OAKLAND, Calif. (Sept. 19, 2004) -- Reality hit Jerry Rice in the final minutes and his spontaneous reaction was somewhat shocking: He kicked a yard
marker and hurled his helmet at the ground.
Rice didn't figure his team-first attitude would lead to the end of his NFL-record receptions streak.
But Ronald Curry's big day is a sign the Oakland Raiders will no longer rely as much on Rice in their talented receiving corps. Rice's record streak
of 274 games with a catch ended, and Curry caught five passes for 89 yards and a touchdown in the Raiders' 13-10 victory against the Buffalo Bills.
"I expect to catch footballs," Rice said. "I never thought it would come to an end like this. But, you know, it's OK. It's all right. It happens. Life
goes on. I'll just start another one and get another 200."
Rice is still a starter, but has said he's willing to accept a lesser role for the Raiders (1-1) if it helps the team rebound from a 4-12 debacle. He
didn't get a pass thrown his way until 2½ minutes before halftime -- and that was the only one.
The last time Rice didn't catch a pass was Dec. 1, 1985, at Washington. Rice was substituted almost every other play during Oakland's next-to-last
drive. He came out with 2:37 left during a Buffalo timeout and threw his helmet to the ground, causing it to bounce over a metal bench.
He yelled in frustration and paced the sideline for several minutes, twice taking a seat alone on a bench.
Afterward, he joked about the whole thing.
"Oh yeah, I was working on my kicking, just in case (Sebastian Janikowski) had a little trouble," Rice said of booting the 30-yard marker. "I'm a
competitor. You get a little frustrated at times and I apologize for that. Otherwise, I just enjoy the game and I love being a part of it, and I want
to contribute to the team. It didn't happen today."