Former Raiders defensive back Mike Davis dies at 65

Ryan Young
·Writer
·2 min read
Former Oakland Raider safety Mike Davis
Former Oakland Raider safety Mike Davis died on Sunday at 65. (Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images)

Former Oakland Raiders safety Mike Davis, who is known for perhaps the most famous interception in team history, died Sunday, the team announced.

Davis was 65. His cause of death is unknown.

“Mike was a beloved teammate, friend and cherished part of our family,” the Raiders said in a statement. “The thoughts and prayers of the Raider Nation are with Mike's family: Mary, Mike Jr. and Allen. Mike will forever be in our hearts and minds.”

Davis played for the Raiders from 1978-85, both in Oakland and Los Angeles, after they selected him with the No. 35 overall pick in the 1977 draft out of Colorado. Davis racked up 11 interceptions and recovered 12 fumbles throughout his career with the franchise. He then played his final NFL season in 1987 with the San Diego Chargers before retiring.

The ‘Red Right 88’ interception

Davis is perhaps most remembered for his interception in the 1981 AFC divisional playoff game, which eventually allowed the Raiders to win Super Bowl XV.

The Raiders held a 14-12 lead with less than a minute left in their game against the Browns in Cleveland, and quarterback Brian Sipe attempted to find tight end Ozzie Newsome in the end zone. That play, per The Associated Press, was called the “Red Slot Right, Halfback Stay, 88.”

Davis slipped in front of Newsome and intercepted the pass, which secured the two-point win.

The Raiders then beat the Chargers in the AFC championship game and beat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-10 to win the organization’s second Super Bowl. Davis picked up another ring three years later when the Raiders beat Washington 38-9 in Super Bowl XVIII.

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