Raider Classic Games – Raiders Beat Packers in Opener in 1987 20-0 Last Raiders Win Against Packers

If we were to look at Raider Classic games against the Packers you might think I might look at Super Bowl 2, or the Brett Favre game after his father passed away on Monday night or the 1999 game when the Packers came back against the Raiders in Rich Gannon’s first game in Silver and Black. 

You may wonder why I am writing about a forgotten opener on September 13th, 1987 when the eventual 5-10 Raiders beat the eventual 5-9-1 Packers 20-0 (there were only 15 games in 1987 due to one game being missed due to the NFL strike). The reason being is believe or not this was the last time the Raiders beat the Packers! Yes, the Raiders have not beaten the Packers since 1987 and lost 8 straight games over the span of 36 years since!

How long ago was it? In 1987 George Michael and INXS were topping the charts with Faith and Kick. Speaking of music, most people were still playing records and cassettes as CDs were just starting out. The Internet wasn’t even a thing yet.  Ronald Reagan was still president. Beverly Hills Cop 2, Platoon, The Untouchables and Fatal Attraction were the top grossing movies of the year. Finally, when the Raiders and Packers met on September 13th the 1987 Stock Market Crash was still over a month away from occurring and I was 2 weeks away from my 10th birthday. 

The Raiders started Rusty Hilger this game YES RUSTY HILGER!!! He had played well late in the 1986 season finale and they gave him a shot as a starter. Jim Plunkett was on IR and the team had started to give up on Marc Wilson as the long term solution at QB (1987 would be Wilson’s last year in Silver and Black). Hilger started the game miserably going 2 for 7 12 yards and being sacked twice in the first half. He was benched for Wilson in the second half. 

The Raiders led 7-0 at the half as they smothered the Packers’ offence. Randy Wright the Packers starter would go 8 for 21 and 3 Ints. The Raiders lone first half touchdown was a 1 yard run for Marcus Allen, who would rebound this game after a miserable 1986 season, rushing 33 times for 136 yards and the lone offensive TD of the game. 

Wilson took over the second half and went an efficient 9 for 16 97 yards. James Lofton, who on the season had 880 yards in only 12 games, (most starters missed the 3 games the scab players played in 1987 during the strike) caught his first pass as a Raider and one of the all time great Raider safeties Van McElroy returned a Wright INT for a TD and the Raiders won 20-0.

Since then the Packers have won 8 straight games with most of them being blow outs. Only one of the Raiders losses to the Packers have been by less than one score, this being the 28-24 comeback win by the Packers in week 1 of the 1999 season. What is also ironic is before beating the Raiders in 1990 the Packers had gone 23 years without beating the Raiders!!! These teams know how to have long winless streaks against each other! 

Can the Raiders break the losing streak in 2023? The game is in Las Vegas on Monday night. The Packers have been nothing to write home about this year and Jordan Love is struggling. The Raiders don’t look very good themselves. However, if there is a time to break this nearly 36 year long losing streak this is it! 

Below are highlights of that 1987 season opener.