It's cool that we as Raider fans can ask this question isn't? We have three different Super Bowl Champions to choose from. There are only four teams in the NFL that have more choices when it comes to this question.
So, which one is your favorite? I haven't had the honor of watching any of these champs live. So, I am judging them all through the lens of stories and fond romanticism. I am going to review each one before posting a poll. First up...
1976 Oakland Raiders:
This Raider team finished tantalizing close to perfection at 16-1. The one loss wasn't close though. In Week 4 the Raiders got destroyed by the Patriots 48-17. It was the Raiders biggest defeat since 1963. That was a solid Patriot squad that year as they finished the year 11-4, and gave the Raiders their closest game in the playoffs. The Raiders beat the Patriots 24-21 in the divisional round.
From there the Raiders rolled. They beat the Steelers 24-7 and then the Vikings 32-14 to claim the Super Bowl. That Super Bowl was highlighted by this devastating hit by Jack Tatum:
Jump over for more....
Another classic scene from this Super Bowl was Willie Brown's 75 yard interception return for a touchdown. The shot of Willie Brown looking over his shoulder to see he could coast into the endzone is priceless.
This Raiders team was led by should be Hall of Famer Ken Stabler. Stabler was at the peak of his powers during this run. Fullback Mark van Eeghen bashed his way to 1,012 yards behind an amazing offensive line led by Art Shell and Gene Upshaw.
Cliff Branch dominated in 1976. He finished with 1,111 and 12 touchdowns. Dave Casper was his usual excellent self. He caught 691 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Phil Villapiano and Ted Hendricks manned the outside of an amazing linebacking corp, and the secondary was one of the scariest the NFL has ever seen. Jack Tatum is one of the most feared players in the history of the NFL, but it was George Atkinson's nastiness that got all of the headlines in 1976. Atkinson clotheslined Lynn Swann in the Week One victory over the Steelers. It was a hit that led Chuck Knoll to calling the Raiders the criminal element in the NFL.
And of course you can't talk about the Raiders without talking about John Madden. This was Madden's only Super Bowl championship. Madden is a one of kind coach, and his guidance is what made this crazy group of players able to function at such a high level.
Check out the America's Game Special on this team. If you have the time, do it. It is awesome. It has Ken Stabler, Phil Villapiano and John Madden talking about this awesome season, and summing it up bet
Super Bowl VI - Vikings vs Raiders Part 1 (via VikingsChannel)
Super Bowl VI - Vikings vs Raiders Part 2 (via VikingsChannel)
Super Bowl VI - Vikings vs Raiders Part 3 (via VikingsChannel)