Las Vegas Raiders: Breaking down the longest pass in team history

Jim Plunkett to Cliff Branch against Washington was the Raiders longest pass in team history.
Los Angeles Raiders Raiders v Washington Redskins
Los Angeles Raiders Raiders v Washington Redskins / Focus On Sport/GettyImages

The 1983 season was a special one for the Raiders franchise, as they navigated a tough AFC to finish the regular season with a 12-4 record. From there, they would beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Divisional Round before clinching their spot in the Super Bowl with a 30-14 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in the conference championship game.

Their opponent in Super Bowl XVIII was Washington, a team they happened to make history against earlier in the season.

The longest pass in Raiders team history

The two men who are responsible for the longest pass in team history are two of the best to ever put on the Silver and Black.

Playing against Washington back on October 2, 1983, the Raiders fell behind early, as they were behind 10-0 when the famed play happened. With the ball at their own one yard line, quarterback Jim Plunkett took the snap and faked a handoff.

Then, standing in his own end zone, Plunkett fired a bullet up the left sideline to Cliff Branch, one of the great wide receivers in NFL history. The Hall of Famer raced up the sideline, leaving all of Washington in his wake, including Curtis Jordan, who desperately tried to chase down Branch.

Incredibly, it was Branch's only catch of the game.

Branch lived up to his moniker "Speed Kills" getting the Raiders on the board in what would be a seesaw battle throughout. In the end, Washington was able to stave off the Raiders, winning at home by a score of 37-35, handing the Raiders their first loss of the season.

With the win, both teams moved to 4-1.

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The Raiders would take care of business against Washington in the Super Bowl, beating them 38-9 thanks to the speed of Marcus Allen, and the combination of Branch and Plunkett. The duo hooked up on a 12-yard touchdown throw to give the Raiders a 14-0 lead in a Super Bowl victory that would be their second in team history.