The 10 Best Moments of the Last Six Years of Raider Football

Curry's Catch

The best moments from the worst years of Raider Football

Yesterday, I put together a list of the 10 worst moments of the last six years of Raider football.

Not one to dwell on the negative and in attempts to send out some good vibes as another season approaches. Here are the 10 best moments of the last six years of Raider football.

10. The 2007 Draft Class – Yes, it is still pretty early for Al Davis and his scouts to take a victory lap on this one. However, if the way some of the members of this class ended 2008 continues in 2009, then we’re looking at one of the best draft classes a team has had in any decade. JaMarcus Russell’s success will likely define this class since he was the number one overall pick. Beyond Russell you’ll find a future Pro Bowl tight in second round pick Zach Miller, in round three the Raiders found emerging left tackle Mario Henderson at #91 and nabbed return ace Johnnie Lee Higgins with the 99th pick of the draft. In round four, Mr. Davis rolled the dice on Louisville running back Michael Bush with the 100th pick. Mix in defensive end Jay Richardson  who was drafted in the 5th and fullback Oren O’Neal in the 6th and you’ve got a bright future.

Daunte

Culepper got his revenge as a Raider

9. Daunte Culepper’s redemption – The Raider organization has long been a landing ground for players cast off by other teams. On September 30th, 2007, Daunte Culepper etched his name into the book of Raiders who got their revenge by taking apart a Miami Dolphin team that cut him the previous year. Of course, bragging about beating a 1-15 team is a little like boasting of having been with J-LO – everybody’s done it. But none the less it was the last great moment of Daunte Culpepper’s career as he accounted for all five Raider touchdowns that day by running for three and throwing two others.

8. Tom Cable hired as head coach – Time will tell on the hiring of Tom Cable, but after a masterful cleanup job of the ’08 mess, he’s earned the respect of Raider Nation. Cable inherited a team that had a nasty Lane Kiffin hangover yet was able to get the locker room behind him as he led the team to three victories in the final six games including raining on the playoff hopes of Jon Gruden and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If history is any indicator, then the best omen possible is that on February 4th, 2009, Cable was named head coach of the Oakland Raiders exactly 40 years to the exact date John Madden was introduced as head coach in Oakland.

7. Beating the Cowgirls with a stop on 4th and Goal – One of the best rivalries in all of football takes place on Thanksgiving Day in 2009 as the Raiders travel to Dallas. The last time these two met was on October 2nd, 2005, with the Raiders getting a hard earned 19-13 victory by stopping the Drew Bledsoe led Cowboys on 4th and goal. It was among the rarest of all rarities as both LaMont Jordan and Randy Moss eclipsed the 100-yard barrier on the same afternoon as members of the silver and black. Toss in two sacks by Derrick Burgess, a Charles Woodson interception and a Warren Sapp sack – that netted a 15-yard roughing penalty to boot – and you get one of the better team efforts of the last six years.

6.  The AFC West losing steak comes to an end in Arrowhead – Things haven’t been too enjoyable in Kansas City lately. The Raiders were more than happy to add to the misery of Chief fans by snapping a 17-game losing streak against AFC West opponents with a 20-17 victory in Arrowhead on November 25th, 2007. If there was ever a sign of the apocalypse, it was Michael Huff recording the only interception of his thus far disappointing Raider career that day. Combine Huff’s crowing achievement with 139 yards on the ground from Justin Fargas and the Chiefs never stood a chance. Ok, so maybe starting Brodie Croyle was truly the first sign of impeding doom for Chief fans that afternoon, but the Raiders got the monkey off their back and I got drunk off microbrews in honor.

Chris Carr

Carr went the length of the field in '06

5. Chris Carr goes 100 yards to pay dirt – The 2006 Raiders will forever be remembered as the worst offense in NFL history. Things were so bad that when the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers came to the East Bay on October 29th, 2006, it seemed impossible that the Raiders could win without scoring a single offensive touchdown. Proof that miracles are not confined to 34th street, the Raider defense picked off Ben Roethlisberger four times, returning two for touchdowns. Nnamdi Asomugha took one back 24 yards in the first quarter and Chris Carr went the length of the field in the fourth quarter to seal a 20-13 win.  

4. Beathing the Chargers – This is just sad. It has been nearly six years, five head coaches and five different starting quarterbacks since last time the Raiders beat the Chargers. One can hardly even call it a rivalry anymore – if it ever really was one to begin with.  You’ve got to roll back the calendar to September 28th, 2003, to find the last victory over the Dolts. It was one of the last great games for anybody who happened to own any Raiders for fantasy football. Rich Gannon led a second half comback as he threw for 348 yards on the day and 3 touchdowns. Both Tim Brown and Jerry Rice eclipsed the 100-yard barrier while Sebastian Janikowski booted a 46-yarder to win the game. Ahhh, memories…

3. Sebastian Janikowski Stands alone – When the Raiders selected Sebastian Janikowski with the 17th pick in the 2000 draft, the collective football world laughed that an NFL team would select a kicker in the first round. While Seabass has had his issues both on and off the field, he accomplished a remarkable feat in 2008. During the fourth quarter of a boring 17-6 loss at home to the Carolina Panthers, Janikowski hit a 45-yard field goal. The kick would push Sebastian past former Raider great George Blanda as the highest scoring Raider in franchise history.

2. Ronald Curry’s one handed grab and Langston Walker’s best block ever – Before the Raiders embarked on their odyssey of dropping 17 straight to AFC West foes, they won a dramatic game in Denver. It was a Sunday Night game that was straight out of the NFL Films library. Cue John Facenda: On November 28th, 2004, as the snow blanketed the mile high field in Denver, it would be the Raiders who would emerge victorious from the depths of the blizzard. Cue The Autumn Wind: Trailing by two scores in the fourth quarter, Kerry Collins would march the Raiders through the blinding snow as he pillaged the Bronco secondary for two of his four touchdown passes that stormy night. The first of his two fourth quarter TDs was a moment that will forever live in Raider lore. Collins fired a bullet to the back of the Denver end zone and found a leaping Ronald Curry who managed to pull in the frozen pigskin with one hand. Collins again led the Raiders down field, this time hitting Jerry Porter for his third receiving touchdown of the night. Later, with the game on the line, the Broncos’ Jason Elam lined up a kick that would have been the game winner. As the ball left his feet, it was met by  the mammoth 6’8” frame of Langston Walker who emerged from the pile to block the kick. Game over! Raiders win by the score of 25-24!

Bush

Bush pushed Chucky into unemployment

1. Michael Bush runs Chucky out of the NFL – On the last Sunday of the 2008 regular season, the Oakland Raiders traveled to Tampa Bay to take on the Jon Gruden led Buccaneers. Tampa was in the driver’s seat. Win and they were in the playoffs. All they had to do was beat a downtrodden Raider team that had nothing to play for. Little did Gruden know, but his years of basking in the karma that brought him to Tampa and gave him a Super Bowl ring with Tony Dungy’s roster was about to return with a vengeance. Chucky, do you know what nemesis means? A righteous infliction of retribution personified, in this case, by a running back out to prove every team wrong that passed on him in the draft because of a broken leg. Michael Bush abused the defense of lame duck coordinator Monte Kiffin with a 177-yard and two touchdown effort, the last of which was a back breaking 67-yard scamper to the end zone that signaled the end of the Chucky era and may one day be seen as the demise of Tampa Bay. Cable got the team to dig deep and in the wake of the aftermath Jon Gruden was fired, Kiffin was given a rude farewell as he was off to coach with his son in Tennessee and the man who ended Rich Gannon’s career, Derrick Brooks, could only hobble after Bush. Brooks was cut at the season’s end and Al Davis, despite not being present at the game, had the last laugh as he had a hand in getting the entire Kiffin family out of the NFL in 2008. Raider fans had their best night of sleep in six years!

Yes, we’ve suffered though the six worst years in franchise history. After 2006, I felt that the worst was behind us. Three years later, I’m still hoping the best is yet to come.

Tom Cable proved he deserves the job, now its time for him to deliver on his promise of getting our team on the field in January.

RAAAAAIIIIIDERS!

RAAAAAIIIIIDERS!

 

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Topics: Al Davis, Oakland Raiders, Raider Nation, Fans, Popular, Featured, Ben Roethlisberger, Brodie Croyle, Charles Woodson, Chris Carr, Daunte Culepepper, Derrick Brooks, Derrick Burgess, Drew Bledsoe, George Blanda, JaMarcus Russell, Jason Elam, Jay Richardson, Jerry Porter, Jerry Rice, John Madden, Johnnie Lee Higgins, Jon Gruden, Justin Fargas, Kerry Collins, Lamont Jordan, Lane Kiffin, Langston Walker, Mario Henderson, Michael Bush, Michael Huff, Oren O'Neal, Randy Moss, Rich Gannon, Ron Curry, Sebastian Janikowski, Tim Brown, Tony Dungy, Warren Sapp, Zach Miller

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  • http://pacmanjonesin.com Drew

    Last victory over the Chargers was in 2003…sorry to say, but it really isn’t a rivalry anymore.

    At least you guys have more fans at Qualcomm Stadium when “we” play each other. Hasn’t really helped lately though. Maybe this season will be different.

  • http://justblogbaby.com/ Chris Shellcroft

    So true, Drew. It is not a rivarly unless both teams trade wins. The last six years have just been a scrimmage for the Chargers.

    Cable has got to change that before there is any serious talk of the playoffs.

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  • Al X

    Yo Drew, not a rivalry anymore? Never was! Raiders hold a 54-42-2 series lead over the chargers. Plus you guys have to win a Superbowl (three exactly) to catch up to us.

  • Al X

    Hey Chris, what’s up with this guy from the Eggels blog. I guess he’s still upset about the 1980 Superbowl. Raaaiiiiiders!!!!!!

  • http://homeandfamilyreleases.blogspot.com/ TheFamilyMan

    Isn’t it the Raiders? The Oakland Raiders? Even their website is Raiders.com…what gives?

    *Raiders’ football…Raiders are a team, “Raider Football” suggests that “Raider” is a type of Football.

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  • Manuel Ramirez

    I like everything you mentioned, except that catch that was made by R.Curry in Denver was classic. IMO, that would’ve to be the best Raider moment in the last six years.

    I remember getting off of work and heading over to my ex b#tches house and watching that catch, I seriously thought that the game was over. Ended up getting some cutty too, lol.

  • Kate

    Are you people serious?!? The reek of failure that emanates the Raider franchise does not warrant a “best of” top ten list of any kind. Consider these recent Raider accomplishments: (1) Jamarcus Russell: fat, drunk & stupid is no way to go through life kid, and you can add lazy to that list; (2) oh, how we likey the prospects with RED flags and how they make us SO intimidating (on the street maybe, but not on the football field); (3) old school in a new era = laughable performance (see 2009 draft); (4) draft busts high and do it regularly – M. Huff, R. Gallery, J. Russell; (5) turn the Raider Nation into Apology Central (from rage to whine); (6) suck out loud every day since Gruden was forced out by Mr. Senile; (7) pay BIG money for other team’s disposable trash; (8) pay BIG money for our own disposable trash; (9) always get the biggest laughs on draft day by drafting, sight-unseen, prospects with speed but no other discernable talent; (10) continue to watch Mr. Cranky Pants Davis toy with our fan base by pursuing his own reckless agenda of trying to recreate the imaginary team that plays ball inside his own head. I’ll wait until someone with some sense and direction is in charge before I look for any “best of” moments in the Raider future.

  • http://justblogbaby.com/ Chris Shellcroft

    Kate,

    I love you Raider Haters! What is so great is that if this franchise was on top you’d be trying your hardest to say something negative still. No doubt, the last six years have been horrible. But that doesn’t mean that there were not some good moments. This is just a reminder of what the difference is between real fans and people who watch highlights at night and act like that means something. Keep that hate coming. It reminds us all how much you people need the Oakland Raiders in your life!

    P.S. – In case you missed the very fisrt sentence of this post. I also did a list of the 10 worst moments too. But I guess you just ignored that and chose to stick to your groupie agenda. Raider Nation thanks you for your support. We need haters like you.