10 best seasons in Raiders franchise history

22 Jan 1984: Quarterback Joe Theismann
22 Jan 1984: Quarterback Joe Theismann /
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The Raiders have made the playoffs an astonishing 22 times in franchise history. Here are the 10 best seasons all-time for the Silver and Black.

Since joining the AFL back in 1960, the Raiders have had one of the most celebrated histories in football. Whether it was their first stint in the Bay Area, the 13 years in Los Angeles, the most recent stint in Oakland or whatever lies ahead for this Mötley Crüe in Las Vegas, Raiders football is an institution that must be celebrated.

We’ve looked at the all-time team and the best first-round picks in franchise history. It was only a matter of time before we take a look back on the best years that the Silver and Black have ever put together.

Through the 2016 NFL season, the Raiders have made the AFL/AFC Playoffs an impressive 22 times. Keep in mind that this includes a 13-year playoff drought that ended just last year. Yes, it was a dark time for the Silver and Black, but the future looks blinding bright ahead of us with this young corps of ours.

This list is sure to change with the likes of Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack as franchise cornerstones for this on-the-rise football team in the AFC. Here is a look back on the 10 best seasons in Raiders franchise history.

10. 2016: 12-4 (Lost in AFC Wild Card Game to Houston Texans)

Well, yes, it’s a bit of recency bias, how great was it to finally win again last year? The 2016 Oakland Raiders were one of the most exciting watches in the NFL. They had a high-flying passing attack led by third-year quarterback Carr. Its defense was up-and-down, but still managed to have the Defensive Player of the Year in Mack at outside linebacker.

Oakland won a bunch of tight ball games in 2016. The Raiders beat the New Orleans Saints by going for two on the road in Week 1, 35-34. Head coach Jack Del Rio‘s gutsy play call really set the tone for this renegade team from a year ago. Oakland would win 10 of its 12 games by one score or less.

The Raiders were in the mix to win the AFC West for the first time since 2002 heading into Week 16. Carr broke his leg in the Raiders’ Christmas Eve victory at home over the Indianapolis Colts. Going 3-3 in the AFC West with two losses to the Kansas City Chiefs cost the Raiders the division title. Their only other regular season losses came at home in Week 2 to the Atlanta Falcons and on the road to the Denver Broncos in Week 17.

Without Carr and Pro Bowl left tackle Donald Penn, the Raiders were no match against the vaunted Houston Texans defense in the AFC Wild Card Game. While Oakland would lose to Houston 27-14, this was one of the best years in Raiders history simply for how culturally significant it was. It ushered in a new era of Raiders football. Had Carr been healthy, maybe the 2016 Raiders played in the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots?