The Bills and the Raiders are one of the many forgotten rivalries in the NFL. Both began play in 1960 as AFL teams and during that decade they played each other 18 times (twice a year until 1969). The Raiders went 9-9 in those games. Between 1972 to 2016 they played each other 20 more times in the regular season and twice in the postseason. The Raiders went 12-8 in those contests but both playoff games ended up with the Raiders going home on the losing side. The first playoff loss was a 51-3 shellacking in the 1990 AFC Championship Game and a 29-23 loss in the 1993 playoffs. Overall both teams are 21-21 against each other if you count the postseason.
Here is a quick peek at the top ten games that have ever taken place between these two teams.
#10: In 2011 the Raiders travelled to Buffalo in game two of the regular season. Things looked great for head coach Hue Jackson and the silver and black early on as both Michael Bush and Darren McFadden scored touchdowns to lift the Raiders to a 14-0 lead. By halftime the Raiders had scored again to give themselves a 21-3 lead but it would not be enough. In the third quarter the Raiders defense couldn’t stop the determined Bills who scored three straight times to give themselves a 24-21 lead. 28 more points combined would follow which included a beautiful 50 yard touchdown reception by wide receiver Denarius Moore. The Raiders defense then fell apart as Buffalo drove from their own 20 and went 80 yards to get the game winning touchdown with just 14 seconds remaining. Final Score: Buffalo 38 Oakland 35.
#9: In 1960 the Raiders and Bills met for the first time and Buffalo prevailed 38-9 win. Three weeks later the two teams would square off again but this time Oakland would win. Oakland’s 13-0 halftime lead was the result of two field goal kicks by Larry Barnes and a short touchdown run by running back Billy Lott. This game witnessed all three quarterbacks from both sides taking snaps as both ineffectiveness and injuries forced both head coaches to make difficult decisions. In the third quarter running back Tony Teresa broke a run for an 83 yard touchdown and the rout was on. Teresa’s run is still the eighth longest run in franchise history. Buffalo added a late touchdown to make things look good but in the end the Raiders went sent Buffalo home with a 20-7 defeat.
#8 NFL Films loves to show Raiders linebacker Phil Villapiano ripping the helmet off of OJ Simpson on a regular basis. Every Raiders fan has seen that footage. The game in which that play occurred took place in 1972 when the 2-1-1 Raiders hosted the 2-2 Bills at the Oakland-Alameda Memorial Coliseum. OJ rushed for 144 yards that day on 28 carries and he even complete a pass for 14 more yards. It wasn’t enough as the rough and tough Raiders defense kept OJ out of the endzone. It was enough to lift the Bills to a 13-0 halftime lead but the feisty Raiders were ready for revenge in the second half. Quarterback Daryle Lamonica led Oakland to four touchdown drives in the second half which was enough to send Buffalo home with a 28-16 defeat. Scoring touchdowns for Oakland was Clarence Davis (twice), Marv Hubbard and Raymond Chester.
#7 The 2005 Raiders only one 5 games but one of those wins was the result of a home game against Buffalo. Running back Lamont Jordan had his finest day in silver in black as he rushed for 122 yards and 3 touchdowns on 22 carries. Derrick Burgess and Warren Sapp combined for 3 sacks and Oakland’s defense limited the Bills to just 210 total yards. In the end Oakland prevailed by a 26-10 count.
#7 In 1987 the Raiders defense overcame a 300 yard passing day by Jim Kelly and 153 receiving yards by Andre Reed to upend the Bills in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Raiders defense couldn’t stop the Bills but quarterback Marc Wilson fired three touchdown passes including one to a guy named Bo Jackson. The game swung back and forth as both teams tried to establish dominance. Famed Raiders linebacker Rod Martin had one of his last great days as a pro as he powered in for two critical sacks to halt Buffalo drives. In the second half Los Angeles used the running of Marcus Allen and Bo Jackson to score outscore Buffalo 21-7. In the end Buffalo took the long plane ride back to Buffalo, New York on the wrong end of a 34-21 game.
#6 In 1990 the Bills came back from a 24-0 deficit against the Raiders to prevail 38-24. A few weeks later the Bills blew out the Raiders in the 1990 AFC Championship Game. In 1991 the teams faced each other again but once again the Bills prevailed by beating L.A. in overtime 30-27. In 1992 the two teams played again and this time the Raiders would get revenge from an unlikely source. Los Angeles started second year quarterback Todd Marinovich and for the most part he avoided the costly mistakes that plagued him in the past. Marinovich led the Raiders to paydirt twice by tossing touchdown passes to future hall of famers Eric Dickerson and Tim Brown. Kicker Jeff Jaeger added two field goals but the best moment in this game was when defensive end Anthony Smith powered in to sack Jim Kelly and force a key turnover. Buffalo’s high powered offense was held to just 3 points as Los Angeles prevailed 20-3.
#5 In 1977 the Raider faithful packed the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum to watch the Raiders forced three turnovers and hold Buffalo to just 239 yards on offense. Led by Ken Stabler the Raiders offense was nearly unstoppable as the Snake connected with Cliff Branch twice and Fred Biletnikoff once for touchdowns. The Raiders running game was also successful as fullback Mark van Eeghen racked up nearly 150 yards on 26 carries. Super Bowl XI hero Pete Banaszak scored 1 yard scores as Oakland blasted the Bills out of the park 34-13. Had the game lasted another quarter the Raiders would have easily gained over 500 yards on offense.
#4 Tim Brown had a long successful career with the Raiders but one can argue that his coming out game took place in December 1993 in Buffalo. Quarterback Jeff Hostetler connected with Brown 10 times for 183 yards and a touchdown. Brown’s score proved the difference in this game as time was running out on the Raiders. Trailing 24-19 Hostetler completed two crucial passes to wide receiver James Jett and running back Nick Bell to move the Raiders closer to paydirt. Then Hostetler found Brown for the 29 yard score in between three Buffalo defenders. Raiders defensive lineman Nolan Harrison forced a Thurman Thomas fumble on Buffalo’s subsequent drive which allowed Los Angeles to run out the clock. This back and forth game ended with a 25-24 Raiders victory.
#3 In 1999, two seconds remained on the clock as Doug Flutie and the Bills huddled up on the Raiders 24 yard line. Buffalo trailed by six points but a touchdown and an extra point would get them the win. As Raider fans watched and bit their nails they knew that this was one of the best games ever played between these two teams. Oakland broke a 7-7 tie early and using their ball controlled running game and Rich Gannon’s precision passing they were able to take a 20-7 lead into the fourth quarter. Early in the fourth quarter Flutie then threw a touchdown pass which cut the Raiders lead to six. Both exchange punts afterwards with the Raiders finally taking over with 7:33 left. Gannon then utilized the power running of Tyrone Wheatley and the swiftness of running back Napoleon Kaufman to eat up as much time as possible. The drive ended at Buffalo’s 14 when kicker Michael Husted missed a chip shot field goal. Doug Flutie then drove the Bills down field until they faced a fourth down at the Raider 24. With Buffalo’s home crowd rocking the Bills had one last shot to win the game. Flutie’s pass was intercepted by Eric Turner and the silver and black prevailed 20-14.
#2 Enroute to their third Super Bowl Championship the 1983 Raiders travelled to Buffalo in week 12. Early in the fourth quarter tight end Todd Christensen hauled in a touchdown pass to lift Los Angeles to a 24-3 lead and the Raiders felt that the game was over. They were wrong. Buffalo took advantage of the Raiders confidence by scoring three straight touchdowns to tie the game 24-24. Los Angeles took over after Buffalo’s third score and some nice runs by Marcus Allen and passes by Jim Plunkett put the Raiders in position to score again. Buffalo’s defense played tough but they gave up too much which allowed the Raiders to boot a 36 yard field goal to prevail 27-24 as time ran out. Marcus Allen contributed 157 of the Raiders 401 total yards that day.
#1 The Raiders offense in 2002 was nearly unstoppable and that wouldn’t change when they travelled to Buffalo to face the Bills. Both teams racked up nearly 500 yards on offense but 3 critical interceptions by the Raiders defense helped prove the difference. Meanwhile, Oakland running back Charlie Garner rushed for 94 yards and caught 8 passes for 83 more. The gem for Garner was a beautiful 69 yard touchdown reception in which he never broke stride and no Buffalo defender came close to touching him. At halftime the game was knotted at 21-21 but the 69 yarder to Garner, an 83 yard pick six by cornerback Phillip Buchanon and a 20 yard touchdown pass from Rich Gannon to Jerry Rice proved to be the difference in Oakland’s 49-31 victory. Rich Gannon finished the day with three touchdown tosses and 357 yards passing on just 23 completions. The tandem of Rice and Tim Brown combined for 8 receptions and over 100 yards receiving.