The Raiders-Dolphins have a remarkable history

Coach Josh McDaniels is working to rebuild the Las Vegas Raiders into a powerhouse reminiscent of the great silver and black teams of the past and are off to a promising start with a 2-0 record, though it’s not that preseason and quarterback Derek Carr, Devante Adams and the rest of the stars have yet to play a down.

The Raiders will look to go three straight on Saturday at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium against the Miami Dolphins, and those teams have quite the history.

The Dolphins were an American Football League expansion team in 1966 and in the first regular season game in their history, they took the lead when Joe Auer returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown, but the Raiders rallied for a 23-14 victory. at the Orange Bowl in Miami.

After struggling to a 15-39 record in their first four seasons, the Dolphins turned things around in 1970 when they hired coach Don Shula, who would become the winningest coach in NFL history with 347 wins, including the playoffs, en route to Pro Football Hall. of glory.

The Dolphins would go 10-4 in their first season under Shula, but would lose to the Raiders, 21-14, in an AFC Divisional playoff game at Oakland Coliseum when quarterback Daryle Lamonica hit the wide receiver, Rod Sherman, with an 82-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

It was just the first of several memorable matches between the teams.

Miami reached Super Bowl VI the following season before losing to the Dallas Cowboys, 24-3, but became something of a dynasty by winning Super Bowl VII against the Washington Redskins, 14-7, and defeating the Minnesota Vikings, 24-7, in Super Bowl XVIII.

The Dolphins were filled with future Hall of Famers, including quarterback Bob Griese, running back Larry Csonka, wide receiver Paul Warfield, guard Larry Little, center Jim Langer, defensive tackle Manny Fernandez and linebacker Nick Buoniconti.

Shula led Miami to an NFL-record 18-game winning streak before heading to the Bay Area to face the Raiders on Sept. 23, 1973, but the Oakland A’s were hosting the New York Mets in the World Series, so the The Raiders-Dolphins game was moved from the Oakland Coliseum to nearby Memorial Stadium at the University of California, Berkeley.

The Raiders stopped Griese and the Dolphins’ offense and controlled the ball on the ground with fullback Marv Hubbard and George Blanda, 46, kicking in field goals from 12, 46, 19 and 10 yards that carried the Raiders to a surprise 12-7 win in front of 74,721 fans.

“I hate to talk about losing, but give Oakland and (coach) John Madden all the credit in the world,” Shula said afterwards. “Their defense controlled our offense, they didn’t make any mistakes and their offense didn’t score a touchdown, but they controlled the ball. Their offensive line and running backs played well. They set their running game and they stopped us.

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The Dolphins got revenge by beating the Raiders, 27-10, as Csonka rushed for 266 yards and three touchdowns in the AFC Championship Game at the Orange Bowl later this season en route to winning that second Consecutive Super Bowl against the Vikings.

However, the Raiders-Dolphins game longtime fans remember the most was on December 21, 1974, in another AFC Divisional playoff game at the Oakland Coliseum.

The Dolphins held a 26-21 lead in the final minute, but the Raiders led when quarterback Kenny (Snake) Stabler was apparently sacked by defensive end Vern Den Herder on first down.

However, Stabler somehow managed a pass to running back Clarence Daviswho was surrounded by Dolphins defenders in the right corner of the end zone, but somehow caught the ball for an eight-yard touchdown with 26 seconds left as the Raiders dethroned the two-time Super Bowl champions, 28- 26.

“I felt (Den Herder), but it was a stupid game,” Stabler said afterward, giving all the credit to Davis. “I should never have thrown the ball to Clarence. Or maybe I should have thrown it out of the end zone. Sometimes you get away with a stupid play and sometimes you don’t.

“It was a stupid game because it was the first down and we had a lot of time, 35 seconds left and two timeouts. Every play was going to go into the end zone anyway. So we had three more chances to come and things were probably going to go better than this game. I saw Clarence. He was back. But there were a lot of people around him and he didn’t seem like he could catch the ball, but he did. It was a good take, give Clarence credit, but it was a dumb play on my part.

Davis, who had perhaps the worst hands of all Raiders backs and receivers, made an incredible catch in what would forever be known as “The Sea of ​​Hands Game.”

The Raiders beat the Dolphins, 31-28, last season on Daniel Carlson’s 22-yard field goal with three seconds left in overtime, and lead the all-time series against the Dolphins. 21-19-1, including 3-1 in the playoffs.

However, “The Sea of ​​Hands” is the game that Raider Nation will remember forever.

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