"Sea of Hands" Catch
Raiders Hall of Fame quarterback Ken Stabler had a knack for making big, improvisational plays. Likely the most memorable of them occurred at the end of a divisional playoff game at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium in December 1974 – and it lifted his team to the AFC Championship game. The visiting Dolphins had won the past two Super Bowls, and led the Raiders 26-21 with 35 seconds left. Oakland had the ball on the Miami 8 on first-and-goal. Stabler went back to pass but couldn’t find any receivers. Vern Den Herder, a Dolphins’ defensive end, was bearing down on him from behind and Stabler ran to his left to avoid the sack. Den Herder dove into the legs of Stabler, who while falling face-forward – and an instant before his his knees smacked the turf – threw an ugly and wobbling pass into the end zone toward running back Clarence Davis, who had three Dolphins all over him. Somehow, amid this “Sea of Hands,” as the catch would infamously become known, Davis leapt up and out-muscled several Miami players for the ball. The touchdown won the game, 28-26.