Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 12/4/12
For the 21st time since the merger, this Thursday night the Raiders and Broncos will meet on prime time. Oakland and Denver have met 16 times on Monday Night Football, the most of any pairing in NFL history (they also met last season), and also have played 4 times on Sunday night (the first, in 1978). It’s assumed that they could have met even more times under the lights, but in the years the Raiders played at the huge Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Silver and Black didn’t had a home Monday Night game from 1986 through 1995, even that they played at least one Monday Night game each of those ten seasons.The Broncos lead the prime time series 11-8-1 (overall, the Raiders lead the all-time series 59-43-2), with the lone tie on their first meeting on Monday Night in 1973, the last season before the overtime was installed. On that occasion, the Broncos defense forced three fumbles, returning one for a touchdown, and even than Ken Stabler threw for more than 300 yards and two touchdowns and George Blanda had kicked a field goal with 36 seconds remaining to gave Oakland the lead, the Broncos came back with a 62-yard drive in four plays, led by running backs Floyd Little and Joe Dawkins, culminating on a last second field goal by Jim Turner to tie the game 23-23.On two of the other 19 occasions they have gone into overtime (in 1988 and 1999), the Raiders winning the first one and the Broncos the second time.  It’s fitting that these two teams were the first pair in NFL history in 1985 (when they didn’t met on Monday Night) that both regular season games between them went into overtime. This time will be just the seventh meeting in Oakland, the last time they met at the Black Hole under the lights was in 2008, when the Broncos crushed the Raiders 41-14. For the record, this will be the third time Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will visit the Oakland Coliseum, winning the other two match-ups with the Colts in 2007 and 2010.Amazingly, the Raiders vs. the Broncos isn’t the most frequent night match-up. The Raiders have played the San Diego Chargers 22 times on prime time, including their Monday Night contest in the first week of the 2012 season.Even that in this season both teams are headed in different directions (Denver at 9-3, Oakland at 3-9), it’s not uncommon that have been upsets in the rivalry. Such was the case in 2004, when they met at Invesco Field at Mile High, Denver was 7-3, Oakland was 3-7, and the Broncos were favored by an 11.5 point margin. After Denver had taken a 24-13 lead in the fourth quarter, Raiders quarterback Kerry Collins threw two touchdown passes (to Ronald Curry and Jerry Porter), and  Langston Walker blocked a Jason Elam field goal attempt with just 31 seconds remaining to rescue an improbable 25-24 victory.We hope for another exciting game this Thursday night. 
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