The first game of Super Wild Card Weekend will be kicking off at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday with Las Vegas traveling to Cincinnati. Although the Bengals have been getting most of the headlines this week thanks to their 31-year streak without a playoff win, they aren’t the only team that will be looking to end a long postseason drought in the playoff opener.
The Raiders actually have an even longer drought: They haven’t a won a road playoff game in more than 40 YEARS. If the Raiders can upset the Bengals, it will mark the team’s first road win in a postseason game since Jan. 11, 1981 when it beat the San Diego Chargers in an AFC Championship game that propelled it to Super Bowl XV, where it would beat the Eagles, 27-10.
That win over the Chargers came 41 years and four days ago, which means the Raiders have gone more than four decades without winning a playoff game on the road. Since that win, the Raiders have hit the road a total of six times and they’ve gone 0-6 in those games.
The Raiders’ road losing streak started in December 1984 with a 13-7 wild-card loss in Seattle. (The Seahawks were in the AFC until the 2002 season.)
The most famous loss during their streak came in January 2002 when they lost the “Tuck Rule” game to the New England Patriots. In that game, it looked like the Raiders had forced a Tom Brady fumble with just minutes to play, and after a Raiders recovery, it looked like they were going to win. However, the officials ruled that there was no fumble thanks to the tuck rule.
After being given new life, the Patriots took advantage of it by getting two clutch field goals from Adam Vinatieri for a 16-13 overtime win, which ended up being the fifth straight road loss for the Raiders.
The Raiders’ most-recent road playoff loss came in January 2017 when the Texans beat them, 27-17, in a game that no one really expected the Raiders to win and that’s mostly because they had to play without Derek Carr. After leading the Raiders to a 12-3 record through their first 15 games, Carr wasn’t available for the playoffs because he broke his fibula in a Week 16 win.
Speaking of Carr, he’ll be making his first-career playoff start Saturday in Cincinnati, and if the Raiders are going to win, he’s going to have to figure out how to win a game in cold weather. Since being drafted in 2014, Carr is 0-5 in games where the kickoff temperature is under 38 degrees. The temperature in Cincinnati on Saturday afternoon is expected to be right around 31 degrees at kickoff.
The Bengals have waited 31 years for a playoff win while the Raiders have waited 41 years for a road playoff win. One of those droughts will end Saturday.