In Week 2, one of the NFLs oldest and most storied rivalries will be renewed for the 121st time.
The Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders have been familiar foes since the 1960s. Both teams were charter franchises of the AFL and have played in the same division ever since — even through the 1970 AFL-NFL merger and multiple division realignments. These two opponents have created many memories since their first matchup on September 16, 1960 — a game the then-Dallas Texans won 34-16 in Oakland.
On November 11, 1970, the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs were looking to put away an important game against the Raiders. A first-down run by Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson seemed to seal the deal — but then Raiders defender Ben Davidson flew in late and speared Dawson in the back. A bench-clearing fight ensued, and the result was a negated first down. The Raiders would end up forcing a 17-17 tie, which proved to be the difference for the season; Oakland won 1970’s AFC West crown.
#KCvsOAK #Raiders legendary Big Ben Davidson's hit on Chiefs QB Len Dawson changed the course of the Chiefs/Raiders game, it would result in a tie. Later in the season the Raiders won the 1970 AFC West title as Chiefs ended in second place. pic.twitter.com/z0JfuKEa54— AFL GODFATHER (@NFLMAVERICK) November 27, 2018
On October 5, 1986, multiple on-field brawls in a Chiefs-Raiders game at Arrowhead Stadium resulted in fines for 17 players on both teams. — 10 Raiders and seven Chiefs. Even Chiefs head coach John Mackovic received a fine. Hall of Fame defensive lineman Howie Long got the worst of the fines after he broke Chiefs offensive guard Brad Budde’s nose. Raiders defensive end Greg Townsend was suspended for the following week’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Raiders head coach Tom Flores was furious. “I’m very upset,” Flores told the Los Angeles Times. “And the timing — I’m informed in the middle of the afternoon, on the field, while we’re practicing our defensive game plan, the week of a big game. Something like this is totally uncalled for. It’s very upsetting.”
During his run as Chiefs head coach in the 1990s, Marty Schottenheimer put a special emphasis on beating the Raiders. He coined the term Raider Week and made sure his players knew how much they should despise the team from Oakland.
Schottenheimer made it count. As Chiefs head coach, he was 18-3 against the Raiders.
This week’s battle will be the last in Oakland. The Raiders are making the move to Las Vegas next season, so The Black Hole will get one more shot at cheering for a win over their longtime rivals. So I looked back at some of the most memorable recent Chiefs victories over the Raiders in Oakland.
2004: The fourth-quarter comeback
After the heartbreaking No Punt Game — the 2003 playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts — the Chiefs started 2004 on a terrible note. Not only did they start 3-8, but in Week 9, they also lost star running back Priest Holmes for the season. In Week 13, the team went on their annual trip to Oakland riding a four-game losing streak — and needing a win to preserve a chance at a .500 record.
The game went back-and-forth. With two minutes to go, the score was tied. With the Chiefs backed up to their own 30-yard line, quarterback Trent Green dropped back looking for a big play. He found receiver Eddie Kennison down the field to get the team into field goal range — but Kennison wasn’t interested with settling for three points.
On his eighth catch of the day, he slipped off an attempted tackle and sprinted the rest of the way for a game-winning 70-yard touchdown. The 34-27 win was the second of seven consecutive Chiefs victories in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
2013: The Jamaal Charles game
As storied as this rivalry is, the two organizations’ best eras were behind them by the time the Chiefs traveled to the Coliseum in 2013. The famous owners of both franchises had both died — Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt in 2006 and Raiders owner Al Davis in 2011. Both franchises were looking to reinvent their teams and once again be top contenders in the AFC.
In his first year in Kansas City, the Chiefs were feeling a revitalization under veteran head coach Andy Reid. A hot 9-0 start had turned into a colder 10-3 — but the trip to Oakland was a good opportunity to prove that the beginning of the season hadn’t been a fluke.
On the first play from scrimmage, running back Jamaal Charles took a screen pass 49 yards for a touchdown. On the second drive, the Raiders thought they had a stop when they forced a third-and-long — but Charles took another screen pass to the house. By the time halftime came around, the Chiefs had a 35-17 lead and Charles had scored four touchdowns — three of which came on screen passes.
Oakland came storming back in the third quarter, but Charles made sure his big day wouldn’t be ruined. He finished off his career performance with a 70-yard receiving touchdown — his fifth score of the day. The Chiefs won the game 56-31 — the most points they have ever scored against their hated rival.
2015: The Derek Carr implosion
While the Reid era had started strong, by the 2015 season questions were being raised whether the team was capable of becoming a true contender — especially when they started the year with only one win in their first six games. They were able to bounce back with five straight wins leading up to that season’s trip to Oakland — but the Raiders were just one game behind the Chiefs in the divisional standings; they were hungry for their first winning season since 2002.
Entering the fourth quarter, Oakland held a 20-14 lead. Then Derek Carr imploded.
First, the Chiefs pass rush got to him, forcing the ball to pop right into linebacker Josh Mauga’s hands. He rumbled 66 yards to the Raiders two-yard line. After the Chiefs tied it up, Carr was driving down the field again until an errant throw was hauled in by Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters, who returned it 58 yards to set the offense up at the Raiders 13. The Chiefs scored again to take the lead. Carr got one more shot to come back — but once again threw to the wrong team. This time, former Raider Tyvon Branch made the interception. He took it the distance to seal a 34-20 Chiefs victory.
The win was in the middle of a 10-game winning streak that made the Chiefs only the second team since the merger to start 1-5 in a season and still make the playoffs. They also made history by winning the franchise’s first postseason game since 1993.
The Chiefs now hold a slim advantage over the Raiders in the Coliseum, leading the all-time series 20-19-1. With a win this Sunday, Kansas City will permanently hold a winning record against the Raiders on their longtime home field. But while Reid is 10-2 against the Raiders in his Chiefs tenure, both losses occurred in Oakland.