Pittsburgh Steelers vs Oakland Raiders Rivalry
The bitter Steelers vs Ravens Rivalry is one of the bitterest rivalries in professional sports. The very first game that sparked the rivalry occured in Oakland where the home team crushed the Steelers 31-14 in 1970 during the regular NFL season. Later they met in 1972 when the Raiders went to Pittsburgh in week 1 of the season games and the home team won 34-28. Both emerged first in their divisions by the end of the season and they met in the post season in a game that was dubbed the Immaculate Reception’.
The Immaculate Reception was played at the Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh on 23rd December 1972. 30 seconds to the final whistle, with the Steelers trailing, the Steelers’ quarterback Terry Bradshow attempted to throw a pass to John Fuqua but the ball bounced from Fuqua’s and Jack Tatum’s (Raiders’ safety) hands and it fell towards the ground. The Steelers’ fullback then, Franco Harris took it and ran making the game changing touchdown. This put the Steelers at the top and they won the game 13-7. This is one of the most controversial game plays of all times in the NFL. Did the ball touch Fuqua or the ground before Harris grabbed it? Either way this would have been an incomplete pass and it is the source of the Pittsburgh Steeler vs Oakland Raiders Rivalry that has existed since then.
In the four seasons that followed, the Steelers and Raiders met in the playoffs. It was during these years in the 1970s that the rivalry was at its worst. In 1973 divisional playoffs, the Raiders won 33-14, in the 1974 and 1975 AFC Championship games the Pittsburgh side won 24-13 and 16-10 respectively. The Steelers went ahead to win the Super Bowl IX and Super Bowl X while the Oakland won the Super Bowl XI. In summary, the Raiders and Steelers Game met 11 times in the 1970s with 5 playoff games. By 1980, the Raiders led 5-3 in regular season series.
In the 1980s, the teams did not meet as often as they had previously. They only played three regular season games and a playoff game. The latter was played on 1st January 1984 where the Raiders won 38-10. That year the Raiders won the Super Bowl XVIII. In the 1990s the two teams played thrice in California where the Raiders won the first game but lost the other two. By then the rivalry had quietened down.
In 2000, the Raiders visited Pittsburgh and the rivalry rekindled. The teams played six times in the 2000s.
In total, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders have met 28 times with 15 games won by the Oakland and 13 by Pittsburgh.. The rivalry is not as fierce as it used to be. This may be because the teams do not meet very often like they used to. Some of the older fans and players miss the rivalry though.
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