"Holy Toledo!"

November 3, 2011

Top 10 Raiders vs. Broncos Games of All Time

Filed under: NFL, Oakland Raiders, Vintage Sports Video — Bill @ 11:27 am

For the Oakland Raiders and their fans it’s “Denver Week”, always a special time to stir up the embers of a fire that burns brightly in Raider history. As the old saying goes “these two teams just don’t like each other.”

The very first game between the Oakland Raiders and the Denver Broncos occurred on October 2, 1960 at Bears Stadium in Denver. The Raiders lost that game, the starting QB’s were Tom Flores & Frank Tripucka. On the final day of the ’60 season the Raiders notched their first ever win against the Broncos 48-10 at Candlestick Park. Over the course of the next 51 years fans & players alike have come to cherish the battle between these two rivals. There have been many memorable games played by some of the greatest players, I thought it might be fun to put together a list of my Top 10 Raders-Broncos games.

Only twice during their long history have they met in the playoffs, the ’93 Wild Card game & the infamous 1977 AFC Championship. You won’t find the ’77 game on my, or any other Raiders fan’s list because we were robbed that day. Robbed on the non-call of a Rob Lytle fumble at the goal-line that the officials incorrectly called a TD. There is a picture of Lytle at the 1 yd. line with the ball already gone from his hands. We should have won that game, could have won that game, but the bad call was the difference. In an article written years later by ex-Raiders DE Pat Toomay he also blamed John Matuzak who was “up all night” and as a result was “completely gassed midway through the 3rd quarter”. Had the Raiders won that game they would have gone to back-to-back Super Bowls and the historical significance to the team and it’s players would have altered the lives of many.

Of course this list is quite subjective, a Denver fan would have a completely different list. Feel free to add your favorites in the comment section below.

Top 10 Raders vs. Broncos Game:

#1 -1993 Week 18 Denver at Los Angeles
Raiders 33, Broncos 30 in O.T.
Four times the Raiders trailed by 17 pts. in a game they had to win to make the playoffs. Jeff Hostetler leads a furious comeback, tying the game with no time remaining on a pass to Alexander Wright. In O.T. Elway drives the Broncos only to have Elam’s FG attempt blocked. In the waning moments of O.T. Jeff Jaeger hits a 47 yd. FG to send the Raiders to the playoffs.

#2 – 1988 Week 4 Los Angeles at Denver
Raiders 30, Broncos 27 in O.T.
The much heralded debut of the newly acquired Jay Shroeder started poorly. Down 24-0 at the half Mikje Shanahan’s Raiders mount an incredible comeback led by Shroeder & a pass catching fullback named Steve Smith. A Monday night game for the ages ends as Chris Bahr nails a 35 yd. field goal to stun the Denver crowd.

#3 – 1993 AFC Wild Card Denver at Los Angeles
Raiders 42, Broncos 24
Just 7 days after game #1 on this list the Raiders & Broncos meet again only this time in the playoffs. A wild 1st half ends tied at 21, the Raiders defense shuts down Elway & co. in the 2nd half. A game full of big plays: Tim Brown scores from 65 yards & James Jett makes a beautiful “Willie Mays-like” over the shoulder grab for 54 yards.

#4 – 2010 Week 7 Oakland at Denver
Raiders 59, Broncos 14
Most points ever scored by the Raiders. Hue Jackson’s 1st year as offensive coordinator dials up 532 yards including 196 & 4 TD’s by Darren McFadden. All this scoring in the first 3 quarters, they called off the dogs in the 4th.

#5 – It’s a tie between two game both played in 1985. The teams were so closely matched, the games were so tight that they simply must be listed together.

#5A – 1985 Week 12 Denver at Los Angeles
Raiders 31, Broncos 28 in O.T.
At a time when both teams were at the top of their game, and thay always played close games. Four times a team would lead by 7, fur times the other team would tie it up. In Marcus Allen’s MVP season he rushes for 173 yards including a highlight reel signature 61 yd. TD. Meanwhile Elway throws 3 TD’s and the Broncos score late to send the game into overtime. Chris Bahr ends it with a field goal.

#5B – 1985 Week 14 Los Angeles at Denver
Raiders 17, Broncos 14 in O.T.
Two week later these two meet again with the division crown on the line on a snowy day in front of a national TV aydience. Elway leads Denver to a 14-0 halftime lead only to see the Raiders tie it in the 3rd quarter. Both defenses shut down the passing game, Marc Wilson is intercepted 4 time, Elway 3 times. In O.T. Howie Long sacks Elway resulting in the fumble that leads directly to the game winning score.

#6 – 1970 Week 9 Oakland at Denver
Raiders 24, Broncos 19
In the midst of Blanda’s incredible MVP season George saves the Raiders again. This time he hits Biletnikoff with a 20 yd. TD pass in the final seconds, then kicks the extra point.

#7 – 1997 Week 8 Denver at Oakland
Raiders 28, Broncos 25
Leading by a slim 4 pts. Napoleon Kaufman busts loose on an 83 yd. run to cap his amazing 227 yd. rushing day vs. Elway’s Broncos. It’s the Raiders first victory in Oakland since their return.

#8 – 1877 Week 7 Oakland at Denver
Oakland 24, Broncos 14
After suffering a miserable defeat to the Orange Crush two weeks prior in which Tom Jackson taunted Madden the Raider decided to make a statement. They crushed the Broncos defense by rushing for 200 yards, led by Clarence Davis’s 105 & Mark van Eegham’s 82 yards. Stabler only attempted 14 passes the entire game as they opened up a 24-0 lead heading into the final quarter.

#9 – 2004 Week 12 Oakland at Denver
A snowy Sunday night affair starring Jerry Porter, who caught 3 TD passes. Kerry Collins had his best game as a Raider & Ronald Curry made one of those catches that left you wondering how he did it. On the game’s final drive Jake Plummer had the Broncos in position for an Elam FG, but the big hand of Langston Walker blocked it and the Raiders flew home happy.

#10 – 1973 Week 14 Denver at Oakland
Raiders 21, Broncos 17
Separated by just a half game it’s the first time these two meet with a division title on the line (they had battled to a tie earlier that year). Ken Stabler hits Mike Siani for the game winning score in the 4th quarter to win the West.

*For you vintage sports video collectors I do have the original broadcasts of the following games on this list: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5A, #5B, #7, & #9.

Unfortunately I don’t have #6, #8, & #10 but sure would love to find them.

Beat them Broncos!!!

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2 Comments »

  1. Good one bill i have forgot most of the games you had listed.

    Comment by uncle buck — November 3, 2011 @ 11:37 am

  2. #8 played in 1877 was my favorite Raider – Bronco game…Rip van Eeghan was outstanding!…When he finally woke up…

    Comment by Dome-Man — November 3, 2011 @ 1:38 pm


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