Raiders History: The Top 5 Las Vegas Raiders Rivalries
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The Las Vegas Raiders have had a long and storied history in the NFL, which now spans three cities, two states, and over six decades. They have faced off against many teams over those years, but some matchups stand out more than others.

We asked our sports writing team who they thought the biggest Raiders rivals were, and here are their Top 5.

5. San Francisco 49ers

With the Raiders moving to Las Vegas, this rivalry has probably lost some luster, but the dislike between these two franchises and the fans was fierce for years. Playing right across from the bay from one another always meant a little more when they faced off. The two teams have never met in the playoffs and have played 14 times during the regular season, most recently in San Francisco in 2018, where the 49ers won 34-3. Overall the Raiders are 7-7 vs. their bay area rivals.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers

While the rivalry has cooled a lot, during the 1970s, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Raiders rivalry was one of the most brutal, if not the downright bloody, in football. The teams met in the playoffs in four straight seasons, starting with the Raiders’ 33–14 victory in the 1973 divisional playoffs.

Pittsburgh then springboarded to two Super Bowls with back-to-back AFC Championship Game wins over Oakland (24–13 at Oakland in 1974 and 16–10 at Pittsburgh in 1975), winning both Super Bowl IX and Super Bowl X. The following year, the Raiders ended the Steelers’ season with a 24–7 AFC Championship Game victory on their way to winning Super Bowl XI.

The rivalry also includes arguably the most incredible play in football history. The Immaculate Reception is a game-winning catch by Steelers running back Franco Harris off a freak bounce off John “Frenchy” Fuqua that occurred in the AFC divisional playoff game at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on December 23, 1972.

The two rivals have played 30 times, and the Raiders lead the series 17-13. They have split six playoff games, with the Los Angeles Raiders winning the last game in 1984 by a 38-10 score.

3. Denver Broncos

This rivalry dates back to the 1970s, and the two franchises have been fighting it out like no other for over 50 years, often with division titles up for grabs.

Since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, the Raiders have won 13 division titles to the Broncos’ 15. The Raiders have gone to five Super Bowls, winning three, while the Broncos went to seven and three. The Raiders are 68-53-2 all-time vs. the Broncos and 1-1 in the playoffs.

2. Los Angeles Chargers

The rivalry started back in the early days of the AFL, with the Raiders putting together an incredible 16-0-2 mark against San Diego from 1968-1977. The Chargers exacted some revenge with 13 consecutive victories from 2003-2009, and it’s been heated every step of the way, without some controversy.

The most famous play in the series came on Sept. 10, 1978. The Raiders were trailing the Chargers 20-14, with just 10 seconds and the ball at the Chargers’ 14-yard-line.  Raiders quarterback Kenny Stabler took the snap and was about to be sacked by Chargers linebacker Woodrow Lowe.

As he was being tackled, Stabler intentionally fumbled the ball to keep the play alive.  Fullback Pete Banaszak then deliberately knocked the ball toward the goal line, where tight end Dave Casper let it roll before recovering it in the end zone for a game-winning touchdown. “The Holly Roller” would be illegal in today’s game, but it forever stands as a friction point between the franchises and their fans.

The Raiders have played the Chargers 125 times, more than any other team. They are 66-57-2 all-time but have lost 3 of the last 4 and 7 of the previous 11 games to L.A. The teams have only met once in the playoffs, in the 1980 AFC Championship Game, when Jim Plunkett threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego on their way to winning Super Bowl XV.

1. Kansas City Chiefs

While there is no consensus, many people will call the Raiders and Chiefs the biggest rivalry in the NFL. The Raiders’ rivalry with the Chiefs goes back to the 1960s, with Raiders coach, “turned” general manager, “turned” owner Al Davis openly feuding with Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt. The men would later reconcile, but the early days included backstabbing allegations by Davis and Hunt accusing the Raiders of putting bounties on his players’ heads.

Since then, the rivalry has been up and down. There were the Marty Schottenheimer years, where the Chiefs dominated the Raiders, and the feud erupted between Al Davis and running back Marcus Allen, and now things are starting to boil again. Perhaps a few wins by Las Vegas this season will get things back to where they were.