Collins started 67 consecutive games for the Giants from 1999-2003 before
signing with Oakland as a free agent prior to the 2004 season. In those five
seasons with the Giants, Collins moved into third place on the team's all-time
passing yardage list and set team single-season records for pass attempts,
completions and yardage.
In 2000 Collins led New York to an appearance in Super Bowl XXXV. Four years
later he found himself on the outs with the Giants after they used the first
overall pick in the '04 draft to select quarterback Eli Manning.
Thus the chance for redemption this week for Collins, who still carries a
slight chip on his shoulder for the way his career in New York ended.
''Obviously this game holds special meaning for me,'' Collins said Tuesday.
''I had five good years there and I'm very appreciative of everything they did
for me when I was there. At the same time it was tough the way it ended and
there's certainly a little bit more emotion involved in this game for me than
any other game.''
Ironically, the game against his former team might also represent Collins'
final appearance in a Raider uniform. A disappointing year -- Collins has passed
for 3,428 yards but has 12 interceptions and just a 75.5 quarterback rating --
coupled with a huge jump in his salary next season could force Oakland to
release the veteran quarterback.
Collins and Raiders coach Norv Turner are both on the hot seat. The Raiders
have won just nine games under Turner and only seven with Collins as the
''First and foremost we want to win the ballgame for our own reasons,''
Collins said. ''It's been a tough year and we want to finish it the right way.
Other than that it really doesn't bring much to the game for me. It's about the
Oakland Raiders and trying to win a ballgame. Whatever happens outside of that
happens, and that's it.''
Still, Collins acknowledged being upset after learning the Giants were going
with Manning as a rookie quarterback rather than himself.
''I don't think it took me by surprise,'' Collins said. ''What bugged me is
that they decided that someone would be better at the position than me. I didn't
feel that way at the time but it's water under the bridge. There's nothing I can
do about it now. I felt like I was still the best guy for the job. When you feel
that way and they decide to do something else, it's hard not to have bad
feelings about it.''