Much has been written over the last five-plus decades about the most memorable games in Raiders history -- Ghost to the Post, the Holy Roller, Super Bowl XI, etc. -- but for the first entry in what I hope to make an ongoing series, I want to highlight some lesser-known games as well.
So up first is a game played on a date all Oakland fans should know: September 11, 1960. This was the first home game for the Raiders, and it took place on opening weekend for the American Football League's first season. On that crisp and windy Sunday afternoon Oakland took the field at Kezar Stadium against the Houston Oilers.
The Raiders, led by former Navy head coach Eddie Erdelatz, played in from of a home crowd of just 12,703. The Oilers, led by former Chicago Bears quarterback George Blanda, struck first when Blanda connected with future AFL standout Charley Hennigan for a 43-yard touchdown pass.
Oakland responded in the second quarter when Tom Flores found HB Tony Teresa for a 13-yard pass, the team's first-ever touchdown. With that TD the scoring for the first half was finished.
The second half began with great promise for the Raiders when Eddie Macon picked off Blanda and returned the interception 43 yards for a touchdown. But from there it was all Houston, as the Oilers rolled off four straight scores (three TDs, 1 FG) to take a commanding 30-14 lead.
The Raiders got one last score in when Flores hit Jack Larscheid for a 46-yard touchdown pass (followed by a two-point conversion), but it was too little, too late. Houston capped the scoring with a George Blanda to John Carson 11-yard TD pass, and the Oilers' victory was complete at 37-22.
The standouts for the Raiders on this day were Flores (13-for-32, 232 yards, 2 TDs), Teresa (116 receiving yards, 1 TD), and Larscheid (105 receiving yards, 1 TD). Oakland's ground game was non-existent, earning a paltry 50 yards on 27 carries.
Here's the program cover from the game. For a larger version you can click here.
(Tom Flores card scan via Remember the AFL)