Raiders and Patriots Renew Contentious Rivalry
The Oakland Raiders and the New England Patriots renew a rivalry in Mexico City this Sunday. This series dates back to 1960, when the Silver and Black’s foe was known as the “Boston” Patriots, and both teams were members of the American Football League (AFL).
Of the original line-up, the Boston Patriots were the last team to join the AFL, Dallas Texans owner Lamar Hunt’s brainchild. On Nov. 20, 1959, Bob Hoobing of the Associated Press reported:
Boston became the eighth and final member of the infant American Football League Thursday in an l1th hour, mystery-shrouded franchise award.* *
Meanwhile, on the same day, Minneapolis-St. Paul’s Max Winter was detailing plans for the AFL’s first collegiate player draft. Within six weeks, Minneapolis-St. Paul would withdraw from the AFL and take an offer to join the NFL in 1961.
By the end of January 1960, an ownership group out of Oakland was awarded the eighth and final franchise and the Raiders were born. The Patriots played at Boston University Field from 1960 - 1962, Fenway Park from 1963 – 1968, Boston College’s Alumni Stadium in 1969 and Harvard Stadium in 1970, before becoming the “New England” Patriots and moving into Schaefer Stadium in 1971 (eventually named Sullivan Stadium from 1983-1988, and Foxboro Stadium from 1989-2001). Their current facility, Gillette Stadium, opened in 2002.
Meanwhile the Raiders played at Kezar Stadium and Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1960, Candlestick Park in 1961, Frank Youell Field from 1962 - 1965, the Oakland Alameda-County Coliseum from 1966 - 1981, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum from 1982 - 1994, and the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum from 1995 – present. The Coliseum was called Network Associates Coliseum from 1998 – 2003, McAfee Coliseum from 2004 – 2007, Oakland Alameda-County Coliseum in 2008 – 2010, O.co Coliseum from 2011 – 2015. It has been called the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum once again since 2016.
The two teams met for the first time on Aug. 28, 1960, in a preseason game in Amherst, Mass. The Patriots won, 28-14. The teams split the regular season series, with each team winning on their home turf – Raiders 27-14, Patriots 34-28. After finishing their maiden season 6-8, the Raiders won just three games from 1961-1962. One of those games was the first shut-out in team history, 20-0 over the Patriots at Frank Youell Field in Oakland on Dec. 16, 1962, in the last game of the 1962 regular season.
The Raiders named Al Davis head coach and general manager in January of 1963. He changed the logo and the color scheme to the familiar shield and Silver and Black we know today. Davis led the Raiders to a 10-4 record in his first season and claimed AFL Coach of the Year honors. Two of those four losses came at the hands of the Patriots, with identical 20-14 final scores. One-time Raiders quarterback Babe Parilli led the Patriots offense in those games.
The Silver and Black kicked off the 1964 season with a 17-14 loss to the Patriots at home, and the two teams recorded the first tie in the series in a high-scoring 43-43 affair at Fenway Park later that season. Parilli and Raiders quarterback Cotton Davidson combined for more than 750 yards passing and eight touchdown tosses.
In 1965, the Raiders chalked up their first sweep in the series. After AFL expansion in 1966, the teams met just once that season with Boston pulling out a 24-21 victory. The teams met twice in 1967 during the Raiders AFL Championship run, and the Silver and Black claimed two lopsided victories over the Patriots, 35-7 in Oakland and 48-14 in Boston. The Raiders and Patriots met only met once in 1968, a 41-10 Raiders win at the Oakland Alameda-County Coliseum, and once in 1969, a 38-23 Raiders win at Alumni Stadium.
The teams met again in 1971, with the Patriots now known as “New England,” as the Raiders made their first appearance at Schaefer Stadium. The Patriots came away with a 20-6 victory. In 1974, the Patriots headed to Oakland for the first time since 1968, and the Raiders took that one, 41-26.
The 1976 Raiders went 13-1 during the regular season. The only blemish? A 48-17 thumping at the hands of the Patriots on the road. On Dec. 18, 1976, the Raiders defeated the Patriots 24-21 in the AFC Divisional Playoffs in Oakland en route to a win in Super Bowl XI. Quarterback Kenny Stabler’s one-yard scramble for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter was the difference.
The Patriots won the next meeting, 21-14 in New England in 1978. The Raiders captured the next two – 27-17 in Oakland in 1981, and 35-20 in New England in 1985. As the Raiders did nine years earlier, the Patriots would have their revenge in the playoffs. The Patriots traveled to Los Angeles to face the Raiders at the LA Coliseum in the AFC Divisional Playoffs on Jan. 5, 1986. The Raiders held a 20-17 lead at halftime, but were held scoreless in the second half as the Patriots claimed a 27-20 win, and eventually lost to the Chicago Bears in the Super Bowl.
New England won a three-point game, 26-23, at Foxboro in 1987, and the Raiders won the next three regular season meetings, 24-21 in Los Angeles in 1989, 21-17 at Foxboro in 1994, and 27-20 in Oakland in 2002. The Patriots defeated the Raiders in a 2001 AFC Divisional playoff game, under shall we say, controversial circumstances.
The Patriots have won the last four meetings, matching the longest such streak for either team in the series.
The Raiders and Patriots have played each other in 13 different venues in nine different municipalities – Amherst, Boston, Cambridge and Foxborough, Mass, Providence, R.I., Anaheim, Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Francisco, Calif. These two original AFL franchises, the last two added to the league – each with the distinction of being the eighth and final - will add another chapter to their contentious rivalry as they play in their 14th different venue, and 10th unique locale, one of the most stories venues in global sports history – Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.