As the game of the year approaches, let’s take a look back into Super Bowl History… where past, meets present. Year after year, each contest throughout Super Bowl history inevitably features both stars; as well as role players who come up HUGE for their team. And this year, we’re lucky enough to see a couple of star-studded rosters, stacked with above-par players who can make or break the game.
While it takes a whole team to win the big game, as we take a stroll down the lane of Super Bowl history – we’ll find plenty of high level players who played at an even higher level to help their squad hoist the Lombardi. That said, with a week to go before the Super Bowl – let’s make some comparisons, shall we?
Super Bowl History Comparison: Patrick Mahomes x Tom Brady
Dominant, a mainstay in the new generation of top-talent QB’s on powerhouse teams. But, like Tom Brady and the Giants – Mahomes also had a weakness against teams that can put pressure on him. However, after his performance in the AFC Championship – it’s hard to argue against his early, but budding resume as a bid to potentially give the GOAT a run for his money.
Super Bowl History Comparison: Jalen Hurts x John Elway
The “obvious” choice might be Donovan McNabb – but we’re not going to play that stereotype here. While they both were mobile quarterbacks on the Eagles – McNabb was no where near Hurts’ ability as a runner; McNabb could scramble, but you’d never call a designed run for him. John Elway, on the other hand, lead his team both with his arm, legs, IQ, and… well, his leadership. There’s no doubt that Hurts is the leader of this team – shown by their record without him, but what may not show up in the statistics is his grit, and willingness to win – much like John Elway.
Super Bowl History Comparison: Travis Kelce x Rob Gronkowski
Both huge, yet athletic – these two weren’t “just” tight ends; they’re game changers, and the undeniable and ULTIMATE safety valve for their quarterbacks. While Patrick Mahomes could apparently do without Tyreek Hill, it’d be hard to imagine a world where the Chiefs are this successful without Kelce. Similarly, Brady didn’t even want to play without Gronk, and whether or not the Buccaneers record this season without him was a coincidence or not – that’s up to speculation. But, there’s no denying that these two are about as close of the same player as any two throughout history.
Super Bowl History Comparison: Hasaan Reddick x Von Miller (2022 Rams version)
While Von Miller may have been out of his “prime” in the Rams 2022 run, he was certainly a presence; sacking Joe Burrow twice. The reason why we compare Hasaan Reddick to this version is because Reddick has never been as dominant or experienced the level of stardom that Miller once did – but his presence is absolutely felt, nonetheless. It wouldn’t take anyone by surprise if Reddick finishes the game with 2 or 3 sacks, much like Miller did just last year.
Super Bowl History Comparison: Chris Jones x Michael Bennett
While Bennett may not have had the statistical output that Jones has enjoyed this season – you also can’t underestimate Bennett’s impact on the classic “Legion of Boom” defense; as he was a stalwart on the line, able to effectively stop the run and get after the quarterback. Sound familiar? You don’t see many interior linemen get to the quarterback like Chris Jones does, and while his value is predominantly noticed through sacks (like Bennett) – his efforts in clogging up the running lanes was truly impactful.
Super Bowl History Comparison: Darius Slay x Ronde Barber
It’s hard to believe the Eagles defense would be as dominant as it is without Slay, who’s been locking receivers on an island all year. Akin to the Buccaneer great who was by no means a stranger to interceptions – both Slay and Barber aren’t necessarily the ballhawking type; but that doesn’t mean their impact isn’t felt. Maybe not seen in highlights, but the way they’re able to shut down receivers is invaluable to their team; especially when you’re going up against a distributor like Mahomes.
Super Bowl History: Conclusion
Obviously, Super Bowl history will be made next Sunday, regardless. And there’s no doubt that a big performance plays a big factor into players’ legacies, so we’ll be looking at the following storylines about such legacies:
Can Patrick Mahomes continue his quest to greatness?
Will Jalen Hurts solidify himself as a member of the new generation club? (w/ Mahomes, Allen, and Burrow)
We’ll answer these questions next!
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