Raiders Throwback Tuesday is an ongoing series where JBB editor and classic sports nerd Chase Ruttig picks a classic Raiders video from the glorious vault of sports highlights and breaks them down. If you have any suggestions for feature Throwback Raiders breakdowns feel free to tweet them to @JustBlogBaby or leave them in the comments.
Jon Gruden. Rich Gannon. Tim Brown. Charles Woodson. Eric Allen.Can you believe it has been nearly 13 years since this cast of Raiders legends brought Oakland back to the NFL players for the first time since they came back from Los Angeles?
After keeping the Kansas City Chiefs out of the playoffs to end Week 17 of the 1999 season, spirits and expectations were high heading into Jon Gruden’s next year as head coach of the Oakland Raiders. Yet a franchise that was out of the playoffs for seven years could not expect what was a dream 12-4 season that went all the way to the AFC Championship game as the beginning of the best era of the Oakland 2.0 era started at the turn of the millennium.
The star of that season is undoubtedly Rich Gannon who came into his own with a season where he passed for 3,430 yards and was an All-Pro selection as him and Tim Brown teamed up with running back Tyrone Wheatley who was the feature back in the NFL’s best rushing offense that season.
Two losses to the Denver Broncos during the regular season didn’t matter in the race for the AFC West as the Broncos lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 16 to hand the Raiders the division title with a final week thrashing of the Carolina Panthers with a 52-9 blowout win that kept spirits high heading into the bye week as the Raiders prepared for the Miami Dolphins, who beat the Peyton Manning led Colts in overtime to set the stage for the first playoff home game in Oakland since Al Davis moved the team back. After the win Gruden famously rushed to the Black Hole to salute the long suffering Raiders fans after bringing them back to the playoffs.
The Raiders did not let down the Black Hole, destroying the Dolphins 27-0 in the Divisional Playoff and setting up a date with the Baltimore Ravens at the Oakland Coliseum where Gannon and Gruden had a chance to take the Raiders back to the Super Bowl. Home field advantage was on the Raiders side, but the Raiders would be going up against a Ravens team that at the end of the season would go down to have one of the best defenses of all time.
That defense resulted in heartbreak for the Raiders in the AFC Championship Game as the Ray Lewis led Ravens defense put the clamps on Rich Gannon and Tim Brown as the Raiders could only muster a field goal by rookie kicker Sebastian Janikowski (SeaBass makes the playoffs in Year One. What a Raider) in a 16-3 loss that would end a magical run to the big time for the Raiders after seven years of frustrations.
This season would mark the start of the best era in Raiders history. The following year would see the heartbreak of the Tuck Rule game, but the roots of the Raiders return to the Super Bowl were planted after coming close in 2000 and while it may not have as memorable of an ending as the following seasons of the Gruden and early Callahan era was where it all began and brought playoffs back into Oakland.
Regular Season Highlights
Playoff Highlights (Dolphins and Ravens Games)