Early Kickoff on New Year's Eve


Coach Mangini stares in the background

The National Football League announced Monday evening that this Sunday's Jets/Raiders game at the Meadowlands will kickoff at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. The 9-6 Jets have already clinched their fifth winning season in seven years, but they hope to earn a Wild Card entry with a New Year's Eve win against a 2-13 Oakland team.

"Obviously we have to win next week to get to the playoffs, and that's going to be on our mind this week. That'll be our focus," said linebacker Jonathan Vilma after his team's thrilling 13-10 Christmas Night victory over the Miami Dolphins. "It's a short week though; we have to get back and get ready."

The Raiders have yet to win a road game during a trying 2006 campaign, and they probably won't find a welcoming committee when they visit the Meadowlands. Jets fans will have the special opportunity to root their team on early in the afternoon before celebrating the New Year later in the evening.

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