1974 Oakland Raiders season
The 1974 Oakland Raiders season was the team's 15th season in Oakland and fifth in the National Football League. The team would post a superb 12–2 record; the campaign's two losses would be by a total of four points. The Raiders' record (the team's best since 1969) would ensure their fourth AFC West title in five years.
|1974 Oakland Raiders season|
|Head coach||John Madden|
|General manager||Al Davis|
|Home field||Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum|
|Division place||1st AFC West|
|Playoff finish||Won Divisional Round (Dolphins) 28–26|
Lost AFC Championship Game (Steelers) 13–24
For the second straight campaign, the Raiders exacted revenge upon the team that had eliminated them in the prior year's playoffs. This time, Oakland toppled the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Miami Dolphins, by a score of 28–26, in the playoffs' Divisional round. Quarterback Kenny Stabler threw a last-minute winning touchdown pass to running back Clarence Davis in what has come to be known as the "Sea of Hands" game.
For the second straight season, however, the Raiders lost in the AFC Championship Game. They were upset, 24–13, by the eventual champion Pittsburgh Steelers. While the Raiders led 10–3 at the end of the third quarter, a defensive meltdown would allow the Steelers to score 21 points in the final frame.
The 2006 edition of Pro Football Prospectus listed the 1974 Raiders as one of their "Heartbreak Seasons", in which teams "dominated the entire regular season only to falter in the playoffs, unable to close the deal." Pro Football Prospectus states, The John Madden Raiders were a consistently good regular season team, but the playoffs were a different story. The 1972 season came to an end with the painful Immaculate Reception game. The 1973 Raiders ended Miami's 18-game winning streak during the regular season but lost to the Dolphins in the AFC Championship game. In 1974, the Raiders seemed to finally have all the pieces."
Despite the disappointment at the end of the 1974 season, Pro Football Prospectus continues, "[t]he Raiders persevered, keeping the team's core together the next several seasons. In 1975, they again fell to the Steelers in the AFC title game, but caught a break in the 1976 AFC Championship, when they cruised to a 24–7 victory over Pittsburgh, who were without running backs Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier. Finally, in the Super Bowl, they did not waste their opportunity, crushing the Vikings 32–14 behind Ken Stabler and Clarence Davis."
"The Autumn Wind", a poem written by former NFL Films President and co-founder Steve Sabol, became the unofficial team anthem of the Raiders, and was first used for the team's official team yearbook film in 1974. It was narrated by John Facenda, and dubbed "The Battle Hymn of the Raider Nation".
|1974 Oakland Raiders roster|
|1||September 16, 1974||at Buffalo Bills||L 21–20|
|2||September 22, 1974||Kansas City Chiefs||W 27–7|
|3||September 29, 1974||at Pittsburgh Steelers||W 17–0|
|4||October 6, 1974||at Cleveland Browns||W 40–24|
|5||October 13, 1974||at San Diego Chargers||W 14–10|
|6||October 20, 1974||Cincinnati Bengals||W 30–27|
|7||October 27, 1974||at San Francisco 49ers||W 35–24|
|8||November 3, 1974||at Denver Broncos||W 28–17|
|9||November 10, 1974||Detroit Lions||W 35–13|
|10||November 17, 1974||San Diego Chargers||W 17–10|
|11||November 24, 1974||Denver Broncos||L 20–17|
|12||December 1, 1974||New England Patriots||W 41–26|
|13||December 8, 1974||at Kansas City Chiefs||W 7–6|
|14||December 14, 1974||Dallas Cowboys||W 27–23|
|Kansas City Chiefs||5||9||0||.357||2–4||4–7||233||285||L2|
|San Diego Chargers||5||9||0||.357||2–4||4–7||212||293||W2|
|Divisional||December 21, 1974||Miami Dolphins||W 28–26|
|Conference Championship||December 29, 1974||Pittsburgh Steelers||L 24–13|
Divisional: vs. Miami DolphinsEdit
- Pro Football Prospectus 2006 (ISBN 0761142177), p.73-75
- Warnock to sell luxury suites at stadium, ESPN, May 7, 2004, retrieved January 27, 2008
- The Recap, Washington Post, October 30, 2006, retrieved January 27, 2008
- Steele, David (October 23, 2000), Coliseum Turns Into Wind Tunnel for a Day, San Francisco Chronicle, retrieved January 27, 2008
- Carr, Bob (November 1, 2005), What do the Tennessee Titans and the San Diego Chargers have in Common?, San Francisco Chronicle, retrieved January 27, 2008
- Peterseim, Peter (December 29, 2001), Cool Hand Luke, Wilt the Stilt, and the nine-headed monster, ESPN, retrieved January 27, 2008
- Lynch, Kevin (November 1, 2002), Foreboding song blows through practice, San Francisco Chronicle, retrieved January 27, 2008