Friday, December 02, 2005

Great Moments in Raiders History:

The 1985 AFC Divisional Playoff Game

The set-up: The Raiders secured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and were a heavy favorite over the New England Patriots. It was a big year for the Raiders. The normally under-achieving Marcus Allen rushed for 1,759 yards along with 11 touchdowns in 1985. The Raiders defeated the Patriots, 35-20, earlier in the season in Foxboro. This had the look of a blowout.

But not many people would get a good look at the game because it was blacked out locally. That is right. The Raiders could not even sellout a home playoff game. Not like it was an unusual occurrence. The Raiders were 8-1 in 1982 and could not sell out its home playoff game to the New York Jets and it too was blacked out. The Raiders choked that game away, 17-14, setting a precedent.

The game: The Raiders committed six turnovers in the game as the Patriots prevailed, 27-20. The Raiders held 20-17 halftime lead, but the Patriots tied it on a field goal in the third quarter. The Raiders fumbled the ensuing kickoff in the end zone, which the Patriots recovered for what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown. Raiders quarterback Marc Wilson tried to rally the troops, but could not complete a pass to anybody not in a Patriots uniform. And before your try to use Wilson as an excuse Raiders fans, remember that Tony Eason was the Patriots quarterback.

The aftermath: The 1980s will be remembered for the Delorean car, Member's Only jackets, Miami Vice, and the Raiders not selling out home playoff games and choking them in horrific fashion. But at least the Raiders saved themselves from a savage beating in the Super Bowl. Of course, they would eventually pay that price 17 years later in Super Bowl XXXVII.

It also should be noted that 1985 marked the last time Allen rushed for more than 1,000 yards in a season. Yet, he still managed to find his way into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Allen would eventually turn out to be one of the biggest expletive blockers in the history of the NFL.

This also was the game when Matt Millen (pictured below) took a swing at the Patriots GM Patrick Sullivan (who we heard was kind of an a-hole anyway). Talk about it at the Hater Nation Forums.

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