Saturday, June 24, 2017

Finishing super

Though I now watch the NFL Championship game, everyone else calls it the Super Bowl and there have been 51 played. I discovered on You Tube a video showing the last play of the first 50 Super Bowls and as I do, created a list which I am posting today so it gets out of my head. I might create a pie chart but doing that on a laptop computer is not easy.

QB kneel (or goes to ground): 17 times - Though it is common today for a QB to take a snap and kneel at the end of a game, it did not start to happen regularly until after the 1978 Miracle at the Meadowlands game when the team in front fumbled the QB/RB exchange. Before the rule allowing a QB to kneel without being touched was not established until 1987, the QB would take the snap and fall to the ground. The first one to finish a Super Bowl that way was Mike Rae in SB11.

RB hand off: 10 times - Not surprisingly this happened 4 of the first 8 times all by the winning team and only three times in the last 31 including the game winning run in SB51.

QB sack: 6 times - To my surprise it has not happened in the past 24 games. In SB7, the last play was a 4th down sack and until I saw the replay of the game in 2010, I did not realize that at that time, the clock was restarted after change of possession after a player is tackled in bounds which is not the rule today.

Completed pass: 6 times - Most famously SB34 where a player on a team down 7 points was tackled at the 1 yard line

Incomplete pass: 3 times - Since the game clock stops after an incomplete pass, it is not common. Two of them were done by the team in a "Hail Mary" situation trying for a long pass to win.

Kickoff return: 2 times - One was after a team made a leading FG the play before

Interception: 2 times - One was on a "Hail Mary" play.

Made field goal: 2 times - The 5 second rule for field goals was established after the kick in SB36 took 7 seconds off the clock including the last 2 after the kick went through the uprights.

Missed field goal: 1 time - Scott Norwood's 47 yard attempt off natural grass in SB25 was to me at best a 50/50 chance.

On side kick: 1 time - In SB16, the losing team scored with a couple of seconds left to be down 5. Had they recovered the kick without the other team touching the ball, no time would have elapsed and they would have been able to run one play.

Free kick return - In SB47, the team up by 5 on their own 8 yard line deliberately had the punter run out of the end zone conceding a 2 point safety to avoid getting the punt blocked or returned from a tight punt formation. They had a free kick from their 20 which was run back to the 50 before the player was tackled ending the game.

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