Super Bowl 2012: 5 Back-of-the Roster Players Who Could Decide Super Bowl XLVI
Peter King of Sports Illustrated said it best in the most recent addition of his weekly "Monday Morning Quarterback" column:
These four players had huge parts in the Patriots and Giants making the Super Bowl for the second time in five seasons:
1. Sterling Moore.
2. Billy Cundiff.
3. Kyle Williams.
4. Jacquian Williams.
Many of you never heard of three of those four before Sunday. Some of you still haven't. But the Patriots and Giants are meeting in Super Bowl 46, a reunion of Super Bowl 42, because their 53 men are better -- at least more reliable -- than the teams they vanquished Sunday.
You can read the full article here.
Now let's take a look at five back-of-the roster players who could decide Super Bowl XLVI.
5. Danny Woodhead: Running Back, Kick Returner
The New England Patriots' Danny Woodhead makes our list due to his ability in the return game, not as a backup running back.
Although he did have a costly fumble which resulted in a late third-quarter field goal, Woodhead returned three kicks for 101 yards (33.67 average) against the Baltimore Ravens last week.
Woodhead has the ability to break a big one in the return game and it could result in a momentum-changing type of play come Super Bowl Sunday.
4. Will Blackmon: Cornerback, Punt Returner
Will Blackmon is a backup cornerback and punt returner for the New York Giants.
He's returned three punts for touchdowns during his five-year NFL career which is tied for seventh among active players.
I anticipate at least one major play in the return game next week, and Blackmon is a perfect under-the-radar candidate to do it.
3. Sterling Moore: Safety
Tom Brady is going for his fourth Super Bowl ring because of Sterling Moore. Period.
Moore's season-saving play in the end zone on Lee Evans will forever be a part of Patriots lore should they emerge victorious in Super Bowl XLVI.
Moore racked up two tackles, two pass deflections and an assist against the Ravens last week as the backup free safety to Patrick Chung.
Will Moore make a name for himself again in Indianapolis?
2. Jacquian Williams: Linebacker, Special Teams
Much like Sterling Moore with the Patriots, the New York Giants are in the Super Bowl because of Jacquian Williams.
Williams was drafted in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL draft and has contributed 78 total tackles (sixth on the team), four pass deflections and one sack as a rookie linebacker this season for the Giants.
His strip on San Francisco 49ers punt returner Kyle Williams in overtime set up the game-winning field goal for the Giants and sent them to Indianapolis.
1. Julian Edelman: Wide Receiver, Cornerback, Punt Returner
Mr. Do-It-All for the New England Patriots, Julian Edelman played 27 snaps on offense and 27 snaps on defense against the Baltimore Ravens last week.
If there is one "sleeper" who will have every opportunity to shine on Super Bowl Sunday, Edelman is your guy.
We'll see him on offense, defense and special teams on February 5th—expect at least one game-changing play from the former quarterback and seventh-round draft pick out of Kent State.