The start of a new football season is usually a glorious thing and there is no doubt that Raiders fans headed into it this time around with a certain degree of optimism. There was, after all, a new coach in Josh McDaniels to get behind, not to mention the headline-grabbing move for elite-level wide receiver Davante Adams.
For these reasons, many Las Vegas fans who like to bet on sports were keen to check out the latest Raiders odds as the first few games got under way. Unfortunately, the side has largely failed to spark in their opening run of fixtures, despite a morale-boosting win against the Broncos recently. The season is still young, though, and there is plenty of time to build on the victory against Denver. If you plan to bet on Raiders games as the campaign wears on, this is something to bear in mind â€“ especially when eyeing up the easier run of games after the BYE week.
At the moment, Las Vegas followers could still do with some cheering up and what better way than to look back at some of the most famous Raiders’ games ever. To clarify, we will be looking all the way back and include games played by the Oakland Raiders, L.A. Raiders and Las Vegas Raiders. But which five live longest in the memory?
Super Bowl XI
While the Las Vegas Raiders season in 2022 might be underwhelming so far in general, all fans will want to recall their first Super Bowl win in 1976, against the Vikings.Â
Played at the Rose Bowl in California, it saw a rampant Raiders team come off a brilliant 13-1 regular season and have football legend John Madden driving them along. They also had speedy wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff in great form for this game and he ended up as MVP overall.Â
With QB Ken Stabler throwing accurately and the Raiders hard-hitting defense stopping any threat from the Vikings, a 32-14 victory was never in doubt. Cornerback Willie Brown’s 75-yard return for a touchdown is a real highlight from this game, as was the outstanding 429 yards the Raiders made on the day.
Super Bowl XV
The 1980 season was decent enough for the Raiders and got them into the Super Bowl game against the Eagles. In truth, this looked to be a closely matched affair on paper because both teams had similar regular season records that year. This had actually seen the Raiders make it into the playoffs as a Wild Card side â€“ and they became the first Wild Card team ever to clinch the championship!
Quarterback Jim Plunkett was arguably the Raiders main man and threw for two touchdown passes in the first quarter. This really set them up for their eventual 27-10 win and put them too far ahead for the Eagles to reel them in. Plunkett was named Super Bowl MVP in the end and finished the match with stats of 13 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns. Linebacker Rod Martin also played well in this game and completed an awesome three interceptions on Philadelphia QB Ron Jaworski.
Super Bowl XVIII
Super Bowl XVIII in 1983 brought another title to the Raiders â€“ the second under head coach Tom Flores. It was even more special because the side overcame defending champions Washington by a big 38-9 stat line to win. This huge winning margin caused real waves at the time and made everyone in the Tampa Stadium sit up and take notice.
This was not something many predicted going into the game, as Washington came with a 14-2 regular season record and looked tough to get past. Come game time, though, the Raiders turned it on and totally outplayed their opponents. They were 21-3 up by half-time â€“ thanks mainly to running back Marcus Allen’s outstanding performance. He ended up carrying the ball 20 times for 191 yards and rightfully took many plaudits.
2000 divisional playoff against DolphinsÂ
This is definitely one of the most memorable games in the franchise’s history and comes from more recent times. The 2000 version of the Raiders stormed regular season with a 12-4 record and had one of the best running games around with star player Tyrone Wheatley. In the AFC playoff game, though, they came up against a strong Dolphins side.
To say it went well is an understatement! The Raiders shut Miami out and bagged a stunning 27-0 victory. This was ably set off by cornerback Tory James’ 90-yard interception return for a touchdown early in the first quarter. As expected, Wheatley was on fire and carried the ball 19 times for one touchdown.Â
This allowed the Raiders running game to come out on top and their offense bamboozled the Dolphins defense. Rich Gannon also had a superb game at quarterback and threw 18 passes for 143 yards. This win saw the side advance to meet the Ravens in the AFC Championship game.Â
2021 Week 18 OT win against ChargersÂ
While there are plenty of other games in the Raiders’ history that you could include here, it is nice to finish on one that happened since the team has been based in Vegas. We all know that the 2021 campaign was a rollercoaster and had some real downs â€“ but there were also some massive ups that few fans will ever forget.Â
Not only did interim coach Rich Bisaccia take the side to its first winning season for a long time but he also took them to the playoffs for the first time since 2016. This week 18 overtime win was something special â€“ not least because of who it was against! Although the 35-32 score and nature of the win made it look a close game, Las Vegas were actually in control for most of it. Standout player in this match was goalkicker Carlson, who sent over the winning kick with no problems at all.Â
Iconic games for Raiders fans to rememberÂ
The five games discussed above are all dramatic games that linger long in the memory of Raiders fans. If the side can use their recent win against Denver to get back on track in 2022, we may well have a few more games to add to this list soon.
*Top Photo: Ballantyne Magazine