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Ten hardest hits in the Super Bowl

About the Author

Bob McGinn
Contributing writer

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Posted Jan. 25, 2010 @ 10:13 a.m. ET
By Bob McGinn

1. Ronnie Lott, S, 49ers, XXIII: Furious at his teammates for not playing better, Lott takes matters into his own hands. From deep in the middle, he charges up and crashes into Bengals RB Ickey Woods. "It was like a train wreck, or two rhinos hitting each other full force," 49ers CB Eric Wright said. "That hit set the standard for us."

2. Jack Tatum, S, Raiders, XI: Early in the fourth quarter, WR Sammy White hauls in an 18-yard pass from Fran Tarkenton. Tatum hits White under the chin with his helmet, sending White's helmet flying. White hangs onto the ball. "Tatum knocked him out," Oakland LB Ted Hendricks said. "I've got a great picture of that."

3. Larry Cole, DT, Cowboys, X: Terry Bradshaw's last pass is the game-winning 64-yard touchdown to Lynn Swann with 3:02 left. On the play, Cole drives his helmet into the left side of Bradshaw's jaw, and the quarterback is out before he hits the ground. Backup Terry Hanratty plays the last series for Pittsburgh.

4. Glen Edwards, S, Steelers, IX: Late in the first half, Fran Tarkenton throws on target 20 yards downfield to WR John Gilliam at the Pittsburgh 4-yard line. Edwards delivers a two-armed shot to Gilliam's head. When the tipped pass comes down, it's intercepted by CB Mel Blount.

5. Nick Buoniconti, LB, Dolphins, VIII: With a minute left in the first half, Vikings RB Oscar Reed tries to run off right tackle on fourth and 1 from the Miami 6. Buoniconti cuts inside of pulling guard Ed White, crushes Reed, and causes a fumble.

6. Doug Swift, LB, Dolphins, VII: On a Washington third down late in the first half, the Dolphins line up LB Bob Matheson outside and Swift inside. When the Redskins turn their protection toward Matheson, Swift shoots through untouched and buries QB Billy Kilmer, whose pass in the flat is intercepted by Nick Buoniconti.

7. Martin Mayhew, CB, Redskins, XXVI: Early in the fourth quarter, Jim Kelly scrambles to his right for 9 yards and is unloaded upon by Mayhew. Kelly appears to be out. He sits out a play and then returns, but his memory seems to be spotty after the game.

8. Bob Sanders, S, Colts, XLI: On a simple run up the middle by Bears RB Cedric Benson late in the first quarter, Sanders roars up from the deep middle and flattens Benson with a form tackle. The Colts recover the fumble, and it's the beginning of the end for the Bears.

9. Aaron Brown, DE, Chiefs, IV: With about five minutes left, Brown, a second-year starter, comes around the edge and slams Vikings QB Joe Kapp, causing a fumble that the Vikings recover. It is Kapp's final play of the game.

10. Ken Norton, LB, Cowboys, XXVII: On third and goal from the Dallas 1, Buffalo RB Kenneth Davis tries to run high against Norton, but the linebacker doesn't budge an inch. On the next series, Norton leaps over Thurman Thomas and hits Jim Kelly, forcing him from the game with a sprained knee.

Coming Wednesday: Top 10 defensive coaching jobs

Bob McGinn, the author of "The Ultimate Super Bowl Book," has covered the Green Bay Packers and the NFL for 30 years, including the last 19 for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He has been Pro Football Weekly's correspondent in Green Bay since the early 1980s. McGinn spent 4½ years interviewing more than 150 head coaches, assistant coaches, players, general managers, scouts and owners, as well as studying tapes of every game, in preparation for writing his book. His objective was to break down why each game was won. "The Ultimate Super Bowl Book," published by MVP Books, is available at, and book stores across the country. It contains more than 25 top-10 lists, a comprehensive statistical summary of each game and a list of Super Bowl records.

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