Oakland Raiders-Pittsburgh Steelers Preview: Oakland Leads Series, Hits the Road

Dating back to the first matchup in 1970, the Oakland Raiders and the Pittsburgh Steelers were known for hard-hitting, punishing games.

These two clubs faced each other so much during the 1970s that some might think that the two clubs were in the same division, with the Raiders facing the Steelers twice in 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976 and 1984.

Sometimes in the regular season, sometimes in the playoffs, both teams had a habit for either a close game decided late or a game with the outcome never in doubt.

For the Raiders, several games stand out in the minds of the Raider Nation, either as justification or outright robbery. Everyone knows about December 23, 1972, right?

Likewise, some of the older fans will look at the December 26, 1976 game as redemption, en route to the first Super Bowl win for the Raiders franchise.

As the teams go, some games have gone into the history books as tight contests, like the Raiders' three-point win in 1976 at home or the 38-10 game of punishment, when the Los Angeles Raiders proceeded to crunch the Steelers in the playoffs, aided by Lyle Alzado and company.

On the other side of the ball, the Steelers seemed to find the Raiders in the playoffs year in and year out during the 70s.

Pittsburgh would find the Raiders in the playoffs six times from 1972-1983. The teams would split the six games, 3-3, while the Raiders have won the last two games.

This includes last-season's shocker when Bruce Gradkowski, elevated to start after the JaMarcus Russell Experiment ended, pulled off a win on the road.

Now comes the question regarding the home-field advantage.

Each team loves to tout the advantage of home field. For the Raiders, going across the country to play on a cold, frozen field doesn't normally appeal to everyone; however, the Raiders seem almost comfortable anymore playing in Pittsburgh.

In the last five games, the ...

About the Author