Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Super Bowl Facts: Rushing

  • In the past 10 Super Bowls, there have been only 5 players who have rushed the ball more than 20 times.  The leader is Michael Pittman with 29 attempts in Tampa Bay's 48-21 shellacking of Oakland in Super Bowl XXXVII, followed by Jamal Lewis's 27 (XXV), Antowain Smith's 26 (XXXVIII), Dominic Rhodes's 21 (XLI), and Shaun Alexander's 20 (XL).  Every player but Alexander was part of a winning effort.
  • The lowest number of rushing attempts to lead a team during that same stretch is Charlie Garner's 7 in Super Bowl XXXVII.  The Raiders as a team attempted only 11 rushes on the day.  The only other teams that failed to have an individual carry the ball at least 10 times include the 2009 Arizona Cardinals (Edge James, 9), and last year's Saints (Pierre Thomas, 9).  The Saints, of course, are the only team of the three to win.
  • No player has rushed for more than one touchdown in a single Super Bowl during the past 10 games.  In fact, only 10 rushing touchdowns have been scored total, by all teams, in the past 10 Super Bowls, two of which were scored by quarterbacks (Kurt Warner, XXXVI; Ben Roethlisberger, XL [although Big Ben's TD should probably be credited to the refs]). 
  • The highest single-game rushing total belongs to Pittman, with 124 yards.  Only 3 other players eclipsed the century-mark: Jamal Lewis (101, XXXV); and Dominic Rhodes (113) and Thomas Jones (112, on an impressive 15 carries), both in Super Bowl XLI.
  • The lowest single-game rushing total (by a running back) belongs to Gary Russell, who ran for -3 yards on 2 carries in Super Bowl XLIII (but did manage to fall into the end zone).  The lowest total by a back with at least 10 carries is Mike Alstott's 15 yards on 10 carries in the oft-mentioned Super Bowl XXXVII.  Like Russell, Alstott also found his way into the end zone. 
  • Only 3 backs carried the ball more than 10 times in two seperate Super Bowls: Antowain Smith, Willie Parker, and Joseph Addai.  Smith leads all rushers in the past decade with 175 total yards, followed by Addai's 154, and Parker's 146.  Strangely, Addai has rushed for exactly 77 yards in both of his Super Bowl appearances. 
  • In the past 3 Super Bowls, no back has carried the ball more than 14 times, which both Brandon Jacobs and Laurence Maroney did against each other in Super Bowl XLII.  In the past 2 Super Bowls, only one back in each game carried the ball at least 10 times (Parker, 10, XLIII; Addai, 13, XLIV).
  • The only team with more than one rushing touchdown in a single game was the 2005 Steelers, who got touchdowns from Willie Parker and Ben Roethlisberger.

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