On Sunday, 43-year-old Tom Brady will take the field for his 10th career Super Bowl.
And while the number of Super Bowls might not be matched, there have been several players over the years who also were considered "past their prime" at their respective position but nevertheless made a substantial impact.
Analytics site Pro Football Focus recently rolled out its “All-Old Man Team” highlighting the "most impressive late-career, single-season performances at each position since 2006."
Interestingly, Vikings Legends accounted for two of the three cornerback slots on the list. PFF's Ben Linsey tabbed Terence Newman, who was 38 at the start of the 2016 season, and Antoine Winfield, who was 35 at the start of the 2012 season. The latter especially seems fitting since Winfield's son, Antoine Winfield, Jr., is part of the Bucs team that will face the Chiefs Sunday in Super Bowl LV.
PFF's Ben Linsey wrote the following of Newman:
You simply don't see many cornerbacks play until they're nearly 40 years old like Newman did, and you see even fewer that deliver seasons like Newman's 2016 campaign with Minnesota.
Nearly all of Newman's snaps came at outside cornerback, and he allowed just 245 receiving yards into his coverage all season on more than 400 coverage snaps. Newman had nearly as many forced incompletions (nine) as he did first downs allowed through the air (12). He gave the Vikings several strong seasons late in his career, but that effort in 2016 was the best of the bunch.
Winfield joined the Vikings in 2005 after spending the first five seasons of his career with the Bills. He put up his most-impressive numbers in Minnesota, receiving Pro Bowl nods in 2008, 2009 and 2010, and in his final NFL season he recorded three interceptions, 13 passes defensed and 101 tackles, the second-highest total in his career (109 in 2003).
We go from one Vikings cornerback to another. The father of impressive 2020 rookie safety Antoine Winfield, Jr., Winfield [Sr.] graded above 78.0 every season from 2006 to 2012 to end his career.
Winfield's coverage stats were impressive — he allowed a passer rating of just 70.4 on 90 passes into his coverage in 2012 — but not as impressive as his run defense and tackling. Winfield led all cornerbacks [that] season in run-defense grade (92.3). That was a trademark for the undersized Winfield throughout his career.
Tarkenton vs. Bradshaw ranked as 12th-best Super Bowl QB matchup
There's plenty of buzz surrounding the quarterback matchup that will take place Sunday between Brady and Patrick Mahomes, and rightly so.
That got CBS Sports' Bryan DeArdo thinking: Which Super Bowl QB matchups have been the best in NFL history? He recently ranked all 55 of them, and a Vikings Hall of Fame passer landed at No. 12.
DeArdo highlighted Fran Tarkenton and the Vikings versus Terry Bradshaw's Steelers in Super Bowl IX, which kicked off on Jan. 12, 1975. Unfortunately, Minnesota fell 16-6 to Pittsburgh. DeArdo wrote:
"Scrambling Fran" retired as the NFL's all-time passing leader. He was also an incredibly hard quarterback to tackle, hence his nickname. The Steelers did manage to get to him in Super Bowl IX, as they held Tarkenton to just 102 yards passing while intercepting him three times. Bradshaw, who threw for just 96 yards, hit Larry Brown for the game-clinching score. Tarkenton was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986, three years before Bradshaw's induction.
Tarkenton was also slated at No. 13 on DeArdo's list for Super Bowl XI, in which the Vikings fell 32-14 to Ken Stabler and the Raiders.
The NFL's MVP in 1974, Stabler and his teammates finally reached the mountaintop after defeating the Vikings, 32-14. Against the Vikings, Stabler had success throwing the ball to Fred Biletnikoff, who became the second receiver to win Super Bowl MVP. A left-handed passer who played in some of the most iconic games in NFL history, Stabler was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.
Minnesota's other two Super Bowl appearances landed at No. 18 (Tarkenton vs. Bob Griese in Super Bowl VIII) and No. 41 (Joe Kapp vs. Len Dawson in Super Bowl IV).
NFLPA Alan Page Community Award presented to Falcons TE
The NFL Players Association has presented a community award annually since 1967, but the honor has been named after a Vikings Hall of Famer for just four years.
In 2018, the designation previously named the Byron "Whizzer" White Man of the Year Award was renamed the NFLPA Alan Page Community Award. Page served as an executive committee member with the NFLPA early on in his playing career.
As much as Page impacted the game of football through his time as part of the Vikings famed Purple People Eaters, he had an equal – if not greater – influence on the community, both during his playing days and after.
Page was a pioneer for social justice over a 23-year tenure on the Minnesota Supreme Court and has continued his efforts since retiring from that official role.
On Thursday, the NFLPA announced that this year's winner of the Alan Page Community Award is Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst, whose foundation raises awareness of mental health issues.