The gutsiest calls in Super Bowl history

The gutsiest calls in Super Bowl history

Nick Foles, of Philly Special fame
Nick Foles, of Philly Special fame
Photo: Getty Images

In the biggest games of the year, it often takes the coaches with the gutsiest calls to win the game.

The Super Bowl is no different. Coaches and their risky play calls have made a huge impact in deciding these games.

So, Let’s take a look at the gutsiest calls in Super Bowl History.

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Rams’ Tailback Pass

Rams’ Tailback Pass

Illustration for article titled The gutsiest calls in Super Bowl history
Image: AP

The Rams were an underdog in Super Bowl XIV against the Steelers but were giving Pittsburgh all they could handle for the majority of the game. In the third quarter, the back and forth game took another unexpected turn. Running back Lawrence McCutcheon was on the verge of running to the outside after a handoff when he suddenly threw a 24-yard pass down the field to Rod Smith for a go-ahead touchdown, making it 19-17. However, the Rams would go on to lose 31-19.

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Steelers’ WR Pass

Steelers’ WR Pass

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Image: Getty Images

In Super Bowl XL the Seattle Seahawks were making a comeback against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The score was 14-10 with around nine minutes to go in the 4th quarter and head coach Bill Cowher knew his team needed a spark. A young Ben Roethlisberger pitched the ball to running back Willie Parker who gave it to Antwan Randle El. What looked like a reverse quickly turned into one of the most memorable plays in Steelers history. Randle El loaded up his arm and fired a deep shot to Hines Ward for what would be the game-sealing touchdown. The Steelers would defeat the Seahawks 21-10.

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Bill Cowher’s Onside Kick

Bill Cowher’s Onside Kick

Illustration for article titled The gutsiest calls in Super Bowl history
Image: Getty Images

The Steelers gave a spirited effort in Super Bowl XXX against the three-headed monster of the Dallas Cowboys. Down by ten points early in the fourth quarter, Cowher knew his team needed a big play. He called a surprise onside kick that the Steelers recovered. The offense then went down and scored a touchdown to cut the Dallas lead down to three points. Yet, it wouldn’t be enough as Dallas would go on to win 27-17.

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Bill Parcells’ Fake Punt

Bill Parcells’ Fake Punt

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Image: AP

Bill Parcells’ Giants team was struggling early against John Elway and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXI. At the start of the third quarter, the Giants were down 10-9 and they got stopped by the Broncos defense. Yet, on the fourth-down play, Parcells decided to run a fake punt with backup quarterback Jeff Rutledge under center. They ran a quarterback sneak to catch the Denver special teams unit off guard and picked up the first down. It proved to be a pivotal turning point in the game. The Giants would gain a rhythm in their passing game and go on to beat Denver 39-20.

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Bradshaw goes deep to John Stallworth

Bradshaw goes deep to John Stallworth

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Image: AP

In Super Bowl XIV, the Steelers were in desperate need of a big play to avoid one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history. So Chuck Noll decided to dial up a play that even his quarterback wasn’t too fond of because they weren’t having much success in practice with it. Terry Bradshaw took the ball from center, dropped back, and hit John Stallworth in stride for a 73-yard bomb to give the Steelers the edge. Pittsburgh would go on to win the Super Bowl 31-19.

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Riggins’ Rumble on 4th Down

Riggins’ Rumble on 4th Down

Illustration for article titled The gutsiest calls in Super Bowl history
Image: Getty Images

The Washington team and the Miami Dolphins were locked in a battle during Super Bowl XVII. Washington trailed the Dolphins 17-13 with 10 minutes to go in the game. There was an integral 4th-and-1 from Miami’s 42 that proved to be the turning point of the game. Washington head coach Joe Gibbs decided to go for it on fourth down to keep the drive alive. He called on Hall of Fame running back John Riggins to lead his team to the promised land. Riggins picked up the first down easily and after breaking a tackle he scampered into the end zone to put Washington on top. Washington would go on to defeat Miami 27-17.

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The Philly Special

The Philly Special

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Image: Getty Images

The “Philly Special” is one of the most important plays in Eagles history. In Super Bowl LII, the Patriots and Eagles played one of the most prolific offensive games in recent memory. While the Eagles had control of the game for the majority of the first half, they needed some separation from Tom Brady and the Patriots going into the half. With the ball on the 1-yard line and the Eagles facing 4th and goal, quarterback Nick Foles walked up to head coach Doug Pederson and asked for “Philly Philly.” The ensuing play saw Nick Foles catch a short TD pass from Trey Burton to put Philadelphia up 22-12 at the end of the first half. The Eagles would go on to win 41-33.

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Sean Payton’s Onside Kick

Sean Payton’s Onside Kick

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Image: Getty Images

New Orleans was coming out of the half down 10-6 against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV. Saints head coach Sean Payton decided to steal a possession against the Colts high powered offense and ordered his special teams unit to run an onside kick at the start of the second half. The Saints recovered and went down to score a touchdown on a 16-yard pass from Drew Brees to Pierre Thomas. The play was pivotal in giving the Saints momentum and forced the Colts to play catch-up. The game would end with a Tracy Porter pick-six on Peyton Manning with three minutes left. New Orleans would win 31-17. It’s the only Super Bowl victory of Brees’ career.

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