Quarterbacks simply do not run the football in the Super Bowl.
Colin Kaepernick just might change all that.
If Super Bowl history tells us anything, it tells us that quarterbacks like to let their arm do that talking. The recoird for the most rushing yards by a quarterback in a Super Bowl is just 64 yards by Steve McNair of the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV against the St. Louis Rams in 2000.
And that was in a losing effort.
Only one other quarterback has even run for as many as 50 yards in a Super Bowl. That was Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XIX in 1985 against the Miami Dolphins.
Running the football in the Super Bowl just hasn’t been a quarterback’s idea of fun.
The first rushing touchdown by a quarterback in a Super Bowl didn’t even come until Super Bowl VIII when Fran Tarkenton of the Minnesota Vikings scored from four yards out against the Miami Dolphins.
Again, that was in a losing effort.
Just eight quarterbacks have ever scored a rushing touchdown in a Super Bowl: John Elway (four times), Joe Montana (twice), Jim McMahon (twice) and Tarkenton, Kenny Anderson, Brett Farve, Kurt Warner and Ben Roethlisberger.
McMahon is the only quarterbacks to score two rushing touchdowns in one game (Super Bowl XX for the Chicago Bears against the New England Patriots in 1986). Montana and Anderson are the only quarterbacks to do it in the same game (Super Bowl XVI between the 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals in 1982).
The last guy to do it was Roethlisberger for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XL against the Seattle Seahawks in 2006. Kaepernick was playing basketball for Pittman High in Turlock, Calif., in January 2006.
So it’s rare. Very rare. But that all might change on Sunday when Kaepernick takes on the Baltimore Ravens.
Part of the reason why quarterbacks haven’t run that much in the Super Bowl is because it really hasn’t been needed to win the big game.
Tom Brady won three Super Bowls by running for a grand total of 14 yards on four carries combined in the three victories. Eli and Peyton Manning have won three of the last six Super Bowls by running for a combined three yards on five carries.
Brady and Donovan McNabb of the Philadelphis Eagles combined for minus one yards rushing in the Patriots 24-21 win in Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005. Terry Bradshaw of the Pittsburgh Steelers ran for minus five yards in beating the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XIII in 1979, Mark Rypien of the Washington Redskins ran for minus four yards in beating the Buffalo Bills in 1992’s Super Bowl XXVI and Troy Aikman of the Cowboys ran for minus three yards in beating the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX in 1996.
A few quarterbacks, though, have run efficiently in a Super Bowl.
Steve Young is the only player in Super Bowl history to lead everyone in passing yards and rushing yards in one game when he threw for 325 yards and ran for 49 yards against the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX in 1995.
Elway carried the ball 21 times in his five Super Bowls for 86 yards and four scores. Roethlisberger ran for 25 yards on seven carries against the Seahawks in 2006 and 31 on four carries against the Green Bay Packers in 2011 in Super Bowl XLV.
Len Dawson ran for 24 yards on three carries for the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I. His record for quarterback rushing yards wasn’t broken until Bradshaw went for 33 yards in Super Bowl IX in 1975.
Kaepernick might set the Super Bowl rushing record for quarterbacks by the end of the first quarter. This is a guy, remember, who ran for a quarterback-record (regular season or postseason) 181 yards against the Green Bay Packers in his first playoff game.
Kaepernick, the national media is finally discovering this week, was one of the greatest running quarterbacks in NCAA history for the Nevada Wolf Pack. His 59 rushing touchdowns are a NCAA record and his 10,098 passing yards and 4,112 rushing yards made him the first quarterback in history to pass for at least 10,000 yards and rush for at least 4,000.
Kaepernick had three 1,000-yard seasons at Nevada and 16 100-yard games. And he never ran the ball as many as 20 times in a game. He had two 200-yards games and was responsible for 142 touchdowns (82 passing, 59 rushing, one receiving) with the Wolf Pack.
Keep your eye on the 49ers’ No. 7 on Sunday.