Hank Poteat

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Posted by r2d2 04/06/2009 @ 06:10

Tags : hank poteat, football players, football, sports

News headlines
2009 NFL Free Agent Signings List - The Associated Press
CLEVELAND BROWNS_Signed Rod Hood, DB; Mike Furrey, WR; Eric Barton, LB; David Bowens, LB; Noah Herron, RB; Corey Ivy, CB; CJ Mosley, DT; David Patten, WR; Hank Poteat, CB; Robert Royal, TE; John St. Clair, OL; and Floyd Womack, T. Re-signed Mike Adams,...
Starting over: Mangini back to his roots for rebuilding Browns - USA Today
Secondary: Even more ex-Jets: Cornerback Hank Poteat is a free agent signing, and safety Abram Elam came with Coleman in the trade. As with the wideout and linebacker positions, Mangini is bringing in plenty of defensive backs....
Cavaliers face elimination and Browns add a cornerback - Cleveland ... - The Plain Dealer - cleveland.com
The Browns already had two starting cornerbacks, signed two others as free agents (Corey Ivy and Hank Poteat), and drafted two more last April. Much like the wide receiver position, how many players can the team carry at one position? 2....
Quinn, Anderson toss interceptions - Akron Beacon Journal
Anderson didn't take advantage of that chance, making a wide open Edwards leap over Brandon McDonald for a poor throw and overthrowing Edwards by 10 yards when he had cornerback Hank Poteat soundly beaten. Tight end Steve Heiden has no complaints about...
Browns notes: Hood had other offers, but likes Mangini's vision - Chronicle-Telegram
The Browns lacked experienced depth at cornerback last season, but Mangini has addressed that with the acquisitions of Hood, Hank Poteat and Corey Ivy. “He's played inside, he's played outside, he's started games, he's been productive,” Mangini said of...
What Will Stop the Jets From Taking Off On the Division? - Bleacher Report
Subtractions: Brett Favre, Abram Elam, Kenyon Coleman, David Barret, Brett Ratliff, Chris Baker, Laveranues Coles, Hank Poteat, Cody Spencer, CJ Mosely, and Eric Mangini. At first impression, that's aa heck of a trade off. Just the addition of Ryan and...
Brodney Pool To Step Up As a Leader in the Cleveland Browns' Secondary - Bleacher Report
They added veteran free agents Hank Poteat and Corey Ivy, both of which are cornerbacks. From there, in their headline draft day trade, the Browns acquired safety Abram Elam from the New York Jets. Elam, a three year veteran, has never been a starter...
What To Expect From The 2009 Cleveland Browns: Growing Pains - Bleacher Report
New additions Hank Poteat and Corey Ivy as well as draftees Coye Francies and Don Carey all have potential to shine (my way of saying tremendous upside because I refuse to use words invented by Mel Kiper Jr.). But the addition of Abram Elam might have...
Browns Make a Smart Signing in Rod Hood - Dawg Pound Daily
There is a real variety of experience from Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald with two years right up to Hank Poteat with 10 years. We have returning players, guys acquired in trades (like Abram Elam from the Jets) and free agent signings (like Corey...

Hank Poteat

Henry Major "Hank" Poteat, II (born August 30, 1977 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) is an American football cornerback for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 2000 NFL Draft. He played college football at Pittsburgh.

Poteat has also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots and New York Jets. He earned a Super Bowl ring with the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.

Poteat attended Harrisburg High School in Harrisburg, PA and was a letterman in football, basketball, and track. In football, he was a two-time All-Conference selection as a running back and as a defensive back. He finished his college career with 136 tackles, 10 interceptions, a school-record 1,917 Kick Return yards, 90 rushing yards and 54 receiving yards. He also earned All-Big East honors as a senior after posting 55 tackles, three interceptions, nine Passes Defended and one Forced Fumble over 11 starts. He was also the last Pittsburgh defensive back before Jets 2007 first-round pick Darrelle Revis to earn All-Big East honors in back-to-back seasons. He established a single-season record as a junior with 764 Kick Return yards on 36 returns. In high school he twice earned all-conference honors as a Defensive Back/Running Back at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania High School.

Poteat selected in the third round (77th overall) in the 2000 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played off the bench for the Steelers for three seasons, and was waived before the 2003-04 season.

He signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers later that season and appeared in one game before being waived on November 12, 2004.

Poteat signed with the New England Patriots prior to the 2004-05 playoffs and played in all three of the Patriots' playoff games en route to their victory in Super Bowl XXXIX. Poteat was released by the Patriots on August 29, 2006. Poteat was re-signed on September 27, 2006, after the Patriots placed Randall Gay on injured reserve. Poteat was released again by the Patriots on October 9, 2006 in order to clear a roster spot for Jabar Gaffney.

A day after his release from the Patriots, Poteat signed with the New York Jets. On February 21, 2007, the Jets re-signed Poteat to a one-year, $635,000 deal including $40,000 bonus money.

Poteat was re-signed in the 2008 offseason on May 6, but released on August 30 during final cuts. He was re-signed three weeks into the regular season on September 25 after offensive lineman Will Montgomery was waived.

Poteat was signed by the Cleveland Browns on March 9, 2009. The move reunited him with Browns head coach Eric Mangini, for whom he had played in New England and New York.

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Pittsburgh Panthers football

Larry Fitzgerald was selected for the cover of EA Sports video game NCAA Football 2005 and was Pitt's third Walter Camp Award winner

The Pittsburgh Panthers football team is the interscholastic football team of the University of Pittsburgh, often referred to as "Pitt". Traditionally the most popular sport at the university, Pitt has played at highest level of american football competition, now classified as the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, since its first sanctioned intercollegiate game in 1890.

Pitt has claimed nine National Championships, is among the top 20 college football programs in terms of all-time wins, and its teams have featured many coaches and players notable throughout the history of college football, including, among all schools, the eleventh most College Football Hall of Fame inductees and the seventh most consensus All-Americans.

An independent for much of its history, Pitt has competed as a member of the Big East Conference since 1991. The Panthers are currently coached by Dave Wannstedt, utilize the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Performance Complex as their practice facilities, and play home games at Heinz Field.

The University of Pittsburgh football team has boasted some of the most recognizable names in college football history, such as coaches Glenn "Pop" Warner, Jock Sutherland, and Johnny Majors, who led the Panthers to numerous national championships. NFL coach Jimmy Johnson served as an assistant to Jackie Sherrill.

Famous players for the Panthers have included such individuals as Tony Dorsett, Mike Ditka, Chris Doleman, Jim Covert, Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, Tony Siragusa, Rickey Jackson, Mark May, Curtis Martin, Russ Grimm, and Dan Marino.

Current NFL players with Pitt ties include Joe Flacco (Balimore Ravens), Darrelle Revis (New York Jets), Shawntae Spencer (San Francisco 49ers), Antonio Bryant (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Andy Lee (San Francisco 49ers), Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals), Gerald Hayes (Arizona Cardinals), Nick Goings (Carolina Panthers), Darnell Dinkins (Cleveland Browns), Kris Wilson (San Diego Chargers), Hank Poteat (New York Jets), Torrie Cox (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Rob Petitti (St. Louis Rams), Lousaka Polite (Chicago Bears), Ruben Brown (Chicago Bears), H. B. Blades (Washington Redskins) Clint Session (Indianapolis Colts), Tyler Palko (New Orleans Saints), Kennard Cox (Buffalo Bills), Mike McGlynn (Philadelphia Eagles), and Jeff Otah (Carolina Panthers).

The team garnered attention when Bobby Grier became the first African-American player to break the bowl game color-barrier in the 1956 Sugar Bowl.

The team first played at Recreation Park. Beginning in 1900, the Panthers played their games at Exposition Park on the North Shore of Pittsburgh, sharing the stadium with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In 1909 the Panthers, along with the Pirates, moved to Forbes Field, located on campus, where they played until 1924. In 1925, Pitt Stadium was completed on the opposite end of the campus, giving the Panthers their first and only private stadium. Pitt Stadium was home for the Panthers although the Steelers also used it for home games in the mid-1960s. Following the demolition of Pitt Stadium in 1999, the Panthers moved to Three Rivers Stadium, again on the North Shore, where the Pirates and Steelers had played since 1970. A handful of nationally televised Pitt Panther football games from the late 1970s to 1999 were played as home games not at Pitt Stadium but at Three Rivers with its more modern facilities.

Heinz Field opened in 2001, where the Panthers currently play as a co-tennant with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Panthers' practice facility is the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Performance Complex which is also shared with the Steelers.

The University of Pittsburgh has long-standing rivalries with several teams. Currently, Pitt's fiercest and primary rivalry is the Backyard Brawl which is played annually against fellow Big East Conference member the West Virginia. The Brawl, played 101 times, is one of the oldest and most played rivalries in college football. Prior to the 2001 football season, Pitt's most heated and longest standing rival had been intrastate foe Penn State. Sometimes referred to as the Pennsylvania Classic, this game has been on hiatus since 2000 following a rash of disputes between the two schools. Other long-standing rivals include the Notre Dame and Syracuse. More recently, the River City Rivalry was established when the Cincinnati Bearcats entered the Big East.

During the late 1990s, athletic director Steve Pederson instituted a rebranding of the Pitt Stadium student section in an attempt to bolster enthusiasm and unity by emphasizing the 12th man concept. The stadium was repainted with the student section changed to section "12" and a large inflatable jersey bearing number 12 was placed near the section. Upon the move the Heinz Field, the athletic department, in collaboration with their sideline apparel outfitter at the time Aéropostale, created the Aero-Zone. The Aero-Zone served as an exclusive on-field seating section for Pitt students where the first 200 students who lined up for the section before the game with student were admitted if they possessed tickets and proper identification. The Aero-Zone failed to catch sustained interest and was eventually disappeared.

The current official Pitt football student fan club and cheering section, the Panther Pitt, was founded in 2003 by Pitt students Robin Frank and Julie Brennan to attempt to organize an Oakland Zoo-like atmosphere at Heinz Field for football games. The Panther Pitt helped in coordinating student ticking policies with the athletic department and the Oakland Zoo. In 2006, the Panther Pitt and the Pitt Student Government Board originated the concept of "Code Blue" in which students wear blue t-shirts to the game to match the home blue uniforms of the Pitt football team. Commonly worn by students attending football games, the back of "Code-Blue" t-shirts typically include the line "Alle-genee-genac-genac" from the Official University Yell. However, mixed student support for the Panther Pitt and the introduction of these shirts has lead to some confusion regarding the actual student section since, unlike the Oakland Zoo which has matching "Oakland Zoo" t-shirts, no official "Code-Blue" organization exists. Other groups are also attempting to create a more unified student section for football.

The University of Pittsburgh claims nine National Championships for the Panthers football team: 4 that are mostly unanimous, (1916, 1918, 1937, and 1976) and 5 shared titles (1915, 1929, 1931, 1934, 1936).

The University bases its claim for the first 8 national championships on a study conducted in 1970 by Sports Illustrated . These championships, together with its unanimous championship of 1976, are the basis for the university's claim of 9 national championship seasons.

Furthermore, according to research conducted by College Football Data Warehouse, in 8 additional years at least one selector of national championships has declared Pitt as its National Champion. Combined with the Sports Illustrated study, Pitt has been recognized as the National Champion by at least one selector in 17 different seasons. According to the Official NCAA Division 1 Football Records Book, Pitt has been named a national champion by a "Major Selector" in 12 separate seasons..

Pitt has had eight undefeated seasons: 1904 (10–0), 1910 (9–0), 1915 (8–0), 1916 (8–0), 1917 (10–0), 1920 (6–0–2), 1937 (9–0–1), and 1976 (12–0). Of these 8 undefeated seasons, 4 are not claimed as national championship seasons by Pitt.

Pitt also has had 17 one-loss seasons (1894, 1899, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1927, 1929, 1931-1936, 1963, and 1979-1981).

Pitt has won Eastern football titles in 1925, 1927, 1929, 1931, 1932, 1934, 1936, 1937, 1955, 1976, 1979, and 1980, for which the Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy has been awarded beginning in 1936. Pitt won a co-share of the Big East Conference championship and received a BCS bowl berth in 2004.

The College Football Hall of Fame has inducted 24 former Pitt players or coaches.

Pitt has been to 25 bowl games throughout its history.

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2007 New York Jets season

The 2007 New York Jets season was the 38th NFL season and 48th overall season for the football team. This season was the second under head coach Eric Mangini. The team attempted to improve upon their 10–6 record from 2006, but finished the season with a 4–12 record.

The Jets signed defensive end Michael Haynes on March 22. Haynes played three seasons with the Chicago Bears, but was cut before the beginning of last season.

Marques Tuiasosopo was signed by the Jets on March 23 after spending six seasons with the Oakland Raiders. He and Kellen Clemens will compete for the role of backup quarterback behind starter Chad Pennington.

Among the more notable free agent signings during the offseason was the acquisition of defensive end Andre Wadsworth on March 26. Wadsworth was the third overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, but had been out of football since 2000 – when he was cut by the Arizona Cardinals – due to several knee injuries and subsequent operations that kept him off the field.

The Jets released backup quarterback Patrick Ramsey on March 2. Ramsey was slated to be the primary backup behind Chad Pennington in 2006, but only played one snap under center during the regular season.

Perhaps the most expected departure was the retirement of Curtis Martin on July 26. Martin was the fourth-leading rusher in NFL history at the time of his retirement with 14,101 yards. He hadn't played since week 12 of the 2005 season with a bone-on-bone knee injury ending his season. He was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list last season before being placed on injured reserve in week 8.

The Jets addressed a need at running back on March 6 by acquiring Thomas Jones from the Chicago Bears. The Jets' rushing offense ranked among the bottom teams in the NFL in 2006. In addition to Jones, the Jets received the 63rd pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, in exchange for the Jets' 37th pick, which the Jets acquired from the Washington Redskins last year. Jones then signed a four-year, $20 million deal with the team.

On August 23, the Jets agreed to trade disgruntled offensive lineman Pete Kendall to the Redskins, in exchange for the Redskins' fifth-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, which could become their fourth-round pick in 2009 depending on how much Kendall plays this season. Kendall had asked the Jets for a $1 million raise to his $1.7 million 2007 salary, which the Jets had refused, since Kendall had already renegotiated his contract prior to the 2006 season. He subsequently asked to be traded or released, and made his frustrations known to the media. During the preseason, Kendall practiced at center and played at that position in the Jets' preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings on August 17. The experiment resulted in two botched shotgun snaps for the Jets, one of which was converted into a defensive touchdown for the Vikings.

The Jets were granted the 25th pick in the first round of the annual college draft. The draft took place on April 28 and 29 in New York City.

The team was especially busy on draft day, making two big moves to move up in the order. First, they traded the 25th pick in the first round, along with their second (59th overall) and fifth-round (164th) picks to the Carolina Panthers for their first-round (14th) and sixth-round (191st) picks. They used the fourteenth pick on cornerback Darrelle Revis from the University of Pittsburgh. Later, they traded their other second-round pick (63rd) with their third (89th) and the sixth-round pick acquired from Carolina to the Green Bay Packers for their second (47th) and seventh-round (235th) picks. The four players in all taken by the Jets represent the smallest draft class in franchise history.

Revis initially did not attend the Jets' training camp, as he was still in the midst of negotiating his contract. He eventually signed a six-year, US$36 million contract on August 15, 21 days after camp had started. Revis was the second-to-last first-round pick to sign a contract with a team, with JaMarcus Russell of the Oakland Raiders the only holdout remaining as a result. Revis was the first draftee not signed before training camp by the Jets since James Farrior in 1997, and had the longest holdout since Keyshawn Johnson in 1996.

Matchups were determined at the end of last season through the league's scheduling formula. In addition to two games each against their traditional AFC East rivals, the team will face teams from the AFC North and NFC East. The Jets will also host the Kansas City Chiefs, marking Herman Edwards' first game against his former team since leaving after the 2005 season. The schedule was officially released on April 11. One game — the Jets' Thanksgiving game against the Dallas Cowboys — was announced with the league's opening weekend games on March 26. Game times from weeks 11 through 17 (excluding the aforementioned Cowboys game) were subject to change in accordance with the NFL's flexible scheduling policy. Two games wound up being affected: the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers was moved from a 1:00 PM Eastern time start to 4:05 PM; the game against the Chiefs was moved from NBC Sunday Night Football to a 4:15 PM start on CBS.

The Jets began their 2007 campaign at home for a Week 1 divisional match-up with the New England Patriots. In the first quarter, New York immediately trailed as QB Tom Brady completed an 11-yard TD pass to WR Wes Welker for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, the Jets tied the game with QB Chad Pennington completing a 7-yard TD pass to WR Laveranues Coles. However, the Patriots retook the lead with Brady completing a 5-yard TD pass to TE Benjamin Watson.

On the opening kickoff for the third quarter, New York trailed even more as CB Ellis Hobbs returned the kickoff an NFL record 108 yards for a touchdown. Afterwards, New England continued his onslaught as Brady completed a 51-yard TD pass to WR Randy Moss. The Jets would get their last score of the game with Pennington & Coles hooking up with each other again on a 1-yard TD pass. In the fourth quarter, the Patriots would take over for the rest of the game as kicker Stephen Gostkowski nailed a 22-yard field goal, while FB Heath Evans ended the game with a 1-yard TD run.

With the loss, New York began its season at 0–1.

Though Chad Pennington was active and in uniform for the Jets, the team erred on the side of caution due to injured right ankle, instead starting second-year backup Kellen Clemens, who was making his first career start. The Ravens' defense welcomed him rudely on his first drive with an interception by Ed Reed. The Ravens were able to attain good field position consistently throughout the first half, and quarterback Kyle Boller (who himself was starting in place of an injured starting quarterback, Steve McNair), capitalized with a two-yard touchdown to Willis McGahee late in the first quarter. The teams traded field goals to start the second quarter; Jets kicker Mike Nugent hit a 50-yard field goal, followed by Matt Stover hitting a 28-yard attempt for the Ravens. After Stover missed a 46-yard try, the Jets tried to respond with Nugent attempting a 52-yard field goal, but Nugent missed wide left, his first miss in twenty attempts dating back to last season. Boller once again took advantage of the short field provided and hit tight end Todd Heap on a four-yard touchdown with six seconds left in the half to extend the Ravens' lead to 17–3. Heap's catch was initially ruled incomplete, but the call was subjected to a booth review and reversed, as replays showed he was able to touch both feet within the end zone.

After a quiet third quarter, Stover hit a 43-yard field goal to start the fourth quarter, and extended Baltimore's lead to seventeen. Baltimore's defense, which ranked as the best in the NFL in 2006, was able to shut down Clemens and the Jets for most of the game, but Clemens was able to rally the team in the fourth quarter. Using a no huddle offense, Clemens drove the team down to the Baltimore three-yard line, before the Jets settled for a 21-yard field goal. On the Jets' next possession, 44 and 24-yard strikes by Clemens to Jerricho Cotchery got the Jets to the Ravens' goal line, where he found tight end Chris Baker for a three-yard touchdown, cutting the Jets' deficit to seven. Though the Jets failed to convert the ensuing onside kick, poor clock management by Boller gave the Jets the ball back with 2:38 left in the game. Clemens immediately found Cotchery on a 50-yard catch-and-run, later followed by a 24-yard pass to Laveranues Coles that brought the Jets' to the Baltimore seven-yard line with just over a minute to go. Clemens passed to Justin McCareins for a potential touchdown, but the pass was dropped by McCareins. A second pass to McCareins in the end zone deflected off him and into the arms of Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis for the game-ending interception. The loss made the Jets 8–20 since 2002 in games not started by Chad Pennington.

Chad Pennington returned under center for the Jets, as they attempted to get their first win of the season against another winless team, the Miami Dolphins. The Jets' offense got going toward the end of the first quarter with a three-yard touchdown pass from Pennington to Laveranues Coles. The Dolphins responded swiftly as Trent Green and Ronnie Brown led the team on a three-minute drive that culminated on a one-yard run by Brown to tie the score at seven. However, the Jets wasted little time reclaiming the lead. Leon Washington received the ensuing kickoff at the two-yard line and returned it 98 yards for a touchdown and a 14–7 lead. The Dolphins crept back with field goals of 31 and 39 yards by Jay Feely on their next two possessions. Pennington kept the Dolphins at bay with a successful two-minute drill, finding tight end Chris Baker on a four-yard touchdown to close the first half and give the Jets a 21–13 halftime lead.

The Jets attempted to further their lead opening the third quarter, but were stopped short of the goal line and had to settle for a 21-yard Mike Nugent field goal. The Dolphins tried to respond, but the Jets' defense forced their first takeaway of the season on the ensuing drive, an interception by Kerry Rhodes. Pennington led his offense downfield with the help of several Thomas Jones running plays before he ran into the end zone to give the Jets a 31–13 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Miami would not go down quietly, however. Green quickly marched the Dolphins downfield to set up Brown's two-yard touchdown run. The Dolphins elected to attempt a two-point conversion to cut their deficit to ten; using a Statue of Liberty play, Brown walked into the end zone to complete the conversion. Although the Jets shed several minutes off the clock on their following possession, the Dolphins got the ball back and again were able to move swiftly downfield, where Brown scored his third touchdown on a 22-yard pass from Green. The Dolphins needed to recover an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff to have a chance to tie or win the game, but, despite a penalty moving the ball up ten yards, were unsuccessful, and Pennington knelt out the clock to give the Jets their first victory of the season.

Coming off a divisional home win over the Dolphins, the Jets flew to Ralph Wilson Stadium for an AFC East showdown with the winless Buffalo Bills. After a scoreless first half, New York trailed in the third quarter as Bills RB Marshawn Lynch got a 10-yard TD run. The Jets would respond with QB Chad Pennington completing a 5-yard TD pass to WR Laveranues Coles. In the fourth quarter, New York fell behind Buffalo again as kicker Rian Lindell nailed a 46-yard field goal and QB Trent Edwards completed a 1-yard TD pass to TE Michael Gaines. The Jets managed to pull within three as RB Leon Washington got an 8-yard TD run. After forcing a three-&-out, New York had one last chance to tie or take the lead. Unfortunately, 8 plays into the drive, Pennington got intercepted by Bills CB Terrence McGee, which secured Buffalo's first win of the year.

With the surprising loss, the Jets fell to 1–3.

The Jets played a rare road game at home, as they took on their intracity rivals (and stadium co-tenants), the New York Giants. Both offenses were slow to start through the first quarter, though the Jets' defense capitalized when Giants running back Brandon Jacobs fumbled at his own 11-yard line, which was picked up by safety Kerry Rhodes for a touchdown. The Jets had a chance to extend the lead later in the period, but Mike Nugent missed a 42-yard field goal. The Giants responded on the ensuing drive with an eight-yard touchdown by Derrick Ward. The deadlock was broken toward the end of the first half when Chad Pennington led the Jets on a 93-yard drive with less than two minutes in the half, ending on a 16-yard touchdown pass to Brad Smith. The Jets were able to tack on a 47-yard field goal by Nugent to end the half, after they got the ball back on an interception of Giants quarterback Eli Manning by Jonathan Vilma, taking a 17–7 lead into the locker room.

The Giants went to work when they opened the second half, getting a 19-yard touchdown run from Jacobs to cut the Jets' lead to three. The lead was restored back to ten, however, when Leon Washington returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown. Later in the quarter, Manning led the Giants downfield and completed a 13-yard pass to tight end Jeremy Shockey for a touchdown. Pennington attempted to respond by leading the Jets deep into Giants territory early in the fourth quarter, but he floated a pass toward the end zone which was intercepted at the two-yard line by cornerback Aaron Ross. Despite the bad field position, Manning eventually found Plaxico Burress on a 53-yard touchdown pass to put the Giants ahead, 28–24. The Jets tried to get back ahead later in the period, but Pennington was intercepted again by Ross (Pennington's third of the afternoon), who took it 43 yards for what was effectively the game-sealing touchdown. One last attempt by the Jets to score yielded no positive yardage, and the Giants ran out the clock to preserve the victory.

Trying to snap a two-game skid, the Jets stayed at home, donned their throwback New York Titans uniforms, and played their Week 6 interconference game with the Philadelphia Eagles. In the first quarter, the Jets got off to a fast start with kicker Mike Nugent getting a 30-yard field goal, yet the Eagles took the lead with QB Donovan McNabb completing a 75-yard TD pass to WR Kevin Curtis. In the second quarter, Philadelphia increased its lead with kicker David Akers getting a 22-yard field goal. New York would respond with Nugent kicking a 21-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, the Jets continued to struggle as Akers gave the Eagles a 31-yard and a 25-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, New York tried to comeback, yet all they got was Nugent's 30-yard field goal.

With their third-straight loss, the Jets fell to 1–5.

One of the few positives from the game was that RB Thomas Jones ran 100 yards for the 18th time in his career, as he ran 24 times for 130.

Reeling from three straight losses, the Jets made some changes in the lineup, moving Darrelle Revis and inserting Hank Poteat and Abram Elam. QB Chad Pennington got off to a quick start, completing a 57 yard pass to Laveranues Coles. Both New York and Cincinnati were able to move the ball back and forth in the first half, ending the half with the Jets on top 20–10.

The fourth quarter would eventually prove to be the Jets undoing, however. After giving up a touchdown in the third quarter to make the score 23–17, the Jets gave up three touchdowns and only scored their last touchdown in the closing seconds of the game, ending with a 38–31 loss. The fourth quarter was marked by many mistakes, including a costly pass interference by Darrelle Revis and a fumble and interception by Chad Pennington. The pass interference kept a Bengals drive alive, and the fumble gave the Bengals the ball at midfield. Finally, with 50 seconds left in the game, Pennington throws a hurried pass into the hands of Bengal Johnathan Joseph, who runs the ball 42 yards for the game-sealing touchdown.

After the game, coach Eric Mangini refused to endorse Chad Pennington as the quarterback for next week's game against the Buffalo Bills, stating that he'd "need to look at the tape," indicating a possible change to Kellen Clemens.

Before the game, the Jets learned linebacker Jonathan Vilma was lost for the season with a knee injury. Both teams began the game with lengthy drives that ended in field goals, consuming nearly the first twenty minutes of the game. Neither team could generate much offense after that. An interception from Bills quarterback Trent Edwards and a fumble on a trick play by the Jets' Leon Washington ended the only serious attempts either team made at scoring in the second quarter.

Edwards sprained his right wrist in the third quarter and was replaced by his backup, former starter J. P. Losman. Losman led Buffalo downfield early in the fourth quarter, and the Bills took a 6–3 lead on a 40-yard field goal by Rian Lindell. On the Bills' next possession, Losman threw downfield from his own 15-yard line, and found Lee Evans, who, after wrestling the ball away from Darrelle Revis, ran untouched for 43 yards into the end zone to give the Bills a 13–3 lead. Revis appeared to have a chance to intercept the ball, but Jets' safety Abram Elam ran into Revis, allowing Evans to claim the ball.

After the touchdown, and with 3:38 left to play, Jets quarterback Chad Pennington was replaced by backup Kellen Clemens. Clemens twice attempted to drive the Jets for a score, but both drives ended in interceptions, including one on a Hail Mary that ended the game. The Bills held on for the 13–3 victory, as the Jets were swept by Buffalo for the first time since 1997.

Kellen Clemens was named the starting quarterback on Monday by Coach Eric Mangini, relegating Chad Pennington to the backup role indefinitely. However, Clemens would not be throwing to receiver Laveranues Coles, who ended a 104-game consecutive games played streak due to a concussion.

Leon Washington got the Jets started immediately when he returned the opening kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown. The kickoff return touchdown was his third of the season, setting a Jets record. The teams traded field goals before Clemens led the Jets downfield, where he found tight end Joe Kowalewski on a one-yard touchdown. The Redskins responded with a 40-yard field goal from Shaun Suisham. They then surprised the Jets with an onside kick, which they successfully recovered, leading to another Suisham field goal near the end of the first half.

Suisham continued to keep the Redskins in the game with a 40-yard field goal to start the third quarter, bringing the score to 17–12. The Jets drove deep into Redskins territory early in the fourth quarter when, on a pass completion to Jerricho Cotchery, Cotchery fumbled the ball, and the Redskins recovered. Mangini challenged the call believing the pass was incomplete, and therefore no fumble was possible, but the challenge was not upheld. The Redskins took advantage on the ensuing drive, and running back Clinton Portis, who had a huge game against the porous Jets run defense, scored on a one-yard touchdown to give Washington the lead. A two-point conversion from quarterback Jason Campbell to Antwaan Randle El put the Redskins up by three. The Jets eventually got the ball back late in the game, and Clemens led the offense on a 15-play drive ending with a Mike Nugent 30-yard field goal with ten seconds left to force overtime.

The Jets won the coin toss to start the extra frame and received the ball first. They began with a 39-yard pass from Clemens to Cotchery, but the drive quickly stalled and the Jets were forced to punt. Campbell and Portis led the Redskins downfield into the field goal range of Suisham, who hit his fifth field goal of the day to give the Redskins the win and send the Jets to their sixth straight loss.

The Jets faced a tough matchup in the Pittsburgh Steelers, who possessed the top-ranked defense in the league entering the game. The Jets started the game with a bang, however, executing a flea flicker play as quarterback Kellen Clemens found Laveranues Coles for 57 yards, setting up Chris Baker's one-yard touchdown reception. After the Jets extended their lead to ten points, the Steelers got on the board in the second quarter. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger found Santonio Holmes on a seven-yard pass for a touchdown, making the score 10–7. Later, following a Roethlisberger interception by Kerry Rhodes, Clemens led the Jets through a two-minute drill down to the Steelers' one-yard line, but could not get into the end zone, and the Jets settled for a Mike Nugent 19-yard field goal.

The Steelers were able to chip away at the deficit in the second half. Though the Jets defense managed to stall Pittsburgh drives into Jets territory, Jeff Reed hit field goal attempts from 37, 33, and 48 yards to eventually give Pittsburgh a 16–13 lead with less than nine minutes to go. The Jets eventually received the ball at their own 14-yard line with 2:23 left in the game, and for the second game in a row, Clemens marched the team downfield, on a 13-play, 76-yard drive, culminating in a 28-yard field goal attempt for Nugent, which forced overtime. After both teams went three-and-out to start, Leon Washington, who Pittsburgh kickers and punters had avoided kicking to for much of the game, returned a punt 33 yards to the Steelers 27-yard line. This set up Nugent's successful 38-yard field goal, giving the Jets their second win of the season.

The Jets defense had an impressive game; in addition to an interception and a fumble recovery, they were able to pressure Roethlisberger throughout the game, resulting in seven quarterback sacks, after having just nine in the team's first nine games.

Coming off their home upset victory over the Steelers, the Jets flew to Texas Stadium for a Week 12 Thanksgiving interconference showdown with the Dallas Cowboys. This would be their first Thanksgiving day appearance since 1985.

In the first quarter, New York trailed early as Cowboys RB Marion Barber got a 7-yard TD run for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, Dallas increased its lead with QB Tony Romo completing a 25-yard TD pass to TE Jason Witten, along with CB Terence Newman returning an interception 50 yards for a touchdown. The Jets managed to score their only points of the game as kicker Mike Nugent managed to get a 40-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, the Cowboys added on to their lead as kicker Nick Folk managed to get a 46-yard field goal for the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, Dallas pulled away as Folk nailed a 27-yard field goal and Romo completed a 22-yard TD pass to WR Terrell Owens.

With the loss, New York fell to 2–9.

Ironically, the Jets were the underdogs against the 0–11 Dolphins, according to Las Vegas bookmakers.

The Jets opened the game by getting on the board with a direct snap touchdown run by Leon Washington. Long field goals by Jay Feely for the Dolphins cut the Jets' lead to one. Immediately after Feely's second field goal, Jets quarterback Kellen Clemens found Justin McCareins on a long pass for 50 yards, but the drive quickly stalled, and New York was forced to settle for Mike Nugent's 29-yard field goal. On the Jets' next possession, Clemens was hit on one of six Dolphins sacks by Will Allen; the ball popped out on the hit and was recovered by Michael Lehan, who returned the fumble 43 yards for a touchdown to give the Dolphins a 13–10 lead. Aided by consecutive Dolphins penalties prior to kickoff, however, the good field position on the Jets' ensuing drive allowed Clemens to find Brad Smith on a 19-yard touchdown reception to put the Jets back on top. A Kerry Rhodes interception on the Dolphins' next possession allowed the Jets to tack on a 40-yard field goal just before halftime.

Turnovers for the Jets' defense allowed New York to take control of the game in the second half. Rookie Dolphins quarterback John Beck's fumble on a sack in third quarter led to Nugent's 35-yard attempt to increase the Jets' lead to ten. After Beck lost another fumble on the Dolphins' next series, the Jets drove down to Miami's one-yard line, where Thomas Jones scored his first touchdown in his twelfth game as a Jet. On Miami's next possession, an interception by Drew Coleman gave the Jets another scoring opportunity, which turned out to be Nugent's fourth field goal of the day. Leon Washington's 12-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter ended the scoring.

Coming off their season-sweep over the Dolphins, the Jets went home for a Week 14 intraconference duel with the Cleveland Browns. After a scoreless first quarter, New York trailed in the second quarter as Browns QB Derek Anderson completed a 7-yard TD pass to RB Jamal Lewis. The Jets would get on the board with kicker Mike Nugent getting a 35-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, Cleveland responded with Anderson completing a 4-yard TD pass to WR Braylon Edwards. The Jets would reply with Nugent kicking a 41-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Browns increased their lead with kicker Phil Dawson getting a 49-yard field goal. New York would creep closer with QB Kellen Clemens getting a 1-yard TD run (with a failed 2-point conversion), while Nugent kicked a 38-yard field goal. However, Cleveland sealed the win with Lewis getting a 31-yard touchdown. The Jets would end the game with Nugent nailing a 35-yard field goal.

With the loss, New York fell to 3–10.

The Jets were heavy underdogs coming into their second game with the undefeated Patriots. The game was largely a defensive struggle, as cold, wet weather affected both teams' offenses. On the Jets' second play from scrimmage, Jets quarterback Kellen Clemens was hit as he threw by Richard Seymour, and safety Eugene Wilson grabbed the errant pass for a quick 7–0 lead for New England. Clemens was forced to leave the game after the play with an undisclosed rib injury, and was relieved for the remainder of the game by Chad Pennington. A field goal extended the Patriots lead in the second quarter. The Jets caught a break later in the quarter when Patriots punter Chris Hanson bobbled the snap on a punt, allowing David Bowens time to block the punt for the Jets; Bowens recovered the ball and ran for the touchdown to trim the Patriots lead to three. However, the Patriots followed suit with their own blocked punt toward the end of the half, which set up Laurence Maroney's one-yard touchdown run.

The Jets had some scoring opportunities go to waste in the second half. An interception of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in New England territory led to a Chris Baker fumble at the 15-yard line. The teams then traded field goals in the fourth quarter to make the score 20–10. Following the Patriots' field goal, the Jets began play at the Patriots 31-yard line; Pennington found Justin McCareins in the end zone for an apparent seven-yard touchdown. However, the play was challenged by New England, and it was ruled that McCareins did not have full control of the ball, nullifying the touchdown. After getting pushed back by a penalty, Mike Nugent missed a 35-yard field goal attempt, ending the Jets' last serious scoring threat.

Chad Pennington started at quarterback for the Jets, as Kellen Clemens sat out while recovering from the rib injury suffered against the Patriots. The Titans got on the board early in the second quarter with a four-yard touchdown run by Chris Brown. The Jets responded with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Pennington to Jerricho Cotchery, but the Titans blocked the extra point attempt to maintain a one-point lead. Later in the quarter, the Jets were the victims of unfortunate luck. When Mike Nugent converted a 38-yard field goal attempt, the Titans were called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that gave the Jets a first-and-goal at the Tennessee 10-yard line. However, three plays later, Pennington threw an interception to end the Jets' scoring threat. A Rob Bironas field goal gave the Titans a 10–6 lead in the third quarter, and the Jets were never able to make any significant progress on offense afterward.

Trying to end their season on a high note, the Jets went home for a Week 17 duel with the Kansas City Chiefs. After a scoreless first quarter, New York took flight as QB Kellen Clemens completed a 15-yard TD to RB Thomas Jones. The Chiefs would get on the board with kicker John Carney getting a 40-yard field goal, followed by Jets kicker Mike Nugent getting a 27-yard field goal to end the half.

After a scoreless third quarter, Kansas City would tie the game in the fourth quarter with QB Brodie Croyle completing a 26-yard TD pass to WR Jeff Webb. In overtime, New York sealed the win with Nugent nailing the game-winning 43-yard field goal.

With the win, the Jets ended the season at 4–12.

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NFL playoffs, 2006–07

The National Football League playoffs for the 2006 season led up to Super Bowl XLI on February 4, 2007 at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Despite quarterback Peyton Manning's three interceptions, the Indianapolis Colts out-gained the Kansas City Chiefs in total yards, 435-126, and first downs, 28-7. Indianapolis's defense forced three turnovers, four sacks, and prevented Kansas City from gaining a single first down until late in the third quarter.

The Colts opened up the scoring on their first drive of the game with Adam Vinatieri's 48-yard field goal. The next time they had the ball, they drove 68 yards to the Kansas City 2-yard line, but had to settle for another Vinatieri field goal to give them a 6-0 lead. After another Kansas City punt, Chiefs cornerback Ty Law intercepted a pass from Manning and returned it 43 yards to the Colts 9-yard line. But Kansas City failed to get the ball into the end zone with three rushing attempts and came up empty when Lawrence Tynes' 23-yard field goal attempt hit the left upright. After another interception thrown by Manning and another Kansas City punt, the Colts increased their lead to 9-0 by driving 33 yards and scoring on Vinatieri's 50-yard field goal on the last play of the first half. The Chiefs ended the half with 16 total yards and no first downs. This was the first time in the Modern Era (post AFL-NFL merger) and the first time since 1960 that an NFL team had been held without an offensive first down in the first half of a playoff game.

On the Colts' opening possession of the second half, Manning threw his third interception of the game (and his second to Law), but the Chiefs could not take advantage of the turnover and had to punt. Indianapolis then drove 89 yards in 12 plays and scored with Joseph Addai's 6-yard touchdown run, giving them a 16-0 lead.

Kansas City got their first first down of the game on their ensuing possession, driving 60 yards in 8 plays. Trent Green finished the drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tony Gonzalez, and then completed a pass to receiver Kris Wilson for a successful two-point conversion to cut their deficit to within one touchdown, 16-8. However, the Colts increased their lead to 23-8 on a 71-yard, 9-play drive ending with Reggie Wayne 5-yard touchdown reception. Indianapolis's defense forced three turnovers on the Chiefs' last three drives to clinch the victory.

Dallas Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo, a four-year veteran who earned the starting job and made the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career during the regular season, botched the hold on a potential game-winning field goal with 1:19 left in the fourth quarter, allowing the Seattle Seahawks to escape with a victory.

Taking advantage of Dallas kicker Martin Gramatica's opening kickoff, which went out-of-bounds and gave Seattle the ball at their own 40, the Seahawks marched down the field on their opening drive and scored with Josh Brown's 23-yard field goal. Dallas was forced to punt on their ensuing possession, but Cowboys defensive back Anthony Henry intercepted Seattle's next pass and returned it to the Seahawks 43-yard line, setting up Gramatica's 50-yard field goal to tie the game.

Early in the second quarter, Seattle drove 54 yards and retook the lead with Brown's second field goal of the game. After an exchange of punts, the Cowboys took the lead again. Aided by Jason Witten's 32-yard reception, Dallas drove 76 yards in ten plays and scored on Romo's 12-yard touchdown pass to Patrick Crayton with only 11 seconds left in the half, giving the Cowboys a 10-6 lead. In the third quarter, Seattle drove 62 yards in 12 plays, featuring two fourth-down conversions by running back Shaun Alexander, and scored with Matt Hasselbeck's 15-yard touchdown pass to Jerramy Stevens, gving them a 13-10 lead. However, Dallas promptly took the lead right back after Miles Austin returned the ensuing kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown.

Early in the final period, Dallas defensive back Roy Williams intercepted a pass from Hasselbeck at the Cowboys 43-yard line. Eight plays later, Gramatica kicked a 29-yard field goal to increase his team's lead to 20-13. On Seattle's ensuing drive, a pass interference penalty on Dallas's Terence Newman gave them a first down on the 1-yard line. But Seattle failed to get into the end zone with their next four plays, turning the ball over on downs at the 2-yard line. On the first Dallas play after the turnover, Cowboys receiver Terry Glenn caught a short pass, but then lost a fumble. The ball was recovered by Seattle in the end zone for a touchdown, but after a Dallas challenge the referee ruled the play a safety, cutting the score to 20-15 and giving the ball back to the Seahawks at around the 50-yard line after the ensuing free kick and return. Four plays later, Hasselbeck's 37-yard touchdown pass to Stevens gave Seattle a 21-20 lead. The Seahawks attempted a two-point conversion to give themselves a three-point lead, but Hasselbeck's pass failed.

Dallas took the ensuing kickoff and marched down to the Seahawks' 8-yard line. On third down, Witten caught a pass that was initially ruled a first down on the 1-yard line, but after an instant-replay challenge, officials ruled Witten had been tackled at the 2-yard line, bringing up fourth down. With 1:19 left in the game, Gramatica lined up to attempt a 19-yard field goal, but Romo dropped the ball while setting it up for a hold. Romo picked up the fumble and tried to run with it for either a touchdown or a first down, but he was tackled at the 2-yard line by safety Jordan Babineaux, turning the ball over on downs and allowing Seattle to run the clock down to eight seconds before punting back to Dallas. On the last play of the game, Romo's Hail Mary pass fell incomplete in the end zone.

Tom Brady completed 22 out of 34 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns, while New England Patriots running backs Corey Dillon, Laurence Maroney, and Kevin Faulk combined for 145 rushing yards in a win over the New York Jets. Receiver Jabar Gaffney, who caught only 11 passes during the season, finished his first career playoff game with 8 catches for 104 yards.

New England took the opening kickoff and drove down the field, with Gaffney catching three passes for 34 yards on a 65 yard-drive that ended with Dillon's 11-yard touchdown run. Later in the quarter, Jets defensive back Hank Poteat recovered a fumble from Dillon on the Patriots 15-yard line, setting up Mike Nugent's 28-yard field goal to cut their deficit to 7-3. On their first possession of the second quarter, the Jets took a 10-7 lead after receiver Jerricho Cotchery (who finished with 100 receiving yards and 19 rushing yards) caught a pass from Chad Pennington and took it 77 yards for a touchdown. However, New England countered with Stephen Gostkowski's 20-yard field goal on their next drive to tie the game. Then, after forcing the Jets to punt, the Patriots marched to New York's 1-yard line. On third down with 11 seconds remaining in the half and no timeouts left, Brady took the snap, faked a handoff to Dillon, and then hit tight end Daniel Graham in the back of the end zone for a touchdown to give them a 17-10 halftime lead.

Nugent kicked a field goal on the Jets' opening drive of the second half, but New England responded with another field goal from Gostkowski to retake their 7-point lead. On the Jets' ensuing possession, linebacker Rosevelt Colvin deflected a lateral from Pennington behind the line of scrimmage. Most of the players on both teams (including Colvin) thought the lateral was an incomplete forward pass and the play was over, but New England's Vince Wilfork realized the play was still ongoing and recovered the fumble. After picking up the ball, Wilfork ran 31 yards to the Jets 15-yard line before being tackled by Cotchery, setting up Gostkowski's third field goal to make the score 23-13.

Early in the fourth quarter, Nugent kicked his third field goal to cut New York's deficit back to within a touchdown, 23-16. However, the Patriots responded with a 13-play, 63-yard drive that took 6:23 off the clock and ended with Brady's 7-yard touchdown pass to Faulk. Then on the first play of the Jets' ensuing drive, New England defensive back Asante Samuel put the game away by intercepting Pennington's pass and returning it 36 yards for a touchdown.

Philadelphia built up a 20-10 fourth quarter lead and thwarted a late Giants comeback attempt, winning on a 38-yard field goal by David Akers on the last play of the game.

New York took the opening kickoff and scored quickly, driving 67 yards in seven plays and scoring with Eli Manning's 17-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress only 3:12 into the game. All of the remaining drives of the first quarter ended in punts, but early in the second period, Eagles running back Brian Westbrook's 49-yard touchdown run tied the game at seven. Two plays after the ensuing kickoff, Philadelphia defensive back Sheldon Brown intercepted a pass from Manning and returned it to the Giants 37-yard line, setting up a 19-yard field goal by Akers to take a 10-7 lead. On New York's ensuing possession, a 41-yard run by halfback Tiki Barber sparked a 78-yard drive capped by Jay Feely's 20-yard field goal to tie the game with 4:45 left in the half. Philadelphia responded, with quarterback Jeff Garcia leading the Eagles down the field 80 yards in ten plays and finishing it off with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Donté Stallworth, giving his team a 17-10 halftime lead.

Two penalties by the Eagles in the second half allowed the Giants to stay close. Late in the third quarter, an illegal block-in-the-back by rookie Torrance Daniels nullified Westbrook's second touchdown of the game, which came on a 65-yard punt return. The Eagles still managed to score on their drive with a 48-yard field goal by Akers, increasing their lead to 20-10. The second penalty, a 47-yard pass interference call against Brown, came on the Giants' next possession giving the Giants offense the ball at the Philadelphia 14. The Eagles' defense dug in and forced the Giants to settle for Feely's second field goal of the game from 24 yards out, leaving the Giants down only one touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

Later in the period, the Giants drove to the Eagles 23-yard line. Two false starts and a holding penalty pushed the them back to the 43, but Manning overcame the situation by completing three passes to Burress; the first went for 18 yards and the second for 14 and a first down, before the third, an 11-yard strike, found Burress in the end zone for his second touchdown of the game that tied the score with 5:04 to play. Philadelphia responded by driving 46 yards in ten plays, including a first down rush by Westbrook, allowing the Eagles to take the clock all the way down to three seconds before calling on Akers to kick a 38-yard field goal as time expired.

In the final game of his career, Barber rushed for a career postseason high 137 yards and caught two passes for 15 yards. Westbrook rushed for 141 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 12 yards.

Adam Vinatieri's five field goals boosted the Colts to victory over the Ravens in the first NFL playoff game without a touchdown since the 1979 NFC title game.

Indianapolis forced the Ravens to punt on their opening possession, and Terrence Wilkins gave them good field position with a 21-yard return to their 46-yard line. The Colts subsequently drove to Baltimore's 5-yard line where Vinatieri kicked a field goal to give them a 3-0 lead. On the second play of the Ravens' next drive, Indianapolis linebacker Gary Brackett recovered a fumble from tight end Todd Heap at the Baltimore 31-yard line, setting up another Vinatieri field goal to make the score 6-0.

Later in the period, Cory Ross' 18-yard punt return gave the Ravens a first down on the Colts' 42-yard line. Six plays later, Matt Stover kicked a 40-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter to cut their deficit to 6-3. Two plays after the ensuing kickoff, Baltimore safety Ed Reed intercepted a pass from Peyton Manning at the Ravens' 45-yard line. Baltimore subsequently moved to the ball to the Colts' 4-yard line, but then gave it back when Steve McNair's third-down pass was intercepted by Antoine Bethea. Following the turnover, the Colts marched 63 yards in 13 plays and scored with Vinatieri's third field goal, which hit the cross bar and bounced through the uprights, to give them a 9-3 halftime lead.

Indianapolis took the second half kickoff and drove 54 yards, featuring a 27-yard catch by tight end Dallas Clark. Vinatieri finished the drive with a 48-yard field goal to increase their lead to 12-3. After an exchange of punts, the Ravens cut the score to 12-6 by driving 62 yards and scoring on a 51-yard field goal from Stover. Then, on the third play of the Colts' ensuing possession, Reed recorded his second interception from Manning, giving his team a first down on their 39-yard line. However, just like his previous pick, the Ravens could not take advantage of the turnover. Five plays later, McNair's pass was intercepted by defensive back Nick Harper.

After each team punted once, the Colts put the game away with a 47-yard drive that took 7:16 off the clock and included three successful third down conversions. Vinatieri finished the drive with his fifth field goal, giving Indianapolis a 15-6 lead with only 23 seconds left in regulation. Colts defensive end Robert Mathis then sealed the victory by forcing and recovering a fumble from McNair on the Ravens' final play.

The game had added significance to many Baltimore fans, due to the circumstances of the Colts' departure from Baltimore 23 years earlier. The Indianapolis Colts advanced to their second AFC Championship game in four years. It was the third consecutive playoff defeat for the Ravens.

The Saints gained 208 rushing yards and 435 total yards, both postseason franchise records, en route to a 27-24 victory over the Eagles, allowing them to advance to the conference championship game for the first time in the team's 40-year history.

In the first quarter, a 28-yard run from New Orleans' Deuce McAllister set up a 33-yard field goal from John Carney to open up the scoring. Later in the period, two big plays from the Saints, a 25-yard run by Reggie Bush and a 35-yard reception by Devery Henderson, set up Carney's second field goal 15 seconds into the second quarter, making the score 6-0.

Three plays after the kickoff, Eagles quarterback Jeff Garcia threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Donté Stallworth to give his team a 7-6 lead. The Saints responded with a 78-yard drive, scoring on a 5-yard touchdown run by Reggie Bush to retake the lead at 13-7. However, the Eagles stormed right back, driving 80 yards in 11 plays. On third down and goal, running back Brian Westbrook took a handoff and jumped over top of the defensive line and fell into the end zone for a touchdown, giving them a 14-13 lead with 50 seconds left in the half. New Orleans returned the kickoff to their 47-yard line. With 2 seconds left, quarterback Drew Brees threw a Hail Mary pass to the end zone. Wide receiver Marques Colston initially caught the ball, but it squirted out of his arms as he fell to the ground, and was ruled an incompletion.

Philadelphia took the second-half kickoff and scored in just 3 plays with a 62-yard touchdown romp from Westbrook, increasing their lead to 21-13. However, the Saints responded with a 5-yard touchdown run by McAllister on their next drive. Then after forcing a punt, New Orleans drove to the Eagles' 29-yard line. After two penalties (a holding call against the Saints and an illegal contact call against the Eagles), McAllister rushed for 25 yards and followed it up with an 11-yard touchdown reception, giving the Saints a 27-21 lead.

With 11:08 remaining in the fourth quarter, Philadelphia scored on a 24-yard field goal from David Akers, cutting their deficit to 3 points. After an exchange of punts, the Saints drove from their 29 to the Eagles 35-yard line with 3:24 left in the game. New Orleans was in great position to take more time off the clock and increase their lead, but Bush fumbled a high pitch from Brees and Philadelphia's Darren Howard recovered the ball, giving his team a chance to drive for a tying field goal. However, the Eagles were unable to get a first down and chose to punt the ball back with 1:57 left. The Saints then clinched the victory by keeping possession of the ball for the rest of the game.

Robbie Gould's 49-yard field goal in overtime propelled the Bears over the Seahawks and to their first NFC championship game since the 1988 season. This was also their first playoff win since 1995.

Chicago running back Thomas Jones capped off the opening drive of the game with a 9-yard touchdown run. Seahawks receiver Nate Burleson gave his team great field position with a 41-yard kickoff return to the 47-yard line, but the Bears forced Seattle to punt after three plays. Then, after forcing Chicago to punt, Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck tied the score with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Burleson on the first play of the second quarter. However, Bears quarterback Rex Grossman threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Bernard Berrian on the first play after the ensuing kickoff, giving his team a 14-7 lead.

Later in the quarter, Grossman lost a fumble while being sacked by lineman Julian Peterson, and Seattle's Chuck Darby recovered the ball at the Bears' 26-yard line. Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander subsequently took the ball into the end zone with four running plays, the last one a 4-yard touchdown run to tie the game. Seattle decided to squib kick the ensuing kickoff to prevent a long return, but Bears tight end Gabe Reid gave Chicago good field position with a 20-yard return to the 43-yard line. After the two-minute warning, Grossman completed a 21-yard pass to Muhsin Muhammad and followed it up with a 18-yard completion to Rashied Davis, advancing the ball to the 7-yard line. Following a timeout, Jones scored his second rushing touchdown, giving the Bears a 21-14 halftime lead.

On the opening drive of the third quarter, Josh Brown's 54-yard field goal cut the Seahawks deficit to 21-17. Then, after the Bears were forced to punt, receiver Deion Branch caught two passes for 33 yards on a 7-play, 51 yard drive that ended with Alexander's second touchdown on a 13-yard run, making the score 24-21. Chicago responded by advancing the ball to the Seahawks 10-yard line, but cornerback Pete Hunter ended the drive by intercepting a pass intended for Muhammad. However, Bears defensive back Ricky Manning Jr. intercepted Hasselbeck's next pass and returned it to the 32-yard line. Chicago ended up getting pushed back to the 36 and decided to punt rather than risk a 54-yard field goal attempt.

In the fourth quarter, Chicago lost a scoring opportunity when Devin Hester's 63-yard punt return touchdown was nullified by an illegal block penalty on Manning. Instead, they ended up driving 48 yards and scoring with Gould's 41-yard field goal to tie the game. Seattle responded with a drive to Chicago's 46-yard line, but turned the ball over on downs when Alexander was tackled for a 1-yard loss by Lance Briggs on 4th-and-1 with under two minutes left in regulation. However, Chicago was unable to get a first down and had to punt. Seattle then drove to the Bears 45-yard line, but Tank Johnson sacked Hasselbeck for a 9-yard loss with less than 30 seconds left in regulation, and the game ended up going into overtime.

Seattle won the coin toss, but had to punt after three plays. On the punt, Chicago defender Israel Idonije broke through the offensive line and attempted to block the kick. He didn't quite make it there in time, but he forced Ryan Plackemeier to rush his punt, which ended up going just 18 yards to the Chicago 36-yard line. Two plays later, a 30-yard reception by Davis set up Gould's game-winning 49-yard field goal.

In the final game of the divisional playoffs, the New England Patriots faced the San Diego Chargers team, who were unbeaten at home in the regular season. The Chargers' roster included league MVP running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who broke several league records, nine Pro Bowlers, and five All-Pro players. However, four Chargers turnovers, three of which were converted into Patriots scoring drives, helped lead to a Chargers loss. San Diego lost despite outgaining the Patriots in rushing yards, 148-51 and total yards, 352-327, while also intercepting three passes from Tom Brady.

In the first quarter, after San Diego coach Marty Schottenheimer opted to go for it on 4th-and-11 instead of attempting a 47-yard field goal, quarterback Philip Rivers lost a fumble while being sacked by Mike Vrabel, setting up Stephen Gostkowski's 51-yard field goal with 40 seconds left in the period. In the second quarter, Chargers receiver Eric Parker's 13-yard punt return set up a 48-yard scoring drive that ended with LaDainian Tomlinson's 2-yard touchdown run, giving his team a 7-3 lead. Then, on the Patriots' next drive, linebacker Donnie Edwards intercepted a pass from Brady and returned it to the 41-yard line. But the Chargers ended up punting after Rivers was sacked on third down by defensive back Artrell Hawkins. Later in the quarter, Tomlinson rushed twice for 13 yards and took a screen pass 58 yards to the Patriots' 6-yard line, setting up a 6-yard touchdown run by Michael Turner with 2:04 left in the half. New England responded with a 72-yard scoring drive, with receiver Jabar Gaffney catching four passes for 46 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown reception with six seconds left in the half, cutting their deficit to 14-10.

In the second half, Brady threw his second interception of the game. But once again, the Chargers were forced to punt after Rivers was sacked on third down. Mike Scifres' 36-yard punt pinned New England back at their own 2-yard line, and San Diego subsequently forced a punt, but Parker muffed the kick and New England's David Thomas recovered the fumble at the Chargers' 31-yard line. New England's drive seemed to stall after Brady fumbled on 3rd and 13. Patriots' tackle Matt Light recovered it and Chargers defensive back Drayton Florence drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taunting Patriots tight end Daniel Graham. The drive continued and Gostkowski eventually kicked a 34-yard field goal to cut their deficit to 14-13. Then, on San Diego's next drive, linebacker Rosevelt Colvin intercepted a pass from Rivers at the New England 36-yard line. The Patriots then drove to the Chargers 41-yard line, but were halted there and had to punt. After the punt, Rivers completed two passes to tight end Antonio Gates for 31 yards and a 31-yard pass to Vincent Jackson, setting up Tomlinson's second rushing touchdown to give the Chargers an 8-point lead, 21-13.

New England responded by driving to San Diego's 41-yard line. On a fourth-down conversion attempt, Brady's pass was intercepted by Marlon McCree, but Troy Brown stripped the ball, and receiver Reche Caldwell recovered it. Schottenheimer unsuccessfully challenged the play and lost a timeout. Four plays later, Brady threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Caldwell. On the next play, running back Kevin Faulk took a direct snap and scored the two-point conversion, tying the game. Then, after forcing a punt, Brady completed a 19-yard pass to Daniel Graham. Two plays later, Caldwell caught a 49-yard strike down the right sideline to set up Gostkowski's third field goal to give them a 24-21 lead with only 1:10 left in the fourth quarter. With no timeouts left, San Diego drove to the Patriots 36-yard line on their final possession, but Nate Kaeding's 54-yard field goal attempt fell short with three seconds remaining in the game.

Although the Saints outgained the Bears in total yards, 375-335, their four turnovers (three fumbles and one interception) contributed to a Bears victory.

On the opening drive of the game, Saints receiver Devery Henderson caught a 40-yard pass at the Bears' 32-yard line. But three plays later, Bears lineman Israel Idonije sacked quarterback Drew Brees on the 36-yard line, and the Saints decided to punt rather than attempt a 54-yard field goal.

With 5:28 remaining in the first quarter, Bears defensive back Nathan Vasher recovered a fumble from Marques Colston and returned it 14 yards to the Saints' 36-yard line. Several plays later, Robbie Gould kicked a 19-yard field goal to give the Bears a 3-0 lead. Then, Chicago's Danieal Manning recovered a fumble from Michael Lewis on the ensuing kickoff, setting up Gould's second field goal to increase the lead to 6-0. New Orleans was forced to punt on their next possession, and Devin Hester gave his team good field position with a 10-yard return to the Saints' 49-yard line. Two plays later, tight end Desmond Clark's 30-yard reception moved the ball to the 19. Once again, New Orleans kept Chicago's offense out of the end zone, but Gould kicked his third field goal to give the Bears a 9-0 lead. Then, after forcing another punt, Chicago stormed down the field on a drive in which running back Thomas Jones carried the ball on eight consecutive plays, gaining 69 yards and finishing it off with a 2-yard touchdown run. This time, New Orleans managed to respond, with Brees completing 5 passes for 73 yards on their ensuing possession, the last one a 13-yard touchdown pass to Colston, to cut their deficit to 16-7 by halftime.

Two plays after forcing a punt from Chicago on the opening drive of the second half, running back Reggie Bush caught a pass from Brees and took it 88 yards for a touchdown to cut the deficit to two points. Then after forcing another punt, New Orleans drove to the Bears' 29-yard line. But this time, they failed to score, as Brees threw three incompletions and Billy Cundiff missed a 47-yard field goal attempt.

After the ensuing kickoff, Brad Maynard's 51-yard punt gave the Saints the ball at their own 5-yard line. Two plays later, Brees committed an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone, resulting in a safety. Two possessions later, Chicago stormed 85 yards in five plays, with quarterback Rex Grossman completing four consecutive passes for 73 yards, the last one a 33-yard touchdown pass to Bernard Berrian, increasing their lead to 25-14.

The next time the Bears had the ball, they scored another touchdown with a 12-yard run by Cedric Benson on a drive that was set up after Brees lost a fumble while being sacked by Adewale Ogunleye. Then, on New Orleans' next drive, Brees was intercepted by defensive back Nathan Vasher. After the ensuing possession, Maynard's 46-yard punt pinned the Saints at their own 8-yard line, and the Saints could only reach their own 30 before turning the ball over on downs. Five plays later, Jones closed out the scoring with a 15-yard touchdown run, making the final score 39-14.

In addition, Reggie Bush became the fifth Heisman Trophy winner to play in a conference championship game the year after winning the trophy. Mike Garrett, who also went to the University of Southern California, did so with the Chiefs in 1966 (technically it was the AFL title game since the league didn't merge until 1970), Tony Dorsett did with the Cowboys in 1977, Earl Campbell did with the Houston Oilers in 1978 and Ron Dayne did with the Giants in 2000. Campbell and Bush are the only two of those to not advance to the Super Bowl in that season.

The Colts gained 455 offensive yards, 32 first downs, and managed to overcome a 21-3 deficit to the Patriots to earn their first trip to the Super Bowl since the 1970 season. Their 18-point comeback was the largest ever in an NFL conference championship game, and tied the record for the fourth largest NFL postseason comeback. The Colts' win came after the Patriots had eliminated the Colts from the playoffs twice in the previous three seasons.

Midway through the first quarter, the Patriots drove 71 yards to the Colts' 4-yard line, featuring a 35-yard run by Corey Dillon. On third down, running back Laurence Maroney fumbled a handoff, but the ball rolled into the end zone where offensive lineman Logan Mankins recovered it for a touchdown. The Colts responded by driving 56 yards and scoring with Adam Vinatieri's 42-yard field goal to cut their deficit to 7-3. On their ensuing drive, the Patriots drove to a fourth down on the Colts' 34-yard line. Rather than attempt a 52-yard field goal, New England decided to go for it and Tom Brady completed a 27-yard pass to Troy Brown. On the next play, Dillon scored on a 7-yard touchdown run. Then, two plays after the ensuing kickoff, cornerback Asante Samuel intercepted a pass from Peyton Manning and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown, giving New England a 21-3 lead. Later in the quarter, Indianapolis drove 80 yards in 15 plays, with Vinatieri finishing the drive with a 26-yard field goal, cutting the score to 21-6 with 11 seconds left in the half.

On the opening drive of the second half, the Colts marched down the field and scored with a 1-yard run by Manning. Then, after forcing a punt, a 25-yard reception by Dallas Clark and a 19-yard run by Dominic Rhodes moved the ball to the Patriots' 32-yard line. Following a pass interference penalty on defensive back Ellis Hobbs in the end zone, Manning threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to defensive lineman Dan Klecko, who had lined up at the fullback position on the play. Then, receiver Marvin Harrison caught a 2-point conversion pass to tie the game at 21.

Hobbs returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards to the Colts' 21-yard line. Four plays later, Brady threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to receiver Jabar Gaffney, who made a leaping catch in the back of the end zone. Although he landed out of bounds, officials ruled that he was pushed out while in the air, and the Patriots took a 28-21 lead. Rhodes started out the Colts' next drive with two receptions for 23 yards and a 9-yard run. Then, Clark caught a 23-yard pass at the 9-yard line. Three plays later, Rhodes fumbled the ball at the 1-yard line, but center Jeff Saturday recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown to tie the game.

After an exchange of punts, New England kicker Stephen Gostkowski made a 28-yard field goal to give them a three-point lead. The Colts responded with a 36-yard field goal by Vinatieri, set up by Clark's 52-yard reception, to tie the game at 31. Hobbs returned Vinatieri's kickoff 41 yards to the Patriots' 46-yard line. Then, Brady completed a 25-yard pass to tight end Daniel Graham. Indianapolis managed to halt the drive at their 25-yard line, but Gostkowski kicked a 43-yard field goal to give the Patriots a 34-31 lead with 3:49 left in the game. New England's defense subsequently forced a punt, but the Patriots ended up punting back to the Colts after running only a minute off the clock.

Manning started off the drive with three nonconsecutive completions for 58 yards, with a roughing-the-passer penalty on the third play adding another 12, moving the ball 70 yards in a span of 19 seconds and bringing up a first down at the Patriots' 11-yard line. Three plays later, Joseph Addai's 3-yard touchdown run gave the Colts their first lead of the game with only one minute remaining. Brady responded by leading his team to the Colts' 45-yard line. But cornerback Marlin Jackson intercepted Brady's next pass with 17 seconds left, ending the game, and sending the 2006 Indianapolis Colts to their first Super Bowl in team history.

The Colts were the first #3 seed since the NFL expanded the playoffs in 1990 to host a conference championship game and the first overall since the Washington Redskins did so in 1987. It was also the first time since said season where a team hosted a championship game after playing a road game in the divisional round, and was also the first conference championship game in which neither team had the first round bye and had to play three rounds to get to the Super Bowl.

Indianapolis Colts (AFC) 29, Chicago Bears (NFC) 17 at Dolphin Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida.

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2006 New England Patriots season

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The 2006 New England Patriots season was the 37th season for the team in the National Football League and 47th season overall. The Patriots finished the regular season 12-4, improving on their 10-6 record of 2005, when the team finished in first place in the AFC East but lost to the Denver Broncos in the Divisional playoffs. Back-to-back losses in November ended the team's streak of 57 games without consecutive losses, three games shy of the NFL record. With the fourth seed in the AFC playoffs, the Patriots eclipsed their 2005 advancement in the playoffs, but fell to the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship, the eventual Super Bowl XLI champions.

First-year defensive coordinator Eric Mangini was hired to be head coach of the New York Jets, marking the second year in a row that New England's defensive coordinator was hired as a head coach. He would be replaced as defensive coordinator by Dean Pees, who had been linebackers coach for the club the past two years and as secondary coach by assistant secondary coach Joel Collier. Assistant offensive line coach Matt Patricia was moved to linebackers coach to replace Pees. Quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels was promoted to offensive coordinator after New England went one season without replacing former offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. Defensive coaching assistant Mike Judge was moved to an offensive coaching assistant, while Josh Boyer and Kevin Bickers joined the coaching staff as defensive and special teams coaching assistants, respectively.

Free agency saw multiple departures for the Patriots, including long-time kicker Adam Vinatieri signing with the Indianapolis Colts, and wide receiver David Givens signing with the Tennessee Titans. Linebacker Willie McGinest, the Patriots' first-round pick in the 1993 NFL Draft, was released on March 9 and signed with the Cleveland Browns six days later. Tyrone Poole, Duane Starks, and Chad Brown were also released early in the offseason, with Brown returning for training camp before being cut again prior to the start of the season. Other free agency departures were André Davis (Buffalo Bills), Christian Fauria (Washington Redskins), Matt Chatham (New York Jets), Tim Dwight (New York Jets), Tom Ashworth (Seattle Seahawks), and Michael Stone (Houston Texans).

The preseason also saw the eventual loss of Super Bowl MVP wide receiver Deion Branch. Branch held out all of mini-camp, training camp, the preseason and into the regular season before eventually being traded to the Seattle Seahawks for a first-round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft on September 11.

Also during the preseason, on August 8, offensive lineman Ross Tucker was traded to the Cleveland Browns for a conditional late-round 2007 draft pick. Two weeks later, offensive tackle Brandon Gorin was traded to the Arizona Cardinals for another conditional 2007 draft choice, which later became one of the Patriots' four picks of the 2007 sixth round. As the Patriots made their final roster cut-downs, they also traded running back Patrick Cobbs to the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 1 for a conditional 2007 draft pick. Both Tucker and Cobbs did not make their respective rosters and the Patriots did not receive the conditional picks.

The offseason brought the arrival of fifth-year wide receiver Reche Caldwell from the San Diego Chargers, who would become the Patriots' leading receiver in 2006. Another acquisition came during the preseason, when the Patriots signed veteran linebacker Junior Seau, who had retired just four days earlier. Other arrivals were Mel Mitchell, Martin Gramatica, Tebucky Jones, and Barry Gardner. Free agents or potential free agents Don Davis, Hank Poteat, Ross Tucker, Artrell Hawkins, Chad Scott, Troy Brown, Stephen Neal, and Heath Evans were all re-signed, while Richard Seymour, Dan Koppen, and Russ Hochstein all received long-term contact extensions.

On June 5, the Patriots traded wide receiver Bethel Johnson to the New Orleans Saints for defensive tackle Johnathan Sullivan, the sixth overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. Sullivan was arrested on June 30 in New Orleans, Louisiana for marijuana possession after being stopped for a vehicle music noise violation. Neither players made their respective rosters to begin the 2006 season.

On September 2, wide receiver Doug Gabriel was traded to the Patriots from the Oakland Raiders in exchange for the Patriots' 2007 fifth-round pick.

As of the Patriots' first training camp practice at Gillette Stadium on July 28, they had the NFL maximum of 80 players signed to their roster. Deion Branch did not count against the limit as he held out of training camp and was placed on the Reserve/Did Not Report list. Also, the Patriots received eight total roster exemptions for the NFL Europe allocations of Earl Charles, Todd Mortensen, Rich Musinski, Zuriel Smith, Antwain Spann, Nick Steitz, and Raymond Ventrone (one for each player, plus one bonus exemption because of the time Ventrone spent on a practice squad in 2006).

The Patriots opened the regular season at home against the Buffalo Bills. On the very first play of the game, quarterback Tom Brady was sacked by Bills linebacker Takeo Spikes, causing a fumble, which was recovered and returned as a five-yard touchdown to put the Bills ahead to an early lead.

New England would tie the game with a nine-yard Brady touchdown pass to wide receiver Troy Brown, but the Bills re-took the lead a 53-yard field goal by Bills kicker Rian Lindell and an 18-yard touchdown run from running back Anthony Thomas. Despite their first half struggles, the Patriots would win after a 17-yard pass to running back Kevin Faulk, a 32-yard field goal by rookie kicker Stephen Gostkowski, and a safety by defensive end Ty Warren on quarterback J. P. Losman to secure a 19-17 Patriots victory. The win was the 100th of Bill Belichick's career.

The Patriots traveled to "The Meadowlands" for an AFC East matchup with the New York Jets, as head coach Bill Belichick would go up against his former assistant coach in first-year Jets head coach Eric Mangini. The Patriots outscored the Jets 17-0 in the first half, beginning with a one-yard Corey Dillon touchdown run in the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Pats increased their lead with a Gostkowski field goal and a 13-yard touchdown catch by rookie wide receiver Chad Jackson. In the third quarter, the Patriots continued on their lead, with running back Laurence Maroney getting a one-yard touchdown run. However, their lead would start to diminish, as the Jets rebounded with 14 points on a 71-yard touchdown reception by wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery and a 46-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Laveranues Coles. The Patriots were able to hold the Jets to a field goal in the fourth quarter, preserving a seven-point lead and their second win of the season. With the win, the Patriots' franchise record climbed above .500 for the first time since the 1968 season.

The Patriots returned home for a Week 3 Sunday night game with the Denver Broncos, who eliminated the Patriots from the playoffs in 2005. Both sides prevented each other from striking up a single point in the first quarter, but in the second quarter, the Patriots fell behind early with kicker Jason Elam kicking a 23-yard field goal and wide receiver Javon Walker catching a 32-yard touchdown pass. After a scoreless third quarter, the Broncos increased their lead to 17 after another Walker touchdown reception. New England would counter with a score of their own, as Brady threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Doug Gabriel, the Patriots' only points of a 17-7 loss.

Hoping to preserve their division lead, the Patriots flew to Paul Brown Stadium for a Week 4 showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals. In the first quarter, the Bengals opened the scoring with two Shayne Graham field goals. The Patriots would get on the board in the second quarter, as Maroney ran in for a 11-yard touchdown and Brady completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Gabriel. Down by eight in the third quarter, running back Rudi Johnson ran two yards for a touchdown, the final Cincinnati points of the game. The Patriots took their one-point lead and turned it into a 25-point win, starting with a Maroney 25-yard touchdown run. In the fourth quarter, Gostkowski kicked a 24-yard field goal, Dillon scored from one yard out on a run, and Brady completed a three-yard touchdown pass to tight end Daniel Graham. With their victory, the Patriots advanced to 3-1 and maintained their lead in the AFC East.

Following a road victory over Cincinnati, the Patriots went back home for Week 5, as they faced the Miami Dolphins. In the first quarter, Gostkowski kicked a 35-yard field goal for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, New England continued to build on their lead, as Gostkowski kicked a 31-yard field goal, while Brady completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Troy Brown. The Dolphins responded with a two-yard touchdown run by running back Ronnie Brown and a 40-yard field goal by Olindo Mare as the first half came to a close. After a scoreless third quarter, the Patriots secured their victory with the only points of the second half, a one-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Faulk. With the win, the Patriots advanced 4-1.

Coming off their bye week, the Patriots flew to Ralph Wilson Stadium for a rematch with their AFC East rival, the Buffalo Bills. Dillon got the Patriots off to an early start with an eight-yard touchdown run. Even though Bills' Rian Lindell got Buffalo on the board with a 40-yard field goal, Dillon again helped the Patriots increase their lead with a 12-yard touchdown run. After a scoreless second quarter, Brady hooked up with Jackson on a 35-yard touchdown pass for the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, Lindell would add a 46-yard field goal, but Brady put the game away with a five-yard touchdown pass to Gabriel, giving New England the season sweep over Buffalo and a 5-1 record.

The Patriots travelled to the Metrodome for a Monday Night Football showdown with the Minnesota Vikings, who, like the Patriots, boasted an excellent rushing defense. The Patriots, who took to the air with a spread offense for the entire game, opened with a seven-play, 86-yard strike that ended with a touchdown pass from Brady to wide receiver Reche Caldwell. Their next drive was for 93 yards which resulted in a 23-yard Gostkowski field goal. And just before halftime the Patriots moved 74 yards in 11 plays to take a 17-0 lead on a nine-yard scoring toss to tight end Benjamin Watson. The only Vikings score of the game came on a 71-yard punt return by Mewelde Moore in the third quarter; Laurence Maroney immediately answered on the ensuing kickoff, with a 77-yard return to Minnesota's 21-yard line, his second return of over 70 yards in as many weeks. The Patriots' lead grew to 17 after a seven-yard touchdown reception by Brown with 9:03 in the third quarter and then became 31-7 with a touchdown catch by Jackson. The Patriots defense also intercepted four passes from quarterbacks Brad Johnson and Brooks Bollinger. On Bollinger's first drive after relieving Brad Johnson he was sacked three times in a row for a net loss of 23 yards. With their fourth straight victory, the Patriots advanced to 6-1.

Trying to rebound from their home loss to the Colts, the Patriots stayed at home for a rainy AFC East rematch with the Jets. After a scoreless first quarter, the Patriots struck first with a Gostkowski 31-yard field goal. However, the Jets would fire back with running back Kevan Barlow getting a touchdown on a two-yard run. Gostkowski would get one more field goal for New England, in the form of a 21-yarder. In the third quarter, New York kicker Mike Nugent kicked a 34-yard field goal for the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, the Jets continued their pursuit, as Pennington completed a 22-yard touchdown pass to Cotchery. The Patriots tried to fight back, as Brady completed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Caldwell, following it up with a successful two-point conversion pass to Caldwell. However, New York's defense managed to bottle up any chance of a New England comeback. With the loss, the Patriots would lead the Jets by one game in the AFC East at 6-3. Also with the loss, the Patriots' 57-game streak without consecutive losses, which dated back to the 2002 season, was snapped. The San Francisco 49ers still hold the record of 60-straight games without consecutive losses (1995 – 1999).

After the game, the Patriots used two week interval before the next home game to install a new "FieldTurf" surface at Gillette Stadium.

Trying to rebound from back-to-back home losses, the Patriots traveled to Lambeau Field for a Week 11 showdown with the Green Bay Packers. In the first quarter, Brady hooked up with Graham on a two-yard touchdown pass for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, Dillon got a one-yard touchdown run, while Brady hooked up with Caldwell on a 54-yard touchdown pass. Late in the quarter Packers quarterback Brett Favre was sacked by Tedy Bruschi and was knocked out of the game with injury to his right (throwing) wrist. In the third quarter, Brady threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Watson for the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, New England put the game away with Brady throwing his fourth touchdown pass of the day to Maroney, a 19-yard strike. With the win, the Patriots improved to 7-3.

Dillon turned out to be the savior of a turnover-filled game as the Patriots were able to rally from an eight-point deficit to defeat the visiting Detroit Lions, 28-21. The Patriots committed a season-high ten penalties throughout the game and turned the ball over four times as they struggled to defeat a team which was able to move the ball at will and were also able to convert a safety. The first quarter was a back and forth fight with the Patriots gaining the only edge on a Gostkowski field goal. The second quarter saw both offenses gaining momentum with the Lions scoring the first touchdown in the game on a five-yard Jon Kitna pass to Mike Furrey with 13:44 remaining. The Lions then expanded their lead with a field goal by Jason Hanson to lead 10-3. The Patriots responded by driving down the field and scoring on a six-yard Dillon run to tie the game 10-10. On the Lions' ensuing possession Kitna threw the first of his three interceptions for the afternoon to Samuel. The Patriots then marched down the field and the first half ended on a 27-yard Gostkowski field goal. The second half started with the Lions slowly moving the ball down the field for a field goal to even up the score again 13-13. Brady then threw an interception to Dré Bly, which gave the ball back to the Lions. The Lions again were unable to get into the endzone and settled on another field goal for a 16-13 lead. On the following possession, Brady had the ball stripped from him and it rolled into the endzone where it was recovered by the Patriots and called as a safety, giving the Lions an 18-13 lead and possession. The Lions once more could not score a touchdown and took another field goal to take a 21-13 lead. The Patriots were not deterred, though, as on the next drive they were able to get Dillon into the endzone again and complete the two-point conversion with a pass from Brady to Brown. With this touchdown, Dillon became only the 15th NFL player with more than 11,000 career rushing yards. Following the kickoff came an onslaught of turnovers. First Kitna threw an interception to Mike Vrabel to give the Patriots the ball and a chance for the lead, but Watson fumbled the ball after a reception which gave the ball back to the Lions. Kitna then was sacked and fumbled which gave the ball once again back to the Patriots. This turned out to be the definitive scoring drive as Dillon scored his third touchdown of the night, putting the Patriots ahead 28-21. On the final drive for the Lions, Kitna again threw an interception to Vrabel, who suffered a minor injury on the play. The Patriots then ended with three kneel downs and came out victorious 28-21 and improving to 9-3 for the season. With this victory the Patriots also swept the entire NFC North.

On a day when a victory would give the Patriots their third consecutive AFC East title, nothing seemed to go right for the Patriots as the Dolphins outplayed the Patriots to split the season series and give New England their first shutout since 2003, defeating the Patriots 21-0. The first half was a defensive struggle with the only points coming from Olindo Mare, in the form of a 35-yard and a 33-yard field goal. Even the punter, Donnie Jones, gave the Patriots issues as multiple punts resulted in the offensive unit starting within the five-yard line. The furthest the Patriots drove into Dolphin territory was in the third quarter with the Dolphins leading 13-0. Ending with a would-be touchdown reception by Watson, a play consisting of a lateral from Faulk to Brady was ruled penalty, as Faulk's lateral was an illegal forward pass. On the following possession, Matt Cassel took over the offense, but he too succumbed to the Dolphin defense and was sacked, fumbling the ball. The Dolphins marched within the New England 10 yard line again but knelt to burn out the clock. The loss gave the Patriots a 4-2 division record and 9-4 record overall.

After a road loss to the Dolphins, the Patriots returned home for a Week 15 matchup with the Houston Texans. In the first quarter, New England started off strong with Faulk scoring on an 11-yard touchdown run. Afterwards, Gostkowski nailed a 36-yard field goal, while Brady completed a 43-yard touchdown pass to Faulk. In the second quarter, the Patriots' domination of the game continued with Gostkowski kicking a 32-yard field goal, while Brady completed a six-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jabar Gaffney. In the third quarter, the Texans finally managed to get a touchdown with running back Ron Dayne getting in on a one-yard run. The Patriots responded with cornerback Ellis Hobbs returning a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown. In the fourth quarter, New England wrapped up the game with Gostkowski kicking 31-yard and 21-yard field goals. With the win, the Patriots improved to 10-4.

The Patriots clinched their fourth straight AFC East title with a close road win. After a scoreless first quarter, the Jaguars responded to a Gostkowski field goal with a Maurice Jones-Drew touchdown run. The Patriots challenged the play, as Jones-Drew appeared to fall down at the line of scrimmage, but the ruling on the field was upheld. New England came back before the halftime to retake the lead at 10-7 on a Dillon one-yard touchdown run. The Patriots maintained their lead as the teams traded touchdowns in the second half, including another touchdown by Jones-Drew. A David Garrard fumble with 1:55 left in the fourth quarter, recovered by safety Rodney Harrison, sealed the Patriots' 11th win of the season.

The Titans had a slim shot of making the playoffs if the Bengals and Broncos lost and they could beat the Patriots, adding importance to the game for the Titans. Having already clinched a playoff berth, the Patriots used their full complement of available players, made evident by touchdowns from all three Patriots quarterbacks: Brady, Cassel, and Vinny Testaverde all threw touchdown passes in this game. With his fourth quarter touchdown pass, Testaverde extended his steak of seasons with a touchdown pass to 20. After trading field goals in the first quarter, Dillon gave the Patriots a seven-point lead on a 21-yard touchdown run. After another 10 points from the Patriots, the Titans closed the half with an 81-yard punt return by Pacman Jones for a touchdown. The second half saw three touchdowns before Testaverde's, a 62-yard reception by Caldwell, a 28-yard run by Vince Young, and a one-yard touchdown run by Maroney. The game proved costly for the Pats as Rodney Harrison was knocked out of the game and the playoffs in the second quarter.

Tom Brady completed 22 out of 34 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns, while New England Patriots running backs Corey Dillon, Laurence Maroney, and Kevin Faulk combined for 145 rushing yards in a win over the New York Jets. Receiver Jabar Gaffney, who caught only 11 passes during the season, finished his first career playoff game with 8 catches for 104 yards.

New England took the opening kickoff and drove down the field, with Gaffney catching three passes for 34 yards on a 65 yard-drive that ended with Dillon's 11-yard touchdown run. Later in the quarter, Jets defensive back Hank Poteat recovered a fumble from Dillon on the Patriots 15-yard line, setting up Mike Nugent's 28-yard field goal to cut their deficit to 7-3. On their first possession of the second quarter, the Jets took a 10-7 lead after receiver Jerricho Cotchery (who finished with 100 receiving yards and 19 rushing yards) caught a pass from Chad Pennington and took it 77 yards for a touchdown. However, New England countered with Stephen Gostkowski's 20-yard field goal on their next drive to tie the game. Then, after forcing the Jets to punt, the Patriots marched to New York's 1-yard line. On third down with 11 seconds remaining in the half and no timeouts left, Brady took the snap, faked a handoff to Dillon, and then hit tight end Daniel Graham in the back of the end zone for a touchdown to give them a 17-10 halftime lead.

Nugent kicked a field goal on the Jets' opening drive of the second half, but New England responded with another field goal from Gostkowski to retake their 7-point lead. On the Jets' ensuing possession, linebacker Rosevelt Colvin deflected a lateral from Pennington behind the line of scrimmage. Most of the players on both teams (including Colvin) thought the lateral was an incomplete forward pass and the play was over, but New England's Vince Wilfork realized the play was still ongoing and recovered the fumble. After picking up the ball, Wilfork ran 31 yards to the Jets 15-yard line before being tackled by Cotchery, setting up Gostkowski's third field goal to make the score 23-13.

Early in the fourth quarter, Nugent kicked his third field goal to cut New York's deficit back to within a touchdown, 23-16. However, the Patriots responded with a 13-play, 63-yard drive that took 6:23 off the clock and ended with Brady's 7-yard touchdown pass to Faulk. Then on the first play of the Jets' ensuing drive, New England defensive back Asante Samuel put the game away by intercepting Pennington's pass and returning it 36 yards for a touchdown.

In the final game of the divisional playoffs, the New England Patriots faced the San Diego Chargers team, who were unbeaten at home in the regular season. The Chargers' roster included league MVP running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who broke several league records, nine Pro Bowlers, and five All-Pro players. However, four Chargers turnovers, three of which were converted into Patriots scoring drives, helped lead to a Chargers loss. San Diego lost despite outgaining the Patriots in rushing yards, 148-51 and total yards, 352-327, while also intercepting three passes from Tom Brady.

In the first quarter, after San Diego coach Marty Schottenheimer opted to go for it on 4th-and-11 instead of attempting a 47-yard field goal, quarterback Philip Rivers lost a fumble while being sacked by Mike Vrabel, setting up Stephen Gostkowski's 51-yard field goal with 40 seconds left in the period. In the second quarter, Chargers receiver Eric Parker's 13-yard punt return set up a 48-yard scoring drive that ended with LaDainian Tomlinson's 2-yard touchdown run, giving his team a 7-3 lead. Then, on the Patriots' next drive, linebacker Donnie Edwards intercepted a pass from Brady and returned it to the 41-yard line. But the Chargers ended up punting after Rivers was sacked on third down by defensive back Artrell Hawkins. Later in the quarter, Tomlinson rushed twice for 13 yards and took a screen pass 58 yards to the Patriots' 6-yard line, setting up a 6-yard touchdown run by Michael Turner with 2:04 left in the half. New England responded with a 72-yard scoring drive, with receiver Jabar Gaffney catching four passes for 46 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown reception with six seconds left in the half, cutting their deficit to 14-10.

In the second half, Brady threw his second interception of the game. But once again, the Chargers were forced to punt after Rivers was sacked on third down. Mike Scifres' 36-yard punt pinned New England back at their own 2-yard line, and San Diego subsequently forced a punt, but Parker muffed the kick and New England's David Thomas recovered the fumble at the Chargers' 31-yard line. New England's drive seemed to stall after Brady fumbled on 3rd and 13. Patriots' tackle Matt Light recovered it and Chargers defensive back Drayton Florence drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taunting Patriots tight end Daniel Graham. The drive continued and Gostkowski eventually kicked a 34-yard field goal to cut their deficit to 14-13. Then, on San Diego's next drive, linebacker Rosevelt Colvin intercepted a pass from Rivers at the New England 36-yard line. The Patriots then drove to the Chargers 41-yard line, but were halted there and had to punt. After the punt, Rivers completed two passes to tight end Antonio Gates for 31 yards and a 31-yard pass to Vincent Jackson, setting up Tomlinson's second rushing touchdown to give the Chargers an 8-point lead, 21-13.

New England responded by driving to San Diego's 41-yard line. On a fourth-down conversion attempt, Brady's pass was intercepted by Marlon McCree, but Troy Brown stripped the ball, and receiver Reche Caldwell recovered it. Schottenheimer unsuccessfully challenged the play and lost a timeout. Four plays later, Brady threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Caldwell. On the next play, running back Kevin Faulk took a direct snap and scored the two-point conversion, tying the game. Then, after forcing a punt, Brady completed a 19-yard pass to Daniel Graham. Two plays later, Caldwell caught a 49-yard strike down the right sideline to set up Gostkowski's third field goal to give them a 24-21 lead with only 1:10 left in the fourth quarter. With no timeouts left, San Diego drove to the Patriots 36-yard line on their final possession, but Nate Kaeding's 54-yard field goal attempt fell short with three seconds remaining in the game.

Gaffney finished with ten catches for 103 yards and a touchdown. Tomlinson rushed for 123 yards, caught two passes for 64 yards, and scored two touchdowns.

The Colts gained 455 offensive yards, 32 first downs, and managed to overcome a 21-3 deficit to the Patriots to earn their first trip to the Super Bowl since the 1970 season. Their 18-point comeback was the largest ever in an NFL conference championship game, and tied the record for the fourth largest NFL postseason comeback. The Colts' win came after the Patriots had eliminated the Colts from the playoffs twice in the previous three seasons.

Midway through the first quarter, the Patriots drove 71 yards to the Colts' 4-yard line, featuring a 35-yard run by Corey Dillon. On third down, running back Laurence Maroney fumbled a handoff, but the ball rolled into the end zone where offensive lineman Logan Mankins recovered it for a touchdown. The Colts responded by driving 56 yards and scoring with Adam Vinatieri's 42-yard field goal to cut their deficit to 7-3. On their ensuing drive, the Patriots drove to a fourth down on the Colts' 34-yard line. Rather than attempt a 52-yard field goal, New England decided to go for it and Tom Brady completed a 27-yard pass to Troy Brown. On the next play, Dillon scored on a 7-yard touchdown run. Then, two plays after the ensuing kickoff, cornerback Asante Samuel intercepted a pass from Peyton Manning and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown, giving New England a 21-3 lead. Later in the quarter, Indianapolis drove 80 yards in 15 plays, with Vinatieri finishing the drive with a 26-yard field goal, cutting the score to 21-6 with 11 seconds left in the half.

On the opening drive of the second half, the Colts marched down the field and scored with a 1-yard run by Manning. Then, after forcing a punt, a 25-yard reception by Dallas Clark and a 19-yard run by Dominic Rhodes moved the ball to the Patriots' 32-yard line. Following a pass interference penalty on defensive back Ellis Hobbs in the end zone, Manning threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to defensive lineman Dan Klecko, who had lined up at the fullback position on the play. Then, receiver Marvin Harrison caught a 2-point conversion pass to tie the game at 21.

Hobbs returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards to the Colts' 21-yard line. Four plays later, Brady threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to receiver Jabar Gaffney, who made a leaping catch in the back of the end zone. Although he landed out of bounds, officials ruled that he was pushed out while in the air, and the Patriots took a 28-21 lead. Rhodes started out the Colts' next drive with two receptions for 23 yards and a 9-yard run. Then, Clark caught a 23-yard pass at the 9-yard line. Three plays later, Rhodes fumbled the ball at the 1-yard line, but center Jeff Saturday recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown to tie the game.

After an exchange of punts, New England kicker Stephen Gostkowski made a 28-yard field goal to give them a three-point lead. The Colts responded with a 36-yard field goal by Vinatieri, set up by Clark's 52-yard reception, to tie the game at 31. Hobbs returned Vinatieri's kickoff 41 yards to the Patriots' 46-yard line. Then, Brady completed a 25-yard pass to tight end Daniel Graham. Indianapolis managed to halt the drive at their 25-yard line, but Gostkowski kicked a 43-yard field goal to give the Patriots a 34-31 lead with 3:49 left in the game. New England's defense subsequently forced a punt, but the Patriots ended up punting back to the Colts after running only a minute off the clock.

Manning started off the drive with three nonconsecutive completions for 58 yards, with a roughing-the-passer penalty on the third play adding another 12, moving the ball 70 yards in a span of 19 seconds and bringing up a first down at the Patriots' 11-yard line. Three plays later, Joseph Addai's 3-yard touchdown run gave the Colts their first lead of the game with only one minute remaining. Brady responded by leading his team to the Colts' 45-yard line. But cornerback Marlin Jackson intercepted Brady's next pass with 17 seconds left, ending the game, and sending the 2006 Indianapolis Colts to their first Super Bowl in team history.

The Colts were the first #3 seed since the NFL expanded the playoffs in 1990 to host a conference championship game and the first overall since the Washington Redskins did so in 1987. It was also the first time since said season where a team hosted a championship game after playing a road game in the divisional round, and was also the first conference championship game in which neither team had the first round bye and had to play three rounds to get to the Super Bowl.

Patriots offensive tackle Matt Light and defensive end Richard Seymour were both named to the AFC team in the 2007 Pro Bowl. Seymour was an original selection but did not participate in the game due to an injury. Light was named as an injury replacement to Tarik Glenn four days before the game. Quarterback Tom Brady reportedly declined an invitation to the play in the game, favoring the 2007 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament instead.

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2006 New York Jets season

The 2006 New York Jets season began with the team trying to improve on their 4-12 record in 2005. The season marked the first for rookie head coach Eric Mangini, who replaced Herman Edwards after the latter left the Jets to coach the Kansas City Chiefs. Although expectations were low for the team, the Jets managed to go 10-6, including winning five of their final six games, and clinched the fifth seed in the playoffs. They fell in the wild card round to the division rival New England Patriots by a score of 37-16.

Head coach Herman Edwards left the Jets on January 8, when he was announced as the successor to coach Dick Vermeil for the Kansas City Chiefs, despite Edwards' insistence during the season that he would finish the remainder of his contract with the Jets. The Jets received a fourth-round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft from the Chiefs for the right to negotiate with Edwards, which was roundly criticized as unsubstantial for the loss of a head coach. On January 17, the Jets announced that New England Patriots defensive coordinator Eric Mangini had been signed as head coach. Mangini became the youngest head coach in the NFL, turning 35 on January 19. Mangini's first order of business was to reorganize the coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger and defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson were both released from the Jets staff. Special Teams Coordinator Mike Westoff was retained. A full staff was announced on February 20. Linebackers coach Bob Sutton was named defensive coordinator and the team signed Jim Herrmann to replace Sutton as the linebackers coach. Herrmann was the defensive coordinator at the University of Michigan for twenty years before arriving in New York.

General Manager Terry Bradway announced that he was stepping down as Jets GM on February 7. Assistant GM Mike Tannenbaum was named the new GM on the same day. Bradway continues to be employed by the Jets organization as a scouting consultant.

The Jets moved quickly to get under the salary cap as they were over by $25 million. On February 22, tackle Jason Fabini, quarterback Jay Fiedler, linebacker Barry Gardner, defensive tackle Lance Legree, fullback Jerald Sowell and wide receiver Harry Williams were placed on waivers. The team chose not to tender an offer to Mark Brown. Cornerback Ty Law also parted ways with the Jets, as the organization decided not to exercise the contract option to extend his contract through 2008. Running back Curtis Martin agreed to an undisclosed restructured contract.

Pro Bowl Center Kevin Mawae was released on March 5. Mawae disagreed with the assertion that his release was for salary cap reasons, as his cut would only be a savings of $1.1 million, and felt that it was simply a change in direction for the team.

The Jets also restructured the contract of quarterback Chad Pennington. Pennington's contract was cut from a base salary of $6 million to $3 million. Pennington will be able to make back the $3 million through incentives. He also had to forfeit his $3 million roster bonus that was due at the start of free agency.

John Abraham was designated the team's franchise player. He would later be traded to the Atlanta Falcons involving a 3-way trade between the Jets, Falcons, and the Denver Broncos. The Falcons traded their first-round draft pick (#15) to the Broncos for the Broncos first (#29), third (#93) and 2008 fourth-round pick. The Falcons traded the #29 overall pick to the Jets in exchange for Abraham.

Patrick Ramsey was traded to the Jets on March 17 for their sixth-round draft pick. Tight end Chris Baker, who became an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, re-signed with the Jets, his hometown team, on March 24. Andre Dyson was signed by the Jets on March 29 for a five-year, $11.5 million deal, including $3 million in signing and roster bonuses.

Other notable signings include linebackers Matt Chatham, a former New England Patriot, ex-Tennessee Titan Brad Kassell, ex-Pittsburgh Steeler defensive end Kimo von Oelhoffen, another ex-Patriot wide receiver, Tim Dwight, ex-Denver Bronco defensive tackle Monsanto Pope, ex-Buffalo Bill center Trey Teague, and ex-Arizona Cardinal Offensive Tackle Anthony Clement.

The club also signed former longtime Jets Victor Green and Richie Anderson. Both intend to retire in a Jets uniform. Kevan Barlow was acquired from the San Francisco 49ers for an undisclosed draft pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, after the Jets' trade of defensive back Derrick Strait to the Cleveland Browns for running back Lee Suggs on August 14 fell through because Suggs failed his physical.

On the eve of the Jets pre-season finale, they sent quarterback Brooks Bollinger to the Minnesota Vikings for C.J. Mosley. Backup tight end Doug Jolley was also traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for an undisclosed draft pick. The team also picked up Cowboys tight end Sean Ryan for an undisclosed draft pick and claimed former Texas standout Sloan Thomas from the Titans.

As a result of their 4-12 2005 record, the Jets were granted the fourth pick in the first round of the NFL Draft, which was held on April 29 and April 30. When the Houston Texans announced they would take defensive end Mario Williams of North Carolina State instead of Heisman Trophy-winning running back Reggie Bush of USC, some observers felt the Jets should trade up to the second pick and draft him. However, it appeared that making such a trade would have been too prohibitive for the team, and Bush would be drafted second by the New Orleans Saints. Instead, the Jets decided to focus on their offensive line with the draft and took offensive tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson from Virginia. With their other first-round pick, they took center Nick Mangold of Ohio State.

After the teams traded punts on the first four possessions of the game, Pennington led the Jets on a 9-play, 76-yard drive, aided by a pass-interference call on Titans linebacker Peter Sirmon that negated an interception by defensive back Reynaldo Hill, capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run from Kevan Barlow.

After another Titans punt, Tennessee head coach Jeff Fisher grew impatient with starting quarterback Kerry Collins, pulling him in favor of rookie quarterback Vince Young. Young drove the Titans to the Jets' 32-yard line, but underthrew receiver David Givens on the next play, and Andre Dyson intercepted. Pennington drove the Jets into the Titans' red zone, completing a 10-yard pass to Sean Ryan, but Ryan was hit hard by Keith Bulluck and fumbled, with Tennessee recovering. However, two plays later, the Jets would get the ball right back, as Collins, inserted back into the game, was intercepted by Dyson, his second of the quarter. Setting up shop at the Titans' 36-yard line, the Jets would capitalize, as Pennington threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Jerricho Cotchery with 18 seconds left in the first half, but kicker Mike Nugent shanked the extra-point attempt wide right to leave the Jets with a 13-0 halftime lead.

Tennessee's woes in the passing game continued as soon as the second half started, with Collins getting intercepted again, this time by Kerry Rhodes, who returned the ball 25 yards to the Tennessee 22. Nugent nailed an 18-yard field goal as the drive stalled at the one-yard line. On the Jets' next possession, Pennington drove to the red zone again, but Nugent missed a 34-yard field goal attempt wide right. On the Jets' next possession, Pennington appeared to find Cotchery on a 2-yard touchdown pass, but the touchdown was nullified by a holding penalty on D'Brickashaw Ferguson. When the drive stalled, Nugent missed another field goal, hitting the right upright from 30 yards out.

Tennessee finally capitalized, with Travis Henry scoring on a 3-yard touchdown run with 10:48 left in the game. Tennessee went for two, and brought in Young. Young's pass intended for Bobby Wade was incomplete, but Jets defensive back Derrick Strait was flagged for pass interference, giving the Titans second life. They would take advantage, with Collins handing off to Henry for the conversion. After a trade of punts, the Jets took over on their own 11 with 7:28 to go. On third down, Pennington was sacked by Cortland Finnegan, and Tennessee's Randy Starks recovered at New York's 1-yard line. Tennessee went for two and converted, with Collins finding Drew Bennett open, and the game was tied, 16-16.

The Jets came right back, first with Justin Miller returning the ensuing kickoff 41 yards, and then Pennington steadily driving downfield, finding Baker on the 12-yard touchdown pass to cap a 7-play, 57-yard drive. The Jets had to hold on because on the next possession, Collins found Bennett on a 26-yard completion moving the ball to midfield, and he then completed long passes to Ben Troupe and Wade to move the ball to the Jets' 12-yard line with 1:11 to play. The Jets locked down, and on 4th-and-6 from the Jets' 8-yard line, Collins' pass for Bo Scaife was knocked away by Rhodes, ending the game.

In the week leading up to the matchup of 1-0 teams, bad blood brewed between the two teams when the Patriots filed tampering charges against the Jets for former wide receiver Deion Branch. The Patriots stated that while the Jets had permission to negotiate a contract with Branch, any trade talks were to be solely between the teams. They claimed that because Branch and his representatives had knowledge of what was being offered in a trade, the Patriots' negotiating position was compromised.

After both teams punted on their first possessions, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady led the Patriots on an 11-play, 82-yard drive, capped by Corey Dillon's 1-yard touchdown run. Following another Jets punt, Brady led New England on an 87-yard drive capped by rookie kicker Stephen Gostkowski's 20-yard field goal and a 10-0 lead. The game turned when Jets punter Ben Graham shanked a 10-yard punt booting from his own 40, giving Brady and the Patriots the ball at midfield with 1:01 to go in the half. Aided by big completions to Troy Brown (14 yards) and Benjamin Watson (23 yards), with 20 seconds to play, Brady found Chad Jackson on a 13-yard touchdown pass that appeared to break the Jets' backs.

On the Jets' first drive of the second half, they were faced with a 4th-and-1 from their own 46-yard line. Coach Eric Mangini risked going for it, but running back Kevan Barlow was stopped at the line for no gain. Aided by two costly Jets penalties, a pass-interference call on Victor Hobson and a defensive holding call on Erik Coleman, New England drove to the Jets' 1-yard line, where rookie running back Laurence Maroney punched the ball in for a 24-0 Patriots lead.

But, the dormant Jets offense finally woke up. On a 3rd-and-13 from their own 29-yard line, Chad Pennington completed a deep pass downfield to Jerricho Cotchery, who had to backpedal and leap for the ball as Pennington scrambled out of the pocket. He was hit hard by the Patriots' Chad Scott, and fell on top of the Patriots' Eugene Wilson. Hearing no whistle, he sprang up and ran untouched to the end zone. New England's challenge of the touchdown was upheld, as only Cotchery's hand hit the ground. Fired up by the miracle touchdown, Brady was intercepted by David Barrett, and on the ensuing possession, Pennington found Laveranues Coles on a slant pattern across the middle. Coles juked, causing Eugene Wilson to slip, and then outran the Patriots to the end zone to make it a 24-14 game with 50 seconds left in the third quarter.

The Jets' rejuvenated defense caused Brady to fumble on New England's next possession, with Kerry Rhodes sacking and Bryan Thomas recovering at the Patriots' 49-yard line. The Jets converted the opportunity into a 42-yard field goal from Mike Nugent, and suddenly, the Jets only trailed by a touchdown. But when New England got the ball back with 9:14 to go on their own 30, they steadily wore the Jets down. Brady converted three third downs as the Patriots drove to the Jets' 12-yard line with 1:11 to go, and a chip-shot field goal away from icing the game. But kicker Gostkowski was blocked by Jonathan Vilma, who returned the ball to the Jets' 9-yard line. With no timeouts and 1:05 to go, the Jets moved the ball to their own 45-yard line, but Pennington's heave with 15 seconds left was tipped and intercepted by Tedy Bruschi to effectively end the game.

On Buffalo's first play, J.P. Losman found Peerless Price for an 18-yard completion. They finished their next play with a bang, as Losman found Roscoe Parrish for a short completion, who then juked past a defender and sprinted into the end zone for a 7-0 Bills lead just 55 seconds into the game. After a Jets punt, Buffalo moved the ball to the Jets' 35-yard line, but on a fake field goal, holder Brian Moorman threw an incomplete pass. After another Jets punt, Buffalo moved the ball to the Jets' 19-yard line, but Losman was sacked by Kerry Rhodes, and Jonathan Vilma scooped up the loose ball. On Buffalo's next possession, following another Jets punt, Buffalo gambled and went for it on 4th-and-3 from the Jets' 28-yard line, but Losman's pass to Josh Reed only picked up two yards. The Jets capitalized, with rookie running back Leon Washington turning a short pass into a 46-yard gain to the Buffalo 3-yard line, where Kevan Barlow ran it in to tie the game, 7-7.

But Buffalo came right back, using a 32-yard run by Willis McGahee to move into Jets territory, and Rian Lindell booted a 36-yard field goal. Following a trade of punts, the Jets took over at their own 33 with 2:43 left in the first half. Operating out of a no-huddle offense, Pennington quickly drove the Jets downfield, finding Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery for big completions of 10+ yards before Pennington found Chris Baker open on a 1-yard touchdown pass with 14 seconds left in the half to give the Jets a 14-10 halftime lead.

Buffalo forced a punt on the Jets' first possession of the second half, but with the ball on their own 33-yard line, Losman was sacked by Kerry Rhodes, and Victor Hobson picked it up and raced into the end zone for a 32-yard fumble return touchdown. It was Rhodes' second sack that forced a fumble in the game and third in the last two games. Late in the third quarter, Losman turned the ball over again, getting intercepted by David Barrett. But Losman atoned for his mistakes, finding Josh Reed open on a 31-yard completion to set up a 28-yard field goal by Lindell with 9:17 left in the game. The Jets appeared to put the game away on the next possession, with Cedric Houston scoring his first touchdown of the season on a 5-yard run with 3:26 to play. But Losman rallied Buffalo, finding Peerless Price and Lee Evans on long completions before running the ball into the end zone from 12 yards out on a scramble to cut the Jets' lead to 28-20. On the ensuing onside kick, Buffalo caught a break, as Lindell's onside kick bounced off the elbow of Jets linebacker Matt Chatham, and André Davis recovered. But Buffalo could not get a first down, ending the game.

On the game's first possession, Chad Pennington was sacked by Robert Mathis, fumbled, and the Colts' Josh Thomas recovered. Dominic Rhodes would score on a 6-yard touchdown run minutes later, an inauspicious start. The teams would trade punts for the rest of the first quarter before Pennington drove the Jets at the beginning of the second quarter, using long completions to Laveranues Coles and Tim Dwight before he found Jerricho Cotchery on a 33-yard touchdown pass. What happened next stunned the Colts: Mike Nugent tried an onside kick and Kerry Rhodes recovered, sparking the home crowd. The Jets would make that surprise work, as Kevan Barlow scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 4:44 left in the first half, and the Jets had a 14-7 lead. But Peyton Manning rallied the Colts, converting a key third down to Marvin Harrison before Joseph Addai scored on a 2-yard touchdown run to tie the score going to halftime.

Indianapolis punted to open the second half, and the Jets began to drive. Pennington converted three third downs on a drive that took nearly nine minutes off the clock, but it did not end well. Jets coach Eric Mangini tried his second gamble of the game: going for it on 4th-and-goal from the Colts' 2-yard line. But Pennington's pass was intercepted in the end zone by Rocky Boiman, the first time in his career Pennington was intercepted in the end zone. Boiman's interception would set up a fast-and-furious finish as the teams scored 31 points in the fourth quarter.

Indianapolis took advantage of Boiman's interception and drove to set up Martin Gramatica's 20-yard field goal, as Joseph Addai picked up big yardage on the drive. Using a no-huddle offense, Pennington drove the Jets downfield, and aided by an illegal contact penalty on the Colts' Mike Doss, scored the go-ahead touchdown as Kevan Barlow scored on a 5-yard run with 7:55 to play. Manning led the Colts right back, and aided by a questionable pass-interference penalty on Justin Miller, found Bryan Fletcher on a 2-yard touchdown pass with 2:40 to play. Miller appeared to be the goat, but on the ensuing kickoff ran the ball back 103 yards for a touchdown that sent Jets fans into hysteria. The Jets led 28-24 with 2:20 to play. But that would be enough time for Manning, converting a huge third down to Marvin Harrison and a 15-yard pass to Reggie Wayne going to the Jets' 1-yard line. Manning ran the ball up the middle on the next play to give the Colts the lead.

With eight seconds to play and the ball on the Jets' 32-yard line, Pennington completed a seemingly innocuous pass to Leon Washington. But what followed was an amazing attempt to pull off a miracle. In order, the Jets tried a series of several laterals, going from Washington, to Brad Smith, to Laveranues Coles, to Pennington, to Justin McCareins, back to Smith, who fumbled but recovered. He lateraled back to Coles, who fumbled but recovered. At this point, the Jets were at the Colts' 40-yard line. Coles ran down 13 yards and then tossed off to Nick Mangold, who fumbled, but this time, the Colts' Jason David recovered, ending the game.

For the third straight week, the game got off to an ominous start for the Jets, as Chad Pennington was intercepted by Brian Williams on the Jets' first possession. Byron Leftwich then completed a short pass to Fred Taylor, who turned it into a 32-yard gain. Two plays later, Maurice Jones-Drew scored on a 6-yard touchdown run. After forcing a punt, Jacksonville wasted no time tacking onto their lead, with Leftwich completing passes to Reggie Williams and George Wrighster for long gains. Taylor would then score on a 13-yard touchdown run for a 14-0 Jaguars lead.

Early in the second quarter, the Jets attempted a punt, but the Jaguars' Gerald Sensabaugh blocked it, and Jorge Cordova recovered at the Jets' 8-yard line. Three plays later, Jones-Drew scored on a 4-yard touchdown run, surviving a challenge by the Jets. It only snowballed from there, as Pennington was intercepted by Terry Cousin on the next possession, and Leftwich flipped a 1-yard touchdown pass to Wrighster.

Jacksonville would add a Josh Scobee 43-yard field goal early in the second half, and after Deon Grant intercepted Pennington, Leftwich threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Williams for a 38-0 lead. The Jets' lone scoring chance in the second half was stopped when Leon Washington was stuffed on a 4th-and-goal from the Jaguars' 1-yard line early in the fourth quarter. The Jets were stopped on fourth down on their next possession when Pennington's scramble fell a yard short, and Scobee added a 40-yard field goal to close the scoring. On the Jets' final possession, backup rookie quarterback Kellen Clemens made his first appearance under center, but the drive ended badly when he was sacked by Montavious Stanley and Nick Greisen recovered.

The Jets got off to a good start in this game, with Mike Nugent kicking a 33-yard field goal on the Jets' first possession, their first points in the first quarter all season. The defense was a force early, a week after being trashed in the 41-0 loss to Jacksonville, as Andre Dyson intercepted Miami quarterback Joey Harrington on the next possession. After a punt, the Jets again forced a turnover, as Victor Hobson picked Harrington off. Midway through the second quarter, Miami gambled on a 4th-and-1 from the Jets' 29-yard line, but Ronnie Brown was stopped. The game went to halftime still 3-0 Jets.

Pennington led the Jets on a long drive to open the second half, capped off by another 33-yard field goal by Nugent. Miami came right back, driving inside the Jets' red zone, but the defense held firm, holding Miami to an Olindo Mare 21-yard field goal. After a good kick return by Justin Miller, Pennington turned a short completion to Laveranues Coles into a 58-yard touchdown as Coles found an opening and raced to the end zone for a 13-3 Jets lead. After Sammy Morris fumbled on the next possession for Miami, Pennington found Coles on a 22-yard touchdown pass to open up a 17-point lead with 13:23 to play.

Miami came right back, however, with Harrington leading the Dolphins quickly downfield on a 12-play, 81-yard drive, capped by a 2-yard touchdown toss to Chris Chambers. After forcing a punt, Harrington again led Miami downfield, using an 11-play, 74-yard drive to pull Miami within 20-17, as Ronnie Brown scored on a 1-yard run. After another punt, Miami took over on their own 11-yard line with 2:18 to play. Harrington used big completions to Randy McMichael and Chambers to move to the Jets' 32-yard line with 38 seconds to play, but Mare's game-tying 51-yard attempt was well short, sealing the victory for New York.

The Jets quickly drove downfield on their first possession, scoring their first touchdown in the first quarter all season. Chad Pennington found Jerricho Cotchery on a 28-yard completion and rookie running back Leon Washington picked up 23 yards on a sweep around end before Washington scored on a 5-yard touchdown run. On the Jets' next possession, Pennington fired a 44-yard touchdown pass to Justin McCareins, his first touchdown of the season, to open up a 14-0 lead. The Lions would get on the board early in the second quarter as Jon Kitna had big completions to Dan Campbell, Mike Furrey, and Roy Williams, the pass to Williams a 22-yard touchdown. But on the kickoff, Justin Miller returned the ball 56 yards inside Detroit territory, and after a pass from Pennington to Cotchery, Kevan Barlow scored on a 3-yard touchdown run. Kitna would get intercepted by Kerry Rhodes on the next possession, but Pennington would then get picked off by Terrence Holt at the Detroit 2-yard line to short-circuit a possible score. The Jets led 21-7 at halftime.

Kitna would again get intercepted on the first possession of the second half, this time by Jonathan Vilma. But the drive went nowhere, and Detroit's next one, a 12-play, 83-yard drive, resulted in a 25-yard field goal by Jason Hanson. The Jets got that right back, as Pennington converted a couple of third downs during a drive that was capped by Mike Nugent's 33-yard field goal. Down fourteen points, Detroit halved New York's lead with Kitna finding Kevin Jones on a 9-yard touchdown pass on a drive where Kitna converted a critical 4th-and-11 pass to Mike Furrey. The Jets would come right back, with Washington scoring on a 16-yard touchdown run on a sweep around end. Detroit would not give up, as Kitna found Furrey on an 18-yard touchdown pass on a play that survived a Jets challenge. On that drive, Kitna again converted a fourth down to Furrey. But Detroit's ensuing onside kick failed, and the Jets ran out the clock.

The Jets got the ball first and Pennington led the Jets on a 16-play, 83-yard drive that took 8:30 off the clock before Mike Nugent kicked a 27-yard field goal. On the Browns' next possession, Reuben Droughns had two big gains to put the Browns in position for Phil Dawson's 47-yard field goal, knotting the score, 3-3. Pennington was then intercepted by Sean Jones, and Charlie Frye led the Browns on a long drive that was capped by a 2-yard touchdown run by Droughns. Frye would get intercepted by Eric Smith on the Browns' next possession, but Nugent missed a 52-yard field goal wide right, his first missed field goal since Week 1. However, the Jets would get a break as Dawson missed a chip-shot 26-yard field goal at the end of the first half. Still, Cleveland led 10-3 at halftime.

Cleveland got the ball first in the second half, and Droughns continued to move the ball, picking up solid yardage before Frye found Kellen Winslow II open on a 30-yard touchdown reception. After the teams traded punts, Leon Washington fumbled on the Jets' 10-yard line, with Nick Eason forcing and Kamerion Wimbley recovering. Dawson knocked in a 21-yard field goal to give Cleveland a 20-3 lead with 3:51 left in the third quarter. The Jets got an immediate lift when Justin Miller returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a score, his second return of the year, to cut the lead to ten. After a Browns punt, Pennington drove the Jets into position for Nugent's 47-yard field goal to narrow the deficit to 20-13. But on the Jets' next possession, Pennington was again intercepted by Jones, but Cleveland was forced to punt.

After another trade of punts, the Jets took over on Cleveland's 47-yard line with 1:56 to play. On 4th-and-4 from the Cleveland 24 with 1:06 to play, Pennington lofted a pass that Chris Baker leapt for and caught with one hand as he began to land. Just before his foot hit the ground, the Browns' Brodney Pool levelled Baker, who landed out-of-bounds but still in possession of the ball. The referee ruled that Baker was out-of-bounds, rather than ruling he was forced out, which would have led to a touchdown. Eric Mangini called a timeout in the hopes that the referees would review the play, but since it was a judgement call, it was non-reviewable under NFL rules. Frye took a knee to end the game.

On a rainy day in New England, both team's defenses held firm early, with the teams trading punts until New England went on a drive that reached one play into the second quarter, when Stephen Gostkowski booted a 31-yard field goal. On the Jets' next play from scrimmage, Chad Pennington was intercepted by Artrell Hawkins. Two plays later, Tom Brady found Doug Gabriel open downfield for a long first down, but Victor Hobson forced a fumble and Kerry Rhodes recovered. The Jets followed with a time-consuming 16-play, 9:12 drive, capped off by a two-yard Kevan Barlow touchdown run for a 7-3 Jets lead.

New England battled downfield, converting a 4th-and-1 from their own 44 with a run to fullback Heath Evans, and on the first play after the two-minute warning, Brady appeared to be intercepted by Drew Coleman, who ran the ball back 35 yards. But, the play was negated on a controversial roughing-the-passer call on Hobson, who dove at Brady as he was releasing the ball, but drove him into the ground, prompting the flag. The Patriots then converted on a 4th-and-3 from the Jets' 24, but would be forced to settle for a 21-yard field goal from Gostkowski with four seconds left.

Justin Miller ran back the opening kickoff of the second half 62 yards, and the drive ended with Pennington lining up in the shotgun on 4th-and-5 from the Patriots' 33, only to punt the ball to the New England 4. After a Patriots punt, Pennington led the Jets on another long drive, this one 15 plays and only 45 yards, but it ate 6:40 off the clock and resulted in Nugent's 34-yard field goal. Midway through the fourth quarter, Brady was intercepted by Erik Coleman, and Pennington tossed a 22-yard touchdown pass to Jerricho Cotchery, barely keeping his feet inbounds, although the play was never challenged. The Jets led 17-6 with 4:51 to go.

However, operating out of a no-huddle offense, Brady led the Patriots 61 yards in 31 seconds, capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass to Reche Caldwell, and Brady found Caldwell again on the two-point conversion to narrow the lead to 17-14. But the next drive was critical, as the Jets forced New England to burn all three timeouts, punting with 1:15 to go. New England took over at their own 11-yard line and moved the ball to the Jets' 46-yard line. On the final play of the game, Brady was sacked by Shaun Ellis.

The first quarter was all about defense, as the teams traded punts until the Jets got the ball late in the first quarter at their own 24-yard line. On the drive, Chad Pennington converted key third downs to Brad Smith and Tim Dwight, and was soon faced with a 3rd-and-goal at the Bears' 6-yard line. Apparently unable to see an open Laveranues Coles, Pennington lobbed a pass towards Chris Baker that was intercepted by Brian Urlacher. With just under four minutes left in the half, Thomas Jones appeared to fumble and Kerry Rhodes recovered, but Chicago successfully challenged the play, denying the Jets a scoring opportunity. The game was scoreless at halftime.

Eric Mangini, apparently remembering the success of his surprise onside kick against Indianapolis in Week 4, decided to open the second half with one. Unfortunately, this one was scooped up by Chicago's Chris Harris. On the Bears' first play, Jones broke off a 19-yard run, and Jones rushed every play on the drive that was capped off by a 20-yard field goal by Robbie Gould. The Jets' next drive ended when Pennington was intercepted by Nathan Vasher in Chicago territory. The Bears' game-breaking score came when Rex Grossman completed a short pass to Mark Bradley. The Jets' Drew Coleman fell down attempting to make the tackle, and Bradley had an open lane to the end zone to extend the Bears' lead to 10-0. The Bears then went into a ball-control offense, and the Jets could not muster anything.

The game started out with the teams trading punts, and when Houston attempted a punt from the Jets' 37-yard line, punter Chad Stanley fumbled the snap and the Jets had the ball at their own 46-yard line. A 36-yard completion from Chad Pennington to Laveranues Coles almost went for naught when Leon Washington fumbled a short pass, but Brad Smith recovered. Mike Nugent booted a 23-yard field goal to put the Jets on the board. On the Jets' next drive, Pennington led the Jets into Houston territory, aided by a pass-interference call on DeMarcus Faggins. Nugent kicked a 34-yard field goal for a 6-0 Jets lead. Houston rebounded, with David Carr converting a key third down to Andre Johnson to set up Kris Brown's 47-yard field goal. Pennington completed a long pass to Jerricho Cotchery on the next drive to set up Nugent's career-long 54-yard field goal to give the Jets a 9-3 lead. The half ended when Brown came up five yards short on a 59-yard field goal attempt.

On the Jets' first possession of the second half, following a Houston punt, Pennington completed long passes to Chris Baker and Cotchery before finding Coles on a 12-yard touchdown pass. On the Jets' next drive, fans everywhere held their breath when Pennington was drilled by Mario Williams while releasing a pass and was slow to get up. Luckily, he only had the wind knocked out of him. Kerry Rhodes intercepted Carr soon after, and Pennington completed another long pass to Cotchery to set up Cedric Houston's 1-yard touchdown run and a 23-3 lead. The Jets' final score came after a 13-play drive that ate up 8:27, capped by Nugent's 40-yard field goal, his fourth of the game. Houston closed the scoring when Carr found Johnson in the end zone, and then completed a two-point conversion pass to Wali Lundy.

The Jets let Green Bay know right away that they would not let the cold affect them, with B.J. Askew prancing along the sidelines in the 19-degree weather shirtless before the game. Sure enough, on the game's opening drive, Pennington drove the Jets downfield, aided by a key third-down completion to Justin McCareins, capped by Mike Nugent's 24-yard field goal. On the next possession, Bryan Thomas sacked Brett Favre, causing a fumble while Dewayne Robertson recovered for the Jets. Out of a no-huddle offense, Pennington quickly engineered a scoring drive, a 12-yard touchdown pass to Jerricho Cotchery.

After a Packers punt, Pennington found Chris Baker and Cotchery on long completions to set up Cedric Houston's 3-yard touchdown run for a 17-0 Jets lead. Dave Rayner would miss a 40-yard field goal wide right for Green Bay, and the Jets drove to another score, this time a 1-yard touchdown run by Houston. Favre would then get intercepted by Andre Dyson, and the Jets would get fortunate on the next drive, surviving a Laveranues Coles fumble that Cotchery recovered, and Baker had a couple of key grabs on the drive, including a 1-yard touchdown catch with 13 seconds to play in the half for a dominating 31-0 lead.

Out of the gate in the second half, Green Bay resorted to a rushing game, and the first drive worked, with Rayner kicking a 34-yard field goal. Pennington then got intercepted by Charles Woodson. Green Bay could not convert a 4th-and-1 from the New York 33-yard line, but Pennington threw another pick, this time to Patrick Dendy. Green Bay made Pennington pay this time, as Favre found Donald Driver for a 20-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 31-10. Green Bay then recovered the ensuing onside kick, and the Packers had all the momentum. But the Jets forced a punt and then drove to a touchdown, with Houston picking up a big run and Leon Washington finishing the drive with a 20-yard touchdown run. That effectively ended the game.

Buffalo struck first late in the first quarter when Willis McGahee broke through a hole and ran 57 yards to the end zone. Justin Miller put the Jets in good field position with the ensuing kickoff return, and after Chad Pennington found Laveranues Coles on a long completion, he found him on a 10-yard pass for a touchdown, knotting the game at 7. On the next drive, Anthony Thomas fumbled for Buffalo and Miller recovered. Mike Nugent would knock in a 30-yard field goal to give the Jets the lead.

With 4:59 left in the half, J.P. Losman found Lee Evans on a deep pass downfield that went for a 77-yard touchdown. On the first play after the two-minute warning, Pennington was intercepted by Nate Clements, who returned it 42 yards for a score. Nugent would add a 38-yard field goal right before halftime, and the Jets trailed 21-13 at halftime. The defenses held firm for a majority of the third quarter, before Losman found Robert Royal on a 6-yard touchdown pass. Rian Lindell's 34-yard field goal with 8:04 remaining capped the scoring.

On the second play of the game, Chad Pennington was sacked by Nick Harris, and E.J. Henderson recovered. Three plays later, Brad Johnson tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Travis Taylor, and the Jets trailed 7-0 two minutes into the game. The Jets immediately responded, with Brad Smith making a key grab on the drive that ended with Cedric Houston's 6-yard touchdown run. On the next Jets' drive, Mike Nugent was ready to attempt a 37-yard field goal, but holder Ben Graham botched the snap, and the Jets could not score. Nugent would make a 25-yard field goal early in the second quarter to give the Jets a 10-7 lead.

Pennington found Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles for big completions on the drive that ended with Coles grabbing a 21-yard touchdown pass from Pennington. Nugent would make a 52-yard field goal for a 20-7 lead before Ryan Longwell missed a 49-yard field goal wide right for Minnesota, giving the Jets prime field position, and Nugent made a 45-yard field goal as time expired for a 23-7 halftime lead. With a large lead, the Jets controlled the clock in the second half, going on a nearly eight-minute drive that ended with a 20-yard field goal from Nugent, his fourth of the game and the final Jets score.

Johnson was pulled at the beginning of the fourth quarter for backup Tarvaris Jackson, and Jackson led Minnesota on a scoring drive, finding Troy Williamson on two long passes before connecting with Mewelde Moore on a 35-yard touchdown. Both the two-point conversion and ensuing onside kick failed, but Pennington was intercepted by Harris. Jackson led the Vikings to the New York 14-yard line with two minutes to go, but David Barrett intercepted Jackson, effectively ending the game.

With the rest of Week 16's games being played on Christmas Eve, the Jets, due to losses by Jacksonville and Cincinnati, controlled their own playoff destiny with two victories.

The game was played in a driving rainstorm as both teams struggled to move the ball early. With 49 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Mike Nugent was ready to attempt a 34-yard field goal, but holder Ben Graham could not handle the snap in the slippery conditions, and the Jets were denied. It was the second straight week Graham had flubbed a snap, but this one could be blamed on the wet conditions. The two teams would trade punts for the rest of the half.

In the third quarter, Dolphins coach Nick Saban inserted backup quarterback Cleo Lemon into the game, replacing an ineffective Joey Harrington. Finally, the Jets went on a drive with 6:15 left in the third quarter, with Chad Pennington scrambling for 15 yards and moving into the Dolphins' red zone when Yeremiah Bell was flagged for pass interference. Nugent knocked in a 22-yard field goal for the first points of the game. But Lemon rallied Miami, completing two long passes to Randy McMichael and Ronnie Brown picking up a long run before Lemon tossed a 7-yard touchdown pass to McMichael, and the Dolphins led 7-3 with 13:26 left in the game.

Pennington showed poise in leading the Jets back to take the lead, completing key passes to Brad Smith and Leon Washington before finding Cotchery on a 31-yard completion to the Miami 1-yard line, but the Jets challenged, saying that Cotchery was brought down after he broke the plane of the end zone, and the referee agreed, giving the Jets a 10-7 lead with 8:04 remaining in the game. Miami was then forced to punt, but caught a break when Donnie Jones' kick bounced off the elbow of Jets linebacker Brad Kassell, and long snapper John Denney recovered at the Jets' 42-yard line. Lemon led Miami downfield, completing key passes to Derek Hagan and Sammy Morris before Mare tied the game with a 25-yard field goal.

With 2:09 to play, the Jets' biggest play of the season took place. Pennington flipped a short screen pass to Washington, who found a hole and scampered 64 yards down to the Miami 16-yard line. After three runs by Kevan Barlow, Nugent kicked a 30-yard field goal with 10 seconds to play, and the Jets had their biggest win of the year.

For the Jets, it was simple: a win would qualify them for the playoffs, only a year after a disastrous 4-12 season. After the teams traded punts, Aaron Brooks completed a pass to Johnnie Morant for a first down, but David Barrett forced a fumble and Hank Poteat recovered. Brad Smith had a key run on the next drive, and Chad Pennington then tossed a 1-yard touchdown pass to Chris Baker. Oakland later went on a drive to the Jets' 10-yard line, but on third down, Kerry Rhodes sacked Brooks, forcing Oakland to settle for a Sebastian Janikowski field goal. Pennington led the Jets on a key score during a "two-minute drill," bringing the Jets into position for a Mike Nugent 35-yard field goal and a 10-3 halftime lead.

Pennington would find Laveranues Coles, Leon Washington, and Baker on long gains on the first drive of the second half before Nugent kicked a 22-yard field goal. The ensuing kickoff was returned 92 yards by Chris Carr to the Jets' 1-yard line, but the play was negated by a holding penalty on Jarrett Cooper. The Jets stopped Brooks on a 4th-and-inches on the drive, and effectively iced the game and a playoff spot when Leon Washington scored on a 15-yard touchdown run around end. On the next Oakland drive, Eric Barton sacked Brooks, forcing a fumble, and Bobby Hamilton recovered. Nugent's 35-yard field goal capped the scoring. When the Denver Broncos lost at home to the San Francisco 49ers, the Jets secured the top wild-card berth and a date in New England in the wild-card round of the playoffs.

The Jets and Patriots had split their two games of the 2006 season, with the Jets winning the second matchup. Whereas the Jets won that game primarily by blitzing quarterback Tom Brady, this time Brady opened the game with a no-huddle offense, quickly scoring a touchdown on their opening drive. The Jets eventually went ahead, 10-7, but the Patriots responded with a field goal, and then a nearly seven-minute drive to close the first half with a touchdown, putting them ahead, 17-10.

In the second half, the Jets and Patriots each exchanged field goals, keeping the differential at seven. Arguably the biggest play of the game came when Jets quarterback Chad Pennington attempted a screen pass to Jerricho Cotchery. The pass was tipped and the ball fell to the ground, but because Pennington had made the pass slightly behind him, it was considered a lateral, and thus a fumbled ball. New England defensive tackle Vince Wilfork picked up the ball and ran it 35 yards to the Jets' 15-yard line, ending any momentum the Jets had. The Patriots were able to convert on the turnover, and made it a ten-point game going into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth, the Jets again pulled to within seven points, but the Patriots again marched down the field, eating more than six minutes off the clock. The drive culminated in a seven-yard touchdown pass to running back Kevin Faulk. The final nail in the coffin for the Jets was an interception by Asante Samuel, which was returned for a touchdown with less than five minutes to play. After the game, Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Jets coach Eric Mangini, who were not on good terms during this season, embraced in the middle of the field.

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American Gladiators

American Gladiators.png

American Gladiators (1989-1996) was an American competition television program that matched a cast of amateur athletes against each other, as well as against the show's own "gladiators", in contests of strength and agility.

The show was taped at Universal Studios Hollywood until 1991, then moved to Gladiator Arena for the rest of its initial run. The National Indoor Arena, home to the UK version, hosted the International Gladiators competitions.

The series, a co-production of Trans World International and Four Point Entertainment, was distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Television.

An effort to launch a live American Gladiators show on the Las Vegas Strip became mired in a securities fraud prosecution. However, the series was restarted in 2008.

This version of the show currently airs in the USA on ESPN Classic, and several episodes have been made available for download on Apple's iTunes Service.

American Gladiators ran from 1989-1996, and was conducted in a tournament style format. Up until season six, two tournaments were conducted each season.

In the first two seasons, 20 contenders (ten of each gender) in each half-season tournament were chosen from a nationwide contestant pool based on tests of strength and agility, with several alternates chosen in case a contender could not continue due to injury. Two contenders of each gender competed on each episode. Five preliminary round matchups were played with the winners automatically advancing to the quarterfinal round, along with the three highest scoring losers. Any alternates from that point on came from the previous round's losers.

The tournament then became single elimination, with the last two contenders standing meeting in the half-season final. The winners of each half received a cash prize and advanced to the Grand Championship at the end of the season, with more money and a new car available for the winner. The runners-up in the Grand Championship received a smaller cash prize.

In season three, 24 contenders in each half competed, and there was only one wild card spot, open to the highest scoring quarterfinal loser. Season four followed a similar format. Season five did away with the wild card altogether, with 16 contenders in each half competing, and the winners seeded 1-8 depending on their performance in the preliminaries.

In seasons six and seven, the tournament was spread out over the season, with no halves. The events were referred to as "rounds" due to more than one game being played per round. Three games per show are played by both males and females and 3 are split between the males and females, two in one round. In split rounds, the men went first, then the women. Including the Eliminator, 10 events appeared in each episode, and the lineup of single and split rounds changed during the season. The sole exception to this format was in the semi-finals & Grand Championship; each round was a single event.

Also, there were no quarterfinal rounds; the top 4 highest scoring contenders would advance to the semi-finals.

In each episode, the contenders competed in a series of events. Six to eight events were played per show, varying from season to season. Most of the events tested the contenders' physical abilities against the superior size and strength of the Gladiators, who were mostly pro or amateur bodybuilders and former football players. In most events, the contenders were not directly pitted against each other, but against the Gladiators. In each event, the contenders earned points based on their performance.

In the first half of season one, the points in each event were given in minimum 5 point increments, with 100 points usually the maximum in every event. After the first half of the first season, single point increments were used. Events with a clear winner typically earned the contender 10 points for a win, 5 points for a draw, and no points for a loss. Events without a clear winner and loser (such as Powerball) earned the contender points for each success.

Starting with the fourth season, the final event before The Eliminator, was labeled "Crunch Time", and was played for more points.

The Eliminator was the final event played in each episode, and determined which contender would win that day's competition. The contenders competed side-by-side to complete a large obstacle course as quickly as they could. In the first two seasons, the Eliminator had a time limit, and both contenders started the course at the same time. Contenders scored points for every second left on the clock when they finished the course; the contender with the highest final score won the day's competition. Beginning in season 3, the contender in the lead was given a head start with each point they led by worth a half-second; the first contender to cross the finish line won.

Of the events that debuted in the show's first season, only six lasted the entire original run on American Television: Breakthrough and Conquer, The Wall, Joust, Assault, Powerball, and the Eliminator.

During the first half of the first season, the show's set resembled that of an ancient Roman gladiatorial arena, hence the show's name (only with the walls being dark gray), with the stands raised high above the ground. For the second half, the show's set was changed into the more familiar sports-style arena. The hooded figures that officiated the games were replaced by veteran NFL referee Bob McElwee, who wore a red tracksuit with the show logo, and would often speak on camera to announce infractions during the game.

Starting in Season 2, until the final season, Season 7, the new referee, former Pacific 10 football referee Larry Thompson, wore the traditional zebra-striped shirt, and would also announce infractions. During season four, other assistant officials in zebra-striped shirts, referred by Mike Adamle as game judges, were added. Often, the game judges were used at the start of the Eliminator and past the zip line, but officials would assist Thompson during the match.

After being based at Universal Studios Hollywood for the first two seasons, American Gladiators moved production to the CBS Studio Center, with their studio being referred to as "Gladiator Arena". Other than the studio change and a few minor cosmetic changes, nothing much else differed from the second to third seasons.

Season 4 marked the only season in which there was no introduction of the gladiators anywhere in the introduction (the show introduced the Gladiators in some way in every other version of the show opening). The show also removed the fake grass design from its field events (Powerball, Breakthrough and Conquer) and replaced it with white and gray carpeting.

In season 5, the show received a massive makeover, including a change in logo (a more angular and three-dimensional look, along with a changed font), a change in color scheme (from red, white, and blue to silver and scarlet), the use of two video screens (added in season 6, and sponsored by Slim Jim, referred to as the "SlimJim Superscreen"), and music played during the introduction of each event from this season to the end of the series run (which also was used during the International versions, only in the International versions, music was played while the event was actually played, as the show was directly from the British version), the music being played being from the American Gladiators: The Music soundtrack (only with no gladiator or announcer voices). Both the 18 track soundtrack and the 21 track soundtrack music was used.

However, the most notable change was the change of the opening theme, which was a rock remix of the original theme, composed by Bill Conti.

The second theme was featured on the American Gladiators: The Music soundtrack. The event music, and the remix of the original theme were composed and performed by Dan Miter and the Steele Penny Band.

During the final season, three more things changed. The logo changed completely from its gem shaped logo to the metallic "AG" logo, with the A on top of the G to form a diamond shape (this is also when the announcers used the acronym "AG" to identify the show on a regular basis, as the previous two seasons only found it being used sparingly), and the opening featured each gladiator in a pose to show off their physiques, only with little clothing on. The logo for Season 7 was based on the British "Gladiators" "G" logo. Finally, the set was changed in where one of the audience stands was completely taken out, replaced by a huge "AG" logo in the center of that side that also housed the steps into the arena, giving the appearance of a bigger arena. This slightly affected the gameplay of Assault, since the stairs were closer to the first safety zone, giving the Gladiators less time to hit the Contender before they reached the first station.

Note ^: Season 4 champion Cheryl Wilson-Minelli was murdered in 1997 by her husband, after what he thought was an affair.

Like some other game shows, American Gladiators had their own themed shows. Some shows featured celebrities competing against each other (like castmembers from Baywatch and Superman portrayer Dean Cain, as well as host Mike Adamle & character actors such as a pre-Scrubs John C. McGinley), but other theme shows were present.

There were three alumni shows conducted during the course of AG. The first occurred in the second season, and featured competitors from the show's first season. Contenders Lucian Anderson and Cheryl Ann Silich emerged victorious, beating out Terry Moore and Aimee Ross, respectively.

Season six saw a second alumni show, with the six Grand Champions since the show moved into Gladiator Arena competing against each other. Wesley "Two Scoops" Berry and Peggy Odita, the season five Grand Champions, won.

Season seven's alumni show, dubbed as the "Battle of the Best", pitted season five grand champions Wesley "Two Scoops" Berry and Peggy Odita against season six grand champions Kyler Storm and Adrienne Sullivan, respectively, with the season five champions prevailing yet again. This show in particular saw two particular incidents that continue to be key topics of discussion among fans of the show, both involving Kyler Storm and Turbo. The first incident occurred during Breakthrough & Conquer, in which Kyler did a front flip over Turbo in the Breakthrough portion to score. The other, more ugly incident was later on in Swingshot. Kyler "faked" twice during the event (which is against the rules in Swingshot) to get a total of 12 points from those two swings. It prompted Turbo to punch Kyler in the face when they met during a later swing. Although the two made up, Larry Thompson ruled against both Kyler and Turbo. Kyler had the 12 points deducted from the faking, but regained 6 because of Turbo being disqualified for the punch.

In an unrelated show, former Gladiators Zap and Dallas, who left the show the previous year, faced off against each other, with Dallas beating Zap.

In seasons three and four, AG conducted a show where current and former NFL players competed against each other in an elimination-style format. Six players competed, with the competition whittled down to four after the first two events, and then two for the Eliminator. Charles White won both competitions, both times erasing a deficit in the Eliminator.

In Seasons 5 & 6, these shows consisted of former Olympic Gold Medalists competing. For the 1993 show, the males featured were 1984 Gold Downhill Skiing medalist Bill Johnson, 1988 Bronze Basketball medalist Danny Manning, and 1984 Gold Boxing medalist Tyrell Biggs. The females featured were 1976 Silver Basketball medalist Nancy Lieberman, 1984 Silver & Gold and 1988 Gold Track & Field medalist Alice Brown, and 1992 Gold & Silver Speed Skating medalist Cathy Turner. Cathy Turner and Bill Johnson won the competition and $10,000.

A precursor to International Gladiators, this tournament aired in seasons four and five and featured contestants from all over the world. Among the contenders was in season four was eventual season five champion Peggy Odita, who was representing Nigeria and who won the women's competition.

A special championship series consisting of previous champions from various versions of the show from around the world. The initial series included contenders and gladiators from the USA, UK, Finland, and Russia. The second series had contenders and Gladiators from the USA, UK, Russia, South Africa, Germany and Australia. Both series were filmed on the set of the British version of the show, and used British games and rules.

In seasons five and six, contenders from each of the four of the five branches of the U.S. military (Coast Guard was not represented) (men and women in season five, men only in season six) faced off against each other, with the two highest scoring branches facing off in the Eliminator. The Marines won both competitions. Captain Myles Bly Mire, an AG alumnus, was later involved with the capture of Saddam Hussein's nephew.

Conducted in season six, featuring officers from both police departments in competition. One of the female officers, the LAPD's Angela Shepard, was a season three contender who did not advance past the preliminaries (due to an injury she suffered during the Eliminator).

In season six, this contest pitted two USC alumni - former football players Anthony Davis and Charles White - against two Notre Dame alumni. USC prevailed in this competition, marking the third time White won on American Gladiators (the first two wins came in the Pro Football Challenge of Champions events).

Throughout the series, American Gladiators had several regular segments that were not related to the competition of the day. These segments were used to allow the audience to get to know the Gladiators or to highlight some of the best moments of competitions past.

The American Gladiators had a dinner show in Orlando Florida. This dinner show showed many of the "main" gladiators. Ice, Sky, Hawk, Gemini, and others. The events included The Wall, Breakthrough and Conquer, Assault, Whiplash, the Eliminator and others.

Like professional wrestling, American Gladiators is considered a form of sports entertainment, with the primary difference in that American Gladiators, unlike wrestling, is not pre-scripted. There have been several crossovers between the show and wrestling itself. The most obvious ties to wrestling, of course, is the 2008 revival being co-hosted by wrestling legend Hulk Hogan.

The season 2 men's runner-up, first half champion Rico Constantino, went on to become well-known as a wrestler in WWE, under the name of "Rico." Rico retired from the wrestling business after being released by the WWE in 2004 and is currently a Las Vegas police officer, which was also his job during his American Gladiators stint.

Tony Halme, known in the then WWF as Ludvig Borga, was a Gladiator on the Finnish version. Matt Morgan, who wrestled for a time in the WWE and is currently in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (wrestling in both under his given name), debuted during season 2 of the 2008 revival as a Gladiator under the name Beast.

In 2008, longtime American Gladiators co-host Mike Adamle himself joined WWE as a backstage interviewer for the Raw brand before moving to play-by-play for ECW on Sci Fi three months later. He then returned to Raw as the brand's new General Manager but resign and was eventually let go in January 2009. Prior to that, after the original series ended and while working with NBC Sports, Adamle indirectly worked with the WWE doing commentary for the short-lived XFL.

The American Gladiators format gained popularity all over the world. Several other countries created spin-offs based on the American Gladiators concept, including Finland, the UK, Australia, South Africa, and more.

American Gladiators was also translated and rebroadcast in Latin America under the name Gladiadores Americanos. It was also shown in Japan as Gekitotsu Americane Kin-niku Battle. Japan also had a show called BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!, which had some American Gladiators elements in the show.

According to a press release from MGM, and in addition to the MGM website dedicated to the original version of the series (also links to the revival) and a multi-city live tour (similar to the early 1990s tour), an animated television series based on the American Gladiators franchise is in development.

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Source : Wikipedia