Los Angeles Rams: Where Does Sean Mcvay’s 4th Down Call Rank in Super Bowl History?

by Blaine Grisak
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In Super Bowl LVI, Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay faced the biggest decision in his coaching career. Facing 4th-and-1 with under six minutes to play, the Rams had 4th-and-1 at their own 30-yard line. Instead of punting with three timeouts, McVay opted to go for it and converted. The Rams went on to win and score the gam-winning touchdown on that drive. Where does that call rank in Super Bowl history.

1. Super Bowl XLIIII – Saints Onside Kick

The New Orleans Saints trailed the 17-1 Indianapolis Colts 10-6 to enter the second half in Super Bowl XLIIII. The Colts rolled out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter before two field goals cut the deficit to 10-6 going into the half. With Peyton Manning set to get the ball to open the second half, the Saints new they needed to steal a possession.

Onside kicks aren’t recovered very often. Sean Payton came out of the half and called a surprise onside kick. The Colts actually played it well and Hank Basket had a chance to recover, but misplayed it. The Saints got the ball and scored their first touchdown of the game to take the lead.

2. Super Bowl LVI – Rams Go For It on 4th-and-1

The Los Angeles Rams were unable to run the ball all game. Yet, on 3rd-and-1 the Rams ran it with Cam Akers but came up just short. With 5:44 to play, Sean McVay had a decision to make. He could either punt with three timeouts and hope to get the ball back or go for it.

McVay opted to go for it. He put the ball in the hands of his best player at the Rams own 30-yard line trailing 16-13. Kupp picked up the first down and sparked the game-winning touchdown drive.

3. Super Bowl XVII – Joe Gibbs Gives it to John Riggins on 4th Down

The Miami Dolphins were one of the best teams of the 70s, defeating the Washington Redskins 14-7 to cap off their undefeated season in 1973. The Redskins trailed 16-13 with a little over 10-minutes remaining in the game. Joe Gibbs faced 4th-and-1 from the Dolphins 43-yard line.

Gibbs called a hand-off to John Riggins and he did the rest. Riggins picked up way more than the first down and stormed 43-yards on the play for the go-ahead touchdown. The Redskins never trailed again and won 27-16 to win the Super Bowl.

4. Super Bowl XXI – Parcells Calls a Fake Punt

At halftime, the Giants trailed 10-9. They received the kickoff but failed to gain many yards. On 4th-and-1, Parcells called a fake punt option. It sent punter Sean Landeta off into one flank and placed backup QB Jeff Rutledge behind center. Rutledge plunged ahead for the first down on a sneak.

New York never looked back. Phil Simms threw a touchdown pass later on the drive to take a 16-10 lead. The Giants would go on to win 39-20.

5. Super Bowl LVII – The Philly Special

The Philadelphia Eagles led 15-12 with 38 seconds left of the first half. Doug Pederson faced fourth a goal. A field goal would have given his team a touchdown lead, but a touchdown would put the Eagles up two scores. What came next was the most iconic trick play in Super Bowl history.

Nick Foles went out like he was calling an audible. Corey Clement caught the snap and flipped it back to tight end Trey Burton. Burton then threw to Foles in the end zone as the Eagles took a 22-12 lead into halftime. The Eagles would need bigger plays late, but this was a big moment.

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