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PLAYOFF



Published: Sun, January 16, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



PLAYOFF

Notebook

Key statistics: Hines Ward caught 10 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. Jerome Bettis rushed 27 times for 101 yards. Curtis Martin led the Jets with 77 yards on 19 carries, and Chad Pennington was 21-of-33 for 182 yards. Pittsburgh was 8-for-15 on third down to the Jets 3-of-12.

Inactives: Steelers -- safety Tyrone Carter, running back Willie Parker, offensive tackle Barrett Brooks, offensive guard Jim Jones, tight end Matt Kranchick and linebackers Alonzo Jackson and Kendrell Bell. Matt St. Pierre was the third quarterback. Jets -- quarterback Quincy Carter, cornerback Roderick Bryant, strong safety Rashad Washington, offensive guard Dave Yovanovits, offensive tackle Marko Cavko, wide receiver Jonathon Carter and defensive end John Abraham. Ricky Bay was the third quarterback.

Lineup change: Pittsburgh's Deshea Townsend, whose status in the week leading up the game was questionable, started at right cornerback.

Career firsts: The first-half sacks by Steelers' Clark Haggans and Chris Hoke were the first in the postseason by both players.

Special special teams: Santana Moss' 75-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter was the first in Jets' postseason history.

On the flip side: Pittsburgh has developed a recent history of giving up special teams touchdowns. On Jan. 27, 2002, in the AFC Championship Game, Troy Brown of the New England Patriots returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown that was key in the Patriots' 24-17 victory.

Injured official: On Moss' punt return, official Jonathon Brown fell backwards and pulled a hamstring. He was replaced by John Schelyer.

History lesson: It was somewhat curious that Jets placekicker Doug Brien wasn't called upon to attempt what would have been a 51-yard field goal in the second quarter. The Jets opted to punt, and Chris Gardocki's effort landed in the end zone for a touchback. Perhaps the Jets knew the success rate for kickers attempting long field goals at Heinz Field, which is awful. Since the stadium opened, kickers are 0-for-5 on attempts of 50 yards or longer.

Attendance facts: Saturday's crowd of 64,915 was the second-largest in Steelers' home history and largest-ever in the postseason. The game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 7 drew 64,975.

The Vindicator




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