1978 Oakland Raiders season

NFL team season

The 1978 Oakland Raiders season was the team's 19th season, and ninth as an NFL member.

1978 would prove to be an up and down year for the silver and black. Two new offensive line and defensive starts were named in the pre-season and All-Pro player, Monte Jackson, was not listed as a starter. Injuries were seen as a possible concern during the pre-season[1] and during a pre-season game, Jack Tatum paralyzed New England Patriots wide receiver Darryl Stingley from the chest down while making a hit. Overall, the Raiders were plagued by one of quarterback Kenny Stabler's worst seasons, tossing 16 TD's, while throwing 30 interceptions. The running game also fell off from seasons past. Even the great wide receiver Cliff Branch, only caught one touchdown. The season started off with a 14–6 loss in Denver. The Raiders would rally to a 5–3 start, then climbed to 8–4. As a result of a last-minute defeat to the Seattle Seahawks 17–16, the Raiders lost twice to a single team in the same season for the first time since 1965. The following week, the Broncos completed their sweep of the Raiders with a 21–6 victory in Oakland, which was followed by a 23–6 defeat in Miami which eliminated Oakland from the playoffs for the first time since 1971. A meaningless 27–20 victory over the Minnesota Vikings kept the Raiders consecutive seasons with a winning record streak alive. This was head coach John Madden's tenth and final season and final game as head coach of the Raiders. He was replaced for the 1979 season by his wide receivers coach, Tom Flores.


NFL Draft

Round Pick Player Position School/Club Team


1978 Oakland Raiders roster
  • 11 David Humm
  • 12 Ken Stabler

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Record Venue Attendance
1 September 3 at Denver Broncos L 6–14 0–1 Mile High Stadium 75,092
2 September 10 at San Diego Chargers W 21–20 1–1 San Diego Stadium 51,653
3 September 17 at Green Bay Packers W 28–3 2–1 Lambeau Field 55,903
4 September 24 New England Patriots L 14–21 2–2 Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 52,904
5 October 1 at Chicago Bears W 25–19 (OT) 3–2 Soldier Field 52,848
6 October 8 Houston Oilers W 21–17 4–2 Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 52,550
7 October 15 Kansas City Chiefs W 28–6 5–2 Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 50,759
8 October 22 at Seattle Seahawks L 7–27 5–3 Kingdome 62,529
9 October 29 San Diego Chargers L 23–27 5–4 Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 52,612
10 November 5 at Kansas City Chiefs W 20–10 6–4 Arrowhead Stadium 75,418
11 November 13 at Cincinnati Bengals W 34–21 7–4 Riverfront Stadium 51,374
12 November 19 Detroit Lions W 29–17 8–4 Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 44,517
13 November 26 Seattle Seahawks L 16–17 8–5 Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 52,978
14 December 3 Denver Broncos L 6–21 8–6 Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 53,932
15 December 10 at Miami Dolphins L 6–23 8–7 Miami Orange Bowl 73,003
16 December 17 Minnesota Vikings W 27–20 9–7 Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 44,643
Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.

Game summaries

Week 2

1 234Total
• Raiders 0 7014 21
Chargers 0 1307 20
Scoring summary
Q2SDCurran 14 yard pass from Fouts (Benirschke kick)SD 7–0
Q2OAKCasper 6 yard pass from Stabler (Mann kick)Tie 7–7
Q2SDBauer 1 yard run (kick failed)SD 13–7
Q4SDBauer 2 yard run (Benirschke kick)SD 20–7
Q4OAKBradshaw 44 yard pass from Stabler (Mann kick)SD 20–14
Q4:00OAKCasper recovered fumble in end zone (Mann kick)OAK 21–20


The Holy Roller

During this game, one of the most famous plays known as the Holy Roller occurred. Kenny Stabler fumbled the ball and Pete Banaszak moved it forward allowing Dave Casper to finish the job for a touchdown. It is one of the most controversial plays in the history of the NFL.

Week 3

1 234Total
Raiders 0 14014 28
Packers 0 300 3
Scoring summary
2OAKDave Casper 11 yard pass from Ken Stabler (Errol Mann kick)Raiders 7–0
2OAKTerry Robiskie 11 yard run (Errol Mann kick)Raiders 14–0
2GBChester Marcol 34 yard field goalRaiders 14–3
4OAKArthur Whittington 7 yard run (Errol Mann kick)Raiders 21–3
4OAKArthur Whittington 10 yard run (Errol Mann kick)Raiders 28–3


Week 6

This game started with nearly all Oilers as future Raider Dan Pastorini throw touchdown passes of 58 yards to Mike Renfro and 17 yards to Mike Barber and Toni Fritsch kicked a 35-yard field goal. The only Raiders points in the first 3 quarters was a 4-yard touchdown run by Arthur Whittington. Then with the Oilers leading 17-7 lead and driving deep in Raiders' territory, Oiler running back Earl Campbell ran around left tackle and lost the ball when Oakland's Dave Browning hit him, and Charles Phillips picked up the ball and ran it 96 yards to cut the Oilers lead to 3. Then in quarter four, and late Ken Stabler who had 3 interceptions prior to this drive suddenly came to life as he successfully passes 71 of the 80 yards ending with a pass to Dave Casper. Oiler defender Greg Stemrick got his hands on the short winning pass, but Casper yanked the ball loose and held on for the score. His four-yard touchdown reception helped the Raiders go to 4-2 and a tie for first with Denver in the AFC West standings.


AFC West
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Denver Broncos(3) 10 6 0 .625 7–1 8–4 282 198 L1
Oakland Raiders 9 7 0 .563 3–5 5–7 311 283 W1
Seattle Seahawks 9 7 0 .563 4–4 6–6 345 358 W1
San Diego Chargers 9 7 0 .563 5–3 7–5 355 309 W3
Kansas City Chiefs 4 12 0 .250 1–7 4–10 243 327 L2

Awards and honors


  1. ^ Padecky, Bob (1978), Raider Future Bright Again Unless, web: The Sacramento Bee, retrieved March 13, 2023
  2. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-Jul-17.
  3. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com
  • Raiders on Pro Football Reference
  • Raiders on Database Football
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Las Vegas Raiders
  • Founded in 1960
  • Played in Oakland, California (1960–1981, 1995–2019) and Los Angeles (1982–1994)
  • Based in Paradise, Nevada
  • Headquartered in Henderson, Nevada
Key personnel
Wild card berths (6)
Division championships (15)
Conference championships (4)
League championships (4)
Current league affiliations
Former league affiliation
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Las Vegas Raiders seasons
Played in Oakland (1960–1981, 1995–2019) and Los Angeles (1982–1994)
Bold indicates AFL Championship (1960–1965) or Super Bowl (1966–present) victory
Italics indicates AFL Championship (1966–1969) and/or Super Bowl (1966–present) appearance

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