Oakland Raiders: 30 Iconic Moments In Franchise History

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Sep 13, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; General view of the playing of the national anthem with a United States flag on the field before the NFL game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

29. December 18, 1976 – Another Playoff Game, Another Thrilling Finish

The Raiders finished the 1976 regular season with a stellar mark of 13-1. The Patriots weren’t too shabby either, finishing 11-3 – and with zero allegations of spying, videotaping practices, bugging locker rooms, or tampering with the ball’s air pressure.

Unable to generate any offense, the Raiders had to punt on their first possession of the game. Steve Grogan and the Patriots took the ball down the field, going 86 yards in 10 plays for the touchdown and a 7-0 lead. The Raiders settled for a field goal to cut the lead to 7-3, but late in the first half, Oakland intercepted the ball and then put together an eight play, 76 yard drive to take a 10-7 lead into the half.

On their first possession of the second half though, the Patriots were able to move down the field and struck paydirt on a Grogan pass to TE Russ Francis, taking a 14-10 lead. The Raiders then went three and out on their next possession, and a suddenly hot Patriot’s offense resulted in another touchdown and a 21-10 lead with just over a minute left in the third quarter.

But then Stabler took control of the game and on a drive that saw him go a perfect 5-5, the Raiders scored to cut the lead to 21-17.With just 14 seconds left in the game and sitting on the goal line, the Raiders’ season was on the line. If they didn’t score, the game – and their season – was over. If they did, they’d move forward in the postseason.

Taking it onto his own shoulders, Stabler rolled out and dove into the endzone for the game winning score. It was an important game in that it helped propel the Raiders forward, toward Super Bowl XI where they would later crush the Vikings.

Next: December 12, 1970