Jack Del Rio comments on Raiders-Steelers Rivalry


May 26, 2015; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio at press conference at organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio reflected on his childhood days growing-up a religious Raider fan in the Bay-Area.

Among Del Rio’s memories, the infamous play that sparked the Raiders-Steelers rivalry during the 1970’s. Del Rio said, “The Immaculate Reception,” should not have counted.

"“I mean come on, let’s be real, the ball hit the ground.” Del Rio said in a press conference."

For those who do not recall, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw threw a pass which Jack Tatum deflected. The ball was then scooped by Steelers running back Franco Harris and taken for a game winning score during the 1972 AFC divisional playoffs.

Many people agree the ball should have been incomplete and the Raiders should have won that game. Nonetheless, the play stands as a heartbreaking for Raider fans.

However, the two AFC powers met another four consecutive years during that decade’s playoffs.

Del Rio watched the Raiders play the Steelers in historic rivalry games during the 1970s.

"“They were kind of a thorn in our side in the mid-70s there. There was five-year stretch where they won four and we won the one in the middle.” Del Rio said about the historic rivalry. “It was championship level football.”"

As for the upcoming installment of the rivalry, Del Rio said he look’s forward to the match-up. The Raiders head coach said he expects a “heck” of a game, because the Steelers are talented and playing at home.

Even though the Raiders-Steelers rivalry is not what it used to be, this Week 9 matchup has playoff implications. Both teams are alive in the wildcard race.

The Raiders sit in the No. 5 AFC seed, and they hold the first Wild Card Spot. Meanwhile, the Steelers are the first team on the outside of the playoff hunt with the No. 7 seed. They are one game out of the second AFC Wild Card slot.

The Raiders and Steelers renew their historic rivalry Nov. 8 at 1:00 P.M. EST.