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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

    • Archie Griffin: 2-Time Heisman Winner
      December 11, 2022 | 1:42 pm
      Archie Griffin

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is the only football player ever to capture college football’s top individual award twice.

      As a star running back for the Ohio State Buckeyes, Archie Griffin claimed the Heisman Trophy during his junior season in 1974 and then was able to repeat the honor the following season.

      Griffin joined the Buckeyes for the 1972 season, which happened to be the first in which freshmen were eligible to play varsity football, and made an immediate impact. After fumbling in his only carry of his first game, Griffin more than made up for it in his second game by rushing for 237 yards against North Carolina. By the end of the season, Griffin had rushed for 867 yards.

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