Few college programs have had as much success or produced as many star players in the NFL as Alabama.
Amazingly, there is still something no player who ended his college career playing for the Crimson Tide has done: score a point in a Super Bowl.
That won’t change this year with neither the Chiefs nor the 49ers having a former Alabama player on the active roster.
Players from 143 colleges have scored a point in a Super Bowl, with Miami players leading the way with 84, followed by Florida (82 points), Penn State (81) and Notre Dame and California (66 each).
Even the Coast Guard Academy has gotten into the act with an extra point by Washington’s Curt Knight in a 14-7 loss in Super Bowl VII.
The streak for the program with a record 12 Associated Press titles and the most NFL players (68) this season nearly ended a year ago when DeVonta Smith caught a 45-yard pass for Philadelphia before being ruled out at the 2.
That pass was thrown by Jalen Hurts, who began his college career at Alabama but entered the NFL out of Oklahoma. Hurts scored 20 points in that game with three TD runs and a 2-point conversion run.
Alabama has had Super Bowl success at quarterback with the first three MVPs being Crimson Tide products, along with Super Bowl XI winner Ken Stabler.
Bart Starr threw two TD passes for Green Bay against Kansas City in Super Bowl I and added another the following year against the Raiders. But the NFL credits points to the player who catches a TD pass, not the thrower.
Joe Namath won MVP for the Jets in Super Bowl III against the Colts without scoring or throwing for a TD. Stabler had one TD pass in his win for Oakland against Minnesota.
49ers-Chiefs will meet in Super Bowl, a rematch from 4 seasons ago
San Francisco reached the Super Bowl thanks to an epic comeback against Detroit in the NFC title game.
The 49ers rallied from being down 24-7 at halftime to win 34-31 and advance to their eighth Super Bowl — tied for the second most ever.
The comeback tied the biggest in NFC championship history with the Niners also coming back from 17 points down to beat Atlanta 28-24 in the 2012 season.
It was one point shy of the biggest comeback in any conference championship game with Cincinnati coming back from 18 points down to beat Kansas City two years ago and Indianapolis doing the same against New England in the 2006 season.
The only other comeback that big in either a Super Bowl or NFL championship game was the Patriots’ rally from 28-3 down to beat Atlanta 34-28 in overtime in Super Bowl 51.
Overall in the playoffs, teams leading by at least 17 points at halftime were 107-6 before the loss by the Lions.
San Francisco also came back from seven points down in the fourth quarter to beat Green Bay in the previous round, becoming the eighth team to overcome second-half deficits in both the divisional round and the conference championship game.
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Kansas City didn’t play a single road game in their first five postseasons with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback.
That didn’t stop them from becoming a dominant traveling show on the way to a fourth Super Bowl appearance in five seasons.
The Chiefs followed a win at Buffalo in the divisional round by winning at Baltimore in the AFC championship game.
With a win next week against San Francisco, Kansas City will become the 10th team to win the Super Bowl after going on the road in the divisional round and conference championship. The Chiefs were the first team to do it in the 1969 season when they beat the Jets and Raiders on the way to Super Bowl 4.
The only franchise to do it twice was the Giants in 2007 and 2011.
The other teams to do it were the Tampa Bay in 2020, Baltimore in 2012, Green Bay in 2010, Pittsburgh in 2005, Denver in 1997 and the Oakland Raiders in 1980.
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PROTECT THE BALL
Mahomes set one record and protected another on championship Sunday.
Mahomes became the first quarterback to go six straight playoff starts without throwing an interception with his last pick coming in overtime of a loss to Cincinnati in the 2021 AFC title game.
Six players had done it in five straight playoff starts: Joe Montana, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Drew Brees, Jeff Hostetler and Tony Eason.
San Francisco’s Brock Purdy missed joining that group when he threw his first career postseason interception in a 34-31 win over Detroit in the NFC title game. Purdy’s 114 consecutive passes without an interception to start his playoff career was the fifth longest streak, according to Sportradar.
Mahomes holds the record with 163 attempts, followed by Josh Allen (155), Alex Smith (119) and Jeff Hostetler, who has no interceptions in 115 career attempts in the playoffs.
The 49ers finished off a clean sweep of the NFC’s other playoff teams.
The win against the Detroit Lions gave the Niners victories against the other six teams in the NFC that made the postseason. The last team to beat every other playoff team in their conference in the regular season or postseason was the 1993 Chiefs.
San Francisco also beat Pittsburgh in the opener, giving the 49ers wins against seven opponents who made the playoffs. Only five other teams have done that in NFL history: the 2022 Chiefs, the 2015 Broncos, the 2007 Patriots, the 2006 Colts and the 1982 Jets.
With a win against the Chiefs in the Super Bowl, San Francisco will be the first team to beat eight opponents who made the playoffs.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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