We have reached the end of the twentieth century on NFL Thursday (second miniseries) this week with another assessment of the Super Bowl MVP Award: So far, we’ve confirmed only 14 of 33 vote winners from Super Sunday matchups. As for the Rookie of the Year awards, we’ve confirmed 25 of 42 NFL rookie vote winners (along with 4 of 10 AFL ROTYs). That’s a much better rate of success, for sure …
Enjoy our newest contributions to revisionist sports history!
Super Bowl XXXIV MVP: Kurt Warner, QB, St. Louis (original, confirmed)
In one of the most exciting Super Bowls ever, the St. Louis Rams beat the Tennessee Titans, 23-16, in a game that featured no turnovers and only 2 sacks. Yet there was plenty of defense, as the teams averaged just 3.8 yards per carry on the ground and completed just 57 percent of passing attempts through the air. Rams quarterback Kurt Warner was named the MVP for his record-setting efforts.
The incredible rags-to-riches story aside, Warner—who also won the regular-season MVP vote, something we disagreed with a long time ago—threw for 414 yards, a new SB record, and 2 touchdowns, including the game-winning score in the final 2 minutes of the game. He spread his 24 completions around to 9 different players, and without a running game (only 29 yards on the ground), that was huge.
Our pick for the NFL MVP was St. Louis running back Marshall Faulk, who made this offense work, and the Titans held him to 17 yards rushing on 10 carries, even though he delivered 90 yards receiving on 5 catches. That was all Warner, getting the team’s best player involved in the game any which way he could. The Rams also had two 100-yard wide receivers in this game, thanks to Warner. Vote confirmed!
1999 NFL ROTY: Edgerrin James, RB, Indianapolis & Jevon Kearse, DE, Tennessee (original); James (revised)
James led the NFL in rushing (1,553 yards) and scrimmage TDs (17), and his team improved from 3-13 without him to 13-3 with him. That’s incredible, and it will be hard to top. As for Kearse, he posted 14.5 sacks, 9 PDs, 8 FFs, and scored a TD on a fumble return. The Titans moved from a .500 team without him to a 13-3 squad with him, and most years, that would win this award, for sure.
Anyone else? Doubtful, but we have to look, anyway, and … nope! Again, this sucks for Kearse, because he was amazing; he just picked the wrong year to be a rookie, as we go with James for this award with only a moment’s hesitation for Kearse’s almost-comparable brilliance.