# Oakland Raiders Want Their Feet Planted on Higher Ground in the NFL

March 13, 2011Have the Oakland Raiders had "critical years" when their wins are less than their losses?

The answer is, yes.

There were critical years in 1981, 1987, 1988, 1992, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. This list identifies the years when the Oakland Raiders lost more games than they won, from 1967 to 2009.

Looking at the earlier years we see the following in wins, losses, and ties:

Year Wins Losses Ties Ratio

1966 | AFL | Oakland Raiders | 8 | 5 | 1 8/5 |

1965 | AFL | Oakland Raiders | 8 | 5 | 1 8/5 |

1964 | AFL | Oakland Raiders | 5 | 7 | 2 5/7 |

1963 | AFL | Oakland Raiders | 10 | 4 | 0 10/4 |

1962 | AFL | Oakland Raiders | 1 | 13 | 0 1/13 |

1961 | AFL | Oakland Raiders | 2 | 12 | 0 2/12 |

1960 | AFL | Oakland Raiders | 6 | 8 | 0 6/8 |

My method of analysis labels a year "critical" when the losses exceed the wins. Hence, we have several critical years:

1960

1961

1962

1964

Note that in 1967, the Oakland Raiders reached a maximum win-loss ratio of 13, with 13 wins and one loss. Here is a portion of the data for 1967

Another interesting observation is the record of the three consecutive years with the highest win-loss ratios. The three years are 1967, 1968 and 1969. There is no other three year period with high ratios in the dataset.

According to the historical archives, we have:

1969 | AFL | Oakland Raiders* | 12 | 1 | 1 | Madden | Lamonica | Smith | Wells |

1968 | AFL | Oakland Raiders* | 12 | 2 | 0 | Rauch | Lamonica | Dixon | Wells |

1967 | AFL | Oakland Raiders* | 13 | 1 | 0 | Rauch | Lamonica | Daniels | Biletnikoff |

Again, in 1976, the Oakland Raiders' win-loss ratio reached a zenith of 13, with 13 wins and one loss. However, that maximum is flanked by a 3.66 win-loss ratio in 1975 and a 3.66 win-loss ratio in 1977.

There were several years in which the Oakland Raiders had a ratio of one, an equal number of wins compared to losses. Those years are:

1986

1989

1995

1998

1999

2010

The first series of critical years the Oakland Raiders experienced a win-loss ratio below a break-even point of one were 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1964.

There was a 16 year period when the Oakland Raiders consistently had a win-loss ratio above the break-even point of one. The era started in 1965, and ended in 1980, followed by a win-loss ratio of seven wins and nine losses, for a ratio of .77, in 1981.

Five reasonably good years were 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986, followed by a drop in performance in 1987 with a .5 ratio, and in 1988 a .77 ratio.

There is more that can be said. However, let's make a jump to more recent years, looking at performance ratios.

In 1997, the Raiders' performance ratio, using this parameter, was .33, the lowest since the earlier years of low performance in 1961 and 1962.

The win-loss ratio since 2003 to present:

2003 .33

2004 .45

2005 .33

2006 .14

2007 .33

2008 .45

2009 .45

2010 1.00

Another way to observe the data is to look at the last 100 games from 2003 to present. Some observations are:

1. There was an improvement in performance from 2003 to 2004.

2. There was an improvement in performance from 2006 to 2007.

3. There was an improvement in performance from 2007 to 2008

4. An upward movement was made from 2009 to 2010, with a 5-11 season followed by an 8-8 season.

An important observation to make is that there has been an upward movement in performance for 2006, 2007 and 2008, if the parameter of win-loss ratio is used. The 2009 season had the same ratio as the 2008. An increase did occur from 2009 to 2010.

The cumulative data is not sensitive to the change in the win-loss ratio. One of the flaws of averaging and looking only at limited displays of data is that information is hidden and not discernible to some analysts.

My recommendation is:

Yes, the incremental change in the win-loss ratio is small, but it still is a positive, and has an upward shift in wins.

Although 2010 was a better season than 2009, a higher level of excellence is necessary in order to make the playoffs.

Let's just say that we are reaching for "higher ground."

Using a phrase from an old song, the Oakland Raiders are "pressing on to higher ground." We sincerely hope that the Oakland Raiders' feet get planted on higher ground in the NFL.

I hope you enjoyed this presentation. I do hope you are encouraged by the positives that are embedded in the historical data for the Oakland Raiders.