No. 4: Ronnie Lott’s hit on Ickey Woods in Super Bowl XXIII
In 1988, Bengals running back Ickey Woods led the NFL with just over five yards per rushing attempt.
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At 231 pounds, Woods was best known for his straight-ahead power-running style that caused defenders to bounce off of him while attempting a tackle. Over the Bengals’ first two playoff games, Woods bulldozed his way to 228 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Woods started Super Bowl XXIII with 19 yards on his first three carries. That’s when 49ers safety Ronnie Lott came to the sidelines after the series and told his fellow defenders, “Don’t worry about Ickey, I’m going to put his fire out.”
On Woods’ next carry, Lott did just that, meeting him head on in a dead sprint at the line of scrimmage. The hit stopped Woods dead in his tracks, knocking him backward for a yard or two.
This set the tone for the Niners defense the rest of the game. Woods averaged under three yards per carry the remainder of the contest.