Top 5: Raider Super Bowl Moments
So as we head into the big game, I’ll recap my Top 5 Raider Super Bowl Moments. Mind you, these are the events that I think had the most profound impact on me as a Raiders fan. These are the plays that I remember the most. One thing you may note, is that none of these come from Super Bowl II. Not sure I was even born when the Raiders played in SBII, so I’m just leaving that game out of the equation altogether.
Here they are. My Top 5 Raider Super Bowl Moments:
#5 – Willie Brown’s 75-yard interception for a touchdown in Super Bowl XI against the Minnesota Vikings sealed the Raiders 32-14 victory. Brown’s score put the Raiders up 32-7, but more importantly, it stopped a Vikings drive that could have cut the Raiders lead to 26-14 had the Vikings converted on the drive. Minnesota would put the ball in the end zone one more time in the game, but there’s no telling how much momentum the Vikings could have established had they scored on the drive that Brown ended with his pick.
#4 – In another defensive highlight from Super Bowl XI, Jack “The Assassin” Tatum set the tone for the game and added to his resume of big hits when he nailed Vikings receiver Sammy White with a hit that sent White’s helmet flying. White and Ahmad Rashaad were worthless the rest of the game.
#3 – Jack Squirek’s interception of a Joe Theisman pass for a touchdown in Super Bowl XVIII right before halftime put the Raiders up 21-3 and put the game out of reach for the Washington Redskins. The play was setup by a punt from Ray Guy that pinned the Redskins on their own 12 yard-line. Squirek later revealed that he was ready for the play, because the Redskins had used the same play during the regular season when the two teams squared off. The play would land the backup linebacker on the cover of Sports Illustrated and forever link him to Raider Super Bowl lore, although he would be out of football two years later.
#2 – Kenny King’s 80yard touchdown reception in Super Bowl XV was a record for the big game until Antonio Freeman surpassed King 16 yeas later (the record was then reset by Mushin Muhammad in SB XXXVIII – 85 yards). The touchdown play would put the Raiders up 14-0 over the favored Philadelphia Eagles. King was joined by Bob Chandler for his jaunt up the left sideline.
#1 – In arguably the most famous run from scrimmage in Super Bowl history, Marcus Allen’s 74-yard scramble through the Washington Redskins defense in SB XVIII goes down in Raider lore as the play of all plays in the big game. The run would break the 15 year-old record set by Tom Matte in SB III. Allen’s record stood for 22 years before Willie Parker topped it in SB XL. Allen took a handoff from QB Jim Plunkett en route to the left end. The Redskins shut off his lane, so the Raiders tailback changed directions and raced around the right corner, evading several Redskins tacklers along the way. Allen would cut diagonally back across the grain on his way to the end zone and SB MVP honors. His 191-yard rushing day also broke John Riggins SB rushing record. Timmy Smith would set a new record 4 years later.
Honorable Mention: 1) John Matuzak’s jaunt through the French Quarter well after curfew. "I'm going to see that there's no funny business," Matuszak declares. "I've had enough parties for 20 people's lifetimes. I'll keep our young fellows out of trouble." 2) Rod Martin’s three interceptions in SB XV (still a SB record) would land him on the cover of Sports Illustrated, but should have earned him MVP honors. His first would setup a Cliff Branch touchdown, the first score of the game.