40. Super Bowl XV, 1981: Oakland 27—Philadelphia 10
This was a nasty, brutish bit of business with the Raiders mugging the favored Eagles in Philadelphia’s first appearance in the big game. Rejuvenated Oakland quarterback Jim Plunkett threw three touchdowns and the Eagles were hapless on offense. It was 14-0 early, and out of hand by the beginning of the second half. Raiders’ linebacker Rod Martin intercepted Ron Jaworski three times, as the silver and black performed with customary bad-assery all over the sad, hapless Eagles.
Competitiveness: 3 out of 10. It wasn’t a shock that the Raiders won, but very few thought the game would be a blowout. This was a blowout.
Star Power: 5 out of 10. Raiders owner Al Davis and Eagle’s coach Dick Vermeil are probably better remembered than nearly all of the players, though Oakland’s Art Shell and Gene Upshaw are amongst the finest lineman ever to play and Ray Guy was a really, really great punter.
Controversy/Intrigue: 6 out of 10. A long running feud between the polarizing Davis and legendary former NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle provided a heated subtext. Davis believed throughout his life that the NFL conspired to keep the Raiders from winning whenever possible. Also, most of the Raiders were completely crazy.
Aftermath: 6 out of 10. Raiders head coach Tom Flores would win a second title three years later and is one of the truly underappreciated figures in league history. Dick Vermeil would eventually freak out, leave coaching for a very long time, only to come back and win a Super Bowl with the Rams nearly two decades later.
Aggregate Score: 20 out of 40.
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