Martin Carries Jets Past Steelers in SnowANDREA SZULSZTEYN , Associated Press
Dec. 14, 2003 4:08 PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) _ Curtis Martin carried the New York Jets through the snow and to a sloppy victory, while etching his name in the NFL record books.
Martin had 30 carries for 174 yards and caught four passes for 54 yards, while Doug Brien kicked two field goals to help the Jets beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 6-0 on Sunday. It was the first time in over three years the Steelers (5-9) were shut out, dating to a 16-0 loss to Baltimore on Sept. 3, 2000.
Playing on a snow-covered field after a winter storm dumped several inches of snow on the Northeast, Martin showed that he still has plenty left in his 30-year-old legs _ even if there were few fans in the stands to see him.
Martin went over 1,000 yards for the ninth straight season, joining Barry Sanders as the only players in NFL history to accomplish the feat. He reached the benchmark on an 8-yard run late in the second quarter. The video board said, ``Congratulations Curtis'' and teammates mobbed him on the field after the gain, while the sparse crowd sitting through a snowstorm cheered.
Sanders had 1,000 yards in each of his first 10 seasons.
Earlier, Martin passed John Riggins for 11th place on the NFL's all-time rushing list. Martin has 11,488 career yards.
His runs came up huge on a day in which neither offense could generate much of a passing game. Martin's rushing counterpart, Jerome Bettis, also passed Franco Harris for eighth place on the career rushing list, though Bettis was limited in the fourth quarter with a right knee injury and finished with 16 carries for 68 yards.
Bettis has 12,184 career yards.
The last time the Jets (6-8) hosted a football game played in a snowstorm was Dec. 12, 1982, at Shea Stadium against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Jets beat the Bucs 32-17 in front of an announced crowd of 28,147.
Crews used shovels and a small truck before the game to try to clear some of the field, but to no avail. The snow changed to rain in the second half, but by that time it was too late for the Steelers to mount a comeback.
Brien kicked field goals of 28 and 41 yards in the first half, and the Jets held on after the break thanks to three defensive stands.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Tommy Maddox tried to engineer a rally. He threw a 24-yard pass to Hines Ward to the Jets 6, setting up first and goal. On third-and-6, Maddox threw an interception to Ray Mickens in the end zone. But officials made a questionable call on Aaron Beasley, whistling him for roughing the passer after making helmet-to-helmet contact.
The Steelers had a new set of downs, but failed to score a touchdown. Jeff Reed then missed a 20-yard field goal wide left, his second miss of the game.
Martin then marched the Jets down the field, and his 56-yard down to the Steelers 10 looked as though it would ice the game. But on the next play, LaMont Jordan mishandled the handoff from Chad Pennington and fumbled.
Mike Logan recovered for the Steelers, who then threatened again. After driving to the Jets 16, they faced fourth-and-10 but Maddox threw incomplete. The Steelers had one last chance with 1:52 remaining, but Maddox threw incomplete on fourth-and-10 from the 45.
Maddox finished the game with eight straight incompletions and was 16-of-38 for 137 yards.
Before the game started, a cheer went up after part of President George W. Bush's speech on the capture of Saddam Hussein was broadcast through the loudspeakers at the stadium.