We have reached the professional football in America merger on NFL Thursday, as we simplify our second miniseries weekly entry considerably. With just one league to evaluate, we look at the Super Bowl MVP awards and the ROTY vote winners, too, on offense and defense—picking just one to stand tall above the others. Enjoy!
In the meantime, check out our first miniseries entry on this year for context …
Super Bowl V MVP: Chuck Howley, LB, Dallas (original); Mike Curtis, LB, Baltimore
In perhaps the worst Super Bowl ever—the two teams combined for 11 turnovers and only 23 first downs—the Baltimore Colts beat the Dallas Cowboys, 16-13, on a last-second field goal. Dallas linebacker Chuck Howley was named the MVP, the only member of a losing team to ever be voted so. He led a defense that forced 7 turnovers, and Howley himself registered 2 interceptions.
Was he really the MVP? There are only two Colts we’d consider for the award: tight end John Mackey and LB Mike Curtis. The former had a second-quarter TD reception for 75 yards that set a record and got Baltimore back into the game after the Colts fell behind 6-0; the latter made 4 tackles on defense and came up with the game-deciding INT late in the fourth quarter, setting up the winning score.
Mackey’s record stood for a long time, but he only had one other reception, so we are inclined to give this award to Curtis: That interception, which he returned to the Dallas 28-yard line directly decided the outcome of the game, and the Baltimore defense did hold the Cowboys to just 217 total yards. He was the best player on that defense in this game—and a legend for other reasons.
1970 NFL ROTY: Dennis Shaw, QB, Buffalo & Bruce Taylor, CB, San Francisco (original); Jake Scott, S, Miami (revised)
With separate awards for the offensive and defensive rookies of the year, we decide truth. Buffalo Bills quarterback Dennis Shaw won the offensive vote, despite throwing twice as many INTs (20) as TDs (10), despite playing with running back O.J. Simpson. Meanwhile, San Francisco 49ers cornerback Bruce Taylor won the defensive vote, but 49ers teammate defensive end Cedrick Hardman was better.
We are not sold on either winner, so who else is there? Dallas RB Duane Thomas posted 876 yards and 5 TDs for a division winner, but he also fumbled 6 times. We actually like Miami Dolphins free safety Jake Scott a lot, with his 5 INTs for a 10-win playoff team. He is going to be our pick for NFL Rookie of the Year. He had 2 more INTs than Taylor, by the way.