2004 AFC Playoffs Steelers 20 vs Jets 17 OT
January 15, 2005
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2004 AFC Playoffs Steelers 20 vs Jets 17 OT

What an excruciating win! In my hand were a pair of tickets to the AFC Championship the following week... provided the Steelers first take care of business with the Jets.

The Steelers take an early 10-0 lead fueled by a Jeff Reed FG and a Troy Polamalu INT in Jets territory, setting up a short Bettis TD run. But the Jets stun the Steelers with a 75-yd punt return by Santana Moss and an 86-yd pick-six by Reggie Tongue and take a shocking 17-10 lead into the fourth quarter.

After tying the game on a shovel pass to Hines Ward with 6 minutes remaining, the Steelers then put me through one of the most nerve wracking finishes of my life.

The Jets move into FG range with just over 2 minutes left, but Doug Brien misses the 47-yd attempt, giving my AFCC tickets new life. The reprieve is short-lived, however, as Big Ben is immediately picked off, setting the Jets up at the Pittsburgh 37 with 1:58 remaining.

The Jets drive to the Steeler 24 and out trots Doug Brien for a shot at redemption. But Pittsburgh again dodges a bullet as Brien misses his 43-yd attempt as time expires. In overtime, Pittsburgh forces a Jets punt and starting at their own 13, Big Ben methodically drives the Steelers downfield using a steady diet of Duce Staley and Hines Ward, culminating in Jeff Reed's 33-yd FG to finally -- FINALLY -- win it.

Once my heart starts beating again, I book my room at the downtown Doubletree for the following week.


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