Sportmeister Derek: Ryan, today we are here to discuss something that will be debated for the next few weeks. With Super Bowl 43 upcoming, The Sportmeisters are discussing their top 10 Super Bowls of all time.
Sportmeister Ryan: Moving on in our countdown, we once again look at Super Bowl 34 between the St. Louis Rams and the Tennessee Titans.
SD: Let’s start with a quick history recap. The Rams had signed Trent Green to play quarterback and traded for Marshall Faulk to be their starting running back. The Titans had actually just become the team we know today, as they moved from Houston in 1998 and officially became the Titans in 1999.
SR: A Super Bowl run is not a bad way to start a season in a new town, especially when it’s the first for your franchise.
SD: In a fit of irony, the move for Green ended up being a waste, as he was injured and lost for the year in the third preseason game.
SR: That opened up the opportunity for Kurt Warner, an undrafted free agent who had played in the Arena League and NFL Europe, to step into the role. For a team that had just gone 4-12 the previous season, it was understandable that they were concerned about putting their season into Warner’s hands.
SD: Yet Warner and Faulk were the best thing to happen to St. Louis. They ended up leading the Rams to a 13-3 record, the best in the NFC.
SR: We also saw Warner earn NFL MVP, with a résumé that included 4,353 yards and 41 touchdowns. Faulk also had a great year, rushing for 1,381 yards and seven touchdowns to go with a team-leading 87 receptions for 1,048 yards and five more touchdowns.
SD: One could definitely argue Faulk led the way for the more versatile running backs who can run and catch.
SR: The Titans were also led to a 13-3 record by the QB/RB tandem of Steve McNair and Eddie George. McNair only played in 11 games but still managed to throw for 2,179 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushed for 337 yards and eight more touchdowns. George rushed for 1,304 yards and nine touchdowns and caught 47 balls for 458 yards and another four touchdowns.
SD: Interesting note—these two teams met in week six, with Tennessee narrowly winning, 24-21. That knocked St. Louis from the ranks of the undefeated and put both teams at 6-1.
SD: The Titans had a bit more trouble, as they almost lost in the wild card round to the Buffalo Bills until the Music City Miracle happened.
SR: A side bar for those who don’t remember: Buffalo had taken a 16-15 lead, and on the ensuing kickoff, Lorenzo Neal gave the ball to Frank Wycheck. Wycheck proceeded to throw the ball across the field to Kevin Dyson, who ran 75 yards for the touchdown.
SR: The Rams ended up defeating the Titans 23-16, but what puts this game on our list are the events that made fans sit on the edge of their seats until the end.
SD: The Rams went into the half up 9-0 on three Jeff Wilkins field goals. They would extend the lead to 16-0 because of a Warner pass to rookie Torry Holt for a nine-yard score with 7:20 left in the third quarter.
SR: Tennessee would not be the first team shut out in the Super Bowl, however. They scored 16 unanswered points to tie the game with 2:12 left in the fourth quarter.
SD: Following the ensuing kickoff, St. Louis spent little time regaining the lead. Warner, who would set an NFL Super Bowl record with 414 passing yards, threw his last pass of the game to WR Isaac Bruce, who would scamper 73 yards to put St. Louis on top 23-16.
SR: The following kickoff would set McNair at his own 10-yard line, with 90 yards and a touchdown needed to win the game and the championship.
SD: With only 1:54 on the clock, McNair benefited from 20 yards of St. Louis penalties, as he completed four passes for 39 yards, including a 16-yarder to WR Kevin Dyson to put Tennessee on the St. Louis 10 with six seconds left.
SR: Tennessee would use their last timeout to set up what would be the final play. Tennessee designed the play so that Wycheck would run up the right side of the field to attract LB Mike Jones. Dyson would then slant left into the opening left by Jones. The play went off perfectly.
SD: Dyson caught the ball at the three with an opening towards the end zone. Jones, however, noticed the open Dyson catch the ball, so he quickly changed directions and wrapped Dyson’s legs up at the two-and-a-half-yard line.
SR: Both players rolled, and Dyson stretched his arm in an attempt to get the ball across the plane for the winning touchdown. It would not be, however, and St. Louis prevented an amazing comeback and won Super Bowl XXXIV, 23-16.
SD: Warner was named the MVP of the game, as he threw for the aforementioned Super Bowl-record 414 yards and two touchdowns. Bruce had six receptions for 162 yards and a touchdown, and Holt had seven receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown.
SR: Even though the game was a defensive showdown, St. Louis’s phenomenal offense showed why they were dubbed “The Greatest Show on Turf.”
SD: This game had it all, from comebacks to big plays, and that’s why Super Bowl XXIV is one of our Top Super Bowls. Any questions or concerns, feel free to email us at Derek@Sportmeisters.com or Ryan@Sportmeisters.com.