Raiders–Steelers rivalry

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Raiders–Steelers rivalry
Oakland Raiders wordmark.svg
Oakland Raiders
Pittsburgh Steelers Script.svg
Pittsburgh Steelers
First meeting October 25, 1970
Raiders 31, Steelers 14
Latest meeting November 8, 2015
Steelers 38, Raiders 35
Next meeting December 9, 2018
Statistics
Meetings total 28 meetings
All-time series Oakland leads, 15–13
Regular season series Oakland leads, 12–10
Postseason results Tied: 3–3
Largest victory November 21, 2010
Pittsburgh 35, Oakland 3
Current win streak Pittsburgh: 1
Championship success

Super Bowl Championships (9)

Conference Championships (12)

The Raiders–Steelers rivalry is a National Football League (NFL) rivalry between the Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers. The historically bitter rivalry started with the Steelers' first playoff win over the Raiders by way of Franco Harris's Immaculate Reception on December 23, 1972. The two teams met in the playoffs for five consecutive seasons (1972–76). The series was regarded as one of the fiercest rivalries in the history of professional sports, especially in the 1970s.[1] Oakland leads the series 15–13.

History[edit]

The inaugural game of the rivalry was during Week 6 of the 1970 season where the Raiders crushed the visiting Steelers 31–14. The Steelers would miss out on the postseason while the Raiders went on to lose to the Colts in the AFC Championship.

Two seasons later in 1972, the Raiders visited the Steelers in Week 1. The Steelers were more competitive than in previous seasons and won the game 34–28. Both teams finished first in their divisions (Steelers 11–3, Raiders 10–3–1) and eventually went on to play each other in the postseason.

The resulting game, the Immaculate Reception, spawned a heated rivalry between the Raiders and Steelers, a rivalry that was at its peak during the 1970s, when both teams were among the best in the league and both were known for their hard-hitting, physical play (The Steelers won 13–7). The teams met in the playoffs in each of the next four seasons, starting with the Raiders' 33–14 victory in the 1973 divisional playoffs. Pittsburgh used the AFC Championship Game victories over Oakland (24–13 at Oakland in 1974 and 16–10 at Pittsburgh in 1975) as a springboard to victories in Super Bowl IX and Super Bowl X, before the Raiders notched a 24–7 AFC Championship Game victory at home in 1976 on their way to winning Super Bowl XI. To date, the two last met in the playoffs in 1983 when the eventual Super Bowl champion Raiders, playing in Los Angeles at the time, crushed the Steelers 38–10. The rivalry has somewhat died off in the years since, mainly due to the Raiders on-field struggles since appearing in Super Bowl XXXVII.

In Week 3 of the 1990 season, the Steelers would visit the Raiders and get beat 21–3. Both teams would have winning records (Raiders 12–4, Steelers 9–7) but the Steelers sat out of the playoffs while the Raiders made a trip to the AFC Championship only to see themselves get knocked out by the Bills.

In Week 13 of the 1994 season, the Steelers visited the Raiders and crushed them by a final score of 21–3. The Steelers would make the playoffs with the Raiders sitting out despite both teams having winning records (Steelers 12–4, Raiders 9–7) in a reverse of the 1990 season. The Steelers were eventually knocked out of the playoffs by the Raiders' division rival Chargers in the AFC Championship.

In Week 15 of the 1995 season, the Steelers visited the Raiders and crushed them 29–10. The Raiders would miss out on the postseason while the Steelers went on ahead to lose to the Cowboys in Super Bowl XXX.

In Week 14 of the 2000 season, the 10–2 Raiders had possession of home field advantage throughout the playoffs and visited the 6–6 Steelers. The Steelers would go on to win 21–20 and prevented the Raiders from obtaining home field advantage as the AFC's first seed would eventually fall into the hands of the Titans.

In Week 2 of the 2002 season, the Raiders visited the Steelers and won 30–17. Both teams would have winning records (Raiders 11–5, Steelers 10–5–1) and possession of the 1st and 3rd seeds of the playoffs and win their divisions. Despite this, neither team played each other in the postseason as the Steelers were eventually knocked out by the Titans while the Raiders went on to lose against the Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII.

In Week 14 of the 2003 season, the Raiders visited the Steelers again. Both teams had 4–8 records going into this game. The Steelers crushed Oakland 27–7. Both teams would finish in 3rd place in their respective divisions with losing records (Steelers 6–10, Raiders 4–12).

The Raiders would visit the Steelers for the third year in a row in Week 1 of the 2004 season where the Steelers won 24–21. The game was also noted for the Steelers not starting with then-rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at the time as Tommy Maddox won the starting job.

Even with the competitive slide of the Raiders, the games between the two clubs have still seen memorable moments. The Raiders in 2009 rallied to defeat the Steelers 27–24 in a game where the two teams combined for five touchdowns in the fourth quarter, the game lead changed hands on all five, and the game winner by future Steelers backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski came with nine seconds to go in the fourth.[2] A year later the Steelers routed the Raiders 35–3 in a game famous for a brawl following a sucker-punch of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger by the Raiders' Richard Seymour.[3]

In Week 3 of 2012, the Raiders rallied from down 31–21 in the fourth quarter to win 34–31 on a last-second Sebastian Janikowski field goal.[4] The game saw several skirmishes between the two teams and NFL Network's rebroadcast of the game made a point of drawing parallels with the rivalry's 1970s apex.

In Week 8 of 2013, the Steelers went to Oakland to take on the Raiders and their then-starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Pryor ran for a 93-yard touchdown which would be the longest run by any QB in NFL history.[5] The Steelers tried to rally late in the game but came up short, losing 21–18.

In Week 9 of the 2015 season, the Raiders visited the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Sophomore Raiders quarterback Derek Carr threw for four touchdowns and an endzone interception. They erased a 35–21 fourth quarter deficit and tied it at 35 with 1:15 left, but despite losing Ben Roethlisberger to a foot injury the Steelers behind backup quarterback Landry Jones drove to the Raiders one-yard line; the key play was a 57-yard catch by Antonio Brown on his way to a franchise-record 284 receiving yards.[6] The winning field goal ended a 38–35 Steelers triumph in the highest-scoring game in the rivalry since 1980.[7]


References[edit]

  1. ^ Purdy, Mark (September 1, 2016). "Mark Purdy: Raiders-Steelers rivalry of the 1970s was as fierce as it gets". The Mercury News. Retrieved July 16, 2018. 
  2. ^ "Bruce Gradkowski Throws 3Tds in 4th Quarter to Beat Pittsburgh!". Bleachers Report. 7 December 2009. 
  3. ^ "Richard Seymour fined $25,000 for hitting Ben Roethlisberger". PFT NBC Sports. 22 November 2010. 
  4. ^ "Janikowski kicks Raiders past Steelers". SFGATE. 23 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "Terrelle Pryor did something Bo Jackson and Michael Vick never did". FTW USA Today. 27 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "Antonio Brown's record game leads Steelers to thrilling win over Raiders". SB Nation. 8 November 2015. 
  7. ^ "On the Steelers: Jones to step up again at starting QB". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 10 November 2015.