In the third quarter, with New York leading 20-0, Lamonica hit a 14-yard touchdown pass to Bill Miller. But early in the fourth Namath threw the pass off 25 Lag and Mathis caught it for a 38-yard gain. Boozer, who rushed for 98 yards, scored to put the game away, despite Lamonica's final touchdown pass to Warren Wells.
The Raiders claimed not to be impressed. "We were flat," said Coach Johnny Rauch. "We didn't control the ball as we should have, and we couldn't get going. The Jets are no different than the team we faced last year. Namath has a quick delivery and striking variety—the bomb, the medium shot, the short pass. I guess I would have to rate him the best quarterback in the league. He has good offensive weapons in the backfield, and that takes some of the pressure off."
Corner Back Willie Brown, who intercepted two Namath passes and covered Sauer tightly, said, "Namath seems the same as last year, but I think he has better protection and more time to throw."
Namath has had a lively feud with Oakland's 6'7", 265-pound end, Ben Davidson, and was quoted as saying that Davidson was "one of the dirtiest football players I ever saw." But Davidson said he didn't comment on that to Namath. "I'm too out of breath to talk to anybody during the game," said Davidson. "Once I did tell him he threw a nice pass. He called a good game."
Oakland Guard Gene Upshaw, nicknamed Super Rookie in the Raider training camp, was a little bitter. "Their defense didn't show me anything, and their offense was holding on every play," he said. "Wait until we get them back in Oakland."
But the Jets did not seem overly concerned about the Raiders' opinions. "This is the best team we've ever had here, and this was our best game," said Coach Ewbank. "Everybody played so well that we don't know who to give the game ball to."
Namath sat in front of his locker, chewing tobacco and drinking orange soda. "Joe really got belted a few times tonight," said Punter Curley Johnson. "But his knee held up. That's the important thing. This was a big one for us. Now I know we can go all the way."
Unless the Buffalo Bills can heal the injuries that have wrecked their offensive line, the Jets at last seem in position to do exactly that. It may not be an illusion this time.