How Close Have the Raiders Come To Winning The Lombardi Since Super Bowl XVIII?

The Raiders have a long and proud history of NFL success, with three Super Bowl titles in their rear vifew.

However, their most recent trip to the Big Game ended in a lop-sided 48-21 defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the old Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego back in 2002. Since then, it’s been a mostly downhill slide for the one of the proudest franchises in the history of the league.

This season is no different.

The Raiders are currently tied for last place in the AFC West with a record of 5-7, and they will need to win all their remaining games if they are to have any chance of reaching the postseason this term. Their prospects are shortened even further when you consider they are locked in a division alongside the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs who have been given NFL odds to win Super Bowl of +450, good enough for the second-favorite spot in the betting list behind the San Francisco 49ers. 

So with another playoff-less season on the horizon, we decided to take a look back at the closest the Raiders have come to the Lombardi in recent years. Spoiler alert, the answer is not very…


The 2011 season saw the Raiders miss out on the playoffs despite finishing with an 8-8 record. What made this especially tough for Raiders fans was that both the Chargers and the Denver Broncos finished with the same record, but it was the latter of the three that progressed to the playoffs as AFC West winners due to a superior record against their two divisional rivals.  It was a bitter pill to swallow, especially considering the fact that the team had beaten Denver earlier in the season. 

That year, the Raiders simply didn’t have what it took to make an impression on the playoffs and many thought the same of the Broncos. However, the division winners brushed off their underdog tag to sweep aside the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wildcard round. Unfortunately for Denver, they were then dismantled by Tom Brady and his heavyweight New England Patriots in the Divisional Round, who secured a one-sided 45-10 victory en route to yet another Super Bowl.


The 2016 season looked promising for the Raiders, as they finished with a 12-4 record and clinched their first playoff berth since 2002. Led by quarterback Derek Carr, the team had secured a wildcard spot and was poised to make a deep playoff run. But once again, fate had different plans. In a game that saw both quarterbacks leave with injuries, the Raiders fell to the Texans 27-14. That shocking loss ended what had been a promising season and while it’s tough to say if Carr’s injury played a role in the Raiders’ playoff loss, no one can argue that his absence loomed large in the minds of Raiders fans.


The 2020 season was a roller coaster for the Raiders, punctuated by a thrilling win over the eventual Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, early in the campaign. Despite finishing with an 8-8 record – a better record than two teams that qualified for in the NFC, namely the Chicago Bears and the Washington Football Team – Las Vegas would miss out on the playoffs due to the sheer strength of their conference. 

It was a frustrating end to a season that had shown so much promise, but it was also a reminder that consistency is key. The Raiders had shown flashes of brilliance throughout the season, but they simply couldn’t sustain it like their conference rivals. For context, the worst record among the AFC qualifiers was 11-5. 


The most recent season for the Raiders saw them clinch a wild card spot with a thrilling win over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 18 of the 2021 season. However, their playoff journey would be short-lived, as they lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in the wildcard round. Despite putting up a valiant effort and making the game close in the fourth quarter, the Raiders would fall short yet again, allowing Joe Burrow and Co. to secure their first postseason victory for Cincy in 30 years. 

While the Raiders were sent packing, things would get better for their Ohio conquerors. The Bengals would go on to defeat the Tennessee Titans in Nashville and then stun the Kansas City Chiefs with an overtime victory at Arrowhead setting up a first appearance in the Super Bowl in 33 years. 

Unfortunately for them though, that was as good as it would get. Despite leading deep into the fourth quarter at Super Bowl LVI, Cooper Kupp’s last-gasp touchdown secured the Lombardi for the Los Angeles Rams and it did so on home turf at So Fi Stadium.

This year, the Super Bowl will be on the Raiders home turf… and unless a miracle of kind takes place, don’t look for the home team to be walking away from the game with any hardware.