|Raiders post Szott comments on bulletin board
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When the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders hit the field Sunday for their highly anticipated AFC divisional playoff game, emotions likely will run high. Both teams have already started to talk a big game, mainly because these two teams are extremely familiar with each other. The Raiders beat the Jets 26-20 in front of a national TV audience on Monday Night Football on Dec. 2. When asked about that game recently, offensive guard Dave Szott told reporters that the Jets simply ran out of time. The game ended with the Jets driving deep in Oakland territory. "I think if you look at that game, we just ran out of time," Szott told reporters. "It's not like they clearly beat us." The Raiders have Szott's comments posted on the bulletin board in their locker room. "Have you seen this (expletive deleted)? I mean, check this!" Raiders wide receiver Jerry Porter, directing a TV camera crew to the bulletin board, said Monday. This will be the fourth meeting between the two teams in the last two years, all in Oakland. It will also be the second consecutive year the two teams will meet in the playoffs. Oakland eliminated the Jets in the wild-card round last season -- one week after the Jets beat the Raiders to earn a playoff spot. Raiders guard Frank Middleton also continued a war of words with the Jets, specifically targeting defensive tackle Josh Evans, who accused Middleton of "dirty hits to the knees" in the Monday night meeting. "The (expletive deleted) they were doing was uncalled for," Evans said after that game, accusing Middleton and guard Mo Collins of dirty play. "They aren't too athletic. They're not athletic at all, so they have to do something like that, those cheap shots, just to try to get under your skin." Middleton told reporters on Monday the Jets' claims have no basis in fact, and will not affect his play in the playoff game. "I'll be there on Sunday," Middleton said. "(Evans has) got to come back on Sunday. And if he didn't like it then, he's sure not going to like it now. "Nobody on that D-line scares me, man." Middleton said he was glad the Browns lost to the Steelers, setting up a first-round battle with the AFC East champs. "This is a game I wanted," Middleton said, unable to conceal a smile. "I was hoping for Cleveland to lose." The Raiders were not exactly impressed with the Jets' 41-0 dismantling of the Colts in the wild-card round on Saturday, either. "The Colts are not one of the better teams in the league, so they don't impress me,'' Middleton said. "We watched the Colts last week and we know they play different on grass than on turf. They're a turf team, not a grass team. I'm not impressed with what they did to the Colts. I don't think the Colts should have been in the playoffs.'' The Jets were hot during the second half of the season, winning seven of their last nine games. However, the Raiders feel their 7-1 record over the second half of the season has been overlooked. "Steve Young (of ESPN) said (the Jets) were the best team in football, and I thought, 'Then why are they playing in the wild card?' " Porter said. "But no matter, they have to come here." "We're on a roll, aren't we?" offensive tackle Lincoln Kennedy said. "There's something to be said for that. Just because we didn't have a game last week, that doesn't mean we've cooled off."