- Super Bowl XI
visitor_qtr1 = 0
visitor_qtr2 = 16
visitor_qtr3 = 3
visitor_qtr4 = 13
home_qtr1 = 0
home_qtr2 = 0
home_qtr3 = 7
home_qtr4 = 7
January 9, 1977
stadium = Rose Bowl Stadium
city = Pasadena, California
attendance = 103,438
odds = Raiders by 4 1/2
Fred Biletnikoff, Wide Receiver
Vikki Carr(" America the Beautiful")
coin_toss = Jim Tunney
referee = Jim Tunney
halftime = Disney presents "It's A Small World" with the Los Angeles Unified All-City Band
Curt Gowdyand Don Meredith
rating = 44.4
share = 73
commercial = $125,000
last = X
next = XII
Super Bowl XI was an
American footballgame played on January 9, 1977at the Rose Bowl [This was the first professional football game ever played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseumplayed host to two previous Super Bowls ( Super Bowl Iand Super Bowl VII). ] in Pasadena, Californiato decide the National Football League(NFL) champion following the 1976 regular season. The American Football Conference(AFC) champion Oakland Raiders(16–1) won their first Super Bowlby defeating the National Football Conference(NFC) champion Minnesota Vikings(13–3–1), 32–14. Oakland gained a Super Bowl record 429 yards, including a Super Bowl record 288 yards in the first half, en route to winning their first Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Raiders wide receiver
Fred Biletnikoff, who had 4 catches for 79 yards, was named the Super Bowl's Most Valuable Player. There have been five wide receivers named MVP in the Super Bowl and Biletnikoff is the only one to not have gained 100 yards in his MVP performance.
This game marked the second Super Bowl appearance for the
Oakland Raiders, who lost Super Bowl II. Two years after their Super Bowl loss, the Raiders hired John Madden as their head coach. Under Madden, the Raiders posted the best overall record for any NFL team in his 8 seasons, 83-22-7. But Super Bowl XI was the first time Madden led his team to a league championship game. They had been eliminated in all 6 of their previous playoff appearances, including 5 losses in the AFC Championship Game.
The Raiders offense was led by quarterback
Ken Stabler, who finished as the top rated passer in the AFC, passing for 2,737 yards and 27 touchdowns. His 66.7 completion percentage (194 completions out of 291 attempts) was the second highest in the league. Stabler's main passing weapon was wide receiver Cliff Branch, who caught 46 passes for 1,111 yards (24.2 yards per catch average) and 12 touchdowns. Fred Biletnikoffwas also a reliable deep threat, with 43 receptions for 551 yards and 7 touchdowns. And tight end Dave Casperrecorded 53 receptions for 691 yards and 10 touchdowns.
In addition to their great passing attack the Raiders also had a powerful running game, led by fullback
Mark van Eeghen(1,012 rushing yards, 17 receptions) and halfback Clarence Davis(516 rushing yards, 27 receptions). Another reason for the Raiders' success on offense was their offensive line, led by left tackle Art Shelland left guard Gene Upshaw, as well as perennial all pro center Dave Dalby.
Injuries early in the season forced the Raiders to switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense. The switch benefited the team, as they won their last 10 games and finished the regular season with the best record in the league, 13-1. The Raiders defense was anchored by great linebackers, such as
Phil Villapianoand Ted Hendricks, while defensive end Otis Sistrunkanchored the defensive line. Their defensive secondary was extremely hard hitting and talented, led by safties Jack Tatum, George Atkinson, cornerback Skip Thomasand cornerback Willie Brown.
Many accused the Raiders defense of being overly aggressive, especially Atkinson, who inflicted a severe concussion on
Pittsburgh Steelerswide receiver Lynn Swannin the previous season's AFC Championship Game. Atkinson added to that reputation as the Raiders advanced through the playoffs to Super Bowl XI. In the Raiders' 24–21 playoff win over the New England Patriots, Atkinson broke the nose of Patriots tight end Russ Francis. Then Atkinson inflicted another concussion to Swann in the Raiders' 24–7 AFC Championship victory over the Steelers. In reaction, Pittsburgh head coach Chuck Nollcomplained of a "criminal element" in Atkinson's play. Atkinson himself denied deliberately trying to injure anyone and pointed out that at 6'0 and 185 pounds, he was one of the smallest players on the field. The Raiders and their fans were often known to counter these accusations against Atkinson and Jack Tatum by pointing out the physical way that Pittsburgh cornerback Mel Blount covered Oakland's speedy Split End Cliff Branch. Although 13–1, the Raiders were fortunate to get to the Super Bowl. They avenged their only loss of the year (vs. the Patriots) but needed a controversial roughing the passer penalty to keep their last minute drive alive. In the AFC championship game, the Steelers were without their top two running backs, as Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier were injured.
The Vikings won the
NFC Centralfor the eighth time in the last nine seasons with an 11–2–1 record, and advanced to their fourth Super Bowl in eight years. They were the only team who had lost three Super Bowls (they had previously lost Super Bowls IV, VIII and IX), and did not want to be the first one to lose four.
Once again, the Vikings had a powerful offense led by 37-year old quarterback
Fran Tarkentonand running back Chuck Foreman. Playing in his 16th NFL season, Tarkenton was already the league's all time leader in pass completions (3,186), passing yards (41,802), and touchdown completions (308). He had another fine season in 1976, completing 61.9 percent of his passes for 2,961 yards, 17 touchdowns, and only 8 interceptions. Foreman had the best season of his career, rushing for 1,155 yards and 13 touchdowns, while also catching 55 passes for 567 yards and another touchdown. Fullback Brent McClanahanalso contributed 634 combined rushing and receiving yards. The Vikings also added 2 new weapons to their offense: veteran wide receiver Ahmad Rashadand rookie wide receiver Sammy Whitecombined for 104 receptions, 1,577 receiving yards, and 13 touchdowns. And once again, tackle Ron Yaryanchored the offensive line.
The Vikings' "
Purple People Eaters" defense, anchored by Carl Ellerand Alan Page, were also dominating teams again. During this regular season, they led the NFC in fewest points allowed (176). Also, defensive back Nate Wrightled the team with 7 interceptions for 47 yards, while safety Paul Krause had 2 interceptions for 21 yards.
The Vikings went on to defeat the
Washington Redskins, 35–20, and the Los Angeles Rams, 24–13, in the playoffs.
The Raiders defeated the
New England Patriots, 24–21, with the aid of a penalty call against the Patriots. New England's Ray Hamiltonwas tagged for "roughing the passer" in the fourth quarter; a call which served to give the Raiders a win. Oakland went on to defeat the previous season's Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, 24–7.
This was the first Super Bowl game to match both conference's #1 seeds, and was the last Super Bowl (and first one held in the Rose Bowl) to finish under daylight. It was the last Super Bowl where both team's placekickers (Minnesota's
Fred Coxand Oakland's Errol Mann) used the straight-on style.
Television and entertainment
The game was televised in the
United Statesby NBCwith play-by-play announcer Curt Gowdyand color commentator Don Meredith. This was Meredith's last broadcast with NBC, as he returned to ABC to rejoin the " Monday Night Football" crew for the 1977 season, where he had been a commentator from 1970–73.
The pregame festivities featured the
Los Angeles Unified School District(LAUSD) All-City Band and frisbee dog Ashley Whippet. Later, singer Vikki Carrsang " America the Beautiful". There was no national anthemplayed before coin toss.
The halftime show was produced by Disney and was based on "
It's a Small World", an attraction at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom. The show featured the cast members of the New Mickey Mouse Club. It was the first Super Bowl halftime show to include crowd participation as people in the stadium waved colored placards on cue. The LAUSD All-City Band also played during the show.
The Raiders took the opening kickoff and advanced all the way to the Vikings 12-yard line, but came up empty after kicker
Errol Mannhit the left upright on his 29-yard field goal attempt. Later in the period, the Vikings had a great opportunity to score when linebacker Fred McNeillblocked a punt from punter Ray Guyand recovered it on the Raiders 3-yard line. They Vikings special teams were known for blocking kicks, but this was the first punt Ray Guy ever had blocked. But Vikings running back Brent McClanahanfumbled the ball while being tackled by Raiders linebacker Phil Villapianoand linebacker Willie Hall recovered the ball for Oakland. The Raiders then marched 90 yards to the Vikings 7-yard line (the key play being a 35-yard run by Clarence Davis), but had to settle for a field goal from Mann, giving them a 3–0 lead 48 seconds into the second quarter.
The next time the Raiders got the ball, they did even better, driving 64 yards in 10 plays and scoring on a 1-yard touchdown pass from quarterback
Ken Stablerto tight end Dave Casper, increasing their lead to 10–0. Then, Oakland got the ball back in excellent field position after returner Neal Colziereturned Minnesota's punt 25 yards to the Vikings 35-yard line. After 3 running plays, Stabler completed a 17-yard pass to Fred Biletnikoffat the 1-yard line, and running back Pete Banaszakscored a touchdown on the next play, increasing Oakland's lead to 16–0 after Mann missed the extra point attempt. The score at halftime marked the fourth time in as many Super Bowls that the Vikings failed to score in the first half.
The second half began with 3 consecutive punts, but then Colzie returned the Viking's second punt of the period 12 yards to the Oakland 46-yard line. From there, the Raiders advanced to the Vikings 23-yard line, aided by an 18-yard run by Davis and a 10-yard reception by wide receiver
Cliff Branch, to set up Mann's 40-yard field goal to increase the their lead, 19–0.
Fran Tarkentonthen threw 3 consecutive incompletions on their ensuing drive, forcing the Vikings to punt again. However, Oakland linebacker Ted Hendrickswas penalized for running into the punter on the play, giving Minnesota a first down. Taking advantage of their second chance, the Vikings ended up with a 12-play, 68-yard drive and scored on an 8-yard pass from Tarkenton to receiver Sammy Whiteto cut their deficit to 19–7.
The Raiders were forced to punt on their next drive after they were unable to recover from
Alan Page's 11-yard sack on first down. Then aided by Tarkenton's completions to White for gains of 14 and 18 yards, the Vikings advanced to the Oakland 37-yard line. But on third down and 3 to go, Hall intercepted a pass from Tarkenton and returned it 16 yards to the 46-yard line. Three plays later, Biletnikoff's 48-yard reception moved the ball to the Vikings 2-yard line, setting up Banaszak's second rushing touchdown to increase Oakland's lead to 26–7.
White returned the ensuing kickoff 19 yards to the Minnesota 32-yard line, and four plays later, Tarkenton completed a 25-yard pass to receiver
Ahmad Rashadto reach the Oakland 28-yard line. But on the next play, defensive back Willie Brown intercepted a pass intended for White and returned it a Super Bowl record 75 yards for a touchdown. Although Mann missed the extra point attempt, the Raiders put the game out of reach, 32–7.
After the both teams turned the ball over on downs, Minnesota drove 86 yards in 9 plays to score on a 14-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Bob Lee to tight end
Stu Voigt. The touchdown cut Minnesota's deficit to 32–14, but by then there was only :25 left in the game.
Stabler finished the game with 12 out of 19 pass completions for 180 yards and a touchdown. Davis, who was the top rusher in the game, gained 137 yards on just 16 rush attempts, an average of 8.5 yards per carry. Casper finished the game with 4 catches for 70 yards and a touchdown. Colzie returned 4 punts for a Super Bowl record 43 yards. Running back
Chuck Foremanhad a solid performance for Minnesota, contributing 44 rushing yards and 62 receiving yards. Tarkenton had 17 out of 35 pass completions for 205 yards, a touchdown, and 2 interceptions. White recorded 163 total yards, catching 5 passes for 77 yards and a touchdown, rushing once for 7 yards, and returned 4 kickoffs for 79 yards.
*OAK - FG: Errol Mann 24 yards 3-0 OAK
*OAK - TD: Dave Casper 1 yard pass from Ken Stabler (Errol Mann kick) 10-0 OAK
*OAK - TD: Pete Banaszak 1 yard run (kick failed) 16-0 OAK
*OAK - FG: Errol Mann 40 yards 19-0 OAK
*MIN - TD: Sammy White 8 yard pass from Fran Tarkenton (Fred Cox kick) 19-7 OAK
*OAK - TD: Pete Banaszak 2 yard run (Errol Mann kick) 26-7 OAK
*OAK - TD: Willie Brown 75 yard interception return (kick failed) 32-7 OAK
*MIN - TD: Stu Voigt 13 yard pass from Bob Lee (Fred Cox kick) 32-14 OAK
*Referee: Jim Tunney
*Head Linesman: Ed Marion
*Line Judge: Bill Swanson
*Back Judge: Tom Kelleher
"Note: A seven-official system was not used until 1978"
*74 degrees, clear and sunny
1976 NFL season
NFL playoffs, 1976-77
* [http://www.superbowl.com/ Super Bowl official website]
*cite book | title=2006 NFL Record and Fact Book | publisher=Time Inc. Home Entertainment | id=ISBN 1-933405-32-5
*cite book | title=Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League | publisher=
Harper Collins| id=ISBN 1-933405-32-5
*cite book | title=The Official NFL Encyclopedia Pro Football | publisher=NAL Books | id=ISBN 0-453-00431-8
*cite book | title=The Sporting News Complete Super Bowl Book 1995 | id=ISBN 0-89204-523-X
* http://www.pro-football-reference.com - Large online database of NFL data and statistics
* [http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/super/superbowl-plays.htm Super Bowl play-by-plays] from
USA Today(Last accessed July 20, 2008)
* [http://www.sportsnetwork.com/default.asp?c=sportsnetwork&page=nfl/superbowl/2005/superbowl-alltime-odds.htm All-Time Super Bowl Odds] from The Sports Network (Last accessed October 16, 2005)
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