When the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons take the field on Sunday for Super Bowl LI, the University of Georgia will be represented.
Two members of the New England Patriots, center David Andrews and wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, will each play in their first Super Bowl. Andrews was an undrafted free agent who went on to start every game of the 2016 season. Mitchell was taken in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft and hauled in 32 catches for 401 yards and 4 touchdowns in a solid rookie season.
But these two former Georgia standouts aren’t the first to play in the Super Bowl. In fact, three former Bulldogs have gone on to win the Super Bowl MVP (Mitchell has 100-to-1 odds to take home the honor this year). And a number of other Bulldogs have experienced the thrill of victory in football’s biggest game. Here’s a look at how some of the past Bulldogs have fared in the big game.
The Super Bowl MVPS
Jake Scott, Super Bowl VII: Scott capped the Miami Dolphins’ perfect 1972 season with 2 interceptions in Super Bowl. Scott is one of three defensive backs to ever take home the honor. The former Georgia defensive back was a 5-time Pro Bowler. Scott hauled in 16 interceptions in his two seasons at Georgia.
Terrell Davis, Super Bowl XXXII: John Elway was 0-3 in his first three Super Bowls, and the Denver Broncos were 0-4 overall heading into this contest. But that changed when Davis took the field against the Packers in Super Bowl XXXII. He rushed for 157 yards and he remains the only player to rush for 3 touchdowns in a Super Bowl. The next season, Davis rushed for 2,008 yards and the Broncos repeated as Super Bowl champs.
Hines Ward, Super Bowl XL: Ward helped end the Steelers’ 26-year Super Bowl drought as he hauled in 5 catches for 123 yards and touchdown as Pittsburgh knocked off the Seattle Seahawks. Ward scored a touchdown on a trick play, as he hauled in a 43-yard pass from fellow wide receiver Antwaan Randle-El that broke open the game. Ward was college teammates with current Georgia coach Kirby Smart.
The big winner
Richard Seymour: After being taken in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots, Seymour went on to play in four Super Bowls and win three of them. He is the only Bulldog to appear in four Super Bowls and is one of three former Bulldogs to win three of them.
Seymour’s son, DeVondre Seymour, signed to play with Bulldogs out of high school, but never made it on the field for the Bulldogs.
The lovable loser
Fran Tarkenton: Tarkenton was the starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings in three of their four Super Bowl appearances. Unfortunately, the Vikings lost all three appearances that Tarkenton started. Tarkenton completed 46 of his 89 attempts in the three Super Bowls, but threw for only 1 touchdown pass vs. 6 interceptions.
The only other Georgia quarterback to appear in the Super Bowl was Zeke Bratkowski, who was Bart Starr’s backup for the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I and II. He threw one pass in Super Bowl I.
The one who played through pain
Thomas Davis: Every kid growing up dreams about playing in the Super Bowl. The former Georgia linebacker finally had the chance last year as his Panthers advanced to take on the Denver Broncos. But Davis, who played through a number of injuries in his career, broke his arm in the NFC championship game.
But that didn’t stop the linebacker from playing in the Super Bowl. And he had a pretty nasty scar that he shared with the world on his Instagram account following the loss.
This post is not about me, or how tough I am. It's not to shine any light on me or my injuries. Our team doctors and trainers did an amazing job giving me an opportunity to get back on the field. This post is strictly to show how much love I have for my brothers and #PantherNation. Thank you all for your support and we will #KeepPounding.-TD
The 1985 Chicago Bears are one of the most iconic teams of all time, and they cemented their legacy with a 46-10 stomping of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX. The Bears’ kicker that year was Kevin Butler, who set and still holds a number of Georgia records. Butler kicked 3 field goals and 4 extra points in the win.