It didn't seem to matter that they were also 2-3 in 1980, the year Al Davis made these Oakland Raiders the team of suspicion and the Super Bowl.
It also didn't seem to matter that their starting quarterback was replaced in an embarrassing fifth-game loss last year, too. When Dan Pastorini went down with a knee injury in that 1980 game, Jim Plunkett entered. But when reserve Marc Wilson entered in the fourth quarter today, the only thing hurting was Plunkett's offense.
So the Raiders endured a painful 17-0 loss today before 51,035 at the Oakland Coliseum.
This is the first time since 1961 that the Raiders have been shut out in consecutive games. They lost, 16-0, and gained a measley 133 total yards in Detroit last week. Today, the Oakland offense totaled 168 yards. For two weeks, their slogan, Pride and Poise, has been more like Pride and Poise and Pointless.
Now, the Raiders are looking down only on 1-4 Seattle in the AFC West. San Diego and Denver are 4-1. Even Kansas City is 3-2. Things have gotten that bad for the team that was the best in the National Football League 10 months ago.
Oakland Coach Tom Flores could only whisper, "zero points . . ." Then he shook his head and said, ". . . again."
Plunkett, who completed 13 of 20 for 115 yards with one interception, said of his game of gloom, "When Tom (Flores) told me he was putting Marc (Wilson) in, I didn't blame him. I wasn't particularly surprised. I didn't move the ball."
Wilson, who completed one of eight for eight yards and had one interception, said, "I wasn't that nervous."
Perhaps the rest of the AFC West should be. Denver has now beaten Oakland twice (9-7 in the NFL opener in Denver) for the first time in three years. And last week Denver beat Dan Fouts and San Diego, 42-24, at home.
What are the Broncos doing in this division race, anyway?
"For this team, this was even bigger than last week. We know now that we can win outside of Mile High Stadium, too," said Denver Coach Dan Reeves, the former Dallas Cowboy player and coach.
Craig Morton, now in his 17th season, completed nine of 16 for 117 yards. He was surely not as brilliant today as he was last week when he unplugged the Chargers, completing 17 of 18 for 308 yards and four touchdowns.
But he did direct the Broncos' two long scoring drives, which was two more than Oakland had. The Broncos, who netted 252 total yards, drove 55 yards in nine plays midway through the second quarter. Dave Preston's four-yard touchdown run finished off the drive and was the only score of the first half.
Then in the third quarter, Morton directed the second scoring drive. But first the Raiders, who would fumble seven times and lose four of them in this game, helped their guests out.
Ira Matthews fumbled Luke Prestridge's punt on the Oakland 10-yard line and Denver's Dennis Smith recovered. Three plays and no yardage gained later, Fred Steinfort kicked a 31-yard field goal. So with 11 minutes left in the third quarter, it was Denver 10-0.
Matthews fumbled three times in the game, two of which were lost to the Broncos.
Morton led the other scoring drive a few minutes after that field goal. After safety Billy Thompson intercepted a Plunkett pass on the Denver 26, the Broncos went 74 yards in six plays. Ricky Parros, who ran for a game-high 73 yards on 18 carries, ran 20 yards for a 17-0 lead.
The Denver defense, which last week had a first half shutout over San Diego, a team prone to scoring, seemed to be as easy to move around today as the Rocky Mountains.
"We do seem to get to the quarterback alot," said defensive end Rulon Jones, who had two of the three sacks of Plunkett. "We have a great confidence in ourselves. San Diego is a little more explosive than Oakland, but today wasn't any easier."
In the Raider locker room, Art Shell and Gene Upshaw, with a combined 29 years of NFL knocks and knowledge, tried to figure out why the Raiders have become the Raided.
"We can't panic now. That would be the worse thing we could do. Then we will start making more mistakes," said Shell, 36 and in his 14th season.
Upshaw was more perturbed. He was quiet, which for Gene Upshaw, who has become the Raiders' team spokesman by rights of having played 207 games in a row, is most unusual.
But the Raiders losing is somewhat unusual, too.
"We are tight. Yeah, we're making mistakes," said Upshaw, 36. "I understand how it is and I always say it, but I've been talking too much lately. I feel numb. We were prepared for this game. I would rather not talk."
Then, Gene Upshaw said, "It wasn't a very pleasant feeling walking off the field today and hearing the boos."