The lonely wonderer returns (again). I've been somewhat of an outsider looking in on Gang Green Nation over the past 3 months, not by choice of course but out of necessity. However with a little bit of time today, Jets/Steelers always brings me to Doug Brien, a nightmare that is still fresh in my memory, and I'm sure I'm not alone.
It's Heinz field, it's the 2004 Divisional game and we have 2:02 left in regulation with a 17-17 tied game. Up steps Doug Brien not once but twice to win it for the Jets and send them to the AFC Championship game. The 47 yard kick looked good, it had the distance and it looked to have the direction, Jets fans agonized as it banged off the crossbar. With 16 seconds to go and the Jets at the Steelers 23, Herm Edwards chose the safe route. He had Chad Pennington kneel for a one yard loss to make it a 43 yard field goal. He could have chosen to run with Curtis Martin and try and get the kick under 40 yards, in Heinz field every yard counts. Brien stepped up with four seconds on the clock and the kick sailed wide left.
I don't need to write what happened in overtime. Kicking alongside the Ohio river in Heinz field isn't easy, in fact it's downright tough.So if the game comes down to a Nick Folk FG, Jets fans will automatically revert back to Doug Brien on that cold night in January 2005, it's natural.
Doug Brien was sent packing after those misses and a lot of Jets fans still have a very bitter taste towards even the mention of his name. It forced the Jets hand in over paying for a kick from Ohio, mike Nugent a 2nd round, 47th overall pick of the Jets in 2005 lasted just three years with the Jets before finding his place on the unemployment line. A complete waste of a 2nd round selection. A little revisionist history, but Nick Collins was taken after Mike Nugent in 2005 as was Justin Tuck and Frank Gore, just let that marinate.
I don't know why, but I have a feeling Sundays game will come down to a Nick Folk field goal, and who knows if he'll send it through or not. If he does, it'll go a long way to banishing those still painful memories from 2005.