Final

Steelers 17

(11-1, 5-1 away)

Jaguars 16

(6-6, 3-3 home)

8:30 PM ET, December 5, 2004

 

1 2 3 4 T
PIT 7 7 0 317
JAX 7 0 6 316

Reed's 37-yard field goal with 18 ticks left wins it

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Ben Roethlisberger had plenty of help in pulling off the first last-minute drive of his career.

The rookie quarterback extended both his and Pittsburgh's winning streak to 10 games by engineering a late drive Sunday night to set up a 37-yard field goal by Jeff Reed with 18 seconds left that gave the Steelers a 17-16 win over Jacksonville.

The drive, the kind pulled off multiple times by stars like John Elway, Dan Marino and Joe Montana, covered 56 yards in six plays after Josh Scobee made a 36-yard field goal with 1:55 left that gave the Jaguars the lead.

"It's something special what he's doing," guard Alan Faneca said. "Is a rookie quarterback supposed to win a game like that on the road in a hostile environment in prime time? Probably not. That says a lot about him. He's special."

Roethlisberger said that the Steelers' regular 2-minute drill routine is to put 1:47 on the clock and play with no timeouts and needing a field goal.

"I want the ball in my hands," he said. "I want to have control of the outcome of the game."

But the young quarterback, who set a record for most wins by a rookie quarterback, wasn't the only star of the last-minute victory.

Reed drilled the kick, of course. And the win by the Steelers (10-1) was a testament to coach Bill Cowher's clock management. He used all three of his timeouts before the 2-minute warning as Jacksonville was driving for the go-ahead field goal, preserving plenty of time for his offense.

Then Roethlisberger was 3-of-4 for 39 yards on the winning drive, and the one incompletion was a spike after he calmly let the clock run down to avoid giving the Jaguars much time for a march of their own.

He finished the night 14-of-17 for 221 yards and two touchdowns and had a passer rating of 158, just three-tenths of a point from perfection. He also rushed for 40 yards after three rather sluggish games in an otherwise brilliant rookie year.

Jacksonville (6-6) had one last shot after a 19-yard completion from Byron Leftwich to Jimmy Smith, which gave Scobee a shot at a 60-yarder. It fell just short and wide right.

"We had opportunities," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. "One play -- and we had any number of chances at a play -- and we'd be a whole lot happier right now. It didn't happen."

The Steelers are one win from clinching the AFC North and hold a tiebreaker for home-field advantage in the AFC over the New England Patriots, whom they handed their only loss. They hold a four-game lead over Baltimore with four games left, but their only loss of the season was to the Ravens, when veteran quarterback Tommy Maddox was injured and Roethlisberger took over.

Jacksonville, which could have moved into a tie with Baltimore and Denver for the final AFC wild-card spot, remains a game behind those two. The Jaguars have had 11 of their 12 games decided in the final minute.

Pittsburgh scored touchdowns on its first two possessions, but was held without a point for the rest of the game until the final drive.

In the first three quarters, the Jags moved inside the Pittsburgh 15 three times, but came out with only six points -- Scobee missed a 32-yard field-goal attempt in the second quarter and made two others.

"It was as tough a loss as we've had since the AFC championship game in 1999," said wide receiver Jimmy Smith, who has been with the Jaguars since their founding as an expansion team 10 seasons ago.

The first Steelers TD came after a 77-yard, seven-play drive when Roethlisberger hit Hines Ward for a 37-yard score.

Leftwich, who finished 16-of-27 for 268 yards, countered with a 12-play, 73-yard drive, finding Troy Edwards from 22 yards. As Ward did on the first TD, Edwards broke a tackle and ran in for the score.

Pittsburgh made it 14-7 on Roethlisberger's 26-yard pass to tight end Jay Riemersma to cap a 72-yard drive.

Jacksonville cut it to 14-10 on Scobee's 20-yard field goal on its first second-half possession, in which it went from its 2 to the Pittsburgh 2. There were two big plays on the drive: a 56-yard pass from Leftwich to third-string tight end Todd Yoder and a 36-yarder to Edwards.

Scobee's 29-yarder in the final seconds of the third quarter made it 14-13.

Game notes


Riemersma sprained an ankle on his touchdown catch and didn't return to the game. ... Running back Duce Staley returned for Pittsburgh after missing four games, and rushed 51 yards on 17 carries. ... Three former Steelers had good nights for the Jaguars -- linebacker Jason Gildon had a sack, Edwards had five catches for 90 yards and the TD, and running back Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala picked up several first downs on short yardage. ... The crowd of 76,877 was a record for Jacksonville.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville
1st Downs1520
3rd down efficiency
5-106-14
4th down efficiency
0-00-0
Total Yards316359
Yards per play7.05.7
Total Drives02
Passing196259
Comp-Att
14-1716-27
Yards per pass
11.59.6
Interceptions thrown
00
Sacks-Yards Lost
3-252-9
Rushing120100
Rushing Attempts
2534
Yards per rush
4.82.9
Penalties11-823-25
Turnovers00
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
00
Possession25:2334:37

Passing Leaders

PITC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Roethli...14/1722113.0203-25
JAXC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Leftwich16/272689.9102-9

Rushing Leaders

PITCARYDSAVGTDLG
Staley17513.008
Roethli...34013.3020
JAXCARYDSAVGTDLG
Taylor27762.8018
Fuamatu...6203.306

Receiving Leaders

PITRECYDSAVGTDLG
Ward48020.0137
Randle El57114.2018
JAXRECYDSAVGTDLG
Edwards59018.0136
Yoder15656.0056

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERPITJAX
TD5:15HINES WARD 37 YD PASS FROM BEN ROETHLISBERGER (JEFF REED KICK)
Drive: 7 plays, 77 yds, 3:45
70
TD12:57TROY EDWARDS 22 YD PASS FROM BYRON LEFTWICH (JOSH SCOBEE KICK)
Drive: 12 plays, 73 yds, 7:42
77
SECOND QUARTERPITJAX
TD3:13JAY RIEMERSMA 26 YD PASS FROM BEN ROETHLISBERGER (JEFF REED KICK)
Drive: 10 plays, 72 yds, 5:16
147
THIRD QUARTERPITJAX
FG6:13JOSH SCOBEE 20 YD
Drive: 9 plays, 96 yds, 3:00
1410
FG14:52JOSH SCOBEE 29 YD
Drive: 12 plays, 55 yds, 7:09
1413
FOURTH QUARTERPITJAX
FG13:05JOSH SCOBEE 36 YD
Drive: 12 plays, 62 yds, 4:49
1416
FG14:42JEFF REED 37 YD
Drive: 6 plays, 56 yds, 1:37
1716