in the NFL as he did in the AAFC.  Graham would play in 72 games in the NFL and have 88 TD’s and 13,499 yards passing.  Graham and the Browns made the Championship game from 1950 to 1955.  In total Graham led the Browns to 10 straight championship games with them winning 7 of them.  The only years during this period where they did not win a championship was 1951, 1952 and 1953.  Their playoff record was 9-3 during those 10 seasons.

Otto Graham retired after the 1955 season.  He retired with 174 TD’s and 23,584 yards passing.  In his career Graham was a 5 time Pro Bowler and was a 7 time First Team All Pro.  He was one of the first inductees into the Hall Of Fame in 1965.

Otto Graham's Plaque (Getty Images)

Otto Graham’s Plaque (Getty Images)

Otto Graham was able to accomplish something that will never happen again by leading his team to 10 straight championship games.  The only other player to come close was Jim Kelly with the Buffalo Bills.  The Bills made it to the Super Bowl from 1990-1994 but never won any of those games.

There are many names that are discussed when talking about who was the greatest quarterback ever.  Names like Dan Marino, John Elway, Johnny Unitas and Tom Brady but none of those players achieved the success that Graham was able to do.  The only argument that any one might have against Graham would be that the playoffs were shorter with less games when he played.  The fact of the matter is he still won those titles and in both leagues.  The only reason that most people do not consider him the best is because they don’t know anything about him or what he did during his career.

As long as the stats and film are around no one can deny his greatness.  For such a short career by today’s standards he really made an impact.  Otto Graham passed away in 2003.  He left a legacy that will never be forgotten, he will live forever in the Hall Of Fame.

Top 3 Stories From Week 3 Of The NFL

Week 3 of the NFL season was one of the most unpredictable so far this season.  It also so more controversy over the replacement referees.  It was a very exciting group of games, so let’s take a look at 2centsworthofsports.com’s top 3 stories from this week in the NFL.

The Replacement Refs Blow The Game For The Packers

The replacement referees have been atrocious the season.  They have missed many calls and made wrong ones as well.  On Monday Night the stand in refs made the worst call of the season.  In closing seconds of the final quarter with the Packers leading the Seahawks 12-7 the unthinkable happened.  Seahawks QB Russell Wilson completed a pass to Wide Receiver Golden Tate for the win, or did he.  What actually happened was Packers Defensive Back M.D. Jennings intercepted the pass and had it wrestled away from him by Tate while on the ground.  The play was reviewed referee Wayne Elliot who stated ”the ruling on the field stands”.  The Seattle faithful loved it but NFL fans everywhere were outraged.  This seasons referee’s have been horrible and until the lock out ends with the veteran refs we might be seeing a lot more games end this way.

Many Strong Teams Upset By Unlikely Foes

The season has only seen a few up sets during the first two weeks of play.  Week three brought with it many upsets.  The lowly Jaguars defeated the Colts on the road by a score of 22-17, outscoring the Colts 19-3 in the second half.  The Chiefs defeated the Saints in overtime 27-24.  The Bengals beat the Redskins 38-31, with excellent play from their QB Andy Dalton who threw for over 300 yards and had 3 TD passes.  The Titans stunned the Lions 44-41 in overtime.  The 49ers were defeated in the Metro dome by the Vikings 24-13.  The Steelers lost to the aiders 34-31, even though “Big” Ben Roethlisberger had a great game with 384 yards passing and 4 TD’s.  It was a wild and crazy Sunday.  Who know maybe we will see more of this as teams that have been lower level become stronger and more competitive.

Matt Schaub Takes An Illegal Hit And Losses Part Of His Ear

On Sunday afternoon the Houston Texans came into Denver to face the Broncos.  What happened would be one of the most gruesome sights in recent memory. The Texans QB Matt Schaub dropped back for a pass and was tackled by two Broncos Defenders simultaneously.  His helmet popped off and he immediately grabbed his ear.  When he removed his hands from his head he was missing a chunk of the upper portion of his ear.  Schaub showed his toughness and continued to play throwing for almost 300 yards and had 4 TD passes.  The Texans won the game by a score of 31-25.