|RB Frank Hawkins scored two touchdowns in the Raiders win over Seattle in the 1983 AFC Championship. -Raiders Archives|
The Raiders hosted the Seattle Seahawks in the 1983 AFC Championship Game drawing a record crowd of 92,335 to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. It marked their third meeting of the season, with the Seahawks edging the Raiders in both regular season match ups. Under Head Coach Chuck Knox, Seattle had clinched the first playoff berth in the team's eight-year history and had already handed Denver and Miami playoff defeats, but the road to their first-ever Super Bowl appearance would have to go through the Silver and Black.
The Seahawks won the opening toss and elected to receive but struggled to maintain possession of the football in the first quarter. Seattle QB Dave Krieg's early pass intended for WR Steve Largent was intercepted by CB Mike Haynes and brought back 44 yards on the return. The Raiders' offense capitalized on the opportunity with a 20-yard field goal from K Chris Bahr. The first quarter ended with a 3-0 lead for the Raiders that would quickly expand before the end of the half.
With Seattle down by 3, the Seahawks and Raiders exchanged punts to start off the second quarter, but the Raiders second possession of the stanza proved to be the beginning of an offensive explosion. RB Frank Hawkins pushed up the middle for a Raiders' touchdown, which capped off a 61-yard drive. With a 10-0 lead, the Raiders was able to add to their advantage after a turnover on downs by the Seahawks. QB Jim Plunkett passed to WR Malcolm Barnwell for a 49-yard gain, leading to another Hawkins touchdown to cap off a 60-yard drive that took just 26 seconds.
The Seahawks regained possession with a minute to go in the first half, but Raider S Mike Davis picked off another Krieg pass enabling the Silver and Black to tack on a field goal from Bahr and give the Raiders a commanding 20-0 halftime lead. In a dominating 30 minutes of football, the Raiders racked up 226 yards and held Seattle to just 16 yards of total offense.
The Raiders defense remained stout in the second half as LB Matt Millen intercepted a Krieg pass on the Seahawks first drive. Seattle switched quarterbacks, bringing in veteran Jim Zorn, but the results were much of the same, as Davis picked off a Zorn pass to mark the Raiders fourth interception of the day.
The Raiders made the most of the opportunity and added another touchdown on a three-yard pass from Plunkett to RB Marcus Allen, making the score 27-0. The Seahawks finally got on the board on the next possession, marching down the field and scoring on a pass from Zorn to RB Dan Doornink.
The Raiders would be the first to strike in the fourth quarter with a seven-play drive capped off by a Bahr field goal. A late touchdown would bring the Seahawks closer, but was not enough to overcome the tremendous deficit. The Silver and Black's defense played an outstanding game, holding the Seahawks to just 65 rushing yards, while recording five interceptions and a fumble recovery in the 30-14 victory.
With the emphatic win, the Raiders booked a date with destiny against the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII, where they would emerge as the World Champions of Professional Football for the third time in eight years.