The Patriots and Raiders meet Sunday night eight months after New England defeated Oakland 16-13 in overtime of last season's AFC Division playoffs.
In that contest, Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson belted quarterback Tom Brady on a blitz with less than two minutes to go and the Raiders leading 13-10. Linebacker Greg Biekert (now a Minnesota Viking) fell on the ball, but it was ruled that Brady was tucking in the ball after trying to pass, therefore an incompletion instead of a fumble. Adam Vinatieri kicked the tying field goal, then the winner in overtime. New England defeated the St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl two weeks later.
No matter how much Callahan may want players to forget about what transpired, that thought will not be removed from their mind. Here are some excerpts from both teams.
Raiders on the rematch:
Tim Brown (wide receiver): "As much we say no, you guys are going to talk about it all week anyway. I'm sure we'll have some talks in the locker room."
Rich Gannon (quarterback): "My approach is that it happened last year and it's long gone. They're just the next game on our schedule."
Frank Middleton (offensive guard): "I don't think it's so much about them beating us. It's more about a couple of guys on their team celebrated a little bit too much. That's what's driving me. A few of their guys kind of clowned a little bit. I'll point them out on Sunday."
Terrence Shaw (defensive back who player for New England last season) on whether it was a fumble: "I don't know. I wasn't paying attention."
Patriots on the rematch:
Lawyer Milloy (strong safety): "I'm not even going to talk about last year. That's last year, you know."
Tom Brady (quarterback): "I think I've heard enough ‘tuck' for the last eight months. The officials got the call right."
Damien Woody (center): "We're not worried about all the calls and everything that happened in last year's game. I'm sure that's on their mind, but for us it's just another business trip."
Marc Edwards (fullback): "Sometimes it works against you. You have to remember that it's two different teams. Yeah, it's basically the same guys with the same uniforms, but these are new teams, both with different problems and different situations. The bottom line is it's a new season, and when somebody's dwelling on the past, they're taking away from what they're doing right now."