As a charter member of the American Football League (AFL) in 1960, they won one AFL championship in 1967 and appeared in Super Bowl II, losing to the Green Bay Packers by a score of 33-14. The team joined the NFL in 1970 as part of the AFL–NFL merger. Since joining the NFL, the Raiders have won three Super Bowls (XI, XV, XVIII). The Raiders relocated to Los Angeles from 1982-1994, then moved back to Oakland in 1995. The Raiders plan to relocate to Las Vegas by 2020 after the NFL approved the move of the franchise.
After the Raiders lost to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl II, the Raiders avenged the loss by winning the first five regular season contests between the teams in head-to-head contests from 1972 through 1987. Since then, the Packers have won all six regular season games, taking the overall head-to-head series, 7-5.
Among additional memorable moments, the Lambeau Leap was first introduced when Reggie White picked up a loose fumble and lateralled the ball to LeRoy Butler, who ran for touchdown score and jumped into the stands in a 1993 meeting that spawned the "Lambeau Leap". In 2003, one day after his father's passing, Brett Favre played a career game against Oakland by passing for 399 yards and four touchdown passes.
A few months after the first AFL draft in 1959, the owners of the yet-unnamed Minneapolis franchise accepted an offer to join the established National Football League (NFL) as an expansion team (now the Minnesota Vikings) in 1961, sending the AFL scrambling for a replacement. At the time, Oakland seemed an unlikely venue for a professional football team. The city had not asked for a team, there was no ownership group and there was no stadium in Oakland suitable for pro football and there was already a successful NFL franchise in the Bay Area in the San Francisco 49ers. However, the AFL owners selected Oakland after Los Angeles Chargers owner Barron Hilton threatened to forfeit his franchise unless a second team was placed on the West Coast. Accordingly, the city of Oakland was awarded the eighth AFL franchise on January 30, 1960, and the team inherited the Minneapolis club's draft picks.
Upon receiving the franchise, Oakland civic leaders found a number of businesspeople willing to invest in the new team. A "name the team" contest was held by the Oakland Tribune, and the winner was the Oakland Señors. After a few weeks of being the butt of local jokes (and accusations that the contest was fixed, as managing general partner Chet Soda was fairly well-known within the Oakland business community for calling his acquaintances "señor", the franchise (and its owners) changed the team's name nine days later to the Oakland Raiders, which had finished third in the naming contest. The now-familiar team emblem of a pirate (or "raider") wearing a football helmet was created, reportedly a rendition of actor Randolph Scott.
The Raiders went a league best 13-1 in 1976. They then defeated the New England Patriots in the divisional round 24-21 to avenge their only loss and after two straight years of heartbreaking losses, finally defeated the two-time defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers 24-7 in the AFC championship game to reach Super Bowl XI.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Raiders dominated the Vikings. The offensive line led by Gene Upshaw and Art Shell shut down the Vikings famed "Purple People Eaters". This allowed the Raiders to gain a record 429 yards of offense. The defense sealed the victory when cornerback Willie Brown returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Receiver Fred Biletnikoff caught 4 passes for 79 yards, three of which set up the Raiders inside the 5 yard line for easy touchdowns, earning the Super Bowl MVP. This was the earliest scheduled Super Bowl and last to be played during the daytime.
Despite losing starting quarterback Dan Pastorini to injury and starting 2-3, the Raiders rode Jim Plunkett (who was named comeback player of the year) and their defense, led by Defensive Player of the Year Lester Hayes to an 11-5 record and a wild card berth. They defeated former Raider quarterback Ken Stabler and the Houston Oilers 27-7 in the wild card round, the Cleveland Browns 14-12 in the divisional round in the famed Red Right 88 game, then defeated the San Diego Chargers 34-27 in the AFC title game to reach Super Bowl XV.
The Raiders dominated the heavily favored Eagles. Linebacker Rod Martin had 3 interceptions to set a Super Bowl record that still stands. Jim Plunkett was named Super Bowl MVP after completing 13 of 21 passes for 261 yards and 3 touchdowns while rushing 3 times for 9 yards. Cliff Branch caught two touchdowns which tied the record held by Max McGee and John Stallworth. The Raiders became the first wild-card team to win the Super Bowl and head coach Tom Flores became the first Hispanic coach to win the Super Bowl. On the heels of the Iran Hostage Crisis ending, owner Al Davis proclaimed the victory as the finest hour in Raiders history.
The Raiders (who moved to LA in 1982) went an AFC best 12-4 in 1983 behind Marcus Allen and their defense led by Hayes and Mike Haynes (acquired via trade). They defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 38-10 in the divisional round, then defeated the Seattle Seahawks (who had beat them twice that year) 30-14 in the AFC title game to reach Super Bowl XVIII.
The Raiders upset the defending champion Redskins in a dominating performance. The Raiders were up 14-3 late in the second quarter when Redskins coach Joe Gibbs called a screen pass. They had played the Raiders earlier in the year and ran that particular play for 67 yards. However linebacker Jack Squirek (who had just come in) intercepted the pass and returned it for a five yard touchdown.
Marcus Allen ran for a touchdown in the third quarter to put the Raiders up 28-9 in the third quarter. Near the end of the quarter, Washington faced a 4th and 1 on the Raiders 26. They ran the same play with John Riggins that had won them the Super Bowl the previous year. But Rod Martin tackled Riggins for no gain. On the last play of the quarter, Allen put the game out of reach with a then Super Bowl record 74 yard touchdown run where he ran to the left, took a wide turn before seeing defenders, then cut back to the middle and outraced everyone for the score.
Allen was named Super Bowl MVP after rushing for a record 191 yards on 20 carries and 2 touchdowns while catching 2 passes for 18 yards. This would be the last Super Bowl victory for the AFC until the Denver Broncos upset Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII.