The Raiders and the Denver Broncos renew their rivaly and once again, the two original AFL foes will clash on Monday Night Football. The Raiders lead the all-time series 59-44-2.
The Broncos and Raiders began play in 1960 as part of the American Football League. Placement in the Western Division dictated a natural annual rivalry. The Broncos took the first meeting 31-14 on October 2, 1960. The Raiders, during their surprising inaugural season, defeated Denver 48-10 in the 1960 regular season finale at Candlestick Park. The Raiders finished 6-8 while Denver ended the year 4-9-1.
From 1960-69, the Raiders swept the season series six times, split twice, earned a win and a tie once, and were swept by the Broncos only once. By 1969, the Raiders were the AFL's top team and the league was on the verge of a merger with the National Football League. In 1961, 1962, and 1965 the Raiders and Broncos were participants in back-to-back home-and-home games.
The AFL and NFL merged in 1970, with the Broncos and Raiders still in the same division - keeping the rivalry intact. The Raiders were poised to carryover their AFL dominance to the NFL, while the Broncos were ready for an ascension of their own. From 1970-1979, the Raiders swept the series five more times, with Denver picking up both games in the series in 1978. The two teams split the series three times in the 1970s. In 1973, the Raiders earned a win and a tie against the Broncos.
After the 1976 season, the Raiders captured the organization's first World Championship of professional football. Oakland was on the verge of back-to-back Super Bowl appearances in 1977. The two teams split the regular season series before the Raiders traveled to Denver for the AFC Championship. Denver won the controversial game 20-17 and secured their first Super Bowl berth. That AFC Championship game turned out to be little more than a speed bump for the Raiders heading into the 1980s.
The 1980 Raiders swept the Broncos en route to becoming the first Wild Card playoff team to win a Super Bowl. Denver rebounded to sweep the Raiders in 1981, while the Raiders won the only meeting in the strike-shortened 1982 season. The 1983 Raiders swept the Broncos again prior to demolishing all comers in the playoffs and Super Bowl XVIII. The Raiders went 11-5 in 1984, with two losses coming against Denver.
In 1985, the Raiders went 12-4, defeating the Broncos in two overtime thrillers. Denver grabbed their first back-to-back sweeps in the series in 1986 and 1987. In 1988, the Raiders swept the series by a total of four points. The two teams split their season series in 1989. Despite the emergence of QB John Elway and his fourth quarter heroics, the Raiders and QBs Jim Plunkett and Marc Wilson held the advantage in the close, hard-fought games of the 1980s.
In 1990, the Raiders captured another sweep, this time by a total of eight points. The Raiders swept the Broncos again in 1991, by a total of four points. The two teams split in 1992, in 1993, the Raiders swept the series by a total of six points. The Raiders captured another series sweep in 1994, while the Broncos won the series in 1995 and 1996. In 1997, the Raiders derailed the undefeated Broncos (6-0 at the time) behind RB Napoleon Kaufman's team record 227 yards rushing at Network Associates Coliseum. The Broncos won the 1997 meeting at Denver.
From 1998-2000, the Broncos captured the season series between the long-time rivals. In 2001, the Raiders split with Denver and then swept the series for the first time since 1994 in 2002.Denver got payback with a sweep in 2003. The Raiders lost badly at home in 2004, but won a thriller in the snow in Denver later that year. The Broncos won the next five in the series before the Raiders snapped the streak with a 34-20 win in Oakland in 2007. After a home loss in 2008, the Raiders went to Denver and came away with a 31-10 win. The teams split again in 2009 with the Raiders engineering a stunning come-from-behind win in Denver.
The Raiders swept the series to to start the decade. The Raiders topped the Broncos 59-14 in Denver and set several team records in the process. The teams split again in 2011 and Denver came away with a sweep of the set in 2012.
The teams' Monday night prime time battles alone have become the stuff of legend. They have met on ABC's Monday Night Football more than any other teams since the series' inception. In fact, the Raiders and Broncos participated in the 500th telecast of Monday Night Football in 2002, with the Raiders winning. These two original AFL franchises have also locked horns in eight overtime classics.