What’s up RaiderNation? Recently the Oakland Raiders’ website featured an article on the top ten passing single games in Raider history. If you haven’t read it, I think you will be surprised to see some of the QB’s on the list!! Here is a link to the article: http://www.raiders.com/news/article-1/Top-10-Regular-Season-Single-Game-Passing-Performances/1d05620e-a39d-4dc0-8997-81bdb14caeba
I thought I would list my top ten favorite games in Raider history. Much like other top ten lists, I will go in reverse order. While there are many other great games I have not listed here, there are specific reasons why these are my favorites.
10. The Holy Roller game. Oakland Raiders @ San Diego Chargers, September 10, 1978
This game makes it into my top ten for so many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that we beat San Diego in a game that they thought they had in the bag. When I saw this game (on T.V.) I couldn’t believe my eyes. First it looked like Stabler would be sacked, then the ball squirts out, Pete Banaszak scoops the ball forward, then Dave Casper muffs picking it up, boots the ball, and falls on it in the end zone. Time had already expired, so the Raiders won on the last play of the game.
9. Ghost to the Post game. Oakland Raiders @ Baltimore Colts, AFC Divisional Playoff, December 24, 1977
This game easily made my list as it is just one of the all-time great games in all of NFL football. The last game the Colts played in Baltimore, the fourth longest game in NFL history, a game that had nine lead changes, and a game that my all-time favorite TE, Dave Casper, caught 3 TD’s, including the winning TD in the 2nd overtime. Incidentally, the play for which this game is known, Ghost to the Post, was not a TD as many believe, but rather a long pass that set up the field goal that sent the game into overtime. One other sometimes unknown fact, the play was not at all designed to go to Casper, but rather to Branch. Casper’s job was to clear out the safety, which he did, but also beat badly leaving him open for the throw from Stabler for a 42 yard gain and a first down at the Baltimore 14.
8. Sea of Hands game. Miami Dolphins @ Oakland Raiders, AFC Divisional Playoff, December 21, 1974
Again, there are may reasons this game made my list. For one, it stopped the Dolphins from winning 3 straight Superbowls. Another reason is the fact that I have always been a Clarence Davis fan, and it was he who caught the famous pass. Finally, One of my best friends at the time was a die-hard Dolphins fan, who had done nothing but talk about how great the Dolphins were for 3 straight years. He finally had to shut-up.
7. Heidi Bowl game. New York Jets @ Oakland Raiders, November 17, 1968
This game was a no-brainer for my list. Daryle Lamonica was one of my early heroes, and a home town hero at that. The Raiders verticle game and quick strike ability, was what had me enamored with them from the very beginning, and the end of this game exemplified this, despite the fact that most of the nation missed the end of the game and went to bed thinking the Jets had won. The Jets had been up by 3 with 1.05 left, but the Raiders scored 2 touchdowns in 9 seconds.
6. Red Right 88 game. Oakland Raiders @ Cleveland Browns, AFC Divisional Playoff, January 4, 1981
This game is named after one of my all time favorite plays in Raider history. With less than a minute to go in the game, the Raiders were clinging to a 2 point lead, 14-12. The Browns had the ball on the Raiders’ 13 yard line and were in easy field goal range to win the game. However, it was so cold that day (at the time, the second coldest game in NFL history), that the field was icy and a field goal, no matter how close, was not a sure thing. In fact, Don Cockroft, the Cleveland kicker, had already missed 2 field goals, had an extra point blocked, and another fail on a botched snap. On a play where Brian Sipe was told to “throw it into Lake Erie” if there was no open receiver, Brian Sipe tried to force a pass to Ozzie Newsome on a square-in in the end zone. At the last second, Mike Davis cut in front of Newsome and made the interception that sealed the victory for the Raiders. The Raiders went on to be the first ever wild card team to win the Superbowl, beating the Philadelphia Eagles in Superbowl XV.
Well, that’s it until next week RaiderNation. Make sure to check back and see numbers 5 through 1. Peace out RaiderNation!!