Mike Davis (defensive back)
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|Born:||April 15, 1956|
|NFL Draft:||1977 / Round: 2 / Pick: 35|
|Career NFL statistics|
Davis played for the National Football League's Oakland Raiders between 1978 and 1985. During that time he was a starter on the Raiders Super Bowl XV and Super Bowl XVIII winning teams. He finished his career with the San Diego Chargers in 1987.
The biggest play of his career, and arguably one of the most crucial in Raider history, was his playoff game interception against the Cleveland Browns in January 1981, where he made the game-winning interception on a play known as Red Right 88. Cleveland, in the final minute, trailing 14-12 and in position for a game-winning field goal, attempted a pass into the end zone. (The Browns made this decision because windy conditions had already caused kicker Don Cockroft to miss two field-goal attempts, and they had also failed on two extra-point tries [one blocked, one aborted by a muffed snap], thus giving the Raiders their lead.) The pass from quarterback Brian Sipe fluttered in the strong wind, and Davis stepped in front of the receiver, Ozzie Newsome, and made the interception. Among the many ironies of this play was a bitter one for Cleveland: while Davis was a superb tackler and leader on defense, he rarely received the attention he deserved because he was a terrible pass-catcher and dropped many sure interceptions (like some other shaky-handed great defensive backs, Davis' career would have been perceived very differently if he'd played in recent years, due to advanced analytics and statistics that have shown cornerbacks and safeties can play superb football without forcing turnovers), only to come through on the biggest play of his career.
The play sealed the win and propelled the Raiders into the AFC title game against the San Diego Chargers, and an eventual Super Bowl XV triumph over the Philadelphia Eagles. The Raiders thus became the first wild-card team to win the Super Bowl.
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