Super Bowl MVPs
2003--Dexter Jackson, FS, Tampa Bay
2002--Tom Brady, QB, New England
2001--Ray Lewis, LB, Baltimore
2000--Kurt Warner, QB, St. Louis
1999--John Elway, QB, Denver
1998--Terrell Davis, RB, Denver
1997--Desmond Howard, KR, Green Bay
1996--Larry Brown, CB, Dallas
1995--Steve Young, QB, San Francisco
1994--Emmitt Smith, RB, Dallas
1993--Troy Aikman, QB, Dallas
1992--Mark Rypien, QB, Washington
1991--Ottis Anderson, RB, N.Y. Giants
1990--Joe Montana, QB, San Francisco
1989--Jerry Rice, WR, San Francisco
1988--Doug Williams, QB, Washington
1987--Phil Simms, QB, N.Y. Giants
1986--Richard Dent, DE, Chicago
1985--Joe Montana, QB, San Francisco
1984--Marcus Allen, RB, L.A. Raiders
1983--John Riggins, RB, Washington
1982--Joe Montana, QB, San Francisco
1981--Jim Plunkett, QB, Oakland
1980--Terry Bradshaw, QB, Pittsburgh
1979--Terry Bradshaw, QB, Pittsburgh
1978--Randy White, DT and Harvey Martin, DE, Dallas
1977--Fred Biletnikoff, WR, Oakland
1976--Lynn Swann, WR, Pittsburgh
1975--Franco Harris, RB, Pittsburgh
1974--Larry Csonka, RB, Miami
1973--Jake Scott, S, Miami
1972--Roger Staubach, QB, Dallas
1971--Chuck Howley, LB, Dallas
1970--Len Dawson, QB, Kansas City
1969--Joe Namath, QB, N.Y. Jets
1968--Bart Starr, QB, Green Bay
1967--Bart Starr, QB, Green Bay
SAN DIEGO -- Dexter Jackson played down his Super Bowl MVP award. He didn't mince words, however, about the Tampa Bay defense.
''We're one of the best of all-time. We're a great defense,'' Jackson said after the Buccaneers' 48-21 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. ''You never can say you're the best. We're one of the best. They know now, they know tonight, we're for real.''
The Bucs' defense, the NFL's top-rated unit this season, had five interceptions, the first two by Jackson, and five sacks. It also held the Raiders, the league's No. 1 offense, to 19 yards rushing and 11 first downs.
Jackson was only the eighth defensive player -- and third defensive back -- to win the MVP award in the 37-year history of this game and when he met the media, he wouldn't let go of the MVP trophy.
''I share this with the whole secondary,'' he said.
Jackson began Oakland's downfall when he intercepted Rich Gannon's pass on the last play of the first quarter. That started Tampa Bay on the way to Martin Gramatica's 43-yard field goal early in the second quarter that gave the Bucs the lead for good at 6-3.
On the next possession, Jackson picked off Gannon again, this time at the Oakland 45. The Bucs did not score on the ensuing possession but got the field position that led to Mike Alstott's touchdown that made it 13-3. When the Bucs scored again before halftime, the rout was on.
''Gannon throws 40 to 50 times. Opportunities came my way and I capitalized on it,'' Jackson said. ''During the season, people don't challenge our defense. He tried to make some plays, and I was able to capitalize.''
And the rout was on.
''Gannon started getting frustrated a lot, which led him into more trouble,'' said Jackson, who returned his interceptions for 34 yards and had two tackles. ''He was moving his feet a lot faster. He had happy feet.''
Jackson is in his fourth year in the NFL and his three interceptions this season were a career high. He also had 67 unassisted tackles during the season and was a key component of the No. 1 defense in the NFL, providing stability at free safety. His best game came against New Orleans early in the season when he made 10 tackles. His first interception of the season came in a Monday night game against St. Louis.
Jackson earned first-team honors on Florida's Class 4A all-state high school squad with over 1,000 yards passing and rushing his senior year. He passed for a total of 2,013 yards in his last two high school seasons. He was also a track star in high school and averaged 16.8 points per game for the basketball team. He said the change to defense was made because he had good hands.
When he got to Florida State, he became a defensive starter in the secondary and led it for four years with 194 tackles and seven interceptions.
But in the NFL, on a team dominated by defensive stars such as Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks and John Lynch, Jackson was largely overlooked. The Bucs have four players heading to the Pro Bowl and Jackson isn't one of them.
On Sunday, he was overlooked again, this time by Gannon, and it led him to the MVP award.
''When I first came to the team I knew they had some great players like the Sapps, the Lynches and the Brookses,'' he said. ''These guys came from nothing and came together as a championship caliber team. I'm happy for the city of Tampa.''
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