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Super Bowl XI pitted Ken Stabler and the Oakland Raiders up against the Minnesota Vikings and their “Purple People Eater” defense. The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California played host to Super Bowl XI which marked the fourth Super Bowl appearance in eight years for the Minnesota Vikings. Oakland entered the game as a 4-point betting favorite.
Minnesota had gone 0-3 SU and ATS over its previous three Super Bowl appearances and was hoping to break out of its Super Bowl slump with a win in this one. The Vikings were led on offense by Fran Tarkenton, the league's all-time leader in pass completions, passing yards and touchdown passes. Minnesota also had the best defense in the NFC allowing only 176 points on the year.
The defense would have its work cut out for it against the 1976 Oakland Raiders offensive attack. Quarterback Ken Stabler was the AFC's top rated passer with 2,737 passing yards and 27 touchdowns that season, spreading the ball out to a pair of talented wideouts in Cliff Branch and Fred Biletnikoff. John Madden's squad was 13-1 SU and won each of its last 10 games. In eight years as head coach, Madden had amassed an 83-22-7 record as head coach of the Oakland Raiders, but this was the team's first Super Bowl appearance with him at the helm.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Raiders offense broke through in the second quarter. After starting the quarter off with a field goal to earn the first points of the game, Oakland proceeded to force two straight three-and-outs on defense and score touchdowns on both of the ensuing drives, entering the half with a 16-0 lead. Oakland continued to control the game in the second half and finished the game with a convincing 32-14 victory.
In the loss as a 4-point underdog, Minnesota fell to 0-4 SU and ATS all-time in Super Bowl play. The game's 46 points went OVER the posted total of 38, marking just the second time in the last nine Super Bowls that the total had gone OVER. Oakland won its first Super Bowl title after falling short in Super Bowl II.