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Raiders win fourth straight, snap Jets' streak

12/3/2002

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- 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 became the third man in NFL history with 1,000 receptions
on a short catch in the third quarter. Mere seconds later, Rice
caught a pass over the middle for the score that put Oakland ahead
to stay.

"That's Jerry Rice. Every time he catches a ball, he's stealing
your thunder,'' Brown said. "It's just great to have him here.''

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.''

Game notes
Sam Cowart got his 100th tackle of the season for the Jets
on Oakland's first play. Moments later, he committed a 15-yard
facemask penalty. ... The Coliseum wasn't completely sold out, with
hundreds of empty seats visible in the top of the arena. After the
Raiders issued a press release blasting the government agencies
responsible for selling their tickets, a local television station
still broadcast the game, which was in danger of getting blacked
out. ... Raiders RB Charlie Garner also had nine catches for 60
yards.