Raiders most surprising seasons by decade, 1960-2010s
The 2000 Oakland Raiders
Jon Gruden came to the Raiders as head coach for the 1998 season, and much like he is doing now, steadily built them into a contender in the AFC. After two 8-8 seasons to start his career in his new role, Gruden put together one of the better seasons the franchise had seen in quite some time.
The 2000 Raiders were dominant on both sides of the ball, winning their first division title since 1993. The 12-win season was also the most amount of wins they had registered in a regular season since that 1993 campaign, led by a fiery starting quarterback who saw his career revived in Oakland.
Rich Gannon not only ran Gruden’s offense to perfection, but he was an absolute surgeon in the pocket, utilizing the talented Tim Brown during that 2000 season in a big way. Gannon would go on to be named an All-Pro, and was one of four Raiders to be named to the Pro Bowl that season along with Steve Wisniewski, Lincoln Kennedy, and Charles Woodson.
Unfortunately, it was also Gannon who played a big role in the team’s demise that season, as a cheap hit by Tony Siragusa in the AFC title game busted up his shoulder, and led to the Raiders losing 16-3. Siragusa was fined for the hit, but the damage was done, as without Gannon, this Raiders team, which could have won a Super Bowl, was finished.