From their fanbase to their players, the Las Vegas Raiders throughout their history have been one of the most intimidating teams in all sports. The franchise has won three Super Bowl Titles over the years, and while this millennium perhaps hasn’t been kind to them, there is no denying the history surrounding the Raiders.
Today, the Las Vegas Raiders are a member of the AFC West Division in the National Football League, where they compete with the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos.
Here are five fun facts about one of the most historic franchises in all of professional sports, the Las Vegas Raiders.
- The longest passing play in Raiders history was a 99-yard touchdown throw during the 1983 season. (source) There have been a lot of spectacular plays over the course of the Raiders history. On October 2, 1983, Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett hit wide receiver Cliff Branch for a 99-yard touchdown pass, which is the longest play in the history of the franchise. Plunkett played quarterback for the Raiders from 1978 through 1986, following stints with the New England Patriots (1971-1975) and San Francisco 49ers (1976-1977).
- The Raiders have not won a division title since 2002, which is the third longest active streak in the NFL. (source) Entering the 2021 NFL regular season, the Raiders have gone 19 seasons without capturing their division title. Since 2002, the AFC West has been one by one of their rivals – the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs or Los Angeles Chargers. The Raiders division title drought is the third longest active streak in the NFL, following the Cleveland Browns who last won their division in 1989, and the Detroit Lions, who haven’t won a division championship since the 1993 season.
- All three of the Raiders Super Bowl victories were by at least 17 points. (source) The Raiders have played in five Super Bowls and have won three, but they’ve dominated in those three victories, winning each of those Super Bowls by at least three possessions. The Raiders defeated the Minnesota Vikings by 18 points in Super Bowl XI, knocked off the Eagles by 17 points in Super Bowl XV, and beat the Washington Redskins by 29 points in Super Bowl XVIII.
- The Raiders were one of the eight charter teams of the American Football League. (source) The American Football League began play in 1960 with the Boston Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills, New York Titans, Dallas Texans, Los Angeles Chargers, Denver Broncos and Houston Oilers. The Raiders would experience losing seasons in their first three years, at which point the Raiders hired Al Davis as the new head coach. Davis would lead the Raiders to a 10-4 record that season, and would eventually become the owner of the franchise.
- The Raiders are one of just three NFL franchises that don’t retire jersey numbers. (source) It’s common in sports for different teams throughout different leagues to retire certain numbers, in honor of a player being such a valuable part of their franchise as a whole. However, the Raiders, Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons are three franchises who simply don’t retire jersey numbers.
From Oakland, to Los Angeles, back to Oakland, and then to Las Vegas, the Raiders have proven to be one of the most notable and historic franchises in the National Football League. If you’re a fan of the silver and black and have more fun facts to share about the Las Vegas Raiders, drop them for us in the comments below.