“One team’s season is going to end today,” Jordan told them, “and it’s not going to be ours.”
Jordan took his own words to heart, igniting a remarkable rally when he ran 2 yards for a touchdown with 14:20 left. The Jets kept coming, overcame an 11-point deficit and beat the Oakland Raiders 27-24 in overtime Sunday.
Chad Pennington threw a 3-yard scoring pass to Jerald Sowell with 1:09 left and completed the 2-point conversion pass to Anthony Becht to force OT. Then Doug Brien kicked a 38-yard field goal in the extra period.
“This is special,” Pennington said. “The Raiders had a blueprint to beat us, and everyone counted us out. But we won!”
The Jets were ecstatic, dancing on the field after Brien’s kick cleared the uprights.
New York is all too familiar with frustrating finishes in Oakland. The Jets have come west to play the Raiders six times in five years, and had lost four of the last five.
Brien made up for his botched field goal in a 31-28 overtime loss to the Giants last Sunday. He wasn’t ready for the snap and had a 51-yard field goal blocked.
He got another chance as even backup QB Vinny Testaverde made an impact— calling heads on the overtime coin toss to give the Jets the ball first.
Brien woke up at 5 a.m. every day this week, agonizing over his mistake, so he was thrilled to get another chance. Especially because the former Cal kicker had 30 friends in the stands.
“It was one of the longest weeks in my life,” he said. “I’ve been kicking really well, but it was tormenting me all week. But it feels great to do it here. It goes through your head, bits and pieces run through your mind.”
For Pennington, back as the starter for his second game after breaking his wrist in the preseason, this win was especially gratifying. He had one of his worst outings in New York’s 30-10 playoff loss to the Raiders 10 months ago that propelled Oakland into the AFC championship game.
Pennington went 18-for-27 for 269 yards and two touchdowns. He fumbled three times, but the Jets (3-6) recovered each one. They recovered some confidence, too, after the worst start in coach Herman Edwards’ tenure.
The Jets sent the Raiders to their fifth straight loss despite an admirable job by quarterback Rick Mirer and an overpowering running attack that staked the Raiders to a 21-10 first-half lead.
Mirer efficiently guided the Raiders in his first start since struggling with the Jets four years ago. Tyrone Wheatley carried 23 times for 75 yards, but the Raiders’ rush defense flopped in the end.
After allowing only 12 yards to the Jets on the ground in the first half, New York ran for 143 after halftime.
The Raiders (2-7), off to their worst start since beginning 1-6-1 in 1964, opened the game with 21 straight rushes before Mirer completed a 17-yard pass to Jerry Rice almost 19 minutes in.
Rice finished with four catches for 41 yards—not nearly enough if you ask the 19-year veteran.
“The coaches have to give you the opportunity,” the 41-year-old Rice said. “I haven’t had the opportunities this year. It’s just unfortunate. I have a hard time dealing with it.”
Curtis Martin was limited to 61 yards on 19 carries and ran for minus-4 yards on his first three attempts and the Jets had to punt. Phillip Buchanon took the punt off a bounce and broke three tackles for a 78-yard touchdown, the Raiders’ first score off a kickoff or punt return this season.
The Jets came back with a big play 58 seconds later. Pennington hit Santana Moss, who seemed in trouble when defensive end DeLawrence Grant spun him 360 degrees—and propelled him straight for the end zone. Moss broke free for a 65-yard TD.
Moss caught six passes for 146 yards.
Mirer, 33, became the starter because the Raiders’ top two QBs—2002 MVP Rich Gannon and backup Marques Tuiasosopo—are hurt, Tuiasosopo out for the season with a torn left knee ligament. Gannon has a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder and isn’t expected back for at least another week.
Raiders running back Charlie Garner left on Oakland’s first series with a strained lower back. Zack Crockett, Wheatley and Justin Fargas and ran 19 straight rushing plays to take a 14-7 lead on Crockett’s 1-yard TD on fourth down.
Four plays earlier, Fargas lost the ball and the Jets recovered in the end zone for a touchback. But the Raiders won a replay challenge.
Mirer threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Porter 34 seconds before halftime, Porter’s first TD of the season and the first red-zone score by an Oakland receiver.
Wheatley’s 23 rushing attempts were the most by a Raiders back this year. Garner carried 15 times twice. … During overtime, Martin went over 11,000 yards rushing for his career, the 13th NFL player to do so. … Mirer completed 18 of 25 passes for 186 yards and one TD.