In the NFL, there are rivalries that come and go, and then there are lasting rivalries like the one between the Denver Broncos and the now Las Vegas Raiders. Since 1960, these two teams have been in the same division and played twice every season. They’ve also hated each other more or less since the beginning, forming one of the NFL’s longest and fiercest rivalries. It’s almost impossible to compile all of the memorable moments in this rivalry, but let’s check out some of the most unforgettable games between the Broncos and Raiders.
Broncos 23, Raiders 20 (2007)
This is the game that Denver’s Mike Shanahan more or less invented the concept of icing the kicker. The game went back and forth, ultimately heading to overtime tied at 20.
The Raiders quickly got into field goal range and appeared to win the game on a 52-yard field goal from Sebastian Janikowski. However, Shanahan called a time out right before the snap and Janikowski missed the re-kick. Eight plays later, Jason Elam kicked a 23-yard field goal to give the Broncos a win that Shanahan stole from his old team.
Raiders 17, Broncos 16 (1991)
This was one of the craziest games these two teams ever played with the Raiders escaping thanks to their special teams. Down 17-10 in the fourth quarter, the Broncos thought they had tied the game on a Vance Johnson touchdown. But Scott Davis blocked the PAT to keep the Raiders ahead 17-16. The Broncos returned the favor by blocking a field goal try that would have extended the lead.
With less than two minutes left, John Elway drove the Broncos into field goal range. However, offensive lineman James Fitzpatrick blocked the field goal try to preserve a 17-16 win for the Raiders.
Broncos 31, Raiders 28 (1995)
This game is special because it was Christmas Eve and Shanahan’s first trip to Oakland as Denver’s head coach after his falling out with the Raiders. Even with both teams out of the playoff picture, they each wanted this game. The Raiders held a comfortable 28-17 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but Elway executed one of his best comebacks.
The Broncos got a field goal, a touchdown, and a two-point conversion to tie the game. The Raiders then fumbled, enabling Elway to orchestrate another drive to set up a 19-yard field goal with less than a minute left to give Denver a 31-28 win.
Broncos 20, Raiders 17 (1977 AFC Championship Game)
It seemed fitting that the Broncos and Raiders would meet in the 1977 AFC Championship Game. Earlier that season, the Broncos snapped Oakland’s 17-game winning streak with a 30-7 win. However, the Raiders struck back with a win in Denver two weeks later.
Heading into the rubber match in the AFC Championship Game, the Broncos hadn’t beaten the Raiders at home in 15 years. Denver led most of the game and held on for a 20-17 win, sending the Broncos to the Super Bowl for the first time.
For the Sweep
The 1993 season might be the greatest triumph the Raiders ever had over the Broncos. Los Angeles beat Denver 23-20 in Week 7 and then 33-30 in Week 18 to close out the regular season.
In Week 18, the Raiders trailed 30-13 but rallied for 20 unanswered points, setting up a rematch in the Wild Card Round the following week. The Raiders kept up their momentum in the playoffs, knocking off the Broncos 42-24 to sweep the three-game season series.