The silver and black Las Vegas Raiders of the NFC West take on the gold and black New Orleans Saints of the NFC South in a battle of teams with some of the most loyal fanbases in the NFL. The teams have combined for some great games starring guys like Drew Brees, Kenny Stabler, and even legendary head coach and sportscaster John Madden. Dive deeper into this matchup to see more details on this fine NFL face-off.
Established in 1960, the Raiders have called the city of Oakland home on two different occasions, along with stops in Los Angeles and currently Las Vegas. Despite the movement, the franchise has won four NFL championships, including three Super Bowls in 1976, 1980, and 1983. Fun fact: the original Raiders uniforms were black and gold and they wore those until 1963 when they began wearing the iconic black and silver uniforms that they have continued wearing ever since. Let’s not forget that intimidating Raiders logo with the helmeted pirate wearing an eye patch with two swords intercrossed behind it. That logo, in which Western actor Randolph Scott’s chin was used as a model for it, has helped the Raiders maintain incredible revenue throughout the years as they annually place in the Top 10 of NFL team revenue. Raiders fans, cumulatively known as Raider Nation, remain one of the most loyal fanbases in America, following the Raiders from Oakland to Los Angeles to now Las Vegas where the fanbase remains as strong as ever.
Dating back to 1967, the New Orleans Saints have become ingrained in the hearts of the city of New Orleans where they’re known as The Who Dats as well as the Black and Gold. Fun fact: the Saints’ name was taken from the popular New Orleans jazz standard, “When the Saints Go Marching In.” There’s more to it than that, however. One of the Saints’ first owners was trumpeter Al Hirt, and his rendition of the tune became the franchise’s fight song. On the downside, for much of their first 20 seasons, the Saints finished below .500, often placing third or fourth in the four-team NFC South division. In fact, 1979 and 1983 were the only seasons over their first 20 years that the Saints finished at .500, and never better than that. It wasn’t until 1985 when former owner Tom Benson purchased the Saints that the franchise began seeing brighter days. They would hire coach Jim Mora in 1986 and he would go on to provide New Orleans with several winning seasons, including four trips to the playoffs (although they would never win a postseason game under Mora). Their best years came under head coach Sean Payton who, along with Drew Brees, led the Saints to the 2009 Super Bowl where they would defeat Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts, 31-17 for the first and only NFL championship.
This rivalry dates all the way back to 1971 when, during their first game against each other, the Raiders and Saints played to a 21-21 tie at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans. John Madden was head coach of the Raiders for that game as well as the 1975 game in Oakland when his team steamrolled the Saints in a 48-10 victory, accumulating more than 500 yards of offense in the process. Perhaps the greatest game of the series came in 2016 when Brees and Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr combined for 742 yards passing. Brees would throw for 423 yards with Carr going for 319 as the Raiders would win a back-and-forth thriller 35-34 at the New Orleans Superdome.
The Odds and Ends
The teams haven’t played each other nearly enough but over their 51-year history dating back to ‘71, there have been streaks of both blowouts and close games. From 1985-1991 there were three consecutive lopsided games in which the winning team won by an average of 17 points. The teams began playing each other closer as the winning team only won by an average of 5.5 points between 1994-2004. From 2008-2020 the teams went back and forth with two blowouts and two relatively close games, however, the aforementioned 35-34 and 21-21 tie are the only two games in the entire series that have been decided by three points or less. On that note, the totals have been all over the place in this series with the first three games averaging 48.3 points per contest while the next three games would only average 29.7 points. The three games between 2012-2020 were the highest-scoring years as the teams combined to average 60.7 points per game over that span.
Why You Should Watch It
Come on, do we really need to tell you why? Two of the best fanbases in the NFL plus the probability of a lot of offense doesn’t give you enough incentive to watch this match? If it doesn’t, never call yourself a football fan. For the rest of us who are going to check this matchup out, be sure to look out for the fans in the stadium as it could look like a costume party when these squads get together. No one should miss these two when they duke it out whether you’re a fan of the Raiders, the Saints, or football, catch this one when it’s on the schedule!