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Leading Off

Jan. 23, 2006
Jan. 23, 2006

Table of Contents
Jan. 23, 2006

SI Bonus Section: Golf Plus
Air and Space
SI Players: Life On and Off the Field
NFL Playoffs
Pro Basketball
FIGURE SKATING
  • The U.S. nationals were replete with fine skating, but the show was stolen by the absent Michelle Kwan, who won a controversial berth on the Olympic team, despite not being healthy enough to defend her title

College Basketball
The Big Man
Inside
Life of Reilly
Departments

Leading Off

Bus Wreck

This is an article from the Jan. 23, 2006 issue Original Layout

Driving toward a clinching touchdown with 1:20 to play in an AFC divisional playoff on Sunday, Steelers running back Jerome (the Bus) Bettis (36) instead fumbled on a direct hit by Colts linebacker Gary Brackett. Indianapolis picked up the ball, setting off a wild chain of events (page 40) that culminated in a badly missed 46-yard field goal by Mike Vanderjagt (inset) as underdog Pittsburgh held on for a 21-18 win at the RCA Dome.

No Standing Pat

After Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey (24) intercepted a Tom Brady pass in the end zone, Patriots tight end Ben Watson (far right) went full-bore, corner to opposite corner, running down Bailey at the one-yard line (inset). Watson's heroic hustle on the 100-yard return couldn't prevent New England from bowing 27-13 in the AFC divisional playoff last Saturday in Denver (page 42).

Backup Burner

Reserve running back Maurice Morris torched the Redskins' defense for 49 yards rushing in the Seahawks' 20-10 NFC divisional playoff victory last Saturday in Seattle (page 44). Morris took over for NFL MVP Shaun Alexander (inset, celebrating with quarterback Matt Hasselbeck), who suffered a first-quarter concussion.

• For more Leading Off pictures, go to SI.com/photos.

PHOTOPhotograph by Don Larson/WireImage.comPHOTOBOB ROSATOPHOTOPhotograph by Peter Read MillerPHOTOCOURTESY OF CBSTWO PHOTOSPhotographs by John W. McDonough