Week 10 sees us moving on in the second half of the 2014 NFL season. The Broncos and Raiders have a storied rivalry, but 2014 has been special for a simple reason: the Broncos are now the winningest team in AFC West history.
That doesn't mean the Broncos own a head-to-head edge against the Raiders; they don't. Oakland is 59-46-2 all-time against Denver, including an eight-game all-time edge in Oakland and a five-game edge in Denver.
Let's lift up Denver's great (and "bummer") moments to keep the history, traditions and rivalries stoked by visiting the Best and Worst of this storied rivalry from this storied rivalry. It should be noted that in many cases the choice was made based upon the final margin of victory (or defeat).
Best Game: January 1, 1978
Score: Denver 20, Oakland 17
What makes this game great: Pure and simple: this win gave the Broncos their first AFC Championship in franchise history.
This was the first season in which Denver posted ten or more wins -- though they did split the season series with the Raiders. After going 12-2 on the season, the Broncos defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-21 in their first ever playoff game (they had beaten the Steelers 21-7 during the regular season). This set up the Broncos' third meeting with Oakland. They had defeated the Raiders 30-7 in Oakland, then lost to them in Denver 24-14.
The Championship game took place in Denver. This was a close, hard fought game. The Raiders took the early lead with a field goal. Denver answered with a score when Craig Morton threw a pass from the Denver 26-yard line to Haven Moses at the Denver 39. Moses ran the ball the rest of the way for a touchdown to give the Broncos a 7-3 lead. That's where the score stood at the half. Denver added a touchdown in the third quarter for a 14-3 lead. Oakland made it close with a touchdown on the second play of the fourth quarter. The teams exchanged interceptions then the Broncos marched for a touchdown and a 20-10 lead (Denver failed on a 2-point conversion attempt). The Raiders again made it close with a touchdown of their own. Denver was able to run out the remaining three minutes of the game to secure the win and their first-ever Super Bowl appearance.
Worst Game: October 24, 2010
Score: Oakland 59, Denver 14
What makes this game horrible: This was, put simply, the worst defeat in the worst season of franchise history. The Broncos had suffered through 4-win seasons four other times in their history, but never a season with 12 losses. Not only were the Broncos stomped in this game, they were destroyed at home. Not only were the Raiders playing well, but the Broncos were hurting themselves. They gave up 4 sacks, 1 interception and lost 2 of their 5 fumbles. Oakland had eight drives in the first half and posted 4 touchdowns and a field goal to lead 38-7 at the half. They also posted touchdowns on their first three drives of the second half. Denver, on the other hand, had eight first half drives and posted an interception, two fumbles, a turnover on downs and three punts against just a single touchdown. They did manage to score a touchdown on the opening drive of the second half, but that was all the scoring they managed.
This is one of Denver's longest running -- and thanks to Mike Shanahan, one of the Broncos' most intense -- rivalries. The Broncos have won the last five meetings. Given how the Raiders have been playing thus far in 2014, that streak should extend to six with this upcoming game.
Feel free to disagree with my choices and share your own views in the comments section.
Editor's Note: FanDuel is hosting a one-week fantasy football "Double Up" league this weekend. It's $10 to join and nearly half the field doubles their money. League starts Sunday 1 PM ET and ends on Monday night. Here's the link.