In some ways, it is almost unfathomable.
The Oakland Raiders, known for their “Commitment to Excellence” and a Hall of Fame owner who coined the phrase “just win, baby,” have been far from excellent and have had a lot of trouble winning consistently.
It has now been more than a decade since the Silver and Black have finished a season with more victories than losses. During the first year of realignment (2002), then-head coach Bill Callahan led the team to an 11-5 record and an appearance in Super Bowl XXXVII. The team fell hard in a 48-21 loss to former head coach Jon Gruden and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Raiders have seemingly not recovered since. Dating back to 2003, the franchise owns a dismal 53-123 record, losing at least 11 games in nine of those 11 seasons. After glimmers of hope in both 2010 and 2011 thanks to back-to-back 8-8 showings, Oakland is a combined 8-24 the last two years.
Is there any end in sight when it comes to the losing? Dennis Allen’s club has once again made a number of changes on both sides of the football, thanks to general manager Reggie McKenzie. This could be a very surprising team once September rolls around.
This is the fifth part of a 32-team series in which we’ll look at the “if, and & but’s” of each team’s chances to make the postseason.
And Oakland will reach the playoffs for the first time since 2002…