Receiver highlights Raiders win

Posted: Tuesday, December 03, 2002

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Jerry Rice snorted when he saw the commemorative T-shirts and the ceremonial silver football that festooned Tim Brown's locker after another historic night for the Oakland Raiders' venerable receiving duo.

''Tim got a ball and T-shirts and everything,'' Rice said. ''I didn't get that.''

Brown got his 1,000th career reception, and Rice caught the go-ahead touchdown pass on the next play as the Raiders beat the Jets 26-20 on Monday night, snapping New York's four-game winning streak with another big game from Oakland's vaunted passing attack.

Only three receivers in NFL history could compare the celebrations of their 1,000th receptions -- and two of them were in the same locker room after Oakland (8-4) won its fourth straight and tied San Diego atop the AFC West, thanks to Rich Gannon and his corps of receivers.

''I was just happy to be here tonight and be a part of something special like that,'' Rice said.

Rice and Brown are 1-2 in career receiving yardage after Brown tied James Lofton in the second half with 14,004 yards. Not to be outdone by his teammate and longtime friendly rival, Rice wrapped up his NFL-record 14th 1,000-yard receiving season, adding to his collection of nearly every other league receiving record.

Brown, who finished with eight catches for 90 yards, even got to play in front of his mother -- a religious woman who hadn't watched her son play in person since junior high. She joined him on the field after his 1,000th catch, and Brown later jogged to midfield and held the ball aloft to a standing ovation.

Gannon was 31-of-42 for 342 yards, tying an oft-achieved NFL record with his ninth 300-yard game of the season. After New York pulled within 23-20 on Wayne Chrebet's 13-yard TD catch with 5:32 left, Gannon led a drive ending in Sebastian Janikowski's fourth field goal with 1:12 left.

Chad Pennington moved the Jets to the Oakland 35, but Rod Coleman sacked Pennington before his last-ditch heave was intercepted by Rod Woodson as time expired.

With their second four-game winning streak of the season -- and a four-game losing streak sandwiched in between -- the Raiders now play at San Diego on Sunday with the division lead at stake.

The loss left the Jets at 6-6, denying a chance to tie for the AFC East lead. Miami and New England lead New York and Buffalo by one game.

''Our defense played pretty well, but we knew we weren't going to stop them from throwing the ball,'' Jets coach Herman Edwards said. ''It was a battle of field position, and they just won it a couple more times than we did. I think we played a good game, for the most part.''

In their third trip to the Coliseum in a year, the Jets didn't have enough offense or pass defense to stay with the Raiders and silence the Black Hole's furious fans. New York's hadn't allowed a quarterback to pass for 300 yards in its last 30 games -- the longest streak in the NFL.

Pennington, whose promotion coincided with the Jets' strong resurgence after a 1-4 start, was 22-of-34 for 265 yards. Chrebet and Jerald Sowell caught touchdown passes, but the Jets managed just two drives of substance all night -- one of them in the waning minutes.

''We tried not to give him a lot of time to sit back and make plays,'' Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson said. ''We feel good about ourselves, but this is no time to start looking ahead.''

With both teams playing conservatively in a matchup of the AFC's top-rated quarterbacks, the Jets didn't mount a scoring drive until the waning minutes of the second quarter. Sowell, the Jets' veteran blocking fullback, scored the first touchdown of his six-season career on a 6-yard reception that capped a four-play, 80-yard drive shortly before halftime.

Six minutes after Rice's TD catch, Marcus Knight forced New York's Chad Morton to fumble a punt return at the 12, which led to Zack Crockett's 1-yard TD run and a 20-10 lead.

''It happened too fast to prevent it,'' Morton said. ''There were some twists and turns, but we came very close to getting it.''



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