If it had been the Oakland Raiders instead of the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV, the result probably would have been similar for the New York Giants.
Rich Gannon passed for 221 yards and three touchdowns, including a pair to Tim Brown, to lead the Raiders to a 28-10 victory over the Giants in an interconference game played in a driving rainstorm for most of the second half.
The Raiders (8-2) extended their winning streak to 10 games against NFC teams and remained tied with Pittsburgh for the best record in the AFC.
Less than a week after getting scorched by receivers Randy Moss and Cris Carter, the Giants had to contend with Oakland's tandem of Brown and Jerry Rice.
Brown caught touchdown passes of 46 and 19 yards and finished with six receptions for 117 yards. Rice had three catches for 65 yards -- all in the first half -- before the rain made conditions difficult in the second half.
"I think with this offense we have a lot of variety," Rice said. "I think some days I'll have eight catches and Tim will have two or three. Today was his day."
Rice is the NFL's all-time leader with 1,328 catches for 19,889 yards and 193 touchdowns. Brown cracked the 900-catch mark Sunday and ranks fifth with 905 receptions.
Moss had 10 receptions for 171 yards and three touchdowns and Carter caught 10 passes for 46 yards and a score in New York's 28-16 loss at Minnesota on Monday.
Playing his usual mistake-free game, Gannon has thrown 18 touchdowns with just two interceptions this season. On Sunday, he was 9-of-12 for 153 yards in the first half when the Raiders built a 21-3 lead.
"I thought we played well in the first half before the weather started to become a concern," Gannon said. "We came out with a lot of different formations and I think we hurt them in the seams. The safety bit a couple of times on pump fakes."
"He knew exactly where his primary, secondary and third receivers are," Rice said of Gannon. "He's just a leader out there on the field."
New York's Kerry Collins completed 19-of-38 passes for 184 yards, but no touchdowns.
Tiki Barber led the Giants with 124 yards on 19 carries, including a 12-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
The Giants (5-6) head into their bye week under .500 and in third place in the NFC East behind Philadelphia (6-4) and Washington (5-5).
"Needless to say, I am very disappointed in the outcome of this game," Giants coach Jim Fassel said. "We wanted to run the ball and we wanted to create some turnovers. It just doesn't seem right now that we can make a play to get momentum."
New York failed to reach the playoffs the year after winning its first two Super Bowls. After getting pounded by the Baltimore Ravens, 34-7 in Super Bowl XXXV last January, the Giants are in danger of missing the postseason.
The Raiders could have matched up against the Giants last January, but suffered a 16-3 loss to the Ravens in the AFC championship game. Seeking the missing pieces to the Super Bowl puzzle, Raiders coach Jon Gruden added Rice and running back Charlie Garner in the offseason.
Garner made an impact on this game, breaking off a 38-yard run on Oakland's first play from scrimmage and catching a 21-yard touchdown early in the second quarter.
With the Giants coming on a blitz, Garner raced around right end and raced 38 yards before getting pushed out of bounds by safety Shaun Williams at the New York 33.
On a 3rd-and-6, Gannon showed his mobility with a six-yard run to the New York 23 and then hit Rice with a 17-yard pass, giving Rice 235 consecutive games with a reception.
Two plays later, fullback Zack Crockett scored on a one-yard run 4:36 into the game.
"They came out and drove right down the field on us on the first drive," Giants rookie cornerback Will Allen said. "That's not how our defense wanted to start the game off."
Barker broke off a 36-yard run, flattening Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson before getting tackled at the Oakland 42. The drive stalled at the 29 and Morten Andersen kicked a 47-yard field with 3:31 left in the quarter for 2,002 career points. An extra point in the third quarter moved Andersen past George Blanda for second on the all-time scoring list.
The Raiders responded with a 10-play, 63-yard drive which resulted in Garner's touchdown 2:08 into the second quarter. On a 3rd-and-7, Gannon hit Rice with a 14-yard pass to the New York 46 and scrambled for five yards on a 3rd-and-2 play before Garner turned a screen pass into a 21-yard touchdown.
Gannon lofted a 46-yard touchdown over the middle to Brown, increasing the lead to 21-3 with 1:51 left in the half. Rice beat cornerback Jason Sehorn on a 34-yard slant before Brown's touchdown.
"The ball I caught down the middle, Sehorn was being aggressive and I caught him coming up," Rice said.
The Giants pulled within 21-10 on a 12-yard touchdown run by Barber with 4:10 left in the third quarter, capping a nine-play, 80-yard drive. The key play was a 29-yard catch by Amani Toomer.
New York reached the Oakland 35 early in the fourth quarter, but on a 4th-and-8 play, Collins floated a deep pass to Joe Jurevicius and cornerback Tory James knocked it away at the Oakland 5.
After a three-yard run by Garner, Gannon connected with Brown on a 40-yard play to the New York 22. On a 3rd-and-7 at the 19, the duo struck again when Brown beat Allen in the left corner of the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown.
Giants defensive end Michael Strahan knocked the ball away from Gannon in the third quarter and was credited with his 16th sack of the season, but was held in check most of the day by Raiders veteran right tackle Lincoln Kennedy.
"I don't remember Strahan being a factor," Gannon said. "I think thats a credit not only to Lincoln but also to (tight end Roland) Williams."
"I knew I was going to have my hands full and I did," Kennedy said.
Strahan is six sacks shy of tying Mark Gastineau's single season record of 22 for the New York Jets in 1984.