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Raiders Celebrate the 38th Anniversary of Super Bowl XVIII

38 years ago today, the Las Vegas Raiders won Super Bowl XVIII, and we reflect on that amazing accomplishment.

Happy Anniversary, Raider Nation!

It was 38 years ago today, on Jan. 22, 1984, that the Los Angeles Raiders dominated the defending champion Washington Redskins, 38-9, in Super Bowl XVIII at Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

The Raiders claimed their second Super Bowl title in four years under Coach Tom Flores, and third overall, in the game that became known as “Black Sunday,” the title of NFL Films’ video of the game.

Running back Marcus Allen was the game’s Most Valuable Player after rushing for 191 yards and two touchdowns, and quarterback Jim Plunkett passed for 191 yards and a touchdown while guiding the offense to a second Super Bowl victory.

Cornerbacks Lester Hayes and Mike Haynes shut down quarterback Joe Theismann, who was sacked six times, the Redskins vaunted the passing game, and the Raiders defensive front also stonewalled fullback John Riggins.

However, there were unsung heroes for the Silver and Black, too.

Reserve running back Derrick Jensen blocked a punt by Jeff Hayes and recovered it in the end zone to give Los Angeles a 7-0 lead just under five minutes into the game, although no one knew or expected it at the time, the rout was on.

“I think they forgot about me,” Jensen said.

Plunkett hit speedy wide receiver Cliff Branch, who made six receptions for 94 yards in the game, with a 12-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0 with 9:14 left in the second quarter, but what turned out to be the backbreaker came with seven seconds left in the half.

When the Redskins beat the Raiders, 37-35, during the regular season Theismann threw a screen pass to the running back that went for 67 yards.

This time, with Washington, backed up on hits 12-yard line with time running out in the first half, Raiders linebacker coach Charlie Sumner sent reserve linebacker Jack Squirek into the game in place of All-Pro Matt Millen.

Sumner told Squirek to “follow Washington wherever he goes,” so when Theismann faked right and threw left for Washington without hardly looking, Squirek was there cut in front of Washington to intercept the pass and return it five yards for a touchdown to make it 21-3 at halftime.

“I was surprised when they threw it and I was even more surprised when I caught it,” Squirek said.

Added Millen: “I was mad. I had called a blitz, and I was cranked up for it, but (Sumner) told Jack to play the screen and sent him in. I guess Charlie knows what he’s doing, huh?”

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The Redskins scored on a run by Riggins with 10:52 left in the third quarter, but Mark Moseley’s extra point attempt was blocked by reserve tight end Don and it was 21-9 before Allen and the Raiders blew the game wide open before the start of the fourth quarter.

First Allen scored on a nifty five-yard run to make it 28-9, and on the last play of the quarter, he found his path to the left blocked, so he reversed his field and found wide-open spaces after a block by tackle Henry Lawrence took out several Redskins to clear the way for an amazing 74-yard touchdown run.

“I felt someone grab me from behind, but pulled away, and then there was an alley,” Allen said. “Darrell Green did not see me go by and I felt like I could outrun the rest of the guys. Cliff Branch brushed someone downfield . . . it was the greatest run I have ever had on this level.

“You always dream of something like this happening.”

Everyone knew the game was over, and Chris Bahr added a 21-yard field goal in the fourth quarter for the final points in the 38-9 rout.

Riggins, MVP of the previous Super Bowl, was held to 64 yards on 26 carries. On one second-half possession, he had his longest gain of the day for eight yards on first down, but the Raiders stuffed him on the next three plays regain possession led by linebacker Rod Martin.

The so-called experts and the Redskins themselves were stunned, not only by the outcome but by the margin of the Raiders' victory.

“If it was closer, I might feel worse,” said Theismann, the NFL’s Most Valuable Player that season. But they kicked our butts. When you get your butt handed to you, you just make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Managing General Partner Al Davis took great satisfaction in accepting the Vince Lombardi Trophy from NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle for the third time in eight seasons after the game.

Davis, once the American Football League Commissioner and Rozelle had been rivals since going toe-to-toe in the AFL-NFL War before the merger during the 1960s.

“Not only, in my opinion, are you the greatest Raiders team of all time, I think you rank with the great teams to have ever played any professional sport,” Davis told his team.

Unfortunately, the Raiders have not won another Super Bowl, but of course, Raider Nation diehards will never give up the hope for No. 4.

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