This Sunday, the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets will renew a rivalry that dates back to 1960 and the American Football League. The Jets and the Raiders have faced off in many memorable and critical contests. The Raiders lead the all-time regular season series 22-17-2. The postseason series is tied 2-2.
When the Jets and Raiders began play in 1960 as part of the upstart AFL, the Jets were known as the New York Titans. From 1960-62, the Raiders won only one game against the Titans. In 1963, both teams underwent fundamental change. The Raiders hired Al Davis as Head Coach and General Manager, while the Titans were sold after having trouble making payroll and became the Jets.
From 1963-64, the teams split their annual pair of games. The Raiders swept the series in 1965 and 1966. The teams split in 1967, with the Jets winning at Shea Stadium in New York (the Raiders only loss of the season), and the Raiders avenging that loss in Oakland en route to a 13-1 record, a win over Houston in the AFL Championship game, and a berth in Super Bowl II. The Raiders captured four games from the Jets from 1968-1969.
On Nov. 17, 1968, the Jets and Raiders played a game that will be forever etched into the annals of professional football and television history. With the Jets leading 32-29, it was 7:00 p.m. on the east coast as a commercial break concluded. NBC was scheduled to air the children's movie Heidi at 7:00. Rather than show the end of the game, NBC Broadcast Operations Supervisor Dick Cline followed the network's predetermined plan and switched to Heidi.
The Raiders went on to score two touchdowns in a nine-second span and held on to win a most memorable game 43-32. The only problem was...the American viewing audience never saw the greatest comeback in the history of pro football (at the time). As a result, television networks changed their policies and will not switch away from a football game in progress. That game went on to become known as The Heidi Bowl.
The Jets went on to defeat the Raiders, 27-23, in the AFL Championship game later that season.
The Silver and Black won six in a row in the regular season series from 1967-77. This matched the Titans/Jets longest winning streak in the series (1960-63).
The Raiders and Jets only played each other four times in the 1970s with the Raiders winning three of the four meetings. That number shrunk to two meetings in the 1980s, with the Raiders winning both matchups. The 6-3 Jets eliminated the 8-1 Raiders from the playoffs during the strike-shortened 1982 season, with a 17-14 upset win at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
In the 1990s, the Raiders and Jets met five times, with the Jets winning only one game against the Silver and Black. The last meeting of the 1990s came in Week 7 of the 1999 season with the Raiders winning at home in a thriller, 24-23. Quarterback Rich Gannon hit wide receiver James Jett with a five-yard game-winning touchdown pass with 26 seconds left. Hall of Fame wide receiver Tim Brown caught 11 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown.
The Raiders hammered the Jets 31-7 in primetime in December 2000, as the Raiders defense racked up four interceptions and five sacks. In 2001, the Raiders fell to the Jets in the regular season finale after clinching the AFC West title two weeks earlier. The Jets qualified for the playoffs as a Wild Card and flew out to Oakland one week later. The Raiders eliminated the Jets from the playoffs, 38-24, with running back Charlie Garner icing the game with an 80-yard touchdown scamper with 1:27 left in the 4th quarter.
In 2002, the Raiders played the Jets in primetime again. The Silver and Black prevailed in a hotly contested Monday Night game 26-20. Oakland captured their third straight AFC Western Division title, a first round bye and earned home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Jets needed a win over Green Bay, and a New England victory over the Miami Dolphins just to make the playoffs. A win over the Packers, and a comeback win by the Patriots gave the Jets the AFC East title and a first round match up with the Colts. After blowing out Indianapolis, the Jets headed west once again to face the Raiders. New York left Oakland empty-handed once again as the Raiders won convincingly 30-10 and advanced to the AFC Championship.
In 2003, the Jets exacted a measure of revenge winning a 27-24 decision in overtime in Week 10 in Oakland. The Raiders traveled to New York and lost a December 2005 match-up, 26-10, and a New Year's Eve match-up to end the 2006 season, 23-3.
In 2008, the series returned to Oakland as kicker Sebastian Janikowski set an NFL record with the longest field goal to win an overtime game, a 57-yarder that lifted the Raiders to a 16-13 victory. In 2009, the Jets topped the Raiders 38-0 at the Oakland Coliseum.
In 2011, running back Darren McFadden's 70-yard touchdown sprint propelled the Raiders to a 34-24 victory in Oakland.
The scene shifted to the East Coast again in 2013 as the Jets stopped the Raiders 37-27 at MetLife Stadium. The two teams met again in 2014 in New Jersey, with the Jets coming away with a 19-14 win, and in 2015 in Oakland, which the Raiders won 34-20.
The Raiders and Jets share a common bond dating back to the old American Football League when legends like the Jets Joe Namath, Emerson Boozer, Matt Snell and Don Maynard and the Raiders Daryle Lamonica, Clem Daniels, Charlie Smith, Warren Wells and Ben Davidson battled deep into the history books.