Garber: Friends and runners

Birds plan to get dirty with TD

Broncos ponder how to jam Jamal

Falcons: Jamal Anderson's sprint draw

Broncos: Terrell Davis' 18 flip

Sean Salisbury's Super Bowl breakdown

Focal Point: In the line of fire

Focal Point: Here's the kicker

Focal Point: Romo vs. Tuggle

Focal Point: Reeves vs. Shanahan

Focal Point: Chandler vs. Broncos secondary

Griffith the unsung soldier for Broncos

  Friday, Jan. 29 3:57pm ET
Focal Point: Davis vs. Anderson

The Matchup:
Broncos RB Terrell Davis vs. Falcons RB Jamal Anderson.

The Question:
Which All-Pro back will have the better Super Bowl?

Terrell Davis   Jamal Anderson
ATT: 392 | YDS: 2008 | AVG: 5.1 | TDs: 23

By Mark Malone
Special to

This is a tossup, because they were the No. 1 and No. 2 backs in the league this season. However, I think you have to give the nod to Terrell Davis. What he's done in the postseason has been remarkable.

Davis' style gives him the advantage because he makes people miss. Anderson is a very unique in that he doesn't make defenders miss, but he can hit you and spin. He can run you over or give you a forearm shiver or a straight arm, and he doesn't allow the first tackler to bring him down. Davis can also run people over and stiff-arm people, but his ability to cut and his speed and acceleration are a little bit better than Anderson.

You have to start an assessment of this matchup by looking at the offensive line. Denver's unit is better, and Atlanta starts a rookie right tackle, Ephraim Salaam. Also, Davis has also been there before. The Falcons can hold him to 35 yards in the first half or midway through the third quarter, but then -- bam -- he'll break runs of 30 and 40 yards. Suddenly, he's got his 100 yards. He can break long runs at any time, and I don't know if Anderson has that breakaway ability.

Also look at the defense Anderson is up against; the Denver defense has allowed a total of 88 yards rushing in the last four games. That's amazing. The Broncos are much improved in their run defense. That will certainly have an effect, but I also look at the situation Davis will face against the Falcons' tough, penetrating defense.

Davis will have the better game, but I don't think he'll rack up 200 yards. He'll find it tough going, especially at the beginning of the game.

  ATT: 410 | YDS: 1,846 | AVG: 4.5 | TDs: 16

By Mike Golic
Special to

The thing I noticed about Jamal Anderson in the NFC Championship Game is he got brought down by the first tackler a lot, and that's something I haven't seen from him. So he'll have to do a better job of that in the Super Bowl.

His forté is breaking tackles, especially against one defender. That's how he gained more than 1,800 yards this season. He's 240 or 250 pounds; he can't get brought down by defensive backs alone. He's normally able to drag them as he's running.

No matter what's happening in the game, the Falcons have to keep giving the ball to Anderson because you saw what happened against the Vikings. He had a low average, but because he ran it 20-plus times, that opened up the play-action passing. That's where you can use him. If he's not getting a lot of yards because the defense is stacking the line, the Falcons can be deadly with the play-action pass.

I don't expect the Broncos to stack the line, however. They have played great against the run in the postseason. So I would expect them to play their normal defense. That puts the pressure on Anderson. He's not going to get the eight-man stack, so he'll have to produce. He'll have to make Denver come out of its normal defense.

Anderson also could get some yardage as a receiver out of the backfield as he did against Minnesota. The Vikings stacked the line, so he didn't have many running lanes. But the Falcons were able to get Anderson to catch the ball out in open space. So getting Anderson involved in the passing game could be key.

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