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1974 Oakland Raiders season


1974 Oakland Raiders season

1974 Oakland Raiders season
Head coach John Madden
Home field Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
Record 12–2
Division place 1st AFC West
Playoff finish Lost Conference Championship
Previous season      Next season
< 1973      1975 >

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.

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[1] 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."


NFL Draft

Main article: 1974 NFL Draft
Round Pick Player Position School/Club Team

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
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

Game summaries

Week 1

Week One: Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Raiders 0 3 71020
Bills 0 7 01421

at Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

  • Date: Monday, September 16
  • Game time: 9:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 59 F, wind 13 mph
  • Box Score

Week 2

1 234Total
Chiefs 0 070 7
• Raiders 7 1307 27
  • Date: September 22
  • Location: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, California
  • Game start: 1:00 p.m.
  • Game weather: 60°F • Wind 9


Week 3

1 234Total
• Raiders 7 1000 17
Steelers 0 000 0


Week 14

1 234Total
Cowboys 9 077 23
Raiders 3 1473 27
  • Date: December 14
  • Location: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, California
  • Game start: 6:00 p.m.
  • Game weather: 53°F • Wind 7





Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
Divisional December 21, 1974 Miami Dolphins W 28–26
Conference Championship December 29, 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers L 24–13

Game summaries

Divisional: vs. Miami Dolphins

1 234Total
Dolphins 7 3610 26
Raiders 0 7714 28
  • Date: December 21
  • Location: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, California
  • Game start: 1:00 p.m. PST
  • Game weather: 49°F, wind 8 mph
  • Source:

Awards and honors


  • Raiders on Pro Football Reference
  • Raiders on Database Football

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