Green Bay Leads the Pack: Ex-Redskin Desmond Howard Is MVP in 35-21 Super Bowl Win

By Loverro, Thom | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), January 27, 1997 | Go to article overview

Green Bay Leads the Pack: Ex-Redskin Desmond Howard Is MVP in 35-21 Super Bowl Win


Loverro, Thom, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


The Lombardi Trophy will be going home, and a Washington Redskins reject helped bring it back.

The Green Bay Packers defeated the New England Patriots 35-21 last night in Super Bowl XXXI at the Superdome in New Orleans, with former Redskins No. 1 draft pick Desmond Howard delivering the knockout blow. Howard's Super Bowl-record 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the third quarter knocked a surging Patriots team out of the game.

Howard, who was left unprotected by Washington in the expansion draft two years ago and barely survived the cut this year at the Packers' training camp, set another Super Bowl record with 244 yards in kick-return yardage and was named the game's most valuable player. He's the first special-teams player to win that honor.

"You have to have confidence in yourself, and throughout all the trials and tribulations I've always had confidence in myself," Howard said.

With the victory, this version of the Packers has written its own chapter in the history of the legendary NFL franchise, alongside the likes of the Green Bay coach who won five championships in seven seasons - Vince Lombardi.

"I think it's time the Lombardi Trophy go home to Lambeau Field, where it belongs," Packers President Bob Harlan said.

The win gives defensive end Reggie White, a future Hall of Famer, his first championship on any level of play. He led the Green Bay defense with three sacks, a Super Bowl record.

The loss figures to be the last game Bill Parcells will coach for the Patriots, despite leading them to the Super Bowl for the first time in 11 years. He is expected to resign and take the New York Jets' coaching job as a result of a struggle for power within the Patriots franchise.

Green Bay, under coach Mike Holmgren, got off to a 10-0 lead early in the first quarter, then fell behind 14-10 before going ahead for good in the second quarter.

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