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Raiders Renew Longstanding Preseason Series With Rams

!Wide Receiver Michael Crabtree

The Raiders have a long and varied history with the Los Angeles Rams in the preseason. Although the teams have met just 13 times in the regular season since 1972, the Raiders and Rams have battled 19 times in regular season tune-ups since 1970. The Raiders lead the all-time preseason series 12-7 and have won the last four meetings, all in Oakland.

The series has been played out in four different cities (Berkeley, Oakland, St. Louis, and Los Angeles) and in five different stadiums (Cal's Memorial Stadium, the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, the Edward Jones Dome, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and Anaheim Stadium).

The Raiders and Rams met annually in the preseason from 1970-73, traditionally in Week 3 of a six-game exhibition schedule. The Rams won the first meeting, 34-23, in Los Angeles, with the Raiders winning the next three. The second meeting, a 20-7 Raiders win in 1971, was held at Cal's Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, as was the fourth, a 16-3 Raiders victory in 1973.

Rams quarterback Roman Gabriel, who was originally drafted by the Raiders in the first round of the 1962 AFL Draft, as well as by the Rams in the 1962 NFL Draft, was a top NFL quarterback (1969 NFL MVP) for the Rams and played in this rivalry from 1970-72.

Take a look back at the Raiders vs Rams rivalry, regular and pre season, in pictures.

After a year off, the teams resumed their annual meetings with five in a row from 1975-79. The Rams won the 1975 and '76 contests, with the '76 match-up serving as the Raiders only loss of the 1976 preseason. The six-game preseason schedule was shortened to four (with exceptions for American Bowls overseas and Hall of Fame games) after the 1977 campaign, and then Rams would go on to win the next three match-ups in the series, 1978, '79 and 1992.

During the 1970s, numerous Hall of Fame players on both sides took the field in this preseason series. For the Raiders: tackle Ron Mix, center Jim Otto, quarterback/kicker George Blanda, quarterback Ken Stabler, cornerback Willie Brown, guard Gene Upshaw, tackle Art Shell, linebacker Ted Hendricks, tight end Dave Casper, wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff, tackle Bob Brown, punter Ray Guy, and Head Coach John Madden. For the Rams: Head Coach George Allen, defensive end Deacon Jones, guard Tom Mack, defensive tackle Merlin Olsen, tackle Jackie Slater, and defensive end Jack Youngblood.  

From 1970-79, the Raiders and Rams each qualified for the playoffs seven times, and played in five conference championship games each during that span. The Silver and Black defeated the Minnesota Vikings 32-14 in Super Bowl XI after the 1976 season. The Vikings defeated the Rams in the NFL title game that year. The Rams would go on to win the NFC Championship and lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl after the 1979 season. The Raiders played in five straight AFC Championship games from 1973-77, while the Rams played in three straight NFL title game from 1974-76, and two straight from 1978-79.

The 1979 and 1992 contests featured rare preseason overtime finishes. The Rams won both, 20-14 in '79, and 19-16 in '92; both games were held in Los Angeles with the Rams as the home team. Longtime Rams running back Eric Dickerson (1983-87) joined the Silver and Black in 1992 after playing for the Indianapolis Colts (1987-91).

The Raiders moved to Los Angeles after the 1981 campaign and set up shop at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The two teams only met three times in the 1980s, all in the regular season.  

The Raiders won the next two match-ups against the Rams, both in Los Angeles with the Rams as the home team, 1993-94, which happened to be the last two times the teams would meet as the Los Angeles Raiders vs the Los Angeles Rams in the preseason. They would face each other during the 1994 regular season.

Both teams would move after the 1994 season, with the Raiders returning to Oakland, and the Rams relocating to St. Louis.

From 1995 – 2015, the Raiders won six of the seven preseason meetings between the two teams, with all but one of those match-ups taking place in Oakland. The Rams only win during this time period came in 2000 in St. Louis, as Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner and the Rams celebrated their 1999 Super Bowl title, and the team unveiled new uniforms.

The Raiders won the last match-up, 18-3 in Oakland in 2015, in Jack Del Rio's debut as Raiders head coach. The Rams returned to Los Angeles in 2016.

In the preseason, the two teams played twice in Berkeley, eight times in Los Angeles, twice in St. Louis and seven times in Oakland. Well over 30 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame have participated in this rivalry.

As for the regular season, the Raiders lead the series 8-5, with the Rams winning the last three in St. Louis and the Raiders winning the last two in Oakland. The two teams have eight Super Bowl appearances between them.

When the Raiders and Rams renew their preseason rivalry Saturday night in Oakland, the Rams will once again be wearing new uniforms, with the new look harkening back to the days when this series first began. And the next time the Raiders take to the road to face the Rams, it'll be in Los Angeles where the whole thing began. 

Raiders vs Rams Preseason Series:

Aug. 22, 1970: Raiders at LA Rams, L 34-23
Aug. 21, 1971: Raiders vs LA Rams, W 20-7, Berkeley
Aug. 19, 1972: Raiders at LA Rams, W 34-9
Aug. 18, 1973: Raiders vs LA Rams, W 16-3, Berkeley
Sept. 11, 1975: Raiders at LA Rams, L 6-0
Aug. 21, 1976: Raiders vs LA Rams, L 23-14
Sept. 9, 1977: Raiders at LA Rams, W 21-0
Aug. 6, 1978: Raiders vs LA Rams, L 28-3
Aug. 4, 1979: Raiders at LA Rams, L 20-14 OT
Aug. 15, 1992: LA Raiders at LA Rams, L 19-16 OT
Aug. 28, 1993: LA Raiders at LA Rams, W 20-19
Aug. 20, 1994: LA Raiders at LA Rams, W 29-20
Aug. 12, 1995: Raiders vs STL Rams, W 27-22
Aug. 7, 1999: Raiders at STL Rams, W 18-17
Aug. 5, 2000: Raiders at STL Rams, L 31-17
Aug. 8, 2003: Raiders vs STL Rams, W 7-6
Sept. 2, 2004: Raiders vs STL Rams, W 28-24
Aug. 24, 2007: Raiders vs STL Rams, W 20-10
Aug. 14, 2015: Raiders vs STL Rams, W 18-3

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