Jets eliminate Chargers - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Jets eliminate Chargers

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Posted: Sunday, January 9, 2005 6:54 am | Updated: 8:53 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

SAN DIEGO - The same New York Jets who backed into the playoffs were the latest team to usher Marty Schottenheimer into the offseason.

Doug Brien kicked a 28-yard field goal with 5 seconds left in the first overtime period to get linebacker Eric Barton off the hook for a huge penalty and give the Jets a 20-17 upset over the Chargers in a wildcard game Saturday night.

The winning drive started on the New York 30 after Chargers rookie Nate Kaeding was wide right on a 40-yard field goal try with 4:19 left in the first overtime period. It included an 18-yard pass from Pennington to Santana Moss that was upheld on review.

The Jets celebrated wildly while Schottenheimer walked across the field with a far-off look on his face.

‘‘That has to be one of the most dramatic games I’ve been a part of,’’ said New York’s Curtis Martin, the NFL’s regular-season rushing champion who was held to just 66 yards on 18 carries.

And just like that, Schottenheimer still can’t win in the playoffs. Named the Coach of the Year earlier in the day, he suffered his fifth straight playoff loss dating to 1993 with the Kansas City Chiefs and fell to 5-12 in his career, which also included a stop in Cleveland.

Schottenheimer’s teams have gone one-and-out eight times.

‘‘I’ve been through this before; that’s been welldocumented,’’ Schottenheimer said. ‘‘My disappointment, quite frankly, is with the players in that locker room and the community.’’

Chad Pennington threw two touchdown passes for the Jets, who led 17-7 late in the third quarter and should have won in regulation.

But the Chargers forced overtime when All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Pro Bowler Drew Brees to tie it at 17 with 11 seconds left in regulation.

It came one play after Jets linebacker Eric Barton was whistled for a personal foul for hitting Brees on the helmet with his right forearm after Brees threw a desperation pass on fourth-and-goal that was batted down in the end zone.

As Brien kicked the winning field goal, Barton sighed in relief.

‘‘I needed guys to dig me out of this and they did,’’ Barton said.

Brien’s winning kick came minutes after Kaeding’s flub.

‘‘I don’t know what happened,’’ Kaeding said. ‘‘I let my teammates and my coaches down and I wasn’t able to look them in the eye when I came back in the locker room knowing that I didn’t do my job.’’

Pennington, who’s led the Jets to three straight wins in San Diego dating to 2002, was 23-of-33 for 279 yards. Brees was 31-of-42 for 319 yards.

Pennington threw a go-ahead, 47-yard touchdown pass to Moss early in the third quarter.

His second TD pass of the night went at least 55 yards in the air, and Moss caught it 2 yards deep in the end zone after getting behind safety Jerry Wilson and cornerback Quentin Jammer. That score gave the Jets a 14-7 lead.

The Chargers were undisciplined, including their coach.

Schottenheimer was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for running onto the field after punter Mike Scifres took a dive in the second quarter.

The 15-yard penalty gave the Jets the ball on the San Diego 37, and Pennington hit wide-open tight end Anthony Becht on a 13-yard touchdown pass five plays later that allowed the Jets to tie it at 7 with just less than three minutes before halftime.

‘‘I absolutely blew a fuse,’’ Schottenheimer said. ‘‘It’s unforgivable that I would do that.’’

The Chargers, in the playoffs for the first time in nine seasons, were booed by the sellout crowd when their offense went conservative in the third quarter.

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