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Ranking the Top Ten All-Time NFL Big Game ProCanes’ Performances

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With 122 All-Time ProCane Appearances in the Big Game, These Star Boys Top the List

1993 Super Bowl XXVII - Dallas Cowboys over Buffalo Bills 52-17 Photo by Rich Pilling/Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images

As many Miami Hurricanes have made their mark as ProCanes in the NFL, they have naturally found their way to the biggest stage in sports: the Super Bowl. In fact, even though no ProCane will play this evening, a record 122 Miami Hurricanes have appeared in the preceding 54 Super Bowls (embedded tweet below as of 2017).

For a program that also set staggering NFL marks by registering at least one first-round pick for consecutive years between 1995-2008 and a 149-week streak of at least one ProCane finding an NFL endzone between 2002-2011, it is no surprise that they have left an impression in the Super Bowl.

As you may have heard, a man named Tom Brady, who represents another UM - Michigan - will be playing in his record-setting tenth Super Bowl tonight. And a “top ten” list is usually a nice round number to build around. Thus, I have distilled the top ten ProCane Super Bowl performances.

1) WR | Michael Irvin | Dallas Cowboys | Super Bowl XXVII (1992) | 52-17 Cowboys over Bills | 6 catches, 114 yards, 2 TDs:

Irvin’s six-catch performance was defined by two receiving TDs from the game’s MVP, Troy Aikman, in a 15-second span as the game approached halftime and expanded Dallas’ lead from 14-10 to 28-10. Another ProCane set up Irvin’s second TD at the expense of a Buffalo ProCane, QB Jim Kelly, who was trying to keep his team in the game. It should also be noted Irvin competed in three Super Bowls so this was definitely his capstone Big Game performance.

2) LB | Dan Morgan | Carolina Panthers | Super Bowl XXXVIII (2003) | 32-29 Patriots over Panthers | 18 Combine Tackles:

This game’s momentum was turbulent from start-to-finish, including a bumpy halftime show. The first and third quarters were basically non-existent on the offensive side of the ball, the second quarter was relatively quiet until the last few minutes, and the fourth quarter was an absolute shootout with 37 combined points. In the midst of all of it, ProCane legend, LB Dan Morgan, set a Super Bowl record with 18 (!) combined tackles, which largely kept Carolina in the game.

3) DB | Duane Starks | Baltimore Ravens | Super Bowl XXXV (1999) | 34-7 Ravens over Giants | 49-yard INT TD Return, 5 Tackles:

I may get some backlash for this one because the game’s MVP was also a ProCane in this defensive onslaught. However, Starks stepped up in the third quarter as Kerry Collins was trying to get New York back in what had been a slow 10-0 game to that point. Starks perfectly jumped a curl route and returned it for a TD, which led to a domino effect of scoring. The very next play, the Giants scored on a kick return. Then, the play after that - a kick return TD by the Ravens. In just 36-seconds the game went from 10-0 Baltimore to 24-7 Baltimore.

4) LB | Ray Lewis | Baltimore Ravens | Super Bowl XXXV (1999) | 34-7 Ravens over Giants | 5 Tackles, 4 Passes Deflected:

As mentioned above, Lewis ultimately won the MVP of this game, which was likely due his constant disruption of Giants QB, Kerry Collins. The clear vocal leader’s stat sheet, however, was not that impressive and he arguably had better numbers in his second Super Bowl in 2013, where he tallied 7 tackles.

5) RB | Ottis Anderson | New York Giants | Super Bowl XXV (1990) | 20-19 Giants over Bills | 21 rushes for 102 yards and 1 TD:

Anderson is the only other ProCane to win a Super Bowl MVP. However, if it wasn’t for a shanked field goal by Bills kicker, Scott Norwood, in the waning moments of the contest, then he likely would not have won the MVP.

6) WR/Flanker | Bill Miller | Oakland Raiders | Super Bowl II (1967) | 33-14 Packers over Raiders | 5 receptions for 84 yards and 2 TDs:

I remember the dynamic duo of ProCanes Bill Miller and Pete Banazyk back in 1967’s Super Bowl II like it was yesterday. Unfortunately, the duo was clearly not enough for Bart Starr’s aerial attack. Mille and Banazyk combined for 9 receptions, 153 yards, and 2 TDs in the Raiders’ losing effort.

7) RB | Frank Gore | San Francisco 49ers | Super Bowl XLVII (2013) | 34-31 Ravens over 49ers | 19 rushes, 110 yards, 1 TD:

The ageless wonder even impressed during his lone Super Bowl appearance. He scored a TD at a pivotal moment to keep San Francisco in the game, but his effort was not enough for the Ray Lewis-led Ravens.

8) KR/PR | Devin Hester| Chicago Bears | Super Bowl XLI (2006) | 29-17 Colts over Bears | 92-yard Kick Return TD:

Devin Hester’s name in the Super Bowl annals can be defined by one play - a 92-yard kick return on the game’s opening play. The electric kick-returner cleared the nerves for everyone from the start as he gave the Bears the earliest lead in Super Bowl history 14-seconds into the game.

9) WR | Reggie Wayne | Indianapolis Colts | Super Bowl XLI (2006) | 29-17 Colts over Bears | 2 receptions for 61 yards and 1 TD:

Hester’s kick return set the stage for Super Bowl XLI, and Reggie Wayne’s 53-yard TD catch rebuttal was the metaphorical “not so fast” as Indianapolis ended up winning the game en route to Peyton Manning’s first Championship of his Hall of Fame career.

10) DT | Jimmie Jones | Dallas Cowboys | Super Bowl XXVII (1992) | 52-17 Cowboys over Bills | 2 Fumble Recoveries, 1 TD:

Jones was a backup during most of his college career but stepped up big in the game’s biggest stage. Jones first secured the Cowboys lead at 14-10 by scoring a go-ahead TD on a fumble recovery. Soon thereafter, right after Michael Irvin scored his first TD, Jones recovered a fumble that immediately set up Irvin’s second TD.

Honorable Mentions:

LB/ Ted Hendricks (BAL/GB/OAK): He didn’t flash the gaudy stats, but the ProCane went 4-0 in his Super Bowl appearances, which set a then record for span between 1st and last Super Bowl wins by a player (13 years), which has since been broken by Tom Brady.
QB/Jim Kelly (BUF): Opposite of Hendricks, Kelly went 0-4 during the four straight Super Bowls he appeared in. In Super Bowl XXV, the Scot Norwood game, Kelly went 18-30 for 212 yards. He has thrown 145 yards in Super Bowl play.
TE/ Jeremy Shockey (NO): Shockey had 3 catches for 13 yards and 1 go-ahead TD against Indianapolis during Super Bowl XLIV, that the Saints ended up winning 31-17.
LB/Jonathan Vilma (NO): While Shockey helped secure the win on the offensive side of the ball, Vilma strung together a strong performance as he had 7 tackles.
DB/Kenny Phillips (NYG): Phillips recorded 6 tackles patrolling the secondary behind a stout Giants defensive line. He also had 2 passes deflected en route to the 21-17 win over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI (2011).
S/Ed Reed (BAL): Reed only played in one Super Bowl but made the most of it in Baltimore’s 34-31 win in Super Bowl XLVII in 2013. He had a key INT and also recorded 5 tackles.
DT/Warren Sapp (TB): The 48-21 Bucs win in Super Bowl XXXVII is the last time the team appeared in the big game. Sapp recorded 1 sack and 2 tackles in the team’s defensive onslaught.
DB/Burgess Owens (OAK): Owens recorded 7 tackles in Oakland’s win in Super Bowl XV.
DE/Danny Stubbs (SF): In one of the more boring Super Bowls where San Francisco destroyed Denver, 55-10, Stubbs made it a long day for Denver QBs John Elway and Gary Kubiak by stringing together 2 sacks and returned a fumble to the Broncos 1-yard line.

Which ProCane Super Bowl Performance was the Best?

Poll

Which ProCane Had the Greatest Super Bowl Performance of All Time?

This poll is closed

  • 37%
    Michael Irvin (DAL) - Super Bowl XXVII: six catches, 114 yards and 2 TDs
    (21 votes)
  • 19%
    Dan Morgan (CAR) - Super Bowl XXXVIII: 18 combined tackles
    (11 votes)
  • 14%
    Ottis Anderson (NYG) - Super Bowl XXV: 21 rushes, 102 yards, 1 TD (MVP)
    (8 votes)
  • 3%
    Duane Starks (BAL) - Super Bowl XXXV: Pick-Six, 5 Tackles
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    Ray Lewis (BAL) - Super Bowl XXXV: 5 tackles
    (1 vote)
  • 10%
    Devin Hester (CHI) - Super Bowl XLI: 92-yard Kickoff Return TD
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    Reggie Wayne (IND) - Super Bowl XLI: 2 catches, 61 yards, 1 TD
    (0 votes)
  • 3%
    Frank Gore (SF) - Super Bowl XLVII: 19 rushes, 110 yards, 1 TD
    (2 votes)
  • 3%
    Bill Miller (OAK) - Super Bowl II: 5 catches, 84 yards, 2 TDs
    (2 votes)
  • 5%
    Other
    (3 votes)
56 votes total Vote Now