Each week throughout the 2015 NFL Season, ProFootballHOF.com will preserve some history by taking a look back at a matchup from the weekend’s schedule.
The Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers meet this weekend in a matchup battling for position in the AFC Wild Card race. Pittsburgh looks to get back to their winning ways and return to above .500. Meanwhile, the Raiders are aiming to get two games above .500 and improve their record to 3-1 against the AFC North this season.
To help put this heated rivalry in perspective, one that included some classic battles in the 1970s, here are ten quick historical notes about the Raiders-Steelers series.
This week’s game marks the 22nd time the Steelers and Raiders will meet in the regular season and the 11th time in Pittsburgh, where the series is even at 5-5.
The first game of this series occurred on Oct. 25, 1970, which was Oakland’s first season as part of the National Football League after the AFL-NFL merger. The 31-14 Raiders victory was just their second win against an original NFL opponent.
The last time these two teams met, the Steelers could not erase an 18-point first-half deficit and lost to the Oakland Raiders, 21-18. On the Raiders first play of the game, QB Terrelle Pryor faked a handoff to RB Darren McFadden, and then ran for a franchise-long 93 yards touchdown to give Oakland an early 7-0 lead. His jersey from the play landed in Canton.
The postseason series between these two franchises is even at 3-3. They have played three AFC Championship games against one another. The winner of each went on to win the Super Bowl.
In 1972, the Steelers and Raiders competed in an AFC Divisional Playoff game at Three Rivers Stadium. Pittsburgh trailed 7-6 with just two seconds left, and faced fourth-and-10 from its 40-yard line. Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw dropped back and the Raiders flushed him out of the pocket to the right. He fired a pass to running back John (Frenchy) Fuqua over the middle at the Raiders' 35. Raiders’ safety Jack Tatum and the ball converged simultaneously, and out popped the ball. The Raiders celebrated, not realizing that rookie running back Franco Harris, had picked the ball out of the air at his shoe tops and taken off down the left sideline. Oakland lost 13-7 and the Steelers franchise, who were cursed by a four-decade run of bad luck, had won their first ever playoff game on what would become known as the "Immaculate Reception." More on arguably the most famous play in NFL history.
The Raiders defeated the Steelers in the first regular season game at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, 30-17, on September 15, 2002. In the Sunday night prime time match-up, Raiders QB Rich Gannon threw for 403 yards and RB Terry Kirby returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. Oakland receiver and Gold Jacket Jerry Rice caught 11 passes for 94 yards.
The defending Super Bowl Champion Steelers traveled to the west coast to face the Raiders on Oct. 29 2006, and where defeated 20-13. Oakland CB Chris Carr returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown. The return is the longest interception return against the Steelers in franchise history.
The Steelers got their first victory in Oakland, 17-9 on Nov.11, 1973. The Steelers defense intercepted Raiders QB Daryle Lamonica four times. The Raiders dominated statistically, but could not overcome their five turnovers. The Oakland exacted revenge on Dec. 22 in the AFC Divisional Playoffs with a 33-14 win over Pittsburgh.
The Oakland defense recorded the only shutout in the series on Sept. 29, 1974. While the Raiders won the game 17-0 in Pittsburgh, the Steelers got the last laugh beating Oakland in the AFC Championship game 24-13 and advancing to Super Bowl IX.
The first time these teams met in Los Angeles came on New Year’s Day in 1984. The Raiders toppled the Steelers 38-10 in an AFC Divisional Playoff game. Gold Jacket and Raiders running back Marcus Allen ran for 121 yards and 2 TDs and would eventually lead the Raiders to a third Super Bowl title.
Back to news