One yard away.
That is exactly what viewers of Super Bowl XXXIV were thinking after it had finished. The St. Louis Rams barely defeated the Tennessee Titans by a score of 23-16 in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia in front of an audience of 72,625 people. The game was played on January 30, 2000.
To begin the game, on the Rams first six possessions, they drove inside the Titan's 20 yard line, but managed to come away with only three field goals and one touchdown.
On their first drive, the Rams' holder, Rick Tuten, bobbled the snap losing a chance for his team to convert a 35-yard field goal. The Titans then responded with a 42-yard drive (which, by the way, was their longest of the half), but their kicker, Al Del Greco, missed a 47-yard field goal attempt. The Rams kicker, on the other hand, scored three field goals, but missed a 34-yard attempt, giving the Rams a 9-0 lead at halftime. The Titans didn't threaten the entire half (besides the drive where they missed the field goal) and were beaten in total yards gained (the Rams had gained 294 yards, to the Titans 89).
To start the second half, the Tennessee Titans drove 43 yards, but their 47-yard field goal attempt was blocked by the Ram's Todd Lyght. The Titans were still scoreless. The next drive, the Ram's attacked. The drive was keyed by quarterback Kurt Warner's 31-yard pass to wide receiver Isaac Bruce. Receiver Torry Holt caught the 9-yard touchdown pass with 7:20 left to play in the third quarter. The St. Louis Rams now had a 16-0 lead.
The Titan's were on the brink of being shut out. But they responded in their next two possessions. On their next drive, quarterback Steve McNair's 23-yard scramble set up running back Eddie George's one-yard touchdown run in the final minute of the third quarter. They opted to go for two points. McNair's pass to tight end Frank Wycheck was incomplete. On the Ram's next drive they were forced to punt, giving the ball back to the Titans. The Titans then drove 79 yards in 13 plays, which were highlighted with 21-yard passes from Steve McNair to both, receiver Isaac Byrd and receiver Jackie Harris. Eddie George then ran in a 2-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 3 points at 16-13 with 7:21 remaining in the game.
On the Rams next drive, they failed to get a first down, and were forced to punt. The Titans, then, went 28 yards, to set up Del Greco's game-tying 43-yard field goal with just over two minuts to play. What a game.
But the Rams then struck quicker than lightning. On the next play from scrimmage, Kurt Warner threw a bomb to Isaac Bruce, who caught the ball at the Titan's 38 yard line, and ran it into the end zone, giving the Rams a 23-16 lead with 1:54 left in the game.
Now the Titans had the ball. It was their chance to tie the game up and send it into overtime. If they could've done so, it would've been the first game in the history of the Super Bowl to be decided in overtime. Well, the Titans drove downfield, and McNair, avoiding a sack, completed a 16-yard pass to receiver Kevin Dyson to place the Titans at the Rams' 10 yard line with only six seconds remaining. The Titans were out of time outs. The Titans had a chance for only one play. A play which was to decide if the Rams would win their first ever Super Bowl, or if the game was to be extended into an extra overtime period.
The Titan's quarterback, Steve McNair, completed a quick pass to the slanting Kevin Dyson, who caught the ball in stride at the Rams' three-yard line. Now, all he had to do was run it into the end zone, which was only three-yards away. However, the Rams' Mike Jones acted quickly, and tackeld Dyson at the one-yard line as time expired, preserving the Rams' first-ever Super Bowl title. On the up-side for Titans fans, the Titans became the first team to come back from a 16-point deficit in a Super Bowl.
The Tennessee Titans' quarterback, Steve McNair completed 22 out of 26 passes for 215 yards. His counterpart, the quarterback for the St. Louis Rams, Kurt Warner, was named the game's MVP. He went 24 of 45, and earned a Super Bowl Record of 414 yards. He also had two touchdowns.