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Sports Then and Now



Classic Rewind: Missed Kicks Sink Jets vs. Steelers 4

Posted on December 15, 2010 by A.J. Foss

Many Jets fans will tell you that they are the unluckiest franchise in the National Football League because the Jets always find a way to lose in the most important games.

Another chapter to the Jets’ star-crossed history was added in their 2004 AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers when kicker Doug Brien missed not one but two field goals in the final two minutes of regulation that could have won the game for New York, but ended up losing the game in overtime.

In 2004, the Jets finished with a 10-6 record to earn a wild card berth, the team’s third playoff appearance in four years under head coach Herm Edwards.

In the Wild Card Round, the Jets pulled out a 20-17 overtime victory over the San Diego Chargers when Brien made a 28-yard field goal with five seconds left in the first overtime period to give New York an upset victory and sent them to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers in the AFC Divisional Playoffs.

The Steelers had the best record in the NFL during the 2004 season, a 15-1 record thanks to the league’s best defense and best rushing game lead by Jerome Bettis.

The biggest surprise of this season was the fact that the Steelers were able to go 15-1 with a rookie quarterback.

The Steelers used their pick in the first round to select quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was designated to be their quarterback of the future and sit on the bench for the 2004 season.

But when incumbent starting quarterback Tommy Maddox was knocked out of the second game of the season with an elbow injury in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Roethlisberger was forced to step in and take the reins as the starting quarterback.

Roethlisberger started 13 games and won all 13 of them, which included a 34-20 win against the New England Patriots that ended their 21-game winning streak, and a 17-6 win against the Jets. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

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