Nice round number — 80 days. Doesn’t seem like a long time, really. That’s how long until the Raiders kick off the 2018 season. There’s a new number 80 in Oakland. It’s a great number, but Saeed Blacknall will need to fight past a lot of other receivers if he hopes to keep it.
The undrafted rookie had just 50 catches for 979 yards in four years at Penn State. He’s here though, so his lack of stats clearly isn’t a dealbreaker.
The last guy to wear number 80 was another undrafted free agent who had little stats to speak of. Rod Streater managed to do pretty well for himself with the Raiders over his first couple seasons before injuries ended his time in Oakland. Granted, he didn’t have nearly as much competition for the job when he joined the team.
The most well known number 80 brought the Raiders back to the promised land. Jerry Rice was the missing piece to get the Raiders back to the Super Bowl in 2002.
Rice arrived in 2001 and the Raiders went to the playoffs. In the playoff opener against the Jets, running back Charlie Garner would set a Raiders record with the longest playoff run from scrimmage in franchise history, going 80 yards to seal the 38-24 victory.
That run was reminiscent of Super Bowl XV following the 1980 season when Kenny King broke open the game with an 80-yard touchdown reception. It gave the Raiders a 14-0 lead over the Eagles and they never looked back, earning their second Lombardi Trophy.