Kudos to Owens and Harrison

Rodney Harrison, Terrell Owens and Deion Branch were the stars of Super Bowl XXXIX.

Originally Published: February 6, 2005
By Joe Theismann | ESPN Insider
Rodney Harrison was my MVP after playing a terrific game and answering the taunts of Eagles receiver Freddie Mitchell. His two interceptions, one sack and numerous tackles served his team well and put his defense in position to win this game. His strong play in the defensive backfield also stopped the Eagles from going over the top because of his presence. It's really only fitting that his second interception was the game clincher.

Receiver Deion Branch also had a great game, tying a Super Bowl record with 11 catches – including one spectacular catch late in the game over cornerback Sheldon Brown. All week we knew the Patriots receivers didn't drop passes and that was evident in this game. They played great football yet again, and Branch was a deserving MVP.

On the flip side, I have to take my hat off to Terrell Owens for not only showing an amazing amount of heart and playing, but playing well. He ran around out there as though nothing was wrong with his leg at all. That's amazing, and it was unbelievable to watch. Owens may have lost the game, but his performance proved something to the world.

Joe Theismann

Football analyst
Former college and pro football star Joe Theismann has served as an analyst for ESPN's Sunday Night Football since 1988. He also is frequently heard on ESPN Radio, regularly contributes to and has contributed to the NFL Draft.