50 Most Memorable Super Bowl Moments, No. 9: Marcus Allen runs away from Redskins
As the NFL approaches its highly anticipated golden anniversary Super Bowl, Yahoo Sports takes a look back at some of the most memorable moments in the game's history.
In our rankings, the moments go beyond the great scores and plays. We also take a look at entertainment performances, scandals/controversies and other events associated with corresponding Super Bowls.
Here's a look at moment No. 9:
Marcus Allen's reverse
The technical name of the Los Angeles Raiders' renowned Super Bowl rushing play in 1984 was "17-Bob-Trey-O." But in Super Bowl history, it is often regarded as the greatest run ever courtesy of Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen.
"It wasn't exactly a game-changer, but it really closed the door," former Raiders coach Tom Flores told Yahoo Sports.
The Raiders, who lost 37-35 to the Washington Redskins during the 1983 regular season, entered Super Bowl XVIII in Tampa, Fla., as the underdogs to the dominant Redskins. The reigning Super Bowl champion Redskins owned an NFL-best 14-2 regular-season record with their two losses coming by one point each. Moreover, Washington scored a then-regular-season record 543 points and had the league's top run defense.
Even so, Flores believed his team could beat highly regarded Washington because of a big in-season trade.
More Most Memorable Super Bowl Moments:
• 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26-30 | 31-35 | 36-40 | 41-45 | 46-50
• NEXT (Jan. 27): No. 8
"The main thing I remember that year is that we were really peaking at the right time," Flores told Yahoo Sports. "We had a great year that year. The thing that put us over the top as far as how good we were was when we made the trade early in the season for [cornerback] Mike Haynes. All of the sudden we had Mike Haynes and Lester Hayes at the corners and that allowed us to play a lot of man coverage.
"It was instrumental in our defensive game plan against the Redskins. We took away what they did best, which was throw to the outside guys with slants and fades. They weren't able to do it at all. The rest of the guys just concentrated on their power running game."
Flores admitted that even with his confidence in the Raiders entering the Super Bowl that he was surprised that they jumped to a 28-9 lead in the third quarter. And just as Raiders linebacker Jack Squirek had delivered a crucial blow to the Redskins' comeback chances right before halftime, Los Angeles cemented the Super Bowl win thanks to Allen's crafty and creative record run on the last play of the third quarter.
Allen was a tall running back not known for his speed. And on this run that began to the left, it appeared he was going to be tackled for a loss. But before Allen was brought to the ground, he reversed course to avoid tacklers like a gazelle running scared for its life. Allen next sped off through a hole in the middle of the line before darting for a then-Super Bowl record 74-yard touchdown that gave the Raiders a commanding 34-9 lead. Soon after, many of Allen's teammates were in the end zone celebrating with him knowing the game was over before the fourth quarter even began in front of 72,900 fans at Tampa Stadium and 77 million watching on television.
"It was a great run," Flores told Yahoo Sports. "That was Marcus. You don't coach that. That was instinct on his part. For a guy that was supposedly not a fast guy, no one caught him at all."
The Raiders went on to win the Super Bowl 38-9, with Allen winning Most Valuable Player honors following a then-record 191 rushing yards. Now 32 years later, the former Raider who wore No. 32 is still most well known for his crafty Super Bowl run.
"To make a run like that in a game like that in a time like that was pure magic. It was beautiful," Allen once told NFL Films.
More NFL coverage: