American Football Database
Super Bowl XVIII
File:Super Bowl XVIII.svg
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
National anthem Barry Manilow
Coin toss Bronko Nagurski
Referee Gene Barth
Halftime show "Salute to Superstars of the Silver Screen" with the University of Florida and Florida State University Bands
Attendance 72,920

Future Hall of Famers Raiders: Marcus Allen, Mike Haynes, Ted Hendricks, Howie Long.
Redskins: Joe Gibbs (coach), Darrell Green, Russ Grimm, Art Monk, John Riggins

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 played on January 22, 1984, at Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida, deciding the National Football League (NFL) champion following the 1983 regular season. The American Football Conference (AFC) champion Los Angeles Raiders (15–4) defeated the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Washington Redskins (16–3), 38–9. The Raiders' 38 points and their 29 point margin of victory were both Super Bowl records until Super Bowl XX. They also outgained the Redskins in total yards 385 to 283.

The win gave the city of Los Angeles its first NFL championship since the 1951 Los Angeles Rams.

As the favored team, the Redskins' humiliating defeat at the hands of the black-jerseyed Raiders led Super Bowl XVIII to be known as "Black Sunday."

Raiders' running back Marcus Allen was the Super Bowl MVP, carrying the ball 20 times for a then-record total of 191 yards and two touchdowns, including a 74–yard run in the third quarter. His 74–yard run was also a record (now 2nd to Willie Parker's 75-yard TD run in Super Bowl XL), and his 9.6 yards per carry average was the second highest in Super Bowl history. He also caught two passes for 18 yards, giving him 209 total yards from the line of scrimmage in the game. Allen became just the third Heisman Trophy winner to be named Super Bowl Most Valuable Player.


NFL owners voted to award Super Bowl XVIII to Tampa on June 3, 1981. 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 and 2007 New England Patriots), a givaway/takaway ratio of +43, and had the top rated rush–defense.

The Redskins had a number of efficient offensive weapons. Quarterback Joe Theismann won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award for being 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.

The Redskins defense led the league in the 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 runningback 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.

On defense, their three-man front was led by Pro Bowl defensive linemen Howie Long and Lyle Alzado. The linebacking corps was led by Pro Bowlers Rod Martin and Matt Millen. 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 rush–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 United States by CBS and featured the broadcast team of play-by-play announcer Pat Summerall and color commentator John Madden. It was simulcast in Canada on CTV and in the United Kingdom on Channel 4.

The pregame festivities, which paid tribute to George Halas, featured the 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" featuring the University of Florida and Florida State University Bands.

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.[original research?]

The highlight package to Super Bowl XVIII was voice-over 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 Raider's 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.

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. On the first play of their drive, 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). 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 7 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, "Here comes Marcus Allen, running with the night."

In the final period, 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 then 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 in 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 Hayes and Haynes were the difference in the game. Haynes was still a Patriot during the teams' regular season matchup, and 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]

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

1 2 3 4 Total
Redskins 0 3 6 0


Raiders 7 14 14 3


at Tampa Stadium, Tampa, Florida

  • Date: January 22, 1984
  • Game time: 4:30 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 68 °F (20 °C), sunny
Game information
First Quarter
  • LA - TD: Derrick Jensen recovered blocked punt in end zone (Chris Bahr kick) 7-0 LA

Second Quarter

  • LA - TD: Cliff Branch 12 yard pass from Jim Plunkett (Chris Bahr kick) 14-0 LA
  • WAS - FG: Mark Moseley 24 yards 14-3 LA
  • LA - TD: Jack Squirek 5 yard interception return (Chris Bahr kick) 21-3 LA

Third Quarter

  • WAS - TD: John Riggins 1 yard run (kick blocked) 21-9 LA
  • LA - TD: Marcus Allen 5 yard run (Chris Bahr kick) 28-9 LA
  • LA - TD: Marcus Allen 74 yard run (Chris Bahr kick) 35-9 LA

Fourth Quarter

  • LA - FG: Chris Bahr 21 yards 38-9 LA

Starting lineups

L.A. Raiders Position Position Washington
Cliff Branch WR Art Monk
Bruce Davis LT Joe Jacoby
Charley Hannah LG Russ Grimm
Dave Dalby C Jeff Bostic
Mickey Marvin RG Mark May
Henry Lawrence RT George Starke
Todd Christensen TE Don Warren
Malcolm Barnwell WR Charlie Brown
Jim Plunkett QB Joe Theismann
Kenny King RB John Riggins
Marcus Allen RB TE Rick Walker
Howie Long LE Todd Liebenstein
Reggie Kinlaw NT LDT Dave Butz
Lyle Alzado RE RDT Darryl Grant
Ted Hendricks LOLB RE Dexter Manley
Matt Millen LILB LOLB Mel Kaufman
Bob Nelson RILB MLB Neal Olkewicz
Rod Martin ROLB Rich Milot
Lester Hayes LCB Anthony Washington
Mike Haynes RCB Darrell Green
Mike Davis SS Ken Coffey
Vann McElroy FS Mark Murphy


  • 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


  1. "Super Bowl TV Ratings". Retrieved February 20, 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 McGinn, Bob (2009). The Ultimate Super Bowl Book. Minneapolis: MVP Books. ISBN 9780760336519.
  3. Zimmerman, Paul (January 30, 1984). "A Runaway For The Raiders". Retrieved February 20, 2010.