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Throwback Thursday: Oakland vs. New York, 2 AFL Originals

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders are two of the original 8 AFL teams. When the league began in 1960, the Jets of course were known as the New York Titans, until club president/CEO Sonny Werblin made the name change to the Jets in 1963. Among other factors, Werblin cited Shea Stadium's central location between Idlewild Airport and LaGuardia Airport as a key element in the decision. In the Oakland Tribune's "name the team" contest, the name Oakland Señors won first place, but the decision was ultimately to go with the third place winner. The Raiders have been the Oakland Raiders for most of its history, first from 1960-1981 and then from 1995-present. They were the Los Angeles Raiders from 1982-1994.

The Raiders defeated the Titans in their first ever matchup on October 28, 1960 by the score of 28-27. The Titans/Jets would then go on to win the next 6 contests, before the Raiders would rebound to win 6 of the next 10, including two ties. One of those wins would become one of the most memorable comebacks in Raiders' history...only problem is no one at home ever saw it. With 65 seconds remaining in the November 17th, 1968 Jets-Raiders game, the Jets kicked a field goal to take a 32-29 lead. The Raiders then returned the ensuing kickoff to their 23-yard line. NBC went to commercial, but never returned to the game. It was 7:00 p.m. on the east coast, and NBC was scheduled to air the children's movie Heidi at 7:00. Rather than show the end of the game, Broadcast Operations Supervisor Dick Cline followed the network's plan and switched to Heidi. The Raiders would then quickly score on a 43-yard touchdown pass to make it 36-32. With 42 seconds remaining and a chance for Namath to work some magic, Jets kick returner Earl Christy fumbled the ball at the 2-yard line, which was returned for a touchdown by Raiders special teamer Preston Ridlehuber. 2 touchdowns in 9 seconds. But the Raiders faithful never saw it.

Just over a month later on December 29th, the Jets would see the Raiders again, this time in the AFL Championship at Shea Stadium. The game was very much evenly matched, with the Jets taking a 20-13 lead into the 4th quarter. Raiders quarterback Daryle Lamonica completed a 57-yard pass to Fred Biletnikoff to set up a 20-yard field goal, cutting the lead to 20-16. Namath would then throw an interception on the ensuing possession, setting up the go-ahead Raiders touchdown to make it 23-20 with 8:18 remaining on the clock. Broadway Joe would respond, beginning the next drive with a 10-yard pass to George Sauer, followed by a 52-yard pass to Don Maynard. Namath would then find Maynard again on the very next play for a 6-yard touchdown. Leading 27-23 with 7 minutes remaining, the Jets defense would hold off the Raiders to secure a ticket to the Super Bowl against the Colts.

Maynard finished the day with 6 catches for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Matt Snell added 71 yards on the ground.

Other Jets-Raiders tidbits

  • The Jets last played the Raiders in the 2014 home opener, a 19-14 Jets victory.
  • In 2008, Sebastian Janikowski set an NFL record for the longest field goal to win in overtime, a 57-yarder to defeat the Jets.
  • The Raiders defeated the Jets in the 2002 AFC Divisional Game, 30-10. The Raiders ultimately lost to the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl, 48-21.
  • The Jets defeated the Raiders in the 2001 season finale, but lost a week later to Oakland in the AFC Wild Card Game. Jerry Rice caught 9 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown.
  • The Jets defeated the Raiders in the 1982 AFC Divisional Game, 17-14, a week after routing the Bengals 44-17 in the Wild Card round. The Jets lost to the Dolphins in the AFC Championship, 14-0.