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Super Bowl XVIII

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Title: Super Bowl XVIII  
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Subject: Oakland Raiders, Super Bowl, History of the Washington Redskins, List of Super Bowl champions, 2002 Oakland Raiders season
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Super Bowl XVIII

Super Bowl XVIII
1 2 3 4 Total
WAS 0 3 6 0 9
LA 7 14 14 3 38
Date January 22, 1984 (1984-01-22)
Stadium Tampa Stadium, Tampa, Florida
MVP Marcus Allen, Running back
Favorite Redskins by 3
Referee Gene Barth
Attendance 72,920
Future Hall of Famers
Raiders: Marcus Allen, Ray Guy, Mike Haynes, Ted Hendricks, Howie Long.
Redskins: Joe Gibbs (coach), Darrell Green, Russ Grimm, Art Monk, John Riggins.
National anthem Barry Manilow
Coin toss Bronko Nagurski
Halftime show "Salute to Superstars of the Silver Screen"
TV in the United States
Network CBS
Announcers Pat Summerall and John Madden
Nielsen ratings 46.4
(an estimated 77.62 million viewers)[1]
Market share 71
Cost of 30-second commercial US$368,000
 < XVII Super Bowl XIX > 

Super Bowl XVIII was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Washington Redskins and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Los Angeles Raiders to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1983 season. The Raiders defeated the Redskins by the score of 38–9. The Raiders' 38 points and their 29-point margin of victory broke Super Bowl records; it still remains the most points scored by an AFC team in a Super Bowl, and the only Super Bowl won by a Los Angeles-based team. The game was played on January 22, 1984, at Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida, the first time the Super Bowl was held in that city. This would be the AFC's last Super Bowl win until Super Bowl XXXII, won by the Denver Broncos.

The Redskins entered the game as the defending Super Bowl XVII champions, and finished the 1983 regular season with a league-best 14–2 record, and led the league in fewest rushing yards allowed, and set a then-NFL record in scoring with 541 points. The Raiders were in their second season in Los Angeles since moving from Oakland in 1982, and posted a 12–4 regular season record in 1983.

As the favored team, the Redskins' 38–9 defeat at the hands of the black-jerseyed Raiders led Super Bowl XVIII to be known as "Black Sunday". The Raiders outgained the Redskins in total yards, 385 to 283. Los Angeles built a 21–3 halftime lead, aided by touchdowns on Derrick Jensen's blocked punt recovery, and Jack Squirek's 5-yard interception return on a screen pass with seven seconds left in the first half. Raiders running back Marcus Allen, who became the third Heisman Trophy winner to be named the Super Bowl MVP, carried the ball 20 times for a then-record total of 191 yards and two touchdowns, including a then-record 74-yard run in the third quarter.

The telecast of the game on CBS was seen by an estimated 77.62 million viewers.[1] The broadcast was notable for airing the famous "1984" television commercial, introducing the Apple Macintosh. The NFL highlight film of this game was the final voiceover work for famous NFL narrator John Facenda.


NFL owners voted to award Super Bowl XVIII to Tampa on June 3, 1981 at a league meeting held in Detroit. This was first time Tampa hosted the game, making it the first Super Bowl to be played in Florida in a city other than Miami.

Washington Redskins

The Redskins entered the game appearing to be even better than the previous season when they defeated the Miami Dolphins 27–17 in Super Bowl XVII. The Redskins finished the regular season with a 14–2 record, the best in the NFL, and their two losses were only by one point each. In addition, the Redskins set new NFL records with 541 points (since broken by the 1998 Minnesota Vikings, the 2007 and 2012 New England Patriots, 2011 Green Bay Packers, and 2013 Denver Broncos), and also had a turnover margin of +43 and the top-ranked run defense.

The Redskins had a number of efficient offensive weapons. Quarterback Joe Theismann won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award for being the second rated passer in the league behind Steve Bartkowski, completing 276 out of 459 (60.1 percent) of his passes for 3,714 yards, 29 touchdowns, and only 11 interceptions. He rushed for 234 yards and another touchdown. Washington's main deep threats were wide receivers Charlie Brown (78 receptions, 1,225 yards, and 8 touchdowns) and Art Monk (47 receptions, 746 yards, and 5 touchdowns), with the latter fully healthy after the previous year's injury that caused him to miss the entire postseason. Wide receiver Alvin Garrett, who replaced Monk during that time, emerged as a significant contributor by catching 25 passes for 332 yards. Fullback John Riggins once again was the team's top rusher with 1,347 yards, and set a then-NFL record by scoring the most rushing touchdowns in a season (24). Multi-talented running back Joe Washington recorded 772 rushing yards, while catching 47 passes for 454 yards and 6 touchdowns. Kicker Mark Moseley led the NFL in scoring with 161 points, while Riggins ranked second with 144, making them the first teammates to finish a season as the NFL's top two scorers since 1951. Washington's powerful offensive line was led by two Pro Bowlers, guard Russ Grimm and tackle Joe Jacoby.

The Redskins' defense led the league in fewest rushing yards allowed (1,289). Pro Bowl defensive tackle Dave Butz recorded 11.5 sacks and a fumble recovery. On the other side of the line, defensive end Dexter Manley recorded 11 sacks and an interception. Defensive back Mark Murphy led the NFL with 9 interceptions, while the other starters in the secondary, Vernon Dean, Anthony Washington and Ken Coffey, along with rookie cornerback Darrell Green, combined for 13 interceptions.

Los Angeles Raiders

The Raiders, in their second season in Los Angeles since moving from Oakland, California, made it to their fourth Super Bowl in team history after posting a 12–4 regular season record. Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett completed 230 out of 379 (60.7 percent) passes resulting in 2,935 yards and 20 touchdowns. His favorite target was tight end Todd Christensen, who led the NFL with 92 receptions for 1,247 yards and 12 touchdowns. Wide receivers Cliff Branch and Malcolm Barnwell combined for 74 receptions, 1,209 yards, and 6 touchdowns. But the largest impact on offense was running back Marcus Allen. In just his second NFL season, Allen led the team in rushing yards (1,014) and total yards from scrimmage (1,604), while ranking second on the team in receptions (68) and touchdowns (11). But Allen was not the only key running back on the team. Kenny King and Frank Hawkins combined for 1,119 total rushing and receiving yards, and 10 touchdowns. Los Angeles also had a powerful special teams attack led by Greg Pruitt, who led the NFL in punt returns (58), and punt return yards (666), while also rushing for 154 yards and two scores.

On defense, their three-man front was led by Pro Bowl defensive linemen Howie Long and Lyle Alzado, who had 7 sacks, along with rookie Greg Townsend, who recorded 10.5 sacks and a 66-yard fumble return touchdown. The linebacking corps was led by Pro Bowlers Rod Martin and Matt Millen, along with 15-year veteran Ted Hendricks. Cornerbacks Mike Haynes (acquired in a trade from New England) and Lester Hayes were widely considered to be the best tandem in the NFL.[2] The Raiders' head coach was Tom Flores.


The Raiders only allowed a combined total of 24 points in their playoff victories over the Pittsburgh Steelers, 38–10, and the Seattle Seahawks (who had beaten the Raiders twice during the regular season), 30–14. Allen had been particularly effective in the playoffs, gaining a total of 375 combined yards and scoring three touchdowns. The Raiders' defense limited Seahawks running back Curt Warner, who had led the AFC in rushing yards (1,449 yards), to just 26 yards on 11 carries.

Meanwhile, the Redskins crushed the Los Angeles Rams 51–7, and then narrowly defeated the San Francisco 49ers 24–21, with Mark Moseley kicking the game-winning field goal with just 40 seconds left. Mirroring the previous postseason, Riggins was a key contributor, rushing for a combined playoff total of 242 yards and five touchdowns in the two games. In doing so, Riggins extended his NFL record of consecutive playoff games with at least 100 rushing yards to six. Brown also was a key contributor in both playoff wins, recording a combined total of 11 receptions for 308 yards and a touchdown. Washington's defense was just as effective at stopping their postseason opponent's rushing attack as they had been during the regular season, limiting running backs Eric Dickerson and Wendell Tyler to a combined total of 60 rushing yards. Dickerson was the NFL's leading rusher with 1,808 yards and 18 touchdowns during the season, but could only gain 16 yards on 10 carries against the Redskins' defense.

Super Bowl pregame news

Coming into Super Bowl XVIII, the Redskins were favored to win because of their offense, their number one-rated run defense, their league-best 14–2 regular season record, and their Super Bowl win from last season. Also, the Redskins had defeated the Raiders during an October 2 regular season game, 37–35, by scoring 17 points in the final six minutes of the game.

Television and entertainment

The game was broadcast in the Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder. Other contributors to CBS coverage included Jim Hill. During this game, CBS introduced a new theme and open that would later be used for their college football coverage until it was replaced by the current college football theme introduced on Super Bowl XXI (the next Super Bowl CBS aired at the end of the 1986 season).

It was simulcast in Canada on CTV and in the United Kingdom on Channel 4.

The pregame festivities, which paid tribute to University of Florida Fightin' Gator Marching Band and the Florida State University Marching Chiefs. After a moment of silence for Halas, singer Barry Manilow performed the national anthem. The coin toss ceremony featured Pro Football Hall of Fame fullback and defensive tackle Bronko Nagurski.

The halftime show was a "Salute to Superstars of Silver Screen."

Apple's famous "1984" television commercial, introducing the Apple Macintosh computer and directed by Ridley Scott, ran during a timeout in the third quarter. The advertisement changed how the Super Bowl would be used as a media advertising platform.

As previously mentioned, the highlight package to Super Bowl XVIII was voiceover artist John Facenda's final project for NFL Films. Facenda died eight months after the game. An expanded version of Black Sunday (the highight film's title) has appeared on NFL's Greatest Games and contains an additional hour of game footage plus audio play-by-play from Bill King and Rich Marotta while retaining Facenda's narration.

Following the game, CBS aired the pilot episode of Airwolf.

Game summary

During the first half, the Raiders scored on offense, defense, and special teams, becoming the first team to score two non-offensive touchdowns in a Super Bowl. Less than five minutes into the game, Los Angeles' Derrick Jensen blocked Jeff Hayes' punt deep in Washington territory and recovered the ball in the end zone to give the Raiders a 7–0 lead. On their ensuing drive, Washington was forced to punt, but Los Angeles punt returner Ted Watts muffed the catch, and Washington safety Greg Williams recovered the ball at the Raiders 42-yard line. However, the Redskins could only advance to the Raiders 27-yard line and came away with no points after kicker Mark Moseley missed a 44-yard field goal attempt.

Early in the second quarter, Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett completed a 50-yard pass to wide receiver Cliff Branch, advancing the ball to the Redskins' 15-yard line. Two plays later, Plunkett threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Branch, increasing the lead to 14–0. Cliff Branch became just the fourth player to catch a touchdown in two different Super Bowls (after Lynn Swann, John Stallworth, and Butch Johnson).

On their next drive, the Redskins moved the ball 73 yards in 12 plays to the Raiders 7-yard line, with Joe Theismann completing a 17-yard pass to receiver Alvin Garrett and three passes to tight end Clint Didier for 50 yards. However, linebacker Rod Martin broke up Theismann's third-down pass attempt, forcing Washington to settle for a 24-yard field goal by Moseley. Los Angeles took the ensuing kickoff and drove 41 yards to the Redskins 39-yard line. The drive stalled when Plunkett's third-down pass fell incomplete, but Ray Guy's 27-yard punt pinned Washington back at their own 12-yard line with 12 seconds left in the half. From there, head coach Joe Gibbs had Theismann run a screen play called "Rocket Screen", but Raiders linebacker Jack Squirek intercepted the pass and returned it for a touchdown to give the Raiders a 21–3 halftime lead. The defense was prepared for the play, as Theismann had successfully completed an identical screen pass to Joe Washington for a 67-yard gain in their 37–35 victory over the Raiders on October 2. In fact, Los Angeles linebackers coach Charlie Sumner had sent Squirek onto the field as a last-second substitution specifically to cover Washington. "I was mad," said linebacker Matt Millen, who had to run off the field to avoid a penalty. "I'd called a blitz, and I was cranked up for it, but he told Jack to play the screen and sent him in. I guess Charlie knows what he's doing, huh?"[3]

The Redskins regrouped in the second half and scored on their opening drive by marching 70 yards in nine plays. First, Garrett returned the opening kickoff 35 yards from 5 yards deep in the end zone to the Washington 30-yard line. Then, Theismann completed a 23-yard pass to receiver Charlie Brown to the Raiders 47-yard line. Eight plays later, fullback John Riggins finished the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. (Riggins became the second player to run for touchdowns in back-to-back Super Bowls; he had one in Super Bowl XVII en route to winning that game's Super Bowl MVP award). Moseley's extra point attempt was blocked by reserve tight end Don Hasselbeck, but the Redskins had cut the score to 21–9 and were just two touchdowns away from taking the lead.

However, the Raiders completely took over the rest of the game, preventing any chance of a Washington comeback. On the ensuing drive, Washington defensive back Darrell Green was called for a 38-yard pass interference penalty while trying to cover Raiders receiver Malcolm Barnwell, setting up running back Marcus Allen's 5-yard touchdown run seven plays later to make the score 28–9. Late in the third quarter, the Redskins had an opportunity to score after defensive back Anthony Washington forced and recovered a fumble from Branch at the Raiders 35-yard line. They moved the ball nine yards in their next three plays, and then faced fourth down and one. Washington attempted to convert the fourth down with a run by Riggins, just like their successful fourth down conversion against the Miami Dolphins in the previous Super Bowl. But this time, Riggins was tackled by Martin for no gain.

On the next play, the last play of the third quarter, Plunkett handed the ball off to Allen, who started to run left as the play was designed. But after taking an unusually wide turn in that direction, Allen saw a lot of defenders in front of him and cut back to the middle before taking off for a then-Super Bowl record 74-yard touchdown run, increasing Los Angeles' lead to 35–9. This play would later be immortalized by one of the last great lines from John Facenda, who said, "As Washington's hopes faded into the dying daylight, on came Marcus Allen, running with the night."

In the fourth quarter, the Raiders sacked Theismann three times, forcing him to fumble once, and intercepted a pass. Meanwhile, a 39-yard run from Allen set up a 21-yard field goal from kicker Chris Bahr to make the final score of the game 38–9.

Plunkett finished the game with 16 out of 25 pass completions for 172 yards and a touchdown. Theismann threw for more yards than Plunkett (243), but was just 16 out of 35 and was intercepted twice. He was also sacked six times. Branch was the top receiver of the game with six receptions for 94 yards and a touchdown. Guy punted seven times for 299 yards (42.7 average), with 244 net yards (34.8 average) and planted five of his seven punts inside the 20. Martin recorded a sack, a pass deflection, and a fumble recovery. Riggins was the leading rusher for the Redskins with 64 yards and a touchdown. Brown was their top receiver with three receptions for 93 yards. Tight end Clint Didier caught five passes for 65 yards. Garrett recorded 100 yards on kickoff returns, and one reception for 17 yards.

After the game, Redskins general manager Bobby Beathard said that Lester Hayes and Mike Haynes were the difference in the game. Haynes had played out his contract with the Patriots after the 1982 season, and sat out most of the first part of the 1983 season during contract negotiations. He eventually signed with the Raiders, who were forced to give the Patriots draft picks in compensation. He played the final five games of the regular season; his addition gave the Raiders two shutdown corners. According to Beathard, Hayes and Haynes "changed our whole game plan." Hayes had only one tackle, but had the left side of the field covered so effectively that Theismann hardly bothered to throw there. Haynes had two tackles, one interception, and two pass breakups.[2]

This marked the final game in the Hall of Fame career of Raiders linebacker Ted Hendricks, who retired upon earning his fourth Super Bowl ring (three with the Raiders and one with the Baltimore Colts).

The Raiders were the first team to appear in, and win, the Super Bowl representing two different cities. They were also the first team to score an offensive, defensive, and special teams touchdown in the same Super Bowl. The Redskins became the second defending champion to lose a Super Bowl (their divisional rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, were the first, losing Super Bowl XIII after winning Super Bowl XII).

Box score

Final statistics

Source: Super Bowl XVIII

Statistical comparison

Los Angeles Raiders Washington Redskins
First downs 18 19
First downs rushing 8 7
First downs passing 9 10
First downs penalty 1 2
Third down efficiency 5/13 6/17
Fourth down efficiency 0/0 0/1
Net yards rushing 231 90
Rushing attempts 33 32
Yards per rush 7.0 2.8
Passing – Completions/attempts 16/25 16/35
Times sacked-total yards 2–18 6–50
Interceptions thrown 0 2
Net yards passing 154 193
Total net yards 385 283
Punt returns-total yards 2-8 2-35
Kickoff returns-total yards 1-17 7-132
Interceptions-total return yards 2–5 0–0
Punts-average yardage 7–42.7 8–32.4
Fumbles-lost 3-2 1–1
Penalties-total yards 7-56 4–62
Time of possession 28:22 31:18
Turnovers 2 3

Individual leaders

Raiders Passing
Jim Plunkett 16/25 172 1 0
Raiders Rushing
Car2 Yds TD LG3
Marcus Allen 20 191 2 74
Greg Pruitt 5 17 0 11
Kenny King 3 12 0 10
Chester Willis 1 7 0 7
Frank Hawkins 3 6 0 3
Jim Plunkett 1 -2 0 -2
Raiders Receiving
Rec4 Yds TD LG3
Cliff Branch 6 94 1 50
Todd Christensen 4 32 0 14
Frank Hawkins 2 20 0 14
Marcus Allen 2 18 0 12
Kenny King 2 8 0 7
Redskins Passing
Joe Theismann 16/35 243 0 2
Redskins Rushing
Car2 Yds TD LG3
John Riggins 26 64 1 8
Joe Theismann 3 18 0 8
Joe Washington 3 8 0 5
Redskins Receiving
Rec4 Yds TD LG3
Clint Didier 5 65 0 20
Charlie Brown 3 93 0 60
Joe Washington 3 20 0 10
Nick Giaquinto 2 21 0 14
Art Monk 1 26 0 26
Alvin Garrett 1 17 0 17
John Riggins 1 1 0 1

1Completions/attempts 2Carries 3Long gain 4Receptions

Starting lineups

L.A. Raiders Position Position Washington
Cliff Branch #21 WR Art Monk #81
Bruce Davis #79 LT Joe Jacoby #66
Charley Hannah #73 LG Russ Grimm #68
Dave Dalby #50 C Jeff Bostic #53
Mickey Marvin #65 RG Mark May #73
Henry Lawrence #70 RT George Starke #74
Todd Christensen #46 TE Don Warren #85
Malcolm Barnwell #80 WR Charlie Brown #87
Jim Plunkett #16 QB Joe Theismann #7
Kenny King #33 RB John Riggins #44
Marcus Allen #32 RB TE Rick Walker #88
Howie Long #75 LE Todd Liebenstein #79
Reggie Kinlaw #62 NT LDT Dave Butz #65
Lyle Alzado #77 RE RDT Darryl Grant #77
Ted Hendricks #83 LOLB RE Dexter Manley #72
Matt Millen #55 LILB LOLB Mel Kaufman #55
Bob Nelson #51 RILB MLB Neal Olkewicz #52
Rod Martin #53 ROLB Rich Milot #57
Lester Hayes #37 LCB Anthony Washington #24
Mike Haynes #22 RCB Darrell Green #28
Mike Davis #36 SS Ken Coffey #48
Vann McElroy #26 FS Mark Murphy #29
Special Teams
Chris Bahr #10 K Mark Moseley #3
Ray Guy #8 P Jeff Hayes #5


  • Referee: Gene Barth #14
  • Umpire: Gordon Wells #89
  • Head Linesman: Jerry Bergman #17
  • Line Judge: Bob Beeks #59
  • Field Judge: Fritz Graf #34
  • Side Judge: Gil Mace #90
  • Back Judge: Ben Tompkins #52
  • Alternate Referee: Jim Tunney #32
  • Alternate Umpire: Ed Fiffick #57


  1. ^ a b "Super Bowl TV Ratings". Retrieved February 20, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b McGinn, Bob (2009). The Ultimate Super Bowl Book.  
  3. ^ Zimmerman, Paul (January 30, 1984). "A Runaway For The Raiders". Retrieved February 20, 2010. 
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