A rivalry, a match-up, a competition between two teams that have fought against one another since their very existence began. Two organizations that have battled it out 107 times are about to face off once again in a Monday Night Football match-up. The Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos were established as American Football League (AFL) teams in 1960. They have been playing against one another since October 2, 1960, when the Broncos defeated the Raiders 31-14. However, and including the playoffs, the Raiders lead the All-time series 60-45-2. The only other team the Raiders have played more is the Kansas City Chiefs (108 meetings).
Both the Oakland Raiders and the Denver Broncos are considered storied franchises with deep-rooted history. There are six championships between the two teams. The Raiders won an AFL Championship in 1967. The first Super Bowl was played in 1966, and since then the Raiders have won 3 Super Bowls (1976, 1980, & 1983) and the Broncos have won 2 Super Bowls (1997 & 1998). Both teams have been very successful over the years in the playoffs. The Raiders were AFL Division Champions 3 times (1967, 1968, & 1969), and both the Raiders and Broncos have been AFC West Division Champions 12 times since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970. Currently, the Broncos have defeated the Raiders in their last three meetings.
As the Raiders have undergone a total transformation of their team, the Broncos have been establishing themselves as the dominant force in the AFC West. This is due in large part to the addition of Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway. In 2011, Elway stepped in to assist the Broncos in returning to their winning ways. The Broncos defense was beginning to become a dominant force in the NFL, but the biggest piece that was missing was an offense that was consistent. This required a field general. In 2012, one of the best, if not the best, field generals was available, Peyton Manning. Elway swooped in and stole Manning away from the Tennessee Titans and Arizona Cardinals (Both were viable candidates for Manning to play for). This move alone has catapulted the Broncos back into the playoffs, and it has made them the team to beat in the AFC West.
As a matter of fact, the Broncos are being heralded as the team that will win the Super Bowl this year (2013). It’s even been reported that they will have an easy ride into the playoffs. Many pundits have stated that nobody in the AFC West will challenge the Broncos, except maybe the Kansas City Chiefs, but even this can be disputed. So where does this leave the Raiders? Are they just supposed to lay down and let the Broncos waltz all over them to a victory, or will they be able to pull off an upset this coming Monday?