Raiders Classics – Bo vs Barry the Last Raiders win in Detroit in 1990

There are times when legendary players surpass teams and games. In 1990 two of the greatest RBs in NFL history and probably two of the exciting ones faced off. The Detroit Lions played the Los Angeles Raiders with Barry Sanders facing off against Bo Jackson. 

The Raiders were a great team in 1990 going 12-4 winning the AFC West and going to the AFC Championship game. The Lions were 6-10 but were an exciting team featuring Barry Sands and a Run n Shoot offence. 

The game was wild out of the gate. Sanders scored on an incredible 35 TD yard run and Jay Schroader threw  a bomb to Willie Gault for a 68 yard TD. Later in the quarter Barry scored another TD and Marcus Allen added one for the Raiders. The game was 21-14 Lions after the first quarter, the second most points ever scored in a first quarter to that point in NFL history!

The Lions kicked a FG to go up 24-14 then the Raiders took over the game. Bo Jackson scored on a 55 yard TD run in the second quarter and Mervyn Fernandez and Tim Brown added TD catches of 10 and 3 yards in the third quarter to give the Raiders a 35-31 lead. Rodney Peete cut the lead to 35 to 31 with a TD run and then the Raiders added a FG to make the game 38-31.

When it was all said and done Sanders ran for 176 yards and two TDs and Jackson ran for 129 yards and a TD.  Willie Gault added 101 yards receiving and a TD for the Raiders.

What the game became remembered for was instant replay failures. Rodney Peete fumbled , but it might not have been a fumble, replay barely looked at it and the Raiders got the ball back. When the Raiders were running out the ball Bo Jackson fumbled and the Lions recovered, but it was ruled not a fumble on the field. Again, replay did not look at it closely and the Raiders retained the ball.

All in all it was a great game 69 total points scored, over 300 yards rushing and 3 TDs from Sanders and Jackson combined. However, what it is most famous for is the failure of instant replay at the time. It should also be noted that this game was the last Raider win in Detroit, although they have only played 2 games in Detroit in the last 33 years since!

Below is an excellent recap of the game and the infamous blown replay calls. And below that is a video that has the Barry and Bo highlights!