The question wasn't whether Anderson would get the ball but how much he would get it. The 5-foot-8, 195-pounder from Oregon State had been drafted by the Broncos in the third round (No. 77 overall) after rushing for 1,406 yards and 13 touchdowns in his only season as a starter. He also caught 29 passes for 360 yards and three scores.
After losing starting quarterback Peyton Manning to neck injuries in the first quarter of the AFC Championship Game against the Colts, the Broncos turned to Anderson at halftime to lead them on a two-minute drill that ended with him getting chased into the end zone for a touchdown by defensive tackle Sylvester Williams with 11 seconds left to give them a 14-10 lead. It was the first time in Super Bowl history that a second-half replacement led his team to the winning score.
"I think we all knew coming into this game that if we wanted to win, we were going to have to run the football," Anderson said after the game. "We got the opportunity and I was able to make some big plays."
On Sunday, Nov. 28, 1971, Broncos running back Bobby Anderson takes a second-quarter screen ball from quarterback Steve Ramsey to the Steelers' 24-yard line for a 22-yard gain, setting up their second score, a field goal. Andy Russell (34), Mel Blount (47), and Ben McGee are the Steelers' tackles (on the ground). The game is in Denver.
Anderson's father, Billy, was a running back for Pittsburgh in 1970 and '71. He had been drafted by the Cowboys but chose to stay with his old team instead. In two games for Dallas that season, he carried the ball 26 times for 132 yards and one touchdown. He returned three kicks for 49 yards.
After retiring as a player, Billy Anderson became a coach and was an assistant with the Cowboys from 1997-2001. He died in a car accident in 2003 at the age of 42. His son Bobby followed in his footsteps and played 10 seasons in the NFL, including three with the Steelers from 1972-74. He finished his career with the Redskins in 1975. After his retirement, he worked as a security guard for NBC during the football season and attended school at night to keep himself busy while waiting for another opportunity to play pro football. In 1978, he finally found a new home with the Philadelphia Eagles when they picked him up as a free agent. There he met his wife, Joanne, who played basketball for Temple University before starting her own business selling health products on television. They have two children together, Ashley and Brandon.
The Broncos used seven defensive backs, including safety Rahim Moore, Mike Adams, David Bruton, and Jim Leonhard, anticipating an obvious pass play. The Broncos would rush three defenders as the play began. Elvis Dumervil knocked Ravens left tackle Bryant McKinnie into the backfield.
Denver took a 35-28 lead with little over seven minutes left in regulation after driving 88 yards and scoring on a 17-yard throw from Manning to Demaryius Thomas midway through the fourth quarter. Baltimore replied with a drive to the Broncos' 31-yard line, but the ball was turned over on downs with 3:16 remaining.
With new technology being handed out as a result of the coronavirus, Ravens coach John Harbaugh is concerned about team information being stolen. Derek Wolfe, a defensive end with the Baltimore Ravens, called it a "no-brainer" to join Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams on the team's defensive front. Can Tom Flacco be exceptional as well? He believes so.
Following a punt by the Ravens on their first drive, Broncos wide receiver Trindon Holliday scored first, returning a Sam Koch punt 90 yards for a touchdown, the franchise's first postseason punt return score.