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Raiders and Lions Gear Up for Rare Meeting

Photos from the Raiders vs Lions all-time series.

This Sunday's game between the Oakland Raiders and the Detroit Lions marks just the 12th regular season meeting between the two clubs. This will be the Raiders first trip to Detroit since 2003, and only their second appearance at Ford Field. In fact, this will be the Raiders sixth regular season trip to Detroit – ever.

In 2002 the NFL unveiled a new scheduling formula that was designed to ensure that non-traditional matchups would occur more frequently, and that non-divisional opponents wouldn't play each other year after year in some cases. That scheduling formula involves the rotating of divisions each year, and the flopping of home and away dates. In theory the Raiders would play the Lions every four years alternating home and away dates. The Raiders last faced the Lions in the regular season in 2011 in Oakland. The previous meeting also took place in Oakland in 2007. The two teams have become frequent preseason opponents in recent years.

The teams first met in 1970 in Detroit with the Raiders losing the first and then winning the next two contests (1974, 1978), with the Lions claiming victory in 1981. The Raiders won the next four while the Lions have won the last three.

Only five players from the Silver and Black's last meeting with the Lions are still on the Raiders roster – offensive lineman Khalif Barnes, running back Taiwan Jones, kicker Sebastian Janikowski, long snapper Jon Condo and fullback Marcel Reece.

Here is a brief history of the series:


1970 – Lions 28 Raiders 14    

Nov. 26 at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, the Raiders jumped out to 14-0 lead on the strength of two Daryle Lamonica touchdown passes to wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff. The Lions tied the game by halftime and scored 14 unanswered points in the 4th quarter. QB Greg Landry tossed three TD passes for the Lions.

1974 – Raiders 35 Lions 13

No. 10 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, the Raiders jumped out to a 21-0 lead as Marv Hubbard and Harold Hart scored rushing TDs and quarterback Ken Stabler connected with wide receiver Cliff Branch for a TD. Stabler and Branch would strike again in the 2nd half, and Hubbard would add a second rushing TD. 

1978 – Raiders 29 Lions 17

Nov. 19 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, running back Mark van Eeghen scored two rushing TDs and recovered a fumble for a touchdown. The Raiders defense picked Lions quarterback Gary Danielson twice and sacked him for a safety.

1981 – Lions 16 Raiders 0

Sept. 27 at the Pontiac Silverdome, the Lions got three kicker Eddie Murray field goals and a 3-yard Billy Sims TD run to go along with a stellar defensive effort as the Lions held quarterback Jim Plunkett to just 102 yards passing. Sims ran for 133 yards on the day for Detroit.

1984 – Raiders 24 Lions 3

Dec. 10 at the Pontiac Silverdome, the Raiders exacted revenge in their second visit to the Silverdome as quarterbacks Marc Wilson and Jim Plunkett combined for 296 yards passing and 2 TDs. Cleo Montgomery's 69-yard punt return for a score broke it open, and Marcus Allen's 73-yard TD catch sealed it.

1987 – Raiders 27 Lions 7

Sept. 20 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, quarterback Rusty Hilger threw for 234 yards and a TD and the Raiders shut down the Lions running game. Marcus Allen and Vance Mueller each scored rushing touchdowns and K Chris Bahr added two field goals.

1990 – Raiders 38 Lions 31

Dec. 10 at the Pontiac Silverdome, Bo Jackson vs. Barry Sanders on Monday Night Football. Jackson went for 129 yards including a 55-yard score, while Sanders rushed for 176 yards and 2 TDs. This seesaw battle featured numerous big plays, as Jackson's 55-yard TD scamper cut the Lions lead to 24-21. Mervyn-Fernandez proved the go-ahead score with a 10-yard TD catch.

1996 – Raiders 37 Lions 21

Oct. 13 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, the Raiders jumped out to a 34-0 lead and withstood a furious second-half Detroit rally. Jeff Hostetler threw for 295 yards and 4 TDs for the Raiders and Scott Mitchell threw for 343 yards and 3 scores, but also threw 2 INTs. 

2003 – Lions 23 Raiders 13

Nov. 2 at Ford Field, quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo suffered a season-ending knee injury in his first career start a week after 2002 NFL MVP Rich Gannon was lost for the year with a shoulder injury. Charlie Garner rushed for 66 yards and a score in a losing effort.


2007 – Lions 36 Raiders 21**

Sept. 9 at McAfee Coliseum, in the 2007 regular season opener, the Raiders fought back from a 17-0 deficit and took a 21-20 lead in the 4th quarter. But the Lions stormed back with 16 unanswered points as QB Jon Kitna threw for 289 yards and 3 TDs for Detroit. Josh McCown threw for 313 yards and 2 TDs for the Raiders.

2011 – Lions 28 Raiders 27

Dec. 18 at Coliseum, the Raiders squandered a 27-14 lead after linebacker Aaron Curry returned a fumble for a touchdown with 7:47 left to play. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford threw two TD passes 4:20 apart to put the Lions ahead 28-27 with :39 left. Carson Palmer threw for 367 yards a TD for Oakland, while Lions receiver Calvin Johnson caught 9 passes for 214 yards and 2 TDs.

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