By Mike Peticca
The Browns host the Oakland Raiders on Sunday in the 22nd regular season meeting of the teams.
Cleveland has won 10 games in the series, and lost 11. The Browns, though, have won six of the last eight.
The Browns didn’t play the Raiders until 1970, when the merger between the old National Football League and its upstart rival, the American Football League, became complete.
Cleveland, of course, had been part of the NFL. The merger agreement, though, didn’t place the Browns in the new National Football Conference. They, along with the Pittsburgh Steelers and then-Baltimore Colts, were moved to the American Football Conference, which also featured the former AFL teams such as the Raiders.
That first Browns-Raiders game, on Nov. 8, 1970 in Oakland, was a wrenching one for Cleveland fans. George Blanda, 43 and in the midst of a legendary run of clutch, winning performances, came off the bench in the second half to replace injured quarterback Daryle Lamonica, and threw a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to tie the game then booted a late 52-yard goal to give the Raiders a 23-20 win.