SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Super Bowl history is filled with great performances from the biggest stars, such as Jerry Rice, Tom Brady and Emmitt Smith.
Then there are some unlikely performers who just happened to have their best game on the biggest stage. Here are a few of the notable players who are remembered almost exclusively for their unlikely Super Bowl stardom:
With starter George Rogers banged up, Smith got his only career start in a bit of a surprise in the 1988 Super Bowl for Washington. Smith had a 58-yard touchdown run in Washington's 35-point second quarter and finished the game with a Super Bowl-record 204 yards and two scores in a 42-10 win over Denver. Instead of that launching him to success, drug problems and injuries limited Smith to 15 games and 476 yards rushing for the rest of his career.
On a star-studded Dallas team with Hall of Famers such as Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin, it was Brown who ended up winning the MVP in 1996 against Pittsburgh. Brown intercepted two passes to set up two touchdowns in the 27-17 over the Steelers to earn the honors. He parlayed that success into a lucrative free-agent contract with Oakland, but never came close to replicating that success.
Brown had just one interception in 16 games for the rest of his career.
DWIGHT SMITH AND DEXTER JACKSON
The two defensive backs were among the lower-profile players on Tampa Bay's stellar defense that led the way to a Super Bowl win over Oakland in 2003. But the duo delivered against league MVP Rich Gannon and the Raiders. Jackson intercepted two passes in the first half to set the tone and win the MVP. Smith added two more in the second half that he returned for touchdowns in the 48-21 victory.
Other memorable one-hit wonders:
- David Tyree: made the final of his 58 career catches in the regular or postseason in the 2008 Super Bowl when he pinned the ball against his helmet to key the winning drive for the New York Giants that spoiled New England's perfect season.
- Dominic Rhodes: ran for 113 yards and a touchdown to help Peyton Manning win his only Super Bowl to date over Chicago 29-17 in 2007.
- Jack Squirek: spent his career as a reserve linebacker mostly with the Raiders, but came up with a game-changing play against Washington in 1984. He intercepted a screen pass from Joe Theismann late in the first half and returned it 5 yards for a TD that helped send the Raiders to a 38-9 win.
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