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).
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.