Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos Confirm Nastiest Rivalry in the NFL Monday
I still hear most of the media give the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers credit for having the nastiest rivalry. But in a previously written article, I explained why that distinction belongs to the Broncos and Raiders.
It takes more that just a decade to build the nastiest rivalry and it can't be so one sided. Despite Sunday's blowout win by the Ravens, Pittsburgh has dominated Baltimore and won all the games that mattered.
If you were able to catch the game Monday night with the Broncos and Raiders, you saw what a real rivalry is. While both teams have knocked each other out of the playoffs over the years, the rivalry is deeper than that.
Neither the Broncos or Raiders have been playoff contenders lately but you can't tell by watching the two teams play each other. No matter how good or bad either team is, it's usually a great game because they bring out the best and worst in each other.
That's what rivals do.
Monday night was just another display of how deep the rivalry is.
Turn the page to see how deep.
Team Identity Construction
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Oakland Raider Head Coach Hue Jackson has always spoken of "building a bully." Denver Bronco head coach John Fox believes in the same recipe as he has always had a team that was physical.
He was hired because the Broncos were severely lacking physicality as shown the the Raiders' 59-17 thrashing of the Broncos last year. Jackson came to Raider Nation as an offensive coordinator in 2010. The team got more physical on offense, taking it into the top 10.
Now he's the head coach and his vision is to get even more physical on both sides of the ball. Both teams are headed in the same direction and want the same thing, setting them on a collision course right away.
As I said before, both teams have knocked each other out of the playoffs in the past and the battles got no worse when they fell from grace. Now they are looking to build a "bully" at the same time, getting in each other's way in the process.
The nastiness will continue.
The Hard Hitting
I love the physicality that the Ravens and Steelers play with in their rivalry but they are not the only ones. You can hear the hits on the field as both the Raiders and Broncos try to establish their physical dominance just like both head coaches want them to.
It has always been that way between the Raiders and Broncos as even if neither team was physical, they ended up being very physical together. Rookie Von Miller made his physical presence known right away, introducing himself to the rivalry.
Rolando McClain is a physical man anyway but made sure his presence was felt too.
His hits just have a different sound to them.
Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images
I counted six altercations during Monday night's contest!
This has to be the nastiest rivaly in football with both teams are trying to re-establish a "bully" in the AFC West. The Raiders had 131 yards in penalties an the Broncos had 85 so all the media wanted to talk about how talented but undisciplined the Raiders were.
However, this is a highly heated rivalry so players are highly emotional, wanting so badly to win. That often takes away from discipline and self control, leading to some undiscipline play.
This is a fierce rivalry in the first game of the season too.
Neither team was able to bottle their emotions up.
Rivalry in the Record Books
Former Bronco kicker Jason Elam is along side Tom Dempsey in the record books for longest field goal at 63 yards. The Raiders trotted big-footed kicker Sebastien Janikowski to make an attempt to tie the record.
Did you hear how much louder and more hostile to got?
Bronco fans feel like Elam was the greatest, deserves a share in that record and a Raider doesn't. The Raiders feel like Janikowski is the one with the biggest foot and deserves the record more than anyone.
Elam just benefited from form the mile high air and we're going to get in the record books in your house.
Plus it will help win the game
The saga continues!
It looks like John Fox and Hue Jackson have taken this rivalry to another level, trying to build their "bullies." At first, all I could think about is how the game should have been as close as it was but maybe it should have.
Josh McDaniels is no longer there to mess the Broncos up and who knows how much Fox has improved them?
We will get the get the result of that soon enough as all we have to go on for both teams is Monday. But from where I'm sitting, it looks as though the two teams will be playing for something again before too long.
Then the media will all have to recognize the Raiders and Broncos as the nastiest rivalry in the history of the NFL.