The Oakland Raiders travel to Washington, D.C., this week to take on the Washington Redskins at FedExField in Landover, MD., on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. These two storied franchises haven’t played many times since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, but they have played in some memorable and important games.
The teams first met in 1970 in Oakland in the first Monday Night Football appearance for both teams. The Raiders came away with a 34-20 victory as running back Hewritt Dixon rushed for 164 yards on 18 carries.
The Raiders made their first appearance at Washington’s R.F.K. Stadium in 1975, when the Silver and Black earned a 26-23 victory in overtime, the first overtime game for the Raiders. Running back Pete Banaszak scored three touchdowns on the ground, and Hall of Fame kicker/quarterback George Blanda won it with a 27-yard field goal in the extra period, after quarterback Billy Kilmer connected with Frank Grant for a 33-yard touchdown to send the game into overtime.
A historic recap in photos of the Oakland Raiders versus the Washington Redskins in anticipation of the two clubs facing off in Week 3.
The Raiders won their third in a row in the series in 1980, with a 24-21 win in Oakland as the Raiders went on to win Super Bowl XV that season. The year the Raiders moved to Los Angeles, 1982, the Redskins defeated the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII. The Silver and Black traveled to the nation’s capital in Week 5 of the 1983 season. Playing without Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen, the Raiders fell to the Redskins 37-35. Quarterback Jim Plunkett and wide receiver Cliff Branch tied an NFL record with a 99-yard touchdown pass.
The two teams would meet again that season – in Super Bowl XVIII.
Allen did play in this game, and set a then-Super Bowl record with 191 yards rushing, including a spectacular then-Super Bowl record 74-yard touchdown run, as the Silver and Black dominated the defending champs, 38-9, at Tampa Stadium, in Super Bowl XVIII. Derrick Jensen set the tone with a blocked punt he recovered for the game’s first touchdown. And linebacker Jack Squirek’s interception return for a touchdown at the end of the first half knocked the wind out of the Redskins’ sails and gave the Raiders a 21-3 lead. Allen’s iconic run put the Raiders up 35-9 in the third quarter and salted the game away as the Raiders won their third World Championship of Professional Football.
The Redskins won the next regular season match-up, 10-6, at RFK Stadium in 1986. The next two contests went the Raiders way, 37-24, in L.A. in 1989, and 21-20 in Washington in the 1992 regular season finale, in a memorable game with Vince Evans at quarterback for the Raiders. Evans hooked up with Hall of Fame wide receiver Tim Brown for the game-winning, three-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, on the chilly day after Christmas.
The Raiders moved back to Oakland in 1995, and traveled to Washington for a Week 2 match-up, that the Silver and Black won 20-8 behind two quarterback Jeff Hostetler touchdown passes.
The Redskins have won three out of the last four meetings, all three in Oakland, with the Raiders winning 16-13 in their first appearance at FedExField in 2005.
With very few exceptions, games between the Raiders and the Redskins have historically been close, with six of the 12 regular season meetings decided by four points or less. The way this Sunday night’s game is shaping up, this one could be another classic.