Homefield Advantage

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Rookie WR Denarius Moore spends some time with the Raider Nation after his 23-yard TD run. Photo by Tony Gonzales.

The following is excerpted from Newsday columnist Neil Best's piece entitled Oakland Fans Turn Back the Clock:


The Jets' calendar for early October is circled with visits to Baltimore and Foxboro, two of the 21st century's most daunting NFL destinations. But before they could get there, they had to endure the Raiders' notorious Black Hole, best known for intimidating opponents when Rex Ryan was a teenager.

Unfortunately for the Jets, the old place has some life left in it, and yesterday, they found themselves surrounded by 61,546 agitated men and women (mostly) in black, partying like it was 1976.

"[The fans] were in it the whole game; those guys fed off it,'' said running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who has played here often and often has produced against the Raiders, as he did again with six catches for 116 yards and a touchdown. "When you don't play them a lot, you can kind of get shocked at how they play at home under this crowd.''

Said cornerback Darrelle Revis: "This team really feeds off the crowd and the energy they bring. They made some big plays and it was tough for us to bounce back.''

Even Mark Sanchez, who has won four playoff road games and insisted the Jets have played in much tougher environments, allowed that the atmosphere exacerbated their mistakes.

"Unfortunately, we kind of fed into that and didn't pull ourselves out,'' said Sanchez, who spoke with a large red scratch under his right eye, an injury that forced him to wear a face shield late in the game.

Later, first-year coach Hue Jackson gushed: "This is one of the greatest victories I've ever been a part of, and I've played in the AFC Championship Game.

"There is nothing like today because this is our fans. This is Raider Nation.''

Wow. That's a lot to play against.

  • Neil Best, Newsday

More postgame quotes...

Head Coach Hue Jackson

This is one of the greatest victories I've ever been a part of, and I've played in the AFC Championship Game. There is nothing like today because this is our fans. This is Raider Nation.* *Our fans were there for us and hopefully they'll continue to be there for us.

RB Michael Bush

It was awesome. The crowd was rocking and the energy was up and the fans were out there, so it was great.

LB Kamerion Wimbley

I think everybody played hard all the way until the end. Hats off to everybody who came to the game and just fed us that energy we needed to close this game out.

DT Tommy Kelly

[The fans] were excellent. They did an excellent job. They were the 12th man, loud, like the Raiders fans are, you know, I love them to death.

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