52 facts and tidbits about Super Bowl LII, which will kickoff Sunday night in Minnesota:
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - To commemorate Super Bowl LII, we bring you 52 facts and tidbits about Super Bowls, the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, and, of course, the Giants.
I - The Patriots are making their 10th Super Bowl appearance, extending their own record. The Steelers, Cowboys and Broncos are tied for the second-most appearances at eight apiece.
II - *New England is 5-4 in Super Bowls, including 5-2 with Bill Belichick as head coach and Tom Brady as quarterback. The two losses, of course, were to the Giants in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI.
III - The Eagles are in their third Super Bowl, losing to Oakland in Super Bowl XV and New England in Super Bowl XXXIX. If the Eagles win, they will become the 20th franchise with at least one Super Bowl victory. Should they lose, they will join Buffalo and Minnesota as the only franchises to play in at least three Super Bowls without a victory. The Bills and Vikings are both 0-4 in Super Bowls.
IV - New England, which defeated Atlanta in overtime last year, is attempting to win back-to-back Super Bowls for the second time. They would be the ninth team to win consecutive Super Bowls. The Patriots also hope to win their third Super Bowl in four years. That has happened just twice previously, by Dallas (Super Bowls XXVII, XXVIII, and XXX), and the Patriots (XXXVI, XXXVIII, and XXXIX). When the Patriots last accomplished the feat, their opponents in the final game were the Eagles.
V -Brady will be 40 years, 185 days old on Sunday, making him the oldest non-kicker to ever play in the Super Bowl. Jerry Rice has held that designation for 15 years. He was 40 years, 105 days when he played for the Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.
Four kickers and punters – one Giant and three former Giants - have played in the Super Bowl when they were older than Brady is now: Matt Stover was 42 when he kicked for the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV, Jeff Feagles was 41 when he punted for the Giants in Super Bowl XLII, Matt Bryant was 41 when he kicked for the Falcons at Super Bowl LI, and Mike Horan was two days shy of his 41st birthday when he punted for the Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV.
VI - If the Patriots win their sixth Super Bowl, they will tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most in NFL history.
VII - Teams with the higher time of possession are 38-13 in the Super Bowl.
VIII - Number of players on the active 53-man roster who have appeared in at least one Super Bowl:
IX - Rice (eight touchdowns in four games) holds the record for most career touchdowns scored in Super Bowls.
X - Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson was Green Bay's third-string quarterback behind Brett Favre when Green Bay defeated Bill Parcells' Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI. Pederson also played for Miami, Philadelphia, and Cleveland and could become the fourth head coach in the Super Bowl era to win a Lombardi Trophy with a team he played for. The others are Gary Kubiak (Denver), Mike Ditka (Chicago), and Tom Flores (Oakland).
XI - The team with the most total yards is 39-12 in the Super Bowl.
XII - Total number of first-quarter points scored by the Patriots in the seven Belichick/Brady Super Bowls: 0. New England has been outscored in the opening quarter, 15-0.
XII - The Giants are 4-1 in Super Bowls. In those five games, they scored 104 points and allowed 104 points. They are one of six franchises to win at least four Super Bowls.
XIII - Two Philadelphia players – running back LeGarrette Blount and defensive end Chris Long – played for the Patriots when they defeated the Falcons in last year's Super Bowl. The only other player who played in the Super Bowl against the team he played for in the previous Super Bowl was running Preston Pearson, who played for Pittsburgh against Minnesota in Super Bowl IX, and for Dallas against the Steelers the following year. Pearson won the first of those games.
XIV - Blount and Long can join the short list of players who have won Super Bowls in consecutive seasons with two different teams. Linebacker Ken Norton won titles with the 1993 Cowboys and 1994 San Francisco 49ers. Hall of Famer Deion Sanders traveled in the opposite direction, winning Super Bowls with Norton and San Francisco in 1994, and Dallas the following season.
XV - Last year, Long joined his father, former Raider and Pro Football Hall of Famer Howie Long, as the 17th father/son duo to play in the Super Bowl. The list includes Steve and Zak DeOssie of the Giants, the only such partnership to win rings with the same franchise.
XVI - Belichick will coach in his 11th Super Bowl, his eighth as a head coach. Dan Reeves is second with seven Super Bowls coached in, including four as a head coach. Don Shula is the closest head coach with six.
XVII - Philadelphia's Nick Foles – who took over for the injured Carson Wentz late in the season - will become the 61st different quarterback to start in a Super Bowl. He hopes to avoid joining the list of 25 who are currently 0-1.
XVIII - Former Giants defensive end Justin Tuck is second on the Super Bowl sack list with 4.0 (2.0 in both Super Bowls XLII and XLII). Haley is the Super Bowl career leader with 4.5.
XIX - New England and Philadelphia have met 12 times in the regular season with the Eagles holding a 7-5 advantage in the series. They most recently met on Dec. 6, 2015, a 35-28 Eagles victory in Foxborough. The teams' only postseason meeting was the Patriots' victory in Super Bowl XXXIX.
XX - In last year's Super Bowl, Atlanta's Robert Alford intercepted a Brady pass and returned it 82 yards for a touchdown. At the time it seemed like a good omen for the Falcons, and not just because the pick-six gave them a 21-0 lead. The Patriots eventually rallied from a 28-3 deficit and now teams with an interception return for a touchdown are 12-1 in Super Bowls.
XXI – Fifteen-year veteran linebacker James Harrison, signed by New England on Dec. 26, has the longest interception return in Super Bowl history, a 100-yarder for Pittsburgh vs Arizona nine years ago.
XXII - The Patriots are the home team, but have chosen to wear their white jerseys on Sunday. They are 3-0 wearing white in Belichick/Brady Super Bowls. Twelve of the last 13 Super Bowl winners wore white jerseys (including the Giants twice). The exception was the Green Bay Packers, who wore their dark green jerseys when they defeated Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV. Overall, the team wearing white is 33-18.
XXIII - Eli Manning (2-0) is one of six quarterbacks to start more than one Super Bowl without a defeat. The others are Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana (both 4-0), Troy Aikman (3-0), Jim Plunkett and Bart Starr (both 2-0).
XXIV - Belichick and Brady have 27 postseason victories together, the highest total by a coach/quarterback tandem. Pittsburgh's Chuck Noll and Terry Bradshaw are next with 14.
XXV - The team scoring first is 34-17 in the Super Bowl.
XXVI - This is the 15th time in the last 17 Super Bowls that the AFC quarterback has been Brady (8), Peyton Manning (4) or Ben Roethlisberger (3). The exceptions were Oakland's Rich Gannon in Super Bowl XXXVII and Baltimore's Joe Flacco in Super Bowl XLVII.
XXVII - With a win over the Eagles, Belichick will join George Halas and Curly Lambeau as the only coaches with six NFL championships. Lambeau won six titles with the Packers (1929-31, '36, '39, '44), while Halas did it with the Bears (1921, '33, '40-41, '46, '63). Belichick would join Chuck Noll and Vince Lombardi as the only coaches to win back-to-back championships twice.
XXVIII - This will be the sixth Super Bowl rematch. In the last three rematches, and four of five overall, the team that won the first game also won the second game (including the Giants defeating the Patriots). The exception was Miami-Washington. The Dolphins beat the Redskins in Super Bowl VII, but Washington won the rematch 10 years later. Pittsburgh and Dallas have met three times in the Super Bowl. The Steelers won the first two games, Dallas the third.
XXIIX - The Patriots and Eagles are playing for the Lombardi Trophy, which has been manufactured since Super Bowl I by Tiffany & Co. The sterling silver piece stands 22 inches tall and weighs seven pounds, with a regulation-size football atop the trophy. Tiffany assesses the street value of the silver at about $3,500.
XXX - This is the third Super Bowl – and the first in 39 years - in which each team ranked in the top five in both points scored and fewest points allowed in the regular season. The others were Super Bowl IV (Steelers-Vikings) and XIII (Steelers-Cowboys).
XXXI - Hope for Giants fans: The Eagles are the first team since the 2009 New Orleans Saints to win its division and advance to the Super Bowl one season after finishing in or tied for last place.
XXXII - In the 51 Super Bowl coin tosses, tails leads heads, 27-24. Each of the last seven coin-toss winners has deferred to the second half. The coin toss winner has lost each of the last three Super Bowls.
XXXIII - Last year, the Patriots rallied from a 25-point deficit (28-3) to defeat Atlanta in overtime, 34-28. That was more than double the highest previous deficit (10 points) overcome ton win a Super Bowl. The last team to do it was…the Patriots, in their previous Super Bowl appearance. In Super Bowl XLIX, they trailed Seattle, 24-14, but scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to win, 28-24. Washington defeated Denver in Super Bowl XXII after falling behind by 10 points, and New Orleans trailed Indianapolis, 10-0, before rallying for a 31-17 victory in Super Bowl XLIV. Which brings us to…
XXXIV - In their last two Super Bowls, the Patriots trailed entering the fourth quarter 24-14 and 28-9 before surging to victory. They were the first two games in Super Bowl history in which a team was behind by 10 or more points in the second half and won the game. Teams trailing by 10 or more points entering the fourth quarter had been 0-29 in Super Bowls before the Pats' comebacks. Which bring us to (courtesy of the Boston Globe)…
XXXV - New England's current title run began with the 2014 postseason. Since the start of that season's playoffs, the Patriots have outscored their opponents in the fourth quarter and overtime, 99-34. That includes a 14-0 margin over the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX, a 25-0 margin over the Falcons last year, and a 14-3 margin in the AFC Championship Game vs. Jacksonville two weeks ago. That's an overwhelming 55-3 advantage. In those 10 playoff games, the Patriots have allowed just three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and two of those were in garbage time of blowouts (Pittsburgh last year, Tennessee this year).
XXXVI - Kickoff returns in the first 51 Super Bowls: 424. Kickoff return touchdowns: 10.
XXXVII - Punt returns in the first 51 Super Bowls: 233. Punt return touchdowns: 0.
XXXVIII - The team with the most rushing yards is 38-12 in the Super Bowl (New England and Atlanta each had 104 rushing yards last year in LI).
XXXIX - Pittsburgh's Willie Parker holds the record for the longest touchdown run in Super Bowl history. He had a 75-yarder in Super Bowl XL vs. Seattle.
XL - Belichick is one of eight former Giants assistant coaches who have led teams to Super Bowls as head coaches. Six of the eight have won at least one Super Bowl. Former Giants assistant coaches are 14-9 as head coaches in Super Bowls.
XLII, XLVI, XLIX, LI, LII
XLI - In Super Bowl XXI, Phil Simms completed 22 of 25 passes in the Giants' 39-20 rout of Denver. His 88.0 completion percentage is still the Super Bowl record.
XLII - The team that commits the fewest turnovers is 37-5 in the Super Bowl. The Patriots committed more turnovers than their opponents (Seattle and Atlanta) in winning their last two Super Bowls. Pittsburgh also won two Super Bowls (XIV and XL) despite losing the turnover battle. The fifth such team was the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl V. Nine games ended with the teams having the same number of turnovers).
XLIII - Of the 51 Super Bowl MVP awards, 28 have been won by quarterbacks, including two by Manning and one by Simms. The other Giants MVP was Ottis Anderson in Super Bowl XXV.
XLIV - Brady will play in his eighth Super Bowl as the Patriots' starting quarterback. No other NFL player has played in seven Super Bowls, and only one other player has been to six – Mike Lodish, a backup defensive lineman who played for Buffalo and Denver. John Elway is the only other quarterback who has been to five Super Bowls.
XLV - The team scoring first is 34-17 in the Super Bowl.
XLVI - Each participating team employs one former Giants player. Philadelphia backup tackle Will Beatty was the Giants' second-round draft choice in 2009 and played seven seasons with the team. Tight end Will Tye, who played for the Giants in 2015-16, is on the Patriots' practice squad.
XLVII - The Patriots' seven Super Bowls in the Belichick/Brady era have been decided by 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, and 6 points. That's 26 total points, or an average of 3.7 points. Only eight of the other 44 Super Bowls have been decided by six or fewer points.
XLVIII - New England's alltime postseason record is 34-19 (.642). Philadelphia's is 21-21 (.500).
XLIX - Each member of the winning team receives $112,000. Losing team members receive $56,000.
50 - If the Patriots defeat the Eagles, Belichick will become the oldest coach to win a Super Bowl. He will be 65 years, 284 days on Sunday. Belichick will supplant the coach who twice defeated him in the Super Bowl, Tom Coughlin, who was 65 years, 158 days when the Giants beat New England in Super Bowl XLVI. The next-oldest Super Bowl winning head coach was Dick Vermeil, who was 63 years, 92 days when the St. Louis Rams defeated Tennessee in Super Bowl XXXIV.
LI - Brady is the all-time Super Bowl leader in pass attempts (309), completions (207), passing yards (2,071) and touchdown passes (15).
LII - The sites for the next four Super Bowls have been chosen: 2019 (LIII): Atlanta, 2020 (LIV): Miami, 2021 (LV): Tampa, and 2022 (LVI): Los Angeles.