Archive for Sunday, January 9, 2005

Jets jolt Chargers in overtime

Pennington propels New York to 20-17 win

January 9, 2005

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— Chad Pennington's shoulder held up well enough to throw Marty Schottenheimer and the San Diego Chargers right out of the playoffs.

Pennington, bothered for the last five games by a strained rotator cuff, moved New York into range for Doug Brien's 28-yard field goal with 5 seconds left in overtime, and the Jets shocked the Chargers, 20-17, in a wild-card game Saturday.

The winning drive started on the Jets 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.

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.

Pennington threw two touchdowns 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.

Pennington, who has 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, it 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, giving the Jets a 14-7 lead.

The Jets ended a five-game road playoff losing streak. The last time they won on the road was Jan. 15, 1983, when they beat the Los Angeles Raiders, 17-14.

The Chargers were undisciplined, including their coach.

Schottenheimer was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for running onto the field after punter Mike Scoffers 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.

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.

San Diego's Pro Bowl trio of Brees, Gates and LaDainian Tomlinson were largely ineffective against a Jets defense that was without Pro Bowl defensive end John Abraham, who missed his fifth straight game because of a sprained right knee.

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