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AFC PLAYOFFS Wild ride: Jets escape in OT



Published: Mon, January 10, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



San Diego coach Marty Schottenheimer fell to 5-12 in the playoffs.

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- 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 overtime 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 wild-card 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 overtime. 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.

Mounting disappointments

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 well-documented," Schottenheimer said. "My disappointment, quite frankly, is with the players in that locker room and the community."

Chad Pennington, bothered by a sore throwing shoulder for five games, 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.

Late penalty

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."




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