51 for LI: Oakland Just Won Super Bowl XV, Baby
[lead align=”default”]Super Bowl LI is only 15 days from today, as January 2017 flies. Super Bowl XV wasn’t the first championship for the Oakland Raiders won, and it wasn’t the last.[/lead]
The late Al Davis’s team has a motto: Just win, baby. In 2016, that’s what happened for the Raiders, and they might have kept winning if Derek Carr didn’t get hurt. Back in 1980, they did as well, and their success went a lot further. Those Oakland Raiders drew the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XV.
Super Bowl XV: 1980 Oakland Raiders
In something that may come up again, a Davis threatened to move the Oakland Raiders somewhere else. Despite this distraction, the Raiders went 11-5 under Tom Flores, taking second place in the AFC West.
It wasn’t a great start for Oakland, starting 2-3 after a loss to Kansas City at the Coliseum. In Week 6, however, the Raiders turned their season around, winning six in a row. Ironically, they lost a late-season game to the Eagles at the Vet. They lost the tiebreaker with San Diego, with the Chargers grabbing the one seed.
Oakland defeated Houston, Cleveland, and San Diego to become the Super Bowl’s first-ever Wild Card entry.
Super Bowl XV: 1980 Philadelphia Eagles
Under quarterback Ron Jaworski, later of ESPN fame, the Eagles posted a 12-4 record to win the NFC East. This team also had Herm Edwards, also of ESPN fame, who later reminded us that you play to win the game. Philly actually started the season very well, going 11-1 to open the 1980 season but losing three of their last four in the closing stretch. This, of course, would make people wonder if they’d have any momentum going into the playoffs.
For the Eagles, it didn’t matter too much. The NFC’s two seed spanked Minnesota and Dallas to reach the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history.
Super Bowl XV: The Game
Oakland quarterback Jim Plunkett had a hell of a game in the Super Bowl, and it began with two touchdown passes in the first quarter. His first went to Cliff Branch, and his second was to Kenny King for 80 yards. At the time, the King play was the longest pass in Super Bowl history. The Raiders led this thing 14-0 after the first, and 14-3 at the half.
For Philadelphia, things did not improve. They fell behind 21-3 and then 24-3 during the third quarter, putting them in a three-touchdown hole. They did not climb out of it, scoring just one touchdown in the fourth while Oakland tacked on another field goal. Your final: Oakland 27, Philadelphia 10.
Plunkett tossed three touchdown passes, and 261 yards on just 13 completions. On the other side, Ron Jaworski had a touchdown and three interceptions, with him and his offense being harassed by Oakland’s defense. That defense included Hall of Fame LB Ted Hendricks. Philadelphia went minus-four in turnovers, and good luck winning a Super Bowl like that.