Raiders–Steelers rivalry

The Raiders–Steelers rivalry is an NFL rivalry between the Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers of the American Football Conference (AFC). The historically bitter rivalry started with the Steelers' first playoff win over the Raiders by way of Franco Harris's Immaculate Reception on December 23, 1972. The two teams met in the playoffs for five consecutive seasons (1972–76). The series was regarded as one of the fiercest rivalries in the history of professional sports, especially in the 1970s.[1] As of the end of the 2018 season, Oakland is one of three AFC teams with a winning overall record against Pittsburgh (the Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars are the other two).[2]

Oakland Raiders wordmark
Oakland Raiders
Pittsburgh Steelers Script
Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers Script

History

1970-1984: Beginnings of the rivalry and early success

The inaugural game of the rivalry was during Week 6 of the 1970 season where the Raiders crushed the visiting Steelers 31–14. The Steelers would miss out on the postseason while the Raiders went on to lose to the Colts in the AFC Championship.

Two seasons later in 1972, the Raiders visited the Steelers in Week 1. The Steelers were more competitive than in previous seasons and won the game 34–28. Both teams finished first in their divisions (Steelers 11–3, Raiders 10–3–1) and eventually went on to play each other in the postseason. The resulting game, the Immaculate Reception, spawned a heated rivalry between the Raiders and Steelers, a rivalry that was at its peak during the 1970s, when both teams were among the best in the league and both were known for their hard-hitting, physical play (The Steelers won 13–7).

The teams met in the playoffs in each of the next four seasons, starting with the Raiders' 33–14 victory in the 1973 divisional playoffs. Pittsburgh used the AFC Championship Game victories over Oakland (24–13 at Oakland in 1974 and 16–10 at Pittsburgh in 1975) as a springboard to victories in Super Bowl IX and Super Bowl X, before the Raiders notched a 24–7 AFC Championship Game victory at home in 1976 on their way to winning Super Bowl XI. To date, the two last met in the playoffs in 1983 when the eventual Super Bowl champion Raiders, playing in Los Angeles at the time, crushed the Steelers 38–10.

1984-2002

The rivalry cooled off in the late 1980s, mainly due to the Raiders on-field struggles since appearing in Super Bowl XXXVII. The teams also met infrequently for several years, playing only twice in the Raiders' final 10 seasons in Los Angeles, both at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Los Angeles Raiders never played in Pittsburgh, as the teams went 20 years (1980-2000) without facing each other in the Steel City.[3]

In Week 3 of the 1990 season, the Steelers would visit the Raiders and get beat 21–3. Both teams would have winning records (Raiders 12–4, Steelers 9–7) but the Steelers sat out of the playoffs while the Raiders made a trip to the AFC Championship only to see themselves get knocked out by the Buffalo Bills.

In Week 13 of the 1994 season, the Steelers visited the Raiders and crushed them by a final score of 21–3 in what was the Steelers last visit to Los Angeles until at least 2019, due to the Raiders moving back to Oakland the following year and the Los Angeles Rams moving to St. Louis as well until their return to Los Angeles in 2016. The Steelers would make the playoffs with the Raiders sitting out despite both teams having winning records (Steelers 12–4, Raiders 9–7) in a reverse of the 1990 season. The Steelers were eventually knocked out of the playoffs by the Raiders' division rival Chargers in the AFC Championship.

In Week 15 of the 1995 season, the Steelers visited the Raiders and crushed them 29–10. The Raiders would miss out on the postseason while the Steelers went on ahead to lose to the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XXX.

In Week 14 of the 2000 season, the 10–2 Raiders had possession of home field advantage throughout the playoffs and visited the 6–6 Steelers. The Steelers would go on to win 21–20 and prevented the Raiders from obtaining home field advantage as the AFC's first seed would eventually fall into the hands of the Titans.

In Week 2 of the 2002 season, the Raiders visited the Steelers and won 30–17. Both teams would have winning records (Raiders 11–5, Steelers 10–5–1) and possession of the 1st and 3rd seeds of the playoffs and win their divisions. Despite this, neither team played each other in the postseason as the Steelers were eventually knocked out by the Titans while the Raiders went on to lose against the Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII. Since then, the Raiders collapsed after losing the Super Bowl and lost quarterback Rich Gannon to a career-ending injury in 2004, missing the playoffs each year until 2016, while the Steelers have stayed fairly successful under new quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, winning two more Super Bowls and appearing in a third one.

2003-present

Even with the competitive slide of the Raiders, the games between the two clubs have still seen memorable moments. The Raiders in 2009 rallied to defeat the Steelers 27–24 in a game where the two teams combined for five touchdowns in the fourth quarter, the game lead changed hands on all five, and the game winner by future Steelers backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski came with nine seconds to go in the fourth.[4] A year later the Steelers routed the Raiders 35–3 in a game famous for a brawl following a sucker-punch of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger by the Raiders' Richard Seymour.[5]

In Week 3 of 2012, the Raiders rallied from down 31–21 in the fourth quarter to win 34–31 on a last-second Sebastian Janikowski field goal.[6] The game saw several skirmishes between the two teams and NFL Network's rebroadcast of the game made a point of drawing parallels with the rivalry's 1970s apex.

In Week 8 of 2013, the Steelers went to Oakland to take on the Raiders and their then-starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Pryor ran for a 93-yard touchdown which would be the longest run by any QB in NFL history.[7] The Steelers tried to rally late in the game but came up short, losing 21–18.

In Week 9 of the 2015 season, the Raiders visited the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Sophomore Raiders quarterback Derek Carr threw for four touchdowns and an endzone interception. They erased a 35–21 fourth quarter deficit and tied it at 35 with 1:15 left, but despite losing Ben Roethlisberger to a foot injury the Steelers behind backup quarterback Landry Jones drove to the Raiders one-yard line; the key play was a 57-yard catch by Antonio Brown on his way to a franchise-record 284 receiving yards.[8] The winning field goal ended a 38–35 Steelers triumph in the highest-scoring game in the rivalry since 1980.[9]

The 2018 matchup is expected to be the Steelers last trip to Oakland until the Raiders planned relocation to Las Vegas in 2020. In Week 14 of 2018, the Steelers were able to take a late 21-17 lead with a Ben Roethlisberger touchdown pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster, but Oakland quickly responded on the next drive, scoring a touchdown to retake the lead in less than two minutes. The Steelers advanced deep into Oakland territory with a quick pass to James Washington, who pitched it to Smith-Schuster for a big gain in the waning seconds of the game, but lost to the Raiders after kicker Chris Boswell slipped and missed a potential game-tying field goal. The final score was 24-21 Oakland.[10] This game was considered a major upset, as Pittsburgh was competing for an AFC North division title whereas the Raiders were 2-10 and already eliminated from playoff contention coming into the game.[11] The game, as it turns out, would have major playoff effects on Pittsburgh. The loss to Oakland, combined with a loss at the New Orleans Saints two weeks later, allowed the 10-6 Baltimore Ravens to win the AFC North after winning their final game against the Cleveland Browns, and took the 9-6-1 Steelers out of the postseason.

Following the season, the Steelers traded their talented but troublesome receiver Antonio Brown to the Raiders.[12]

Results

  • Playoff games in bold
Raiders victoriesSteelers victoriesTie games
No.DateLocationWinning teamLosing teamScoreSeriesNotes
1 October 25, 1970 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Raiders Steelers 31–14Raiders 1–0 Steelers and Raiders join AFC after AFL-NFL Merger
2 September 17, 1972 Three Rivers Stadium Steelers Raiders34–28Tied 1–1
3 December 23, 1972 Three Rivers Stadium Steelers Raiders137Steelers 2–1 AFC Divisional Round. Franco Harris makes "immaculate reception" to win game for Pittsburgh
4 November 25, 1973 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Steelers Raiders 17–9Steelers 3–1
5 December 22, 1973 Oakland-Alameda County ColiseumRaidersSteelers3314Steelers 3–2AFC Divisional Round.
6 September 29, 1974 Three Rivers Stadium Raiders Steelers 17–0Tied 3–3
7 December 29, 1974 Oakland-Alameda County ColiseumSteelersRaiders2413Steelers 4–3AFC Championship Round. Steelers advance to win Super Bowl IX
8 January 4, 1976 Three Rivers Stadium Steelers Raiders1610Steelers 5–3 AFC Championship Round. Steelers advance to win Super Bowl X
9 September 12, 1976 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Raiders Steelers 31–28Steelers 5–4
10 December 26, 1976 Oakland-Alameda County ColiseumRaidersSteelers247Tied 5–5AFC Championship Round. Raiders advance to win Super Bowl XI
11 September 25, 1977 Three Rivers Stadium Raiders Steelers 17–6Raiders 6–5
12 September 25, 1980 Three Rivers Stadium Raiders Steelers 45–34Raiders 7–5 Raiders win Super Bowl XV
13 December 7, 1981 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Raiders Steelers 30–27Raiders 8–5 Raiders' last season in Oakland before moving to Los Angeles
14 January 1, 1984 Los Angeles Memorial ColiseumRaidersSteelers3810Raiders 9–5AFC Divisional Round. Raiders advance to win Super Bowl XVIII
15 December 16, 1984 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Steelers Raiders 13–7Raiders 9–6
16 September 23, 1990 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Raiders Steelers 20–3Raiders 10–6
17 November 27, 1994 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Steelers Raiders 21–3Raiders 10–7 Raiders' last season in Los Angeles before returning to Oakland
18 December 10, 1995 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Steelers Raiders 29–10Raiders 10–8 Steelers lose Super Bowl XXX
19 December 3, 2000 Three Rivers Stadium Steelers Raiders 21–20Raiders 10–9 Raiders' first visit to Pittsburgh in 20 years. Steelers' final year in Three Rivers Stadium
20 September 15, 2002 Heinz Field Raiders Steelers 30–17Raiders 11–9 Raiders lose Super Bowl XXXVII
21 December 7, 2003 Heinz Field Steelers Raiders 27–7Raiders 11–10
22 September 12, 2004 Heinz Field Steelers Raiders 24–21Tied 11–11
23 October 29, 2006 McAfee Coliseum Raiders Steelers 20–13Raiders 12–11
24 December 6, 2009 Heinz Field Raiders Steelers 27–24Raiders 13–11
25 November 21, 2010 Heinz Field Steelers Steelers 35–3Raiders 13–12 Steelers lose Super Bowl XLV
26 September 23, 2012 O.co Coliseum Raiders Steelers 34–31Raiders 14–12
27 October 27, 2013 O.co Coliseum Raiders Steelers 21–18Raiders 15–12
28 November 8, 2015 Heinz Field Steelers Steelers 38–35Raiders 15–13
29 December 9, 2018 Oakland Coliseum Raiders Steelers 24–21Raiders 16–13 Steelers lose game after missing last-minute field goal. Expected final matchup in Oakland

References

  1. ^ Purdy, Mark (September 1, 2016). "Mark Purdy: Raiders-Steelers rivalry of the 1970s was as fierce as it gets". The Mercury News. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  2. ^ "Pittsburgh Steelers Records by Opponent". The Football Database. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  3. ^ https://www.footballdb.com/teams/nfl/oakland-raiders/teamvsteam?opp=25
  4. ^ "Bruce Gradkowski Throws 3Tds in 4th Quarter to Beat Pittsburgh!". Bleachers Report. 7 December 2009.
  5. ^ "Richard Seymour fined $25,000 for hitting Ben Roethlisberger". PFT NBC Sports. 22 November 2010.
  6. ^ "Janikowski kicks Raiders past Steelers". SFGATE. 23 September 2012.
  7. ^ "Terrelle Pryor did something Bo Jackson and Michael Vick never did". FTW USA Today. 27 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Antonio Brown's record game leads Steelers to thrilling win over Raiders". SB Nation. 8 November 2015.
  9. ^ "On the Steelers: Jones to step up again at starting QB". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 10 November 2015.
  10. ^ Bouchette, Ed (9 December 2018). "Ben Roethlisberger-led comeback goes up in flames in Steelers loss". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  11. ^ "Raiders Block FG To Finish Dramatic Upset Of Steelers, 24-21". The Associated Press. CBS San Francisco. 9 December 2018. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  12. ^ Dulac, Gerry (March 10, 2019). "Steelers agree to trade Antonio Brown to Oakland Raiders". Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
2000 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 2000 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 68th season as a professional sports franchise and as a member of the National Football League.

The season began with the team trying to improve on their 6–10 record from 1999 in which they failed to qualify for the playoffs. While Pittsburgh did improve to 9–7 and had their first winning season since 1997, it was not enough for the team to qualify for the playoffs. This season also marked the Steelers' last at Three Rivers Stadium.

Coach Bill Cowher named Kent Graham as the team's starting quarterback for the season, but after an auspicious 1–3 start, Graham got hurt, and Kordell Stewart, who was a backup, took over the starting job. Graham was released at the end of the season.

Immaculate Reception

The Immaculate Reception is one of the most famous plays in the history of American football. It occurred in the AFC divisional playoff game of the National Football League (NFL), between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Raiders at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on December 23, 1972. With the Steelers trailing in the last 30 seconds of the game, Pittsburgh quarterback Terry Bradshaw threw a pass attempt to John Fuqua. The ball either bounced off the helmet of Raiders safety Jack Tatum or off the hands of Fuqua, and, as it fell, Steelers fullback Franco Harris scooped it up and ran for a game-winning touchdown. The play has been a source of unresolved controversy and speculation ever since, as many people have contended that the ball only touched Fuqua or that it hit the ground before Harris caught it, either of which would have resulted in an incomplete pass by the rules at the time. Kevin Cook's The Last Headbangers cites the play as the beginning of a bitter rivalry between Pittsburgh and Oakland that fueled a historically brutal Raiders team during the NFL's most controversially physical era.NFL Films has chosen it as the greatest play of all time, as well as the most controversial. The play was a turning point for the Steelers, who reversed four decades of futility with their first playoff win ever, and went on to win four Super Bowls by the end of the 1970s.

The play's name is a pun derived from the Immaculate Conception, a dogma in the Roman Catholic Church. The phrase was first used on air by Myron Cope, a Pittsburgh sportscaster who was reporting on the Steelers' victory. A Pittsburgh woman, Sharon Levosky, called Cope before his 11 PM sports broadcast on the 23rd and suggested the name, which was coined by her friend Michael Ord. Cope used the term on television and the phrase stuck. The phrase was apparently meant to imply that the play was miraculous in nature (see Hail Mary pass for a similar term).

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers compete in the National Football League (NFL), as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) North division. Founded in 1933, the Steelers are the oldest franchise in the AFC.

In contrast with their status as perennial also-rans in the pre-merger NFL, where they were the oldest team never to win a league championship, the Steelers of the post-merger (modern) era are one of the most successful NFL franchises. Pittsburgh is tied with the New England Patriots for the most Super Bowl titles (6), and has both played in (16) and hosted more conference championship games (11) than any other NFL team. The Steelers have won 8 AFC championships, tied with the Denver Broncos, but behind the Patriots' record 11 AFC championships. The Steelers share the record for second most Super Bowl appearances with the Broncos, and Dallas Cowboys (8). The Steelers lost their most recent championship appearance, Super Bowl XLV, on February 6, 2011.

The Steelers, whose history traces to a regional pro team that was established in the early 1920s, joined the NFL as the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 8, 1933, owned by Art Rooney and taking its original name from the baseball team of the same name, as was common practice for NFL teams at the time. To distinguish them from the baseball team, local media took to calling the football team the Rooneymen, an unofficial nickname which persisted for decades after the team adopted its current nickname. The ownership of the Steelers has remained within the Rooney family since its founding. Art's son, Dan Rooney owned the team from 1988 until his death in 2017. Much control of the franchise has been given to Dan's son Art Rooney II. The Steelers enjoy a large, widespread fanbase nicknamed Steeler Nation. The Steelers currently play their home games at Heinz Field on Pittsburgh's North Side in the North Shore neighborhood, which also hosts the University of Pittsburgh Panthers. Built in 2001, the stadium replaced Three Rivers Stadium which hosted the Steelers for 31 seasons. Prior to Three Rivers, the Steelers had played their games in Pitt Stadium and Forbes Field.

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