Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ranking the Greats

ESPN.com’s Page2 released a ranking of the 80 teams which have appeared in a Super Bowl. The Raiders ranked 18th, 27th, 40th, 55th and 57th. The 1970 Baltimore Colts were the lowestest ranking team to WIN a Super Bowl (51st). The 1978 Dallas Cowboys was the highest rank team to LOSE a Super Bowl (19th).

#57 - 2002 Oakland Raiders 11-5 (2-1), lost to Tampa Bay 48-21 in SB XXXVII

Coach: Bill Callahan

Key players: QB Rich Gannon (4,689 yards, 26 TD), RB Charlie Garner (1800 total yards), WR Jerry Rice, WR Tim Brown, OT Lincoln Kennedy, DT Rod Coleman, DT Sam Adams, S Rod Woodson

League MVP Rich Gannon played the best football of his career in leading the No. 2 offense in the league. Jerry Rice, Tim Brown, Charlie Garner and Jerry Porter combined for 315 receptions and 3,770 receiving yards. The Raiders faced a difficult schedule, going 9-4 against teams .500 or better. But they lost four straight at one point, and were woefully unprepared for Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl. The Raiders, 3½-point favorites in the big game, scored two offensive touchdowns – and allowed three defensive touchdowns.


#55 – 1967 Oakland Raiders 13-1 (1-1), lost to Green Bay 33-14 in SB II

Coach: John Rauch

Key players: QB Daryle Lamonica (3,228 yards, 30 TD), RB Hewritt Dixon (559 yards, 59 rec), WR Fred Biletnikoff, TE Billy Cannon, C Jim Otto, DE Ben Davidson, CB Willie Brown

Before John Madden came aboard, the Raiders were already an AFL powerhouse. This team ran (and threw) away from the rest of the AFL, finishing 3½ games better than its closest pursuer and winning the league's title game by 33 points. Daryle Lamonica reached the 3,000-yard mark in passing yards for the first of three consecutive seasons, piloting a vertical game that saw Fred Biletnikoff emerge with his first of six Pro Bowl seasons. But the Raiders did nothing for the credibility of the upstart league by losing convincingly to a Packers team that was in decline and coming off the "Ice Bowl."


#40 – 1980 Oakland Raiders 11-5 (4-0), beat Philadelphia 27-10 in SB XV

Coach: Tom Flores

Key players: QB Jim Plunkett (2,299 yards, 18 TD), RB Mark van Eeghen (838 yards), RB Kenny King, WR Cliff Branch, OT Art Shell, LB Ted Hendricks, LB Rod Martin, CB Lester Hayes

Not the greatest team of all time, but certainly the team you'd like to have a few adult beverages with. Or purchase stickum from. Infamous for tearing up New Orleans with its partying leading up to the Super Bowl, this team also provided one of the unheralded great Super Bowl moments: commissioner Pete Rozelle handing the Lombardi Trophy to Al Davis (who was involved in a lawsuit against the NFL at the time). Ordinary statistically (they relied on a league-leading 35 interceptions, including 13 by Lester Hayes), the Raiders ramped things up in the postseason. They romped against Houston's No. 2 scoring defense, won road games against the Browns and Air Coryell Chargers (both division champions) and convincingly beat a favored Eagles team in the Super Bowl.


#27 – 1983 Los Angeles Raiders 12-4 (3-0), beat Washington 38-9 in SB XVIII

Coach: Tom Flores

Key players: QB Jim Plunkett (2,935 yards, 20 TD), RB Marcus Allen (1,014 yards), TE Todd Christensen (1,247 yards, 12 TD), DE Howie Long, LB Matt Millen, CB Lester Hayes, S Vann McElroy

The Raiders brought Los Angeles its only Super Bowl title as it avenged a regular-season defeat at Washington by shutting down the high-powered Redskins. The impressive Super Bowl win helps vault this team to No. 27 despite some shaky times during the regular season (the Raiders allowed more than 30 points five times). Los Angeles won all three of its postseason games by more than two touchdowns (although the Raiders were helped when 9-7 Seattle upset 12-4 Miami in the divisional round). Second-year pro Marcus Allen had an excellent season, with 1,604 yards from scrimmage, 11 touchdowns and 68 receptions. Todd Christensen led the league with 92 receptions, an NFL record at the time for a tight end.


#18 – 1976 Oakland Raiders 13-1 (3-0), beat Minnesota 32-14 in SB XI

Coach: John Madden

Key players: QB Ken Stabler (2,737 yards, 27 TD), RB Mark van Eeghen (1,012 yards), WR Cliff Branch, WR Fred Biletnikoff, TE Dave Casper, OT Art Shell, OG Gene Upshaw, LB Phil Villapiano

Not to bash on the legend of John Madden and his only Super Bowl champ, but this team wasn't quite as good as its 13-1 record indicates. True, the offense was a devastating mix of the long ball (Cliff Branch averaged over 24 yards on 46 catches) and grind-it-out running attack, but the defense had holes (18th in the NFL in yards allowed) and just one Pro Bowler. A less-than-impressive 113-point scoring differential means the Raiders pulled out a lot of squeakers – they won five games by four points or less – and their biggest win was 49-16 over the 0-14 expansion Bucs. An impressive Super Bowl win keeps them up high, but great teams win blowouts, not close games.

1 Comments:

Blogger dax said...

http://www.federalreview.com/2007/01/tom-flores-says-what-about-me.htm

January 30, 2007 at 5:53 AM  

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