The Jets rushed for 242 yards and Thomas Jones for 159 of that, yet it couldn't stop the Jets from dropping to 3-3 on the season with a 16-13 overtime loss to the Raiders in Oakland. Sebastian Janikowski's third field goal of the afternoon — a 57-yard boom — with 2:30 remaining in the extra frame ended it.
"This is one of the toughest losses I've ever been a part of," said Jets quarterback Brett Favre.
Janikowski's kick overshadowed Jay Feely's 52-yarder that sent the game into the extra session. Feely, who got a second chance at tying the game, drilled his attempt with three seconds left in regulation.
Tom Cable gave Feely a second try because the Raiders interim head coach called timeout a second before Feely clanged the pigskin off the left upright. The Raiders faithful exploded but were dismayed to hear officials say the Jets' kicker would get another opportunity.
"I was really proud of the way we fought back in the fourth quarter," Jets head coach Eric Mangini said.
After three series by each team in the OT, Janikowski finished it and the Raiders celebrated. They moved to 2-4 with an inspired effort.
This game dramatically turned on a successful Oakland fake punt in the final quarter and the Jets couldn't overcome three turnovers. After moving the ball well on their first possession, the Green & White had difficulty all day finishing against a tenacious Raiders defense.
Favre, who helped the visitors force overtime, completed 21 of 38 passes but he was also picked off twice. JaMarcus Russell, who was 17-of-30 for 208 yards, played error-free football and came up big on Oakland's final drive.
"I came here to win games like that," Favre said. "That's what's disappointing to me."
The Raiders had nothing to lose and they played like it late. Instead of punting the ball away during a tied game, they ran a fake punt to perfection with linebacker Jon Alston taking a fourth-and-2 snap for 22 yards to keep the drive alive.
That set up Janikowski's second field goal — a 37-yarder — and the Silver & Black took a 13-10 lead with 2:56 on the game clock.
Trailing by seven points in the final quarter, the Jets turned to some "trickeration" and then Leon Washington followed with a little redemption.
On a critical third-and-1 play from their 45, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer moved Favre out wide and had the gunslinger run a pass pattern. The versatile Brad Smith moved to the shotgun and ran for a 5-yard gain. Then Smith was on the receiving end of a reverse pitch, got a block from Favre and raced 36 yards around left end.
Two plays later, Washington made up for a lost muffed punt return in the first quarter with an 11-yard scoring run to tie things up at 10.
In the days preceding this AFC contest, much of the talk focused on the strength vs. strength matchup of the Jets' third-ranked rush defense against the Raiders' No. 4 rush offense. And while Oakland ran well against the Green & White, the Jets had a huge day on the ground as Jones averaged 6.6 yards a carry.
"The line was blocking really well coming off the ball and the offensive coordinator stuck with it," TJ said of Schottenheimer. "He called the right plays at the right times."
The Raiders broke a low-scoring struggle in the third quarter. They received the second-half kickoff and marched 70 yards in nine plays, culminating a fine-looking possession with an 8-yard TD pass from Russell to Javon Walker. Russell, a 6'6", 260-pounder, moved well to his left out of the pocket and zipped a strike to Walker as Oakland took a 10-3 advantage 5:25 into the second half.
A week after losing the turnover battle by two and still coming out victorious over the Bengals, the Jets played with fire again early. Washington muffed a Shane Lechler punt after taking his eyes off the ball and outside linebacker Sam Williams recovered for Oakland at the Jets' 16. Five plays later, Janikowski connected from 29 yards to tie the game at 3 and it would stay that way into the second quarter.
"Fielding punts — that should be something that's automatic in this league," Washington said.
Just as it appeared the Jets were poised to take their second lead Sunday, Favre came up empty inside the Raiders' 10-yard line. The future Hall of Famer went to Jerricho Cotchery in the end zone, but J-Co was heavily covered and Raiders' safety Gibril Wilson came up with a huge interception.
"You can't have three turnovers and you can't have these self-inflicted wounds," Mangini said.
Fortunately for the visitors, the Raiders failed to take advantage because Janikowski banged a 40-yarder off the right upright. The teams headed into intermission in a 3-3 stalemate.
In a game that featured two old AFL rivals, the Jets paid Weeb Ewbank homage with their first drive. They went to a spread look and had Favre attack the Raiders' linebackers in the middle of the field. He completed five passes and four of them went to tight end Chris Baker, setting up Feely's 40-yard field goal.
Next Sunday, the Jets will return to the Meadowlands and host the 1-5 Kansas City Chiefs.
"It's a tough loss, but we have to move on," Jones said.
Brett Favre is renowned for a ton of things, but his cadence is often underrated. The cagey vet had the Raiders jumping early like they were at a Northern California club, drawing three offside infractions in the first quarter.
Ellis Gets No. 5
Defensive end Shaun Ellis is off to a wonderful start rushing the passer and picked up his 5th sack this afternoon. Ellis, who is the longest tenured Jet, now has 58.5 over nine seasons.
The Raiders, who played at an up-tempo pace from the get-go, weren't always disciplined. Tom Cable's troops were charged with seven penalties in the opening stanza while the Jets picked up a pair. The Raiders actually finished with 14 penalties, but the Jets weren't pleased with their seven fouls.
After serving a one-game suspension for his helmet-to-helmet collision with Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin, safety Eric Smith returned to the starting lineup for the Jets.