Scobee's Last-Minute FG Helps Jags Top Steelers, 31-29
Brown, Scott, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
In the annals of heartbreaking losses in Pittsburgh sports history, this one will rank up there (or down) with any of them.
The Steelers rallied from an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit but couldn't hang onto a late lead in a 31-29 loss Saturday night to the Jacksonville Jaguars in an AFC wild-card game before 63,629 at Heinz Field.
Ben Roethlisberger shook off three first-half interceptions and brought the Steelers back with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes.
But just as when the Jaguars won in Pittsburgh on Dec. 16, the Steelers couldn't stop Jacksonville when they needed to most.
David Garrard, making his first playoff start, drove the Jaguars for a late field goal after the Steelers failed to get a first down on a late possession and then gave Jacksonville a short field.
Garrard rambled for 32 yards on a fourth-and-2 from the Steelers' 43 with just under two minutes left in the game.
That set up Josh Scobee's 25-yard field goal that proved to be the difference in a wild, back-and-forth game.
Linebacker Larry Foote said he has held on the Garrard run.
"I'm going to get fined," Foote said. "Just watch what happened in the middle of the field. There's a reason there was such a big hole. That's all I'm going to say."
Garrard completed 9 of 21 passes for 140 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He also rushed for 58 yards on five carries.
The Steelers (10-7) have lost four times in a row to the Jaguars (12-5), and they ended the season with losses in four of their past five games.
"I'm disappointed for the guys," first-year coach Mike Tomlin said. "This group will always be special to me. Nothing really soothes the feelings that we have now."
The Jaguars (12-5) advanced to the AFC Divisional round, and they'll play the undefeated Patriots in New England unless the Titans upset the Chargers today.
If Tennessee beats San Diego, Jacksonville will play the Colts in Indianapolis.
There had been talk leading up to the game that Roethlisberger, because of his experience and the breakout season he had enjoyed, might be the difference in the game.
He almost was in a good way for the Steelers. He was brilliant in the second half, and he finished with playoff highs in passing yards (337) and completions (29). …