Green Bay's aging wide receiver approached the inaugural AFL-NFL World Championship Game like a paid vacation, dodging Saturday night's bed check and partying into the early morning. And why not? The 34-year-old McGee didn't figure to play much -- not after making just four catches the entire regular season. But when starting wideout Boyd Dowler separated a shoulder on the opening series, Vince Lombardi called the veteran's name. Seven catches, 138 yards and two touchdowns later, Green Bay's unlikely hero entered Super Bowl lore.
2 of 12N.R. Farbman/SI
LB Chuck Howley, Dallas
Howley terrorized the Baltimore offense throughout the day, bringing down a pair of interceptions and recovering a fumble to garner Super Bowl MVP honors. Too bad the linebacker's standout performance wasn't enough to get his Cowboys the victory in history's sloppiest Supe (10 combined turnovers). After Jim O'Brien's field goal locked down a 16-13 victory for the Colts, Howley became the first and last player from the losing team to bring home the MVP trophy.
3 of 12Andy Hayt/SI
LB Rod Martin, Oakland
Ron Jaworski still sees Rod Martin in his nightmares. After picking off the Polish Rifle's first pass of Super Bowl XV to set the table for a touchdown, Martin would bring down two more interceptions to establish a Super Bowl record in his team's convincing 27-10 victory over the favored Eagles.
4 of 12John Iacono/SI
RB Timmy Smith, Washington
Smith gained just 602 yards on the ground during three injury-plagued NFL seasons -- but his 204-yard outburst as a rookie in Super Bowl XII remains the championship game record for rushing yards. After slipping into a 10-0 hole through 15 minutes, Washington exploded for 35 second-quarter points on their way to a 42-10 victory. Smith's most memorable play of the day -- a 58-yard touchdown gallop -- came midway through the decisive second frame and gave the Redskins a 21-10 advantage.
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WR John Taylor, San Francisco
San Francisco's <i>other</i> wide receiver spent most of his career in Jerry Rice's shadow, so Super Bowl XXIII seemed like another day at the workplace for Taylor. Rice caught 11 passes on the evening -- setting the single-game record for receiving yards (215) on his way to MVP honors -- but the 49ers still trailed 16-13 with under a minute remaining. That's when Joe Montana found Taylor in the back of the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown -- the wideout's first and only catch of the game -- which lifted the Niners to their third title in eight seasons.
6 of 12George Rose/Getty Images
FS James Washington, Dallas
Washington came off the bench as a nickel back for the Cowboys throughout the 1993 season. But the bandana-wearing free safety enjoyed starter's minutes in Super Bowl XXVIII thanks to Buffalo's dependence on three-receiver sets. Washington made the most of his expanded role, recording 11 tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and, most memorably, a recovery of Thurman Thomas's fumble for the game-turning touchdown midway through the third quarter.
7 of 12Al Tielemans/SI
CB Larry Brown, Dallas
The apogee of Brown's modest eight-year career came during the second half of Super Bowl XXX, when the anonymous cornerback intercepted a pair of Neil O'Donnell passes, logging 77 yards on the returns. The Cowboys would convert both turnovers into touchdowns to lock down their third world championship in four seasons. The opportunistic foot soldier took home Super Bowl MVP honors for his timely playmaking.
8 of 12Bill Frakes/SI
KR Desmond Howard, Green Bay
After New England pulled within 27-21 on Curtis Martin's third-quarter touchdown, Howard returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards -- a Super Bowl record -- to ensure Green Bay's first world championship in 29 years. The former Heisman Trophy winner finished with 154 kickoff return yards and a record 90 punt return yards, setting Super Bowl marks for total return yards (244) and combined net yards gained (244) on his way to MVP honors.
9 of 12John Iacono/SI, Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
FB Howard Griffith, Denver
Known as "The Human Plow" for his formidable lead blocking abilities, Griffith led the typically thankless life of a fullback until Super Bowl XXXIII. There, the unsung Illinois grad carried four times for a pair of short-yardage touchdowns in a 34-19 victory over the Falcons -- recording the lone two-touchdown game of his eight-year career.
10 of 12John Biever/SI
LB Mike Jones, St. Louis
Jones wrapped up Tennessee wideout Kevin Dyson on the one-yard line as time expired to help the Rams escape with a 23-16 result and their first Super Bowl victory. The play -- known simply as "The Tackle" -- put an end to one of the most gripping title games in years. The Titans had fought back from a 16-0 hole to tie the score with 2:12 remaining. But a quick St. Louis touchdown returned possession to the Titans for one final drive, setting the stage for the linebacker's dramatic game-saver.
11 of 12John Biever/SI, AP
K Adam Vinatieri, New England
The heavily favored Rams (427 total yards) outgained the Patriots (267) by an overwhelming margin in Super Bowl XXXVI. But New England took over possession with 1:30 remaining in a 17-17 game. Brady coolly directed the Patriots downfield with no timeouts and spiked the ball with seven ticks remaining. Adam Vinatieri drilled a 48-yard field goal to vault the Patriots to their first Super Bowl title.
12 of 12Robert Beck/SI
FS Dexter Jackson, Tampa Bay
The so-called Pirate Bowl between the Buccaneers and the Raiders wasn't a contest for long. But Jackson managed to dominate the action during the game's briefly competitive stages. Tampa Bay's unheralded free safety set a Super Bowl record with two interceptions in the first half to jump-start the rout. The Bucs sprinted out to a 34-3 lead and held on for a 48-21 victory.
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