Flores takes issue with the NFL Network

Tom Flores, who guided The Raiders to two World Championships of Professional Football after capturing victories in Super Bowl XV and XVIII, took exception to the recent NFL Network ranking of the Silver and Black's 1983 title team.

Flores coached the Silver and Black to wins in Super Bowl XV and XVIII. He was the field general of a 1983 Raiders team that brought the city of Los Angeles its first and only Super Bowl crown with a 38-9 win over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII. Flores blasted the ranking as "ridiculous."

Said Flores this week of the ranking, which was recently revealed during a television series on the NFL Network, "This team should be in the top three of all-time. The 1983 Raiders could beat any Super Bowl team from any decade, any league and under any circumstance. The 20th ranking by the NFL Films panel is a disgrace to the history of the Raiders. We dominated the regular season, the playoffs and the Super Bowl itself. Al Davis said at the end of Super Bowl XVIII in the locker room that team ranks ‘...as one of the great teams that have ever played in any professional sport.' I will always agree."

The ranking was voted on by a so-called "blue ribbon" committee consisting of writers, broadcasters and NFL personnel including head coach and general managers. All members of the panel were asked to rank their top 10 Super Bowl championship teams. However, the members of this committee have had very little direct contact with any Super Bowls. The rankings were then tabulated by NFL Network to produce what they termed as "the top 20 teams." The results of the rankings by the committee have still not been disclosed.


The Raiders dominated on offense, defense and special teams, so much so that The Silver and Black would have beaten any team throughout the history of the Super Bowl. This team was made up of perennial Pro Bowl players and several future Hall of Famers.

The 1983 NFC Champion Washington Redskins had set an NFL season scoring record of 541 points en route to a 14-2 record. Included in their 14 league wins was a 37-35 victory over the Raiders in Washington on October 2, 1983. In that game, however, Raiders star running back Marcus Allen had played only one down.

Three months later, on January 22, 1984, Allen was a major weapon as the AFC Champion Raiders crushed Washington 38-9 in Super Bowl XVIII at Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Raiders took a 7-0 lead just five minutes into the game when special teams captain Derrick Jensen blocked a punt and recovered the free ball in the Washington end zone. With 9:14 remaining in the first half, quarterback Jim Plunkett fired a 12-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Cliff Branch to complete a three-play, 65-yard drive. Cliff Branch also had two touchdown catches in Super Bowl XV.

After a Redskins field goal made it 14-3, the Raiders scored again with just seven seconds left in the half as linebacker Jack Squirek intercepted a pass on the Washington five-yard line and returned it for a touchdown to give the Silver and Black a 21-3 halftime lead. In the third quarter, Allen, who rushed for a then-Super Bowl-record 191 yards on 20 carries and was named the game's MVP, increased the Raiders lead to 35-9 on touchdown runs of five and 74 yards.

The 38 points scored by the Raiders were the most by a Super Bowl team to that point in time. The Raiders had scored 30 points or more in each of their three postseason games. Defensively, the Raiders dominated, limiting a Washington team that had had averaged 34 points a game in league play in 1983 to only nine points in the biggest game of the year.

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