The Super Bowl’s most memorable trick plays

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The appetite for gadgets and gimmicks at the Super Bowl is typically low. Surprising the other team with a safety blitz or deep pass, sure, but the risk of true trickery can often seem too steep with a title on the line.

Mess up a clever play in a game of this magnitude and lose a close one in the end? Good luck living that decision down for the rest of your coaching career. The reward of a momentum swing, though, remains a viable reason to roll the dice.

Here’s a look back at some of the most memorable trick plays in Super Bowl history:

STICK IT TO `EM

Dallas had a 10-point lead midway through the fourth quarter in New Orleans on Jan. 15, 1978. After Denver lost a fumble on a sack at its 29-yard line, Cowboys coach Tom Landry ordered the kill shot.

Running back Robert Newhouse grabbed a pitch from Roger Staubach and ran left. He stopped and threw right to Golden Richards for the game-sealing touchdown.

The play became even more of a standout afterward, when Newhouse revealed his anxiety in the huddle stemming from an excess of Stickum, the now-banned substance once used by skill-position players to grip the ball more easily, on his hands. Newhouse was hastily scrubbing it off in the huddle once his assignment became clear.

STEEL SURPRISE

Leading Seattle by four points early in the fourth quarter in Detroit on Feb. 5, 2006, Pittsburgh got the ball back with an interception at its 5-yard line. Three plays later, coach Bill Cowher made a bold call.

Running back Willie Parker handed off to wide receiver Antwaan Randle El on a first-down reverse from the Seahawks 43. Then Randle El, a former college quarterback at Indiana, halted his run and heaved the ball to a wide-open Hines Ward for the 21-10 final score.

That’s the only touchdown pass by a wide receiver in Super Bowl history.

`AMBUSH’ IN MIAMI

New Orleans stunned Indianapolis by recovering the kickoff to start the second half in Miami on Feb. 7, 2010.

The play was called “ambush,” a stutter-step tap by rookie kicker Thomas Morstead out of a standard formation with the Colts leading 10-6. The Saints responded with their first touchdown six plays later and went on to win 31-17.

Coach Sean Payton even drew praise for the daring move from President Barack Obama at the White House ceremony for the first-time champions that summer.

Honorable mention:

– Los Angeles Rams score on 24-yard halfback pass from Lawrence McCutcheon to Ron Smith for two-point third-quarter lead on Pittsburgh Steelers, who came back to win 31-19 in 1980.

– New York Giants use 44-yard flea flicker pass from Phil Simms to Phil McConkey in third quarter to set up short touchdown and pull away from Denver Broncos, on way to 39-20 victory in 1987.

– Denver Broncos complete 23-yard halfback pass from Steve Sewell to John Elway to set up field goal in first quarter for 10-0 lead on Washington Redskins, before falling 42-10 in 1988.

Broncos double-digit favorites on Sunday night vs. winless, depleted Giants

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The Denver Broncos head into Sunday night with the largest spread they have had at home after a bye week in at least 25 years. The Broncos are 11.5-point favorites against the winless New York Giants with a 38.5-point total for the Week 6 Sunday Night Football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Denver is 6-1 straight-up and against the spread in post-bye week games dating back to 2010. There’s a similar long-running trend of Denver being 7-2 SU and ATS in home games following a bye week since 2003. However, this is the first time since 1996 that Denver has been a double-digit favorite in that scenario.

The Giants, which are 0-5 SU and 2-3 ATS, had three wide receivers, including Odell Beckham Jr., sustain season-ending injuries last week. That has left QB Eli Manning with WR Roger Lewis (15 career catches) and WR Tavarres King as his main outside targets. Slot WR Sterling Shephard (sprained ankle) could be inactive.

While team performances tend to gravitate toward the mean with time, the Giants will need to show something new – with replacement-level personnel – in order to move the ball against a Denver pass defense which allows only 6.2 yards per pass, fifth-best in the NFL.

The Broncos’ top-ranked defense, led by OLB Von Miller, is also first in run defense and has every starter healthy. While NFC teams are a combined 1-10 SU on the road against Denver since 2012, the Giants are a solid 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against the AFC.

Denver, 3-1 SU and 2-1-1 ATS, has been quietly efficient on offense. The Broncos, with QB Trevor Siemian, are in the middle of the NFL pack in yards per pass, but they are facing a Giants secondary that is minus CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (suspension) and has also had inconsistent play from CB Eli Apple.

Denver, 7-2 ATS over its last nine home games in October, has been good at opening holes for the tandem of C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles, who are each capable of making things happen in the open field if the tackling gets sloppy. New York also won’t have DT Olivier Vernon drawing double teams up front and keeping blockers off MLB Damon Harrison.

Unless the Broncos stop themselves, they should be able to grind out a workmanlike win.

The total has gone over in three of the Giants’ last four games against the Broncos, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The total has gone over in six of the Broncos’ last seven games as a favorite of 11.0 points or more.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Watch Indianapolis Colts vs. Seattle Seahawks live on NBC

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The Seattle Seahawks host the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football as both teams look to get back to .500.

Russell Wilson will be the focal point of the Seahawks offense after throwing for a career-high 373 yards and four touchdowns in a losing effort vs. the Titans in Week 3. Wilson’s ability to avoid the rush and use his legs will be on full display as Seattle’s offensive line continues to struggle.

On the defensive side, the Seahawks’ “Legion of Boom” will look to get back on track at home in a raucous environment against Colts QB Jacoby Brissett who is filling in for an injured Andrew Luck.

If the Colts have any chance to pull off the upset on the road, Brissett will have to use his legs and connect on some deep throws to T.Y. Hilton.

Football Night in America

Start time: 7:00 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app

Colts vs. Seahawks

Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app