Raiders: Comparing Mark Davis’ first decade as owner vs Al Davis
Looking back at Al
Being the son of a man on the NFL’s Mount Rushmore, inherently brings pressure and comparison, especially from a tired fan base. Al Davis resigned as AFL Commissioner in 1966 and became minority owner and general manager of the Oakland Raiders. In 1972 he became the majority owner, which he would hold until his death in 2011.
But his control of the organization (especially on the field) began in 1966 so let’s start there.
In Al Davis’ first ten seasons (1966-1975) the team was an outstanding 103-29 (.780 winning percentage) with eight playoff appearances (7-8 record), compared to Mark’s first ten complete seasons (2012-2021) where the Raiders were 65-96 (.403) with just two playoff appearances (0-2 record). Neither of them won a Super Bowl in their first decade.
However, Al won his first Super Bowl in his 11th season. The 2022 season is Mark’s 11th season.
Al Davis hired just two head coaches in his first decade (one being the legendary John Madden) and drafted Hall of Famers Gene Upshaw, Ken Stabler, Art Shell, Cliff Branch, Ray Guy and Dave Casper. Mark Davis has hired six head coaches and three general managers in his tenure, with several failed early-round picks under his leadership.