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Raiders put on air show to down Jets

Tim Brown, Jerry Rice and Rich Gannon lead pass-happy Oakland.

©Associated Press
December 4, 2002

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Tim Brown and Jerry Rice took turns rewriting the NFL record book, and Rich Gannon even joined in the fun. When they were done, the Raiders had a big win over the New York Jets.

Brown became the third player with 1,000 receptions and the third with 14,000 yards receiving, for once upstaging Rice -- who caught the go-ahead TD pass and added to two of his NFL receiving records.

Gannon, meanwhile, tied an NFL record with his ninth 300-yard passing game of the season as the Raiders (8-4) won 26-20 to stay tied with San Diego for first in the AFC West. Oakland has won four straight.

The Jets (6-6), who had their four-game winning streak snapped, fell a game behind Miami and New England in the AFC East.

Brown joined Rice and Miami's Cris Carter as the only members of the 1,000-catch club on a 6-yard pass over the middle early in the third quarter.

The game was stopped for four minutes as Brown celebrated at midfield with his wife, parents, siblings and other relatives. His mom, Josephine, attended one of his games for the first time since he was in junior high.

"She doesn't like the violence. She's a very religious person, she doesn't like the atmosphere," Brown said. "And she's a mom, she doesn't like to see her son get hurt."

Not to be outdone, Rice scored on the very next play. The 26-yard catch, which gave Oakland a 13-10 lead, was Rice's record 192nd TD catch and put him over 1,000 yards receiving for a record 14th season.

"That's Jerry Rice. Every time he catches a ball he's stealing your thunder," Brown joked.

After the game, Brown was handed a glass-enclosed silver and black commemorative ball, and black T-shirts honoring his achievement hung in many teammates' lockers -- though not Rice's.

"Tim got T-shirts and everything. I didn't get that," Rice said in mock dismay, recalling his 1,000th catch back in 1996.

Brown, 36, who has spent his career with the Raiders, caught four more passes later in the second half to reach another milestone -- 14,000 yards receiving.

Brown finished the night with 14,004 yards receiving -- tied with James Lofton for second place, trailing only Rice on the career list. Rice has 1,441 receptions for 21,408 yards.

In their third trip to Oakland in less than 11 months, the Jets didn't have enough offense or pass defense to stop the streaking Raiders. Gannon became the first to pass for 300 yards against New York since the 2000 season -- breaking an NFL-long streak of 30 games.

"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."

The game resembled New York's topsy-turvy season. The Jets lost four of their first five but won five of their next six heading into Monday's contest.

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