Four Score: Raiders vs. 49ers Through the Years

Sal Maiorana

When the Oakland Raiders travel to Levi’s Stadium Thursday night to take on the San Francisco 49ers, it will be the final time they meet as Bay Area rivals.

Oakland is scheduled to bolt to Las Vegas in time for the 2020 season, so unless these teams somehow meet in the Super Bowl in either of the next two years, this is it.

In today’s Four Score, here’s a look back at four of the most memorable games they have played.

Dec. 29, 1970: 49ers 38, Raiders 7

The year the NFL merged with the AFL, the teams were able to get their rivalry kick-started immediately as they met for the first time, and it happened to be in the season finale. The game had far more meaning for the 49ers because they needed to win to clinch the NFC West title, while the Raiders already had the AFC West wrapped up.

On a rainy day at Oakland Coliseum, San Francisco crossed the Bay bridge and won in a romp and qualified for the postseason for the first time since 1957. John Brodie threw three touchdown passes, two of them during a 21-point second-quarter explosion.

The Raiders quarterbacks – Daryle Lamonica, George Blanda and Ken Stabler – combined to throw five interceptions including one by Lamonica that 49ers cornerback Jimmy Johnson returned 36 yards for a touchdown.

Oct. 8, 2000: Raiders 34, 49ers 28 (OT)

Oakland was on its way to winning the AFC West with a 12-4 record, the 49ers would finish 6-10, but San Francisco gave Jon Gruden’s crew all it could handle in the first game between the teams since the Raiders moved back to Oakland from Los Angeles in 1995.

Oakland took a 28-14 lead early in the fourth quarter at 3Com Park on Rich Gannon’s 13-yard scramble to the end zone, but San Francisco’s Jeff Garcia threw his third and fourth touchdown passes of the game in a span of 1:13, a 31-yarder to Terrell Owens and, following an interception of Gannon by Pierson Prioleau, a 9-yarder to Charlie Garner to tie the score.

Sebastian Janikowski had a chance to win it for Oakland with 4:41 left, but he missed a 41-yard field goal, and then the 49ers drove to the Raiders 29 with 1:36 to go, but rather than attempt a winning field goal, San Francisco tried to convert a fourth-and-1 to get closer, and Garner was stuffed, which led to a wild overtime.

Janikowski had another chance to win it but he missed a 35-yarder, and then Oakland drove all the way to the 49ers 11, only to see Wade Richey’s 29-yard field goal blocked by Anthony Dorsett. Gannon turned around and marched the Raiders 84 yards to the winner, his 31-yard TD pass to Tim Brown.

Nov. 3, 2002: 49ers 23, Raiders 20 (OT)

With the NFL realigning its divisions after the expansion to Houston, the teams were matched up just two years later in Oakland, and once again, they produced an overtime thriller in a season in which each won their respective divisions, with the Raiders advancing all the way to the Super Bowl where they lost to the departed Gruden’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

49ers legend Jerry Rice had switched sides and was in his second season with Oakland after 16 with San Francisco and he caught six passes from Gannon for 74 yards, but it wasn’t enough.

Garcia hit Tai Streets with a 2-yard touchdown pass to cap an 88-yard drive early in the fourth, but Garner scored on a 10-yard run with 6:28 to go to tie the game at 20. The 49ers proceeded to use the rest of regulation time to drive inside the 10 for what should have been a chip shot winning field goal, but Jose Cortez amazingly hooked it wide left from 27 yards.

Cortez redeemed himself, though, when the 49ers won the coin toss and marched 73 yards in 17 plays, including a fourth-and-1 conversion at the Oakland 45, and Cortez nailed a 23-yarder to win it. Incredibly, the 49ers had the ball on offense for the final 30 plays of the game.

Garcia threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns, and Owens had a huge game with 12 receptions for 191 yards. “For me, being a Bay Area guy, this is the most satisfying win of my pro career,” Garcia said. “It’s so exhilarating and emotional to come out on top.”

Dec. 7, 2014: Raiders 24, 49ers 13

A gruesome loss for the defending NFC champion 49ers, one that hastened their elimination from the NFC playoff picture as it was the second game in what became a killer four-game losing streak. And this one came at the hands of the awful Raiders who started the day with a 1-11 record.

The 49ers, who had lost to the Ravens in the Super Bowl 11 months earlier, were on the brink of implosion with coach Jim Harbaugh’s tenure soon to be over, and this game – on the heels of an embarrassing 19-3 stinker in Seattle on Thanksgiving night for all the nation to see – essentially sealed his fate.

Rookie Derek Carr threw three TD passes including one to Marcel Reese late in the third and one to Mychal Rivera early in the fourth that turned a 13-10 deficit into the final 24-13 score.

Carr was 22 of 28 for 254 yards while Colin Kaepernick, in the throes of a slump, went 18 of 133 for 174 yards with one TD, two picks, and five sacks. “I have to play better,” Kaepernick said. “I haven t played well.”

Comments (1)
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brian wolf
brian wolf

New to this site, Thanks for letting me comment.

Lots of interesting Raider/49er games, especially during the early eighties. The Raiders had a great pass rush and gave Joe Montana, fits. Even if the 49ers had beaten the Redskins in the 83 Championship game, I don't think they would have gotten by the Raiders in the 84 Super Bowl, especially without Dwight Clark. The 85 game that the 49ers won, was costly for the Raiders because Plunkett got hurt and never was the same coming back. The 88 season game was a slugfest that the Raiders won, with Mike Haynes clamping down on Jerry Rice. After that loss, everyone thought the 49ers season was over, but Joe Montana had other ideas.