New York Jets
1960: Led by Lamar Hunt and seven other owners, a new football league is formed to rival the NFL. The new league called the American Football League includes the New York Titans owned by Harry Wismer. The Titans, who name legendary quarterback “Slingin” Sammy Baugh as their first coach, play their home games at the ancient crumbling Polo Grounds and are widely viewed in New York as a semi-pro team in a semi-pro league. The AFL is initially loaded with NFL castoffs, and those college players are viewed as not good enough for the 40-year old NFL. The Titans’ first player is Don Maynard, a former flanker from Texas-Western, who was passed up by the NFL and was playing in Canada. Maynard would go on to have a solid 13-year career and would go on to the Hall of Fame. On September 11th, the Titans took their field for the first time at a rain-soaked Polo Grounds against the Buffalo Bills. A disappointing crowd of only 10,200 showed up to watch the Titans win 27-3. Attendance would not improve as the Titans and AFL played in front of empty stadiums all season in the league’s inaugural season. The Titans would end up going 7-7, finishing in second place.
1961: The Titans continue to toil at .500, posting a 7-7 record for the second straight season as the AFL struggles for creditability against the NFL and the Jets struggle to get noticed with the NFL’s New York Giants going to the NFL Championship Game for the fourth time in six years.
1962: Through their first three seasons, the Titans continued to struggle around .500. Sammy Baugh was replaced as coach while fans continued to stay away. Things got so bad that owner Harry Wisner would have fans move down close to the field to give the illusion on Television more fans were at the game. However, it was far from the case as they only drew 36,151 over seven home games. Things would worsen when Wisner was unable to make payroll forcing the AFL to take over the team’s finances in November. With all the financial distractions, the Titans would manage only to finish 5-9 and finish in last-place.
1963: If the AFL was going to survive long term, it needed a New York presence; thus, finding stable owners for their New York franchise became the league’s top priority. Eventually, the team was sold to a group headed by Sonny Werblin for $1 Million. Things were already looking up for the team, as a new stadium awaited them in 1964 since the new stadium was next to LaGuardia Airport; the team’s name was changed from Titans to Jets. Another more significant move was the hiring of Weeb Ewbank as head coach. Ewbank, who had successfully lead the Baltimore Colts to two consecutive NFL Championships in 1958 and 1959, was recently fired by the Colts, who wanted a younger coach. The Jets would still struggle with a 5-8-1 record. However, attendance improved immensely as they drew 103,550 fans over seven games.
1964: The Jets finally land in a new home as they begin to play in the brand new state of the art Shea Stadium. The Jets get off to a flying start at their new home by trouncing the Denver Broncos 30-7 on September 12th. The Jets would once again struggle to finish 5-8-1, but there was the reason for hope for the future as running back Matt Snell gains 948 yards and is named AFL rookie of the Year.
1965: Through the AFL’s first five seasons, the league was not considered a serious challenge for the NFL. The AFL was still the last resort for players who could not make the NFL were too old, or were trying for another shot in pro football. However, that landscape was shaken to its core during the off-season following the 1964 season. On January 2nd, just one day after playing for National Champion Alabama in the Orange Bowl, Joe Namath signs an unheard $427,000 contract to play for the Jets. Namath, considered one of the top pro prospects, had spurned the NFL to play in what was thought to be a lesser league. Namath would take over as starter early in the season in his first season and not look back as he would win the AFL Rookie of the Year while passing for 2,220 yards and 18 Touchdowns. However, the Jets would finish 5-8-1 for the third season in a row. Even though Namath didn’t bring immediate success to the Jets, he brought about change to pro-football. After the Namath signing, NFL owners worried more college prospects would be offered big deals to play in the rival league wanted a common draft between the two leagues. As the discussions of a common draft started, the AFL got what it was looking for legitimacy, as the NFL agreed to play the AFL in an annual Championship game. This would later become known as the Super Bowl and would become a National Holiday for Millions of Football Fans.
1966: In his second season, the raw talent of Joe Namath becomes to show some of his potential greatness, as he passes for 3,379 yards and 19 touchdowns. However, Namath also throws 27 interceptions as the Jets finish in third place with a mediocre record of 6-6-2.
1967: The development of Joe Namath continues as he guides the Jets to their first-ever winning season in his third year as starting quarterback. That year Namath also began to make his mark in pro football’s record book, becoming the first Quarterback ever in either league to pass for over 4,000 yards in a season. The exciting play of Broadway Joe helped the Jets set an AFL attendance record, selling out every home game, as Jets games at Shea Stadium became the hottest ticket in New York.
1968: After coming off a successful 8-5-1 season, the Jets hoped they could finally win their division and play for the AFL Championship. The Jets would get off to a flying start winning their first game over the Kansas City Chiefs thanks in part to ball control in which the Jets held the ball the final 5:56 of the game. Two weeks later, in their home opener, the Jets would pull off another last-minute win as Emerson Boozer scored a TD to give the Jets a 23-20 win over the San Diego Chargers in front of an AFL record crowd of 63 786 at Shea Stadium. With the Jets cruising towards the AFL Championship game, their November 17th game in Oakland against the Raiders set itself up as a possible AFL Championship preview. The game was a back and forth affair as the Jets scored a Touchdown with 1:05 left to pull in front 32-29. However, the high scoring game was taking a while to play, and NBC executive began to sweat it out as the game was heading close to the 7 pm start of the Children’s movie Heidi. NBC programmers decided that the game was over and decided to pull the end of the game off the air to show Heidi on time and in its entirety. Within seconds thousands of irate football fans began calling NBC and their affiliates. Meanwhile, the Raiders stormed back and scored two Touchdowns in 42 seconds to win the game 43-32. Millions of fans on the East Coast were left in the dark and assumed the Jets had won; the outrage forced NBC to apologize and sent a message to Television Programmers that Pro-Football was a force on Television. The game would forever be known as “The Heidi Game.” After finishing 11-3, the Jets easily won the Eastern Division and found themselves in a Heidi Game rematch with Raiders for the AFL Championship at Shea Stadium in front of 62, 627 fans. . The Jets took a 20-13 lead into the fourth quarter thanks to jumping out to a quick 10-0 lead in the 1st quarter. The Raiders would not go down easily and would take a 23-20 lead midway through the fourth. However, Joe Namath and the Jets would not be deterred as he drove the Jets down the field and threw a six-yard pass to original Titan Don Maynard for his third touchdown pass gave the Jets a 27-23 lead the would not relinquish. The win would earn the Jets a trip to the AFL-NFL Championship game, which for the first time, was officially being called the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl III: Going into Super Bowl III, the Jets were 18-point underdogs to the powerhouse Baltimore Colts. In fact, the Super Bowl was considered a mere exhibition since the NFL’s Green Bay Packers won the previous two encounters easily. The game had an ironic twist for Coach Weeb Ewbank in that he was facing his former team, and he was staring at Don Shula, the man who replaced him five years earlier as head coach. The match-up of Ewbank and Shula became a mere afterthought after Joe Namath guaranteed the Jets would win. The guarantee was thought of as a joke, the Jets did not have a chance, and now they were looking arrogant. Many old school traditional football fans still had not accepted the AFL’s presence and were pulling for the Colts to shut the brash young quarterback’s mouth. Meanwhile, AFL fans and players were pulling for the Jets. Their shot at finally being accepted as a legitimate football league against this backdrop, Super Bowl II, finally brought mass attention to the Championship Game. When game time arrived, finally al the talking was done, and the Jets and Colts began to play what would become the most important game in Pro-Football history. After one quarter of play, the Jets held the powerful Colts to a stalemate as they harassed starting quarterback Earl Morrall throughout the opening period. In the second quarter, the Jets finally got on the board taken a 7-0 lead with Matt Snell scoring four yards out. The Jets would continue to hold the Colts off the board late in the second quarter when Morrall drove the Colts deep into Jets territory. However, in one of the biggest blunders in Super Bowl history, Morrall throws an interception into double coverage while WR Johnny Orr waves his hands all alone near the endzone. The game would go to halftime 7-0. The Jets would extend their lead to 10-0 after a long drive that opened the second half. Meanwhile, the Jets would continue to frustrate Morrall into mistakes and go into the 4th Quarter leading 13-0 after another Jim Turner Field Goal. In the fourth quarter, Turner would extend the lead to 16-0, and fans began to realize the Jets might actually have a chance to win this one. However, the Colts would not go down without a fight. With Morrall being ineffective, Don Shula decided to replace him with Johnny Unitas, the all-time great Quarterback who had been hampered all season with injuries but had the experience to get the Colts back into the game. Unitas would take the Colts down the field and put them on the board 16-7, and when the Colts recovered the on-side-kick, all of a sudden, they were in business. However, Unitas did not have enough magic in his right arm and was picked off late in the fourth quarter. The Jets had done they had won the Super Bowl, the AFL finally had legitimacy, and as the game ended, Super Bowl MVP Joe Namath ran off the field and into the locker room, holding up his finger saying, “We’re Number 1”.
1969: The Jets flight to a second straight Super Bowl hit turbulence even before the start of training camp when Quarterback Joe Namath suddenly retired, rather than sell his interest in the nightclub Bachelor’s III. NFL commissioner Pete Rosell who now had jurisdiction over the AFL teams and players, demanded Namath sell the bar because of unsavory characters that were partners in the ownership group. Eventually, Namath would come to his senses and sell the nightclub and would rejoin the Jets just in time for the preseason. With Namath back in the saddle, the Jets would finish 10-4 and cruise to their second consecutive Eastern Division Title. That year the Jets needed to win an extra game to get to the AFL Championship since an extra round of playoffs were added. In the interdivisional round, the Jets faced the Kansas City Chiefs at Shea Stadium. The Chiefs defense shut down Broadway Joe all game, forcing him into thrown three interceptions. The Jets managed to stay close, keeping the game tied 6-6 into the fourth quarter, but the Chiefs were too much and would pull out a 13-6 win to advance o the AFL Championship Game, and eventually on to Super Bowl IV, which they won easily.
1970: The merger, which was instigated by the Jets signing of Joe Namath, and expedited by their victory in Super Bowl III, is finally completed. Pro-football is now completely housed under one league with the AFL fully joining its once rival league and three NFL teams joining the AFC to give both conferences an equal number of teams and divisions. Along with the merger, 1970 saw a few other firsts that have become a regular part of the NFL, and the Jets were right in the middle of these changes. First came on opening day, September 21st, when the Jets faced the Browns (who recently moved to the AFC from the NFL) in Cleveland for the first Monday Night Football game in NFL history. The Jets would end up losing the Monday Night inaugural 31-21. The merger also brought to the AFC the Jets Super Bowl III opponents, the Baltimore Colts. Not only did they join the AFC, but also joined the AFC east, meaning they were guaranteed two match-ups against the Jets every year. In the first matchup against the Colts on October 18th, the Jets season took a sudden downturn, as Joe Namath fractures his wrist in the 29-22 loss. The Jets would finish with a disappointing 4-10 record while Namath sat out the sidelines, unable to play. However, the season would see another first as regular-season inter-conference play is introduced. The season’s highlight comes when the Jets face the Giants at Shea Stadium on November 1st in front of a sold-out crowd. The Jets would grab an early lead, but without Namath, they could not hold as the Giants took the first regular-season match-up 22-10.
1971: The Jets struggle for most of the season, finishing with a disappointing record of 6-8 as quarterback Joe Namath misses most of the season due to a preseason knee injury.
1972: Major individual accomplishments highlight a 7-7 season. First came Joe Namath’s finest single-game performance on September 24th in Baltimore. Namath torched the Colts for 496 yards passing as the Jets won 44-34. The next individual accomplishment on October 15th when Running Backs John Riggins (168 yards) and Emerson Boozer (150) became the first tandem in history to hit the 150-yard mark in a game. The final achievement accomplished by a Jet was when Wide Receiver Don Maynard playing in his final NFL season, set a new record for career receptions at 632.
1973: The Jets are forced to play their first six games on the road, losing two home games in the process, as the Shea Stadium is used by the New York Mets, who make an amazing run into the World Series. In the season, which would be Weeb Ewbank’s swan song, the Jets would finish with a disappointing 4-10 record. Ewbank would also be upstaged in his final game on December 16th at Shea Stadium as Buffalo Bills Running Back O.J. Simpson rushes for 203 yards becoming the first rusher to reach the 2,000-yard mark in NFL history.
1974: After going 1-7 over the first part of the year, the Jets snapped their slump with a titillating 26-20 overtime victory over the Giants at Yale Bowl in Hartford, Connecticut. Joe Namath threw six yards to Emerson Boozer for the winning points and had a bootleg touchdown to tie the score. The win would be the start of a six-game winning streak that closed out the season at 7-7.
1975: Despite Running Back John Riggins becoming the first Jet to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season, the Jets could not avoid an awful 3-11 season.
1976: Another disastrous 3-11 season is highlighted by Head Coach Lou Holtz’s feeble college coaching techniques. Holtz style would fail miserably in the pro, and he would quit before the season’s final game. The season would also turn out to be Joe Namath’s final in a Jets uniform, as the Quarterback who led the Jets to Super Bowl III is released following the season. Namath would end up playing one final season with the Los Angeles Rams, but the knee injuries that hampered him in his final years with the Jets followed him and forced him to retire.
1977: While the Jets struggled with their third consecutive 3-11 season, they won a major off the field court decisions. The Jets, who were sharing Shea Stadium with the New York Mets since 1964, were always forced to start the season on the road since the Mets, who were the primary tenant of Shea, refused to allow the Jets to play any home games until their season was over. The ruling allowed the Jets to use Shea Stadium anytime the Mets were not playing and only served as a precursor to further troubles between the two teams.
1978: With a new look and opening game upset over the Miami Dolphins at Shea Stadium, the Jets stay in contention for most of the season before finishing with an 8-8 record.
1979: With Richard Todd taking a bulk of the duties at quarterback, the Jets continue to play .500 football posting an 8-8 record for the second straight season while finishing in third place.
1980: In his second season as starting, Quarterback Richard Todd suffers through a terrible season as he is picked off 30 times while being sacked 40 times, as the Jets finish in last-place with a miserable 4-12 record; along the way, they are the only team to lose to the 1-15 New Orleans Saints.
1981: The Jets get off to a 0-3-1 start and once again look ticketed to an awful season. However, a powerful defense that earned the nickname “New York Sack Exchange.” Joe Klecko and Mark Gastineau, who lead the NFL in sacks with 20.5, and 20 respectfully lead the Sack Exchange. The Jets defense would spur them on to a 10-5-1 season, which earns the Jets a Wild Card spot, and their first trip to the postseason since 1969. In the Wild Card game at Shea Stadium against the Buffalo Bills, the Jets get off to a rough start falling behind 24-0. However, the Jets would fight their way back into the game before losing 31-27 when quarterback Richard Todd is intercepted on the Bill two-yard line with ten seconds left.
1982: The Jets suffer a blow in the second game of the season, as Sack Exchange member Joe Klecko is lost for 14 weeks after suffering a ruptured patellar tendon in his knee in the 4th quarter of a 31-7 win at New England. However, Klecko’s injury would not affect the Jets on the field as a 57-day Player’s Strike started two days later. The strike would shorten the season to nine games and would increase the number of playoff teams to eight in each conference. Upon their return, the Jets would finish 6-3 and make the playoffs comfortably as the sixth seed. In the 1st Round of the Playoffs, the Jets are matched up against the defending AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals. Running Back Freeman McNeil has the second-best game in playoff history with 202 yards rushing. Darrol Ray sets a postseason record with a 98-yard interception for a touchdown as the Jets upset the Bengals 44-17 in Cincinnati to mark their first playoff since Super Bowl III. The Jets would move on face the Raiders in the second round in Los Angeles. The Jets would stun the experts yet again, beating the silver and black 17-14 to advance on to the AFC Championship Game. Two Lance Mehl interceptions in the final three minutes sealed the victory for the Jets. In the AFC Championship Game played in Miami against their AFC East rival Dolphins, the Jets find themselves stuck in the mud as a sloppy Orange Bowl makes for a sloppy game. The game would see a combined 12 turnovers as Dolphin Linebacker A.J. Duhe intercepted three Richard Todd passes, including one in which he returned for a touchdown that gave the Dolphins a 14-0 victory. Shortly after the game, coach Walt Michaels would resign to take a job in the newly formed USFL.
1983: On October 6th, citing Shea Stadium as “rundown, neglected and the NFL’s poorest facility for athletes and spectators alike,” the Jets announced their plans to move to the Meadowlands for the 1984 season. The Jets pledged to return to New York City if a first-class professional stadium is ready for occupancy starting in 1989 under a lease equitable to the city and the Jets. In their final season at Shea, the Jets would finish with a disappointing 7-9 record, including a 34-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the final game at Shea on December 10th.
1984: The move across the Hudson River to New Jersey gave the Jets a good stadium to play their home games at. No longer did they play in a horseshoe where the wind would wreak havoc on the style of play like at Shea Stadium. However, they moved into Giants Stadium, and they lost their identity and became second-class citizens to their NFC rivals. What was worse, it brought a major inconvenience to their largest fan base on Long Island. Even though Jets games were routinely sold out, many fans would choose not to go to the game then travel the two hours plus drive across New York City to the Meadowlands. The Jets would lose their Meadowlands debut 23-17 to the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 6th. The loss would be the first of nine as the Jets failed to make the playoffs with a 7-9 record. However, Mark Gastineau made NFL history by recording 22 sacks to establish a new official single-season record.
1985: The Jets complete a successful 11-5 season, which earns them a Wild Card Playoff birth filled with many highlights. On October 14th, during an emotional Monday Night Halftime ceremony, the Jets retire Joe Namath’s Number 12, and which help inspire the Jets to a 23-7 victory over the Dolphins. The Jets will offense would also sparkle in two other wins, first on November 17th, when the Jets racked up a team-record 62 points against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That was followed up by a spectacular 96-yard pass from Ken O’Brien to Wesley Walker on December 8th in Buffalo. The Jets’ success would not carry over into the playoffs. Turnovers are the story as the Jets commit four costly ones while dropping a 26-14 decision to the eventual AFC champions, New England. The Patriots score the backbreaking touchdown in the third quarter on the return of a fumbled kickoff.
1986: The Jets get off to a flying start thanks to one of the most memorable games in club history. The Jets topped the Dolphins 51-45 in a wild Overtime contest. Ken O’Brien, who passed for 479 yards and four touchdowns, threw a perfect strike to Wesley Walker from 21 yards out on the final regulation play to tie the score. In Overtime, Walker caught a club record fourth Touchdown Pass on a 43-yard bomb at the 2:35 mark. The win would help spur the Jets on to an incredible 10-1 start. However, in their ninth straight win, Mark Gastineau would injure his knee and miss the regular season’s final five weeks. The Jets would go on to lose all five games, falling to a final 10-6 mark. However, the 10-1 start was still good enough for the Jets to land safely in the playoffs. After ending the season with five straight defeats, Coach Joe Walton names Pat Ryan as the starting quarterback for the playoffs. The moves seemed to have paid off as the Jets won their first home playoff games since 1968 with a 35-15 trouncing of the Kansas City Chiefs. The game’s key play was Ryan’s 24-yard run on a quarterback draw on fourth down and six to the Chiefs nine-yard line in the 1st quarter. The Jets took the lead two plays later, and it set the tone of the game. The Jets would move on to the Divisional Playoffs against the Browns in Cleveland. The Jets appeared to be on the way to the AFC Championship with a 20-10 lead with 4:14 left in the game before the Browns mounted their comeback that tied the score. Aiding the Browns comeback was Mark Gastineau, who had two unsportsmanlike penalties that gave the Browns 15 yards each. The Jets would receive a second life in overtime when Mark Moseley missed a 23-yard field goal, but his 27-yard Field Goal, 2:02 into the second overtime, sent the Browns to the AFC championship game.
1987: The Jets get off to a strong start winning their first two games. However, the NFL would go on strike as replacement players were used over the next three games. Though Mark Gastineau would cross the picket line, the Jets would win just one of the three scab games. When the regulars returned, the Jets would struggle as they split their next six games. Nonetheless, they were in the thick of the race for the AFC East title with a 6-5 record heading into December. However, come December, the Jets would go into a complete tailspin losing their final four games as they finished in last place with a 6-9 record.
1988: On October 21st, not even halfway through the season, linebacker Mark Gastineau stuns the Jets and the NFL by retiring citing personal reasons. The Jets never were in the race for a playoff spot, but on the final game of the season, the Jets beat the Giants 27-21 to post a winning record at 8-7-1 and, in the process, knocked the Giants out of the playoffs. Al Toon caught the winning five-yard touchdown pass on a Ken O’Brien third-down audible with only 37 seconds left.
1989: The Jets put together a dismal 4-12 season in which fans expressed their ire at Head Coach by chanting “Joe Must Go.” Things would only get worse for the Jets as Gang Green is shutout each of the team’s final home games while fans chanted and held sings aimed at the coach. Shortly after the season, the Jets gave their fans what they wished for when coach Joe Walton was fired.
1990: Under new Coach Bruce Coslet the Jets would continue to struggle as they started to rebuild by letting past stars like Marty Lyons, Mickey Schuler, and Wesley Walker go and rebuilding with youth in the draft. The young Jets are led by first-round draft pick Rob Moore who scores six Touchdowns while collecting a solid 692 receiving yards. Despite hitting double digits in losses for the second straight season, the Jets close the season on a positive note with two straight wins while tallying a 6-10 record.
1991: The Jets muddle through a mediocre season and enter the final game of the season in Miami with a 7-8 record. However, by beating the Dolphins earlier in the season, the Jets were actually in a position to make the playoffs via tiebreaker by beating their heated rivals. If the Jets were going to win the game, they would have to do it without their all-time leading kicker Pat Leahy, who was forced to the sidelines with an injury. The game would prove to be a back and forth tilt, with Miami taking the lead with 44 seconds left. However, the Jets would quickly get into field goal position, and Leahy’s replacement Raul Allegree booted a 44-yard Field Goal to send the game to overtime. In overtime, Allegree was the hero again, nailing a 30-yarder to send the 8-8 Jets to the playoffs. In their first playoff game in five years, several second-half mistakes prevented the Jets from registering an upset win at Houston as they fell to the Oilers 17-10.
1992: After a 5-0 preseason in which first-year starting Quarterback Browning Nagle shinned, there was hope and optimism abound for the Jets and their fans. Nagle would get off to a flying start as he threw for 366 yards and two touchdowns in the season opener at Atlanta. The yardage total was the second-highest by an NFL quarterback, making his first start. However, Nagle and the Jets dream would go crashing back to reality as both struggled all season and would wind up winning fewer games in the regular season than the preseason, and the Jets finished a woeful 4-12. However, the season’s story comes on November 29th when Defensive End Dennis Byrd was partially paralyzed in a freak collision with teammate Scott Mersereau in the 3rd quarter of a game against the Chiefs. Most Doctors thought Byrd would never walk again, but spinal surgery and a lot of hard work helped Byrd overcome his injuries and walk again. Byrd would become an inspirational figure among his teammates and all who suffer spinal cord injuries by giving them hope for the future. The Jets would use Byrd as an inspiration in the game following the injury as the Jets stunned the Bills in Buffalo, allowing the Jets to snap a five-year losing streak to the Bills.
1993: After a slow start, the Jets make a run for the playoffs thanks to a midseason five-game winning streak. The Jets would go into the final game of the season with fate in their won hands. A win, and they were in the playoffs with a 9-7 record. However, the Jets were never in the games as the Oilers shut the Jets out 24-0. After the game, coach Bruce Coslet was fired and replaced by defensive coordinator Pete Carroll.
1994: The Pete Carroll era gets off to a good start as the Jets stand at 6-5 after their first 11 games. The six wins include a sweep of the Buffalo Bills and a win in Miami over the Dolphins. The stage was set for a first Place showdown with Dolphins on November 27th at the Meadowlands. The Jets would come flying out of the gate as 75,606 people, the largest home attendance mark in Jets history, came to watch the showdown. The Jets fans were loud, and all their feet all game long as the Jets held a 24-6 lead in the third quarter. Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino guided the Dolphins back into the game ad after two touchdowns. The Dolphins were within a field goal as Marino drove the Dolphins down the file in the final minute. Marino passed the ball deep into Jets territory with 30 seconds left and wet to the line as if he would stop the clock; instead, he faked the Jets out and threw a touchdown pass to Mark Ingram to give the Dolphins a 28-24 victory. The Jets would not recover; they would lose their final five games and finish the season 6-10. At the end of the season, Carroll is let go and replaced by Richie Kotite. Little did anyone know, the Jets misery had just begun.
1995: The Richie Kotite era gets off to a terrible start as the Jets are pummeled in their first game on the road by the Miami Dolphins 52-14. Though the Jets would get revenge against the Dolphins later in the season with a 17-16 win at the Meadowlands, the Jets and their fans are forced to endure a terrible 3-13 season that is worse than the NFL’s two expansion teams.
1996: With the hopes of a quick turnaround, the Jets drafted Wide Receiver Keyshawn Johnson with the Number one overall pick and signed free-agent quarterback Neil O’Donnell who had just guided the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Super Bowl. With these two new acquisitions, most thought, the Jets would show measured improvements; after 3-13, it was hard to imagine things would get worse. Things would get worse, far worse, as the Jets suffered through their worst season ever, winning just one game and losing 15. The Jets really would hit rock bottom in a blow out loss to the Houston Oilers in a cold and rainy Giants Stadium. However, the game was sold out more than 60,000 no-shows led to almost empty Meadowlands, which would be completely emptied as the Oilers continued to pour it on. After the season, Richie Kotite was fired with a miserable two-year record of 4-28.
1997: After going 4-33 since the Marino spike play, desperate measures were needed to changes the fortunes of the Jets. These drastic changes included luring Bill Parcells away from the AFC Champion New England Patriots. However, Patriots owner Bob Kraft was unwilling to let a division rival take his coach away so easily. Eventually, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue stepped in, and the Jets gave the Patriots several draft picks over three years as a form of compensation. The move would pay immediate dividends, as the Jets were 9-6 going into Detroit’s final game. The Jets would lose the game 13-10 and miss out on the playoffs, but there was a reason for hope for the first time in years.
1998: Looking to improve the team further, the Jets signed Running Back Curtis Martin and quarterback Vinny Testaverde. Initially, Testaverde was the back-up behind Glenn Foley, but after Foley was ineffective early, Testaverde came in, and the Jets took off. In a season in which the Jets returned to their old look made famous by Super Bowl III, the Jets looked like Champions finishing 12-4 and winning their first division title since 1969, ending the longest drought in the NFL. After earning a first-round bye, the Jets needed just one win to earn a trip to the AFC Championship Game. In a wild game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Jets jumped to a 17-0 lead in the second quarter only to see the Jaguars get back into it before surging to another 17-point bulge, 31-14. The Jaguars closed to 31-24 before John Hall’s 30-yard field goal closed the door sending the Jets to their first conference championship game in 16 years. In the AFC Championship, The Jets took a 10-0 third-quarter lead in Denver. Still, they could not play the mistake-free football they had played all season and saw the Broncos come back for a 23-10 victory en route to defending their Super Bowl championship. After taking their 10-0 lead via a field goal and a blocked punt resulting in a touchdown, the Jets were victimized by a couple of big plays by John Elway and the running of Terrell Davis 1967 yards and one touchdown. The Jets lost four fumbles and had two passes deflected into interceptions.
1999: After falling one game short of the Super Bowl, there was no reason not to think the Jets were a legitimate Super Bowl contender. The Jets Super Bowl dreams died in the first half of the first Game when Quarterback Vinny Testaverde ruptured his Achilles tendon. The injury left the Jets without a starting quarterback and would lead to a 4-8 start. However, former Rutgers star Ray Lucas would start the final four games of the season, allowing the Jets to finish with a respectable 8-8 record.
2000: Shortly after the 1998 AFC Championship, Longtime Jets owner Leon Hess died from blood disease complications. Throughout the injury-plagued 1999 season, the Jets were up for sale, and as the season-ended final, an owner was found. The New Jets owner was Johnson and Johnson CEO, Robert Wood Johnson. Head Coach Bill Parcells went through an ownership change in New England and was not comfortable dealing with a new boss and resigned. His top assistant, Bill Belichick, would then take over. In a bizarre reversal of Bill Parcells’ arrival, Belichick would resign and take the Patriots job, with Jets receiving compensation in the form of draft picks. With Parcells resigned to a front-office job, and Belichick off to New England, the Jets, were forced to settle on Al Groh as their new Head Coach. The Jets get off to a fast start under Groh with a respectable 9-4 through the first 13 games. The fast start is highlighted by the biggest comeback in the history of Monday Night Football on October 23rd. The Jets score 23 points in the fourth quarter against Miami; take the game to overtime, where John Hall kicks the winning field goal, giving the Jets a 40-37 victory in what would be later voted the greatest Monday Night Game ever and called “The Monday Night Miracle.” The Jets would stall, losing their final three games and missing the playoffs. Shortly after the season, Al Groh decides to leave the Jets to coach the University of Virginia.
2001: An ugly Week 6 loss at home to the St. Louis Rams dropped the Jets to 3-3, as their run defense allowed Rams backup Trung Candidate to get over 200 rushing yards. A week later, the Jets narrowly beat the Carolina Panthers 13-12 and looked to be a team heading in the wrong direction. However, the win was the start of a 4 game winning streak, and the Jets enjoyed a Thanksgiving week off in first place. The late-season collapses of season’s past reared its ugly head again as the Jets dropped three of their next five games and faced a must-win game in the final week of the season just to make the playoffs. Making matters worse, the Jets had to win in Oakland, a place they had not won in 30 years. The Raiders and Jets battled back and forth all day before John Hall nailed a 53-yard field goal that sent the Jets flying into the postseason with a 24-22 win that ended the Jets season at 10-6. The win would set up a Wild Card rematch in Oakland six days later, and the same magic was not be found, as the Raiders torched the Jets all day in a 38-24 shootout.
2002: The Jets began the season with a bang in Buffalo as Chad Morton returned two kickoffs all the way for touchdowns, including in overtime as the Jets beat the Bills 37-31. However, the Jets would go into a tailspin in the next three games as they were outscored 102-13 over their next three games. Hoping to jump-start the team, Coach Herman Edwards benched QB Vinny Testaverde in favor of Chad Pennington. Pennington seemed to give the Jets a spark in his first, but they would blow a late lead at home to the Kansas City Chiefs to fall to 1-4. After beating the Minnesota Vikings, the Jets blew another fourth-quarter lead at home to the Cleveland Browns as they continued to struggle with a 2-5 record. Most had counted the Jets out, and a reporter asked Coach Herman Edwards if the Jets were playing out the string. Edwards responds in anger, “You Play to win; that’s all you ever do in this league.” Play to win is exactly what the Jets did as they embarked on a four-game winning streak to get back in the race. However, a bad loss on the road to the Chicago Bears in Week 15 had most again doubted the Jets, who needed to win their final two games and get a lot of help to make the playoffs. The Jets would do their part in primetime, beating the New England Patriots on the road in primetime 30-17 to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Entering the final game with a record of 8-7, the Jets need a win and the Patriots to beat the Miami Dolphins to make the playoffs. As the Jets took the field, things looked bleak as the Patriots trailed the Dolphins all game. However, the Pats would rally to send the game to overtime, where they won on a field goal by Adam Vinatieri. As the final score went up, a thunderous eruption from the Meadowlands crowd sent the message the Jets were still alive. The crowd’s energy seemed to spark something in the Jets, who erupted for a dominating 42-17 win over the Green Bay Packers to win the competitive AFC East with a record of 9-7. The Jets continued to fly high six days later as they dominated the Indianapolis Colts 41-0 to set up a rematch with Oakland Raiders in the Divisional Playoffs. The Jets were flying so high after their improbable late-season run it seemed they could have gone to Oakland without an airplane. The Jets played the Raiders tough through the first 30 minutes as they tied the game 10-10 with a late touchdown. The Jets seemed to run out of steam in the second half as the Raiders dominated them to win the game 30-10 to advance to the AFC Championship Game.
2003: After a rough off-season that saw the Jets lose several key players to free agency, the Jets took on more turbulence in the preseason when Quarterback Chad Pennington broke his wrist in a preseason game against the New York Giants. With Vinny Testaverde starting under center, the Jets season was almost over before it began as they dropped their first four games. After two straight wins, Pennington returned during a 24-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, allowing him to shake off the rust for his first start the following week against the Giants. Pennington would play well as the Jets and Giants battled a full overtime period before the Giants won 31-28 on a Field Goal that dropped the Jets to 2-6. With Pennington back, the Jets started playing better, winning three of their next four games. However, the Jets would sputter home as losing three of their last four games as they landed in last place with a record of 6-10.
2004: With Chad Pennington healthy at the start of the season, the Jets would get off to a flying start winning their first five games. In the middle of the season, the Jets would sputter, losing three of their next four games as the Jets offense struggled, with Pennington suffering tendonitis. With back up QB Quincy Carter the Jets managed to win three in a row to sit at 9-3 entering a December 12th match up with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The game was tied 3-3 entering the fourth quarter before Jerome Bettis ran wild, scoring a touchdown on a run and throwing a pass as the Steelers won 17-6. The loss would be the first of 3 as the Jets limped home, losing three of their last four games. Their 10-6 record would still be good enough to earn them a playoff berth. The Jets would also see Curtis Martin, who passed the 13,000 career yardage mark, win the rushing title 1,697 yards rushing, beating out Shaun Alexander of the Seattle Seahawks by one yard in the closest race for the rushing title in NFL history. Also playing a key roll in the Jets playoff appearance was an improved defense, led by first-round draft pick Jonathan Vilma who had 105 tackles and three interceptions while winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year. In the playoffs, the Jets faced the San Diego Chargers. The Jets defense controlled the game early, as they held LaDainian Tomlinson to under 100 yards while holding a 17-7 lead into the fourth quarter. The Jets appeared to have the game won as the Chargers’ fourth-down pass was incomplete. However, a roughing penalty on Eric Barton gave the Chargers a second chance to tie the game with 16 seconds left one play later. In overtime, the Jets would dodge a major bullet as the Chargers played conservatively once driving into Jets’ territory before Nate Kaeding missed a 40-yard field goal. The Jets would take advantage of this second life and win the game 20-17 on a 28-yard field goal by Doug Brien for their first road playoff win in 22 years. A week later, against the 15-1 Steelers, the Jets defense rose to the occasion as Reggie Tounge returned an interception 86-yards to give the Jets a 17-10 lead in the third quarter. The Steelers would battle back to tie the game. The Jets would have a chance to win the game in regulation only to see Doug Brien miss a 47-yard field goal with 1:58 left. The Jets defense would again step up intercepting Steelers super rookie Ben Roethlisberger again. Still, the Jets, like the Chargers a week earlier, played too conservatively, as Brien’s 43-yard attempt at the end of regulation also missed. In overtime, the Steelers would take advantage, winning the game on a 33-yard field goal by Jeff Reed for a 20-17 win to advance to the AFC Championship.
2005: After a strong showing in the postseason, the Jets entered the season with many viewing them as a top contender in the AFC. On the first series of the year, the Kansas City Chiefs sliced through the Jets defense on a three-play 75-yard scoring drive highlighted by a 35-yard touchdown run from Larry Johnson. After sputtering on their first drive, the Jets were hit again as the Chiefs made it 14-0 on a Touchdown run from Priest Holmes, as they went on to beat the Jets 27-7. After bouncing back to win their home opener over the Miami Dolphins 17-7, the wings fell off in Week 3 as both Quarterback Chad Pennington and back up Jay Fiedler suffered shoulder injuries in a 26-20 overtime loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Losing both quarterbacks made the Jets desperate as they reached out and lured Vinny Testaverde out of retirement. After Brooks Bollinger struggled in a 13-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the Jets made Testaverde the starter, and he was solid enough to help the Jets beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14-12. Testaverde showed his age in the rest of his starts as the losses began mounting for the Jets. After seven straight losses, the Jets got more bad news as Running Back Curtis Martin was shut down for knee surgery as he saw his string of ten straight seasons of 1000 yards rushing or better come to an end. Despite missing Martin, the Jets would end their losing streak in Week 14 with a solid 26-10 win over the Oakland Raiders. The Jets would win another meaningless game against the Buffalo Bills to close out the disappointing season, which saw them land in last place with an awful 4-12 record. Following the season, the Jets would allow coach Herm Edwards to leave for the Kansas City Chiefs, getting a draft pick in return. Simultaneously, the Jets decided to go with youth to replace him as they hired 35-year New England Patriots defensive coordinator Eric Mangini.
2006: When the season began with new Coach Eric Mangini, there was not much optimism surrounding the Jets. Running back Curtis Martin could not return from a knee injury, as his career ended unceremoniously on injury reserve. With Leon Washington taking the bulk share of the running game and Kevan Barlow, who was acquired during the pre-season from the San Francisco 49ers, the Jets entered the season, relying heavily on quarterback Chad Pennington who was returning from elbow surgery. In the season opener, the Jets got off to a strong start building a 16-0 lead on the road against the Tennessee Titans, but the Titans battled back to tie the game in the fourth quarter. Rather than unravel, the Jets rebounded and won the game 23-16 on a short Pennington to Chris Baker Touchdown pass with 2:10 left. After losing their home opener to the New England Patriots, the Jets proved to be road warriors again with a 28-20 win over the Buffalo Bills. The following week came another home loss, but within it came a lot to be proud of as they gave the Indianapolis Colts all they could, losing in the final minute 31-28 on a one-yard sneak by Peyton Manning. After a 41-0 thumping at the Jacksonville Jaguars’ hands on the road, the Jets finally figured out how to win at home, beating the Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions in consecutive games. A week late,r the Jets slipped back a notch again, losing to the Cleveland Browns 20-13 heading into a rematch with the Patriots on the road. In Foxboro, the student gave the teacher a lesson as the Jets defense frustrated Tom Brady all day in the rain pulling off the upset 17-14, as Pats Coach Bill Belichick hardly acknowledged Mangini after the game. The rest of the NFL was as the Jets defense was suddenly playing well and had the Jets in the playoff chase, despite a frustrating 10-0 loss at home to the Chicago Bears. That loss would be a mere bump in the road as the Jets would win five of their last six games to sneak into the playoffs with a 10-6 record. Getting into the playoffs would set up another match up with the Patriots in Foxboro. However, this time it was on New England’s terms as the postseason was their domain, as the Jets were overmatched as the Patriots pulled away late, turning a close game into a 37-16 laugher.
2007: The Jets would not have to wait long to have a rematch with the New England Patriots as they faced them at home in the season opener. Things did not go well for the Jets as they were beaten badly 38-14, while the game’s story came when coach Eric Mangini caught his former mentor spying on his team’s signals. A scandal would emerge that would tarnish the Patriots and further drive a wedge between the two franchises. A week later, with quarterback Chad Pennington on the bench, back up Kellen Clemens struggled in his first career start as the Jets were beaten by the Baltimore Ravens 20-13. Pennington would return one week later thrown for two touchdowns and running another in as the Jets earned their first win of the year by beating the Miami Dolphins 31-28. However, Pennington and the Jets would never get off the ground as they dropped their next five games and found themselves sitting at 1-7 with the playoffs out of reach before Thanksgiving. Chad Pennington would eventually be benched in favor of Kellen Clemens, the second-round pick in the 2006 draft. After a bitter overtime loss to the Washington Redskins, Clemens would get his first NFL win on November 18th thanks to Mike Nugent, who tied the with 23 seconds left then won the game in overtime, as the Jets stunned the Pittsburgh Steelers 19-16. The win would not be savored long as the Jets put up their worst effort of the season on Thanksgiving, losing to the Dallas Cowboys 34-3. The Jets would only win two more games the rest of the season as they posted a terrible 4-12 record.
2008: Following their disappointing season, the Jets worked quickly on remaking the roster as they parted ways with several players, including Jonathan Vilma, while being heavily involved in the free agency market signing All-Pro Guard Alan Faneca away from the Pittsburgh Steelers, along with Tight End Bubba Franks who was one of Brett Favre’s go-to receivers with the Green Bay Packers. As training camp was beginning and Favre had second thoughts about retiring, the Jets quickly got themselves in the picture to land the legendary Quarterback. When the Packers and Favre finally decided to part ways, the Jets would benefit as they got the future Hall of Famer for a conditional draft pick. The Jets were quickly hot with Favre fever as Chad Pennington was released as Jets’ practices became a media event. Favre’s debut with the Jets was a good one. They beat the Miami Dolphins led by Chad Pennington in the season opener on the road, with Favre throwing for 194 yards with two touchdowns, including a 56-yard pass to Jerricho Cotchery in the first quarter. After losing their next two games, Brett Favre began to find his comfort level with a career-high six touchdown passes in a 56-35 win over the Arizona Cardinals at the Meadowlands. Following a bye week, the Jets split their next two games and stood at 3-3, as they trailed the Kansas City Chiefs 24-21 in the fourth quarter at the Meadowlands as Favre had a pass picked off a returned 91 yards for a touchdown by Brandon Flowers. However, as he did often in his career with the Packers, Favre shook off the mistake and led the Jets to a game-winning drive, connecting with Laveranues Coles on a 15-yard pass with just one minute remaining to win the game 28-24. The Jets would go on a winning streak, winning their next two games as they faced the New England Patriots in a Thursday Night showdown with first place on the line. Brett Favre was sharp in one of the best games of the year, passing for 258 yards with two Touchdowns, while Leon Washington ignited the Jets with a 92-yard kickoff return. However, the Patriots playing with back up quarterback Matt Cassell refused to quit tying the game 31-31 with one second left on a 16-yard pass to Randy Moss. In overtime, it was all Jets as Jay Feely won the game with 34 yard Field Goal. Ten days later, the Jets would establish themselves as one of the top teams in the AFC as they handed the Tennessee Titans their first loss with a stunning 34-13 win in Nashville. At 8-3, the Jets appeared to be flying high. However, a sore shoulder for Brett Favre prevented him from making his usual strong passes as the Jets suddenly started to sputter, losing two in a row, as Favre failed to throw for a touchdown pass in each game. Favre continued to struggle a week later, but the Jets took advantage of a fumble by J.P. Losman to beat the Buffalo Bills 31-27. It was just a temporary reprieve as the Jets lost to the Seattle Seahawks 13-3, losing all hope of winning the AFC East, as Favre continued to struggle. In their season finale, the Jets faced the Miami Dolphins again, this time at the Meadowlands. This time all the excitement over Favre was gone as he was picked off three times, while Chad Pennington was error-free, leading the Dolphins to a 24-17 win that won the AFC East, while the Jets season ended at 9-7, without the playoffs. A day later, the Jets would fire Coach Eric Mangini, while Brett Favre retired for the second straight season.
2009: As he did a year earlier, Brett Favre would change his mind and end up playing another season with the Minnesota Vikings. By the time that happened, the Jets had moved on; they had a new coach and a new quarterback, both of whom were rookies. Rex Ryan, the rookie coach, was the defensive coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens and had a strong pedigree in coaching defense. His father, Buddy Ryan, was a longtime coach in the NFL, serving on the Jets Coaching Staff during the 1968 Super Bowl season, before later leading the Chicago Bears fierce defense in Super Bowl XX. Buddy Ryan also served as a head coach and had Rex Ryan on his staff. The rookie quarterback was Mark Sanchez of USC, who the Jets made a bold trade in the draft with the Cleveland Browns, sending their first and second-round picks, DE Kenyon Coleman, S Abram Elam, and QB Brett Ratliff to get the fifth overall pick to select Sanchez. Starting the season on the road, the Jets played well, beating the Houston Texans 24-7, as Sanchez avoided the big mistake, while the Jets defense smothered the Texans. In their home opener, the Jets beat the New England Patriots 16-9, as Darrelle Revis completely shutdown WR Randy Moss. The Jets winning ways continued with a 24-17 win over the Tennessee Titans, as Mark Sanchez continued to just play it safe, while the Jets defense and running game controlled the game. However, beginning with a 24-10 road loss to the New Orleans Saints, the Jets season hit some serious turbulence, as they lost six of their next seven games, losing Tackle Kris Jenkins and RB Leon Washington along the way, as the Jets playing from behind were forced to allow Mark Sanchez to throw the ball more, which led to rookie struggles, making the struggle hurt, even more, were that four of the losses came against AFC East rivals. The Jets needed a jump start with three straight losses as they faced the Carolina Panthers at the Meadowlands in Week 12. The Jets got it from Darrelle Revis, who returned a Jake Delhomme interception 67 yards for a first-quarter touchdown as the Jets got back on track with a 17-6 win. A week later, playing the Buffalo Bills in Toronto, the Jets got back to .500, as Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene combined for 168 yards rushing, as the Jets compiled 249 total yards on the ground to beat the Bills 19-13. Playing without Mark Sanchez, who sprained his knee in the Bills game, the Jets defense picked off Josh Freeman three times as the Jets improved to 7-6 with a 26-3 win over the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Sanchez would return a week later and struggle badly with three interceptions. The Jets lost a heartbreaker at home to the Atlanta Falcons 10-7, as Matt Ryan connected with Tony Gonzalez on a touchdown with 98 seconds left to win the game. At 7-7, the Jets needed a Christmas miracle to make the playoffs, as they went on the road to face the 14-0 Indianapolis Colts two days after Christmas. Trailing 15-10, the Jets got a Christmas present from the Colts, who decided to rest their starters late in the 3rd Quarter. The Jets would take the lead as Marques Douglas returned a fumble from Colts back QB Curtis Painter for a Touchdown. The Jets would win the game 29-15 to give themselves a chance to make the playoffs with a win in their final game. The Jets’ last game would be the last game ever at Giants Stadium, as they hosted the Cincinnati Bengals needing just a win to reach the playoffs. A win would also mean a rematch with the Bengals in six days, so the Jets would again benefit from a team resting starters, as the Bengals, not wanting to tip their hand, barely gave any effort as the Jets won 37-0 to finish the season with a record of 9-7.
2009 Playoffs: The Bengals came out firing in the Wild Card round, as Carson Palmer connected with Laveranues Coles on an 11-yard touchdown pass to give the Bengals a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. The Jets would respond in the second quarter as Shonn Greene tied the game with a 39-yard run and later took the lead as Mark Sanchez connected with Dustin Keller on a 45-yard touchdown pass. The Jets lead would expand to 21-7 on a touchdown run by Thomas Jones, as the Jets defense frustrated the Bengals all day. The Bengals would finally get back in the endzone with a 47-yard run by Cerdic Benson. It would not be enough as Jay Feely hit a chip shot with just under six minutes left to seal a 24-14 win for the Jets. A week later, against the San Diego Chargers, the Jets defense turned up the pressure and had the Chargers offense spinning their wheels, with a mere 7-0 lead at halftime, as kicker Nate Kaeding missed three field goals. Jay Feely would get the Jets on the scoreboard in the third quarter, as the Chargers began to unravel in the fourth quarter when Jim Leonhard returned a Phillip Rivers interception to the Chargers 16-yard line. The Jets would capitalize on the turnover as Mark Sanchez connected with Dustin Keller to give gang green a 10-7 lead. The lead would grow to 17-7 on a 53-yard touchdown run by Shonn Greene. The Chargers would cut the lead to 17-14 on a 1-yard sneak by Phillip Rivers with just over two minutes left. The Jets would recover the onside kick and run out the clock to reach the AFC Championship Game. Returning to Indianapolis, the Jets who a month earlier needed a Christmas miracle to get in the playoffs were now just 60 minutes from the Super Bowl. Early on, the Jets controlled the game and led 17-6 late in the second quarter. Colts QB Peyton Manning found his rhythm just before halftime as he quickly led the Colts down the field for a touchdown to cut the Jets lead to three points. Coming out in the second half, it was all Manning and all Colts, as the NFL’s MVP tore apart the Jets defense and led the Colts to a 30-17 win to advance to Super Bowl XLIV.
2010: After their surprise run to the AFC Championship Game, the Jets became the talk of the NFL as they spent the off-season taking advantage of the NFL’s uncapped season by beefing up their team for a Super Bowl run which was guaranteed by Coach Rex Ryan. Helping to drive the Jets pre-season hype was an appearance on HBO’s reality show “Hard Knocks” that saw the personality of Rex Ryan steal the show, as the new acquisitions Antonio Cromartie, Jason Taylor, Santonio Holmes, and LaDainian Tomlinson tried to fit their way into the lineup. Meanwhile, the Jets had to deal with a hold from All-Pro Cornerback Darelle Reavis. The Jets would finally sign Reavis to a new deal before the season, as they opened the season in the new Meadowlands Stadium on Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens. The game would end in disappointment for the Jets as they could not get anything going offensively in a 10-9 loss that saw Mark Sanchez only manage 74 yards passing. A week later, the Jets would rebound nicely with a 28-14 win over the New England Patriots, as the Jets shut down the powerful Patriots offense in the second half. The win over the Pats would be the start of a five-game winning streak that had the Jets standing atop the AFC East with a 5-1 record during their bye week. The final win demonstrated the Jets’ ability to come back as they drove down the field to beat the Denver Broncos 24-20 in the final minutes, with LaDainian Tomlinson scoring the winning Touchdown. Coming out of the bye, the Jets offense looked out of sync as they suffered a lackluster 9-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers at the Meadowlands. A week later, the Jets appeared to be heading for another loss as they trailed the Detroit Lions 20-10 in the final three minutes on the road. However, the Jets offense woke up in time as Mark Sanchez drove down the field twice, once for a TD, and then for a game-tying Field Goal as time expired. In overtime, the Jets would win the coin toss and drive down the field for a Nick Folk 30 yard Field Goal to win the game 23-20. A week later, the Jets would need overtime to beat the Cleveland Brown 26-20 as Mark Sanchez connected with Santonio Holmes for a 37-yard touchdown pass. It marked the first time in NFL history a team won back-to-back overtime games on the road. Coming back home, the Jets would need another miracle as the Houston Texans scored 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to take a 27-23 lead. Down by four points with the ball on the 28-yard line, the Jets quickly drove down the field as Mark Sanchez hooked up with Braylon Edwards on a 42-yard pass to the Texans six-yard line with 16 seconds left. On the next play, Sanchez found Santonio Holmes in the endzone as the Jets won 30-27. After beating the Bengals 26-10 on Thanksgiving, the Jets entered a Monday Night Showdown with the Patriots at 9-2 with the AFC East on the line. The Jets would come up flat as the Patriots dominated their way to a 45-3 win. Suddenly reeling, the Jets suffered a 10-6 loss to the Miami Dolphins against a chilled rain at the Meadowlands. Needing a jump start, the Jets got it as Brad Smith returned the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown as the Jets got back on track with a 22-17 win on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Jets would lose their next game on the road to the Chicago Bears 38-34 but clinched a playoff spot as they would end the regular season by beating the Buffalo Bills 38-7 to finish the season with an 11-5 record.
2010 Playoffs: The Jets 2010 postseason began where the 2009 postseason came to an end in Indianapolis as the Jets faced the Colts in the Wild Card Round. Defense was the story for most of the first half as neither team scored in the 1st Quarter. The Jets defense would make one mistake allowing Peyton Manning to connect with Pierre Garcon on a 57-yard touchdown pass to give the Colts a 7-0 lead in the 2nd Quarter. The Jets would tie the game on a LaDainian Tomlinson Touchdown in the 3rd Quarter. After Adam Vinatieri kicked a Field Goal to give the Colts a 10-7 lead, Tomlinson again capped a scoring drive to give the Jets a 14-10 lead early in the fourth quarter. However, the Colts would respond with two Vinatieri Field Goals to take a 16-14 lead with 55 seconds left. On the ensuing kickoff, Antonio Cromartie returned the ball to Jets 46 yard line to set up the Jets near midfield with a chance to win the game. The Jets would take advantage of the field position and drive down to the Colts 14 yard line to set Nick Folk up for a game-winning 32-yard field goal that gave the Jets a 17-16 win as time expired. A week later, the Jets were back in Foxboro for a rematch with the New England Patriots in the Divisional Playoffs. It looked as if the Patriots would dominate the Jets again as Tom Brady quickly drove the ball down the field. However, an interception by David Harris helped settle the game down and let the Jets catch their breath as the Patriots managed just one Field Goal in the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Jets would take over as Mark Sanchez had two Touchdown passes to give the Jets a 14-3 halftime lead. After a hard-hitting third quarter, the Patriots began their comeback as Tom Brady connected with Alge Crumpler, adding a two-point conversion to pull within a Field Goal as the game entered the final 15 minutes. The Jets would answer back as Sanchez connected with Santonio Holmes, with Shonn Green adding a 16 yard TD run. The Jets would go on to hold off the Patriots 28-21 win to reach the AFC Championship Game for the second year in a row. Facing the Pittsburgh Steelers, things started badly for the Jets as the Steelers began the game with a long grinding drive that ended in a Rashard Mendenhall touchdown run. The Steelers would eventually build a 24-0 lead in the 2nd Quarter. Before halftime, the Jets would get on the board with a 42 yard Nick Folk Field Goal. The Jets would continue the momentum into the second half as Mark Sanchez connected with Santonio Holmes on a 45-yard score. The Jets offense would stall as they entered the final quarter down 24-10. Things began to look bleak as the Jets were turned away at the goal line midway through the fourth quarter. Mike DeVito took down Ben Roethlisberger for a safety to give the Jets a chance. They would score on the ensuing offensive possession to get within a TD with 3:06 left in the game. However, the Steelers would be able to run out the clock to preserve a 24-19 win as Roethlisberger connected with Antonio Brown for a big conversion on third down and six to clinch the victory.
2011: Coming off two trips to the AFC Championship Game, which both resulted in losses, the Jets came out of the preseason lockout aggressive as they tried to land several big-name players who were free agents. However, they came up short and, in the process, lost some key contributors to their playoff run. Players like third-down receiver Jericho Cotchery, who signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Wild Cat package QB Brad Smith, also returned kicks and played receiver before shuffling off Buffalo. The only star they landed was Plaxico Burress, who had spent the last two years in a New York State Prison after accidentally shooting himself in a nightclub. The Jets were also stunned by the departure of David Harris to the New England Patriots. Undeterred, coach Rex Ryan was confident and guaranteed the Jets would win the Super Bowl. On an emotional night at the Meadowlands, the Jets hosted the Dallas Cowboys in primetime on the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Things did not start smoothly for the Jets, who trailed 24-10 in the fourth quarter. However, the Jets would make a late charge with Mark Sanchez connecting with Plaxico Burress on a 26-yard touchdown pass. They would then tie the game off a blocked punt from Isaiah Trufant. With a minute left in the Darrelle Revis picked off Tony Romo to set up Nick Folk, who won the game for the Jets 27-24 with a 50 yard Field Goal. A week later, the Jets would reach cruising altitude as they crushed the Jacksonville Jaguars 32-3. Hitting the road for the first time, the Jets would suffer their first loss against the Oakland Raiders 34-24 as the Jets run defense was shredded by Darren McFadden, who rushed for 171 yards with two touchdowns. A week later, the Jets would have more bumps in the road as they got mauled by the Baltimore Ravens 34-17 on Sunday Night Football. The Jets defense continued to sputter the following week, as they lost on the road again to the New England Patriots 30-21 as BenJarvis Green-Ellis rushed for 136 yards with two touchdowns. Coming home to Met Life Stadium, the Jets would get back on track with a 24-6 win over the Miami Dolphins, as Darrelle Revis provided an emotional swing with a 100-yard interception return in the first quarter as the Dolphins were on the verge of taking an early 10-0 lead. Continuing their strong play at home, the Jets scored 17 unanswered points in the second half to zoom past the San Diego Chargers for a 27-21 win, as Mark Sanchez had three touchdown passes Plaxico Burress. After a 27-11 road win against the Buffalo Bills, the Jets came home for a rematch with the Patriots looking to grab the AFC East lead. In primetime, Tom Brady lit up the sky, passing for 329 yards, with three touchdowns as the Patriots beat the Jets 37-16, earning a season sweep. Playing just four nights later on Thursday Night Football, the Jets felt a Mile Low on the road, as the Denver Broncos led by QB Tebow’s 20 yard TD stunned the Jets 17-13. At 5-5, the Jets looked in danger of falling below .500, as Bills WR Steve Johnson, who earlier mocked Santonio Holmes’ touchdown celebration, dropped a pass in the endzone. With new life, the Jets rallied to win the game 28-24, as Holmes did his own celebrating on a 16-yard touchdown reception with 1:09 left. With Shonn Greene leading the way in Washington, the Jets scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to break open a back and forth battle with the Redskins 34-19. A week later, they appeared to be finding their groove as they cremated the Kansas City Chiefs 37-10. Just when it looked like the Jets would cruise to the playoffs, the bottom would fall out of their season as they played a terrible game and lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 45-19. This would set up a Christmas Eve showdown with the New York Giants, who themselves were having an up and down season. The game would be one of survival as the winner would hold their playoff fate, and the loser would go on life support. The boastful Jets, who proclaimed themselves the official team of New York, would dominate the game early as they held a 7-3 lead and had the Giants pinned on their own one-yard line. It was at that moment to teams fates when in opposite directions, as Eli Manning connected with Victor Cruz on a 99-yard touchdown pass. The Giants would go on to win the game 29-14 and would go on to win the Super Bowl. While the Jets season would end at 8-8 with a third straight loss against the Miami Dolphins 19-17, as the Jets were forced to bench Santonio Holmes, with the game on the line after he argued with QB Mark Sanchez. Dazed and confused, the Jets would fire offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and hire ex-Dolphins Coach Tony Sparano as they stunned the football world by acquiring Tim Tebow from the Denver Broncos for the sole purpose of running the wild cat. Nobody was more bewildered than Mark Sanchez.
2012: When the season began, the main question surrounding the Jets was just how they were going to use Tim Tebow. In his first game, Tebow carried the ball five times for just 11 yards. However, it would make no impact on the game as the Jets got off to a flying start with a 48-28 blowout win over the Buffalo Bills at Met Life Stadium. The Jets got big plays everywhere as Jeremy Kerley returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown. Mark Sanchez had three touchdown passes as the Jets defense picked off Ryan Fitzpatrick three times, including a 40-yard pick-six for Antonio Cromartie. A week later, the Jets would come back to earth as they suffered a 27-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Jets would rebound with a 23-20 overtime win over the Miami Dolphins on the road. The comeback win would come at a high price as CB Darrelle Revis suffered a season-ending knee injury. Without Revis, the Jets suffered one of their worst losses in years, a 34-0 shutout loss at home to the San Francisco 49ers. In the game, they would also lose WR Santonio Holmes to a foot injury. Entering a Monday Night game against the Houston Texans, the Jets were double-digit underdogs. However, they played a strong game and kept it close all the way, but in the end, the Texans held on to win the game 23-17 as the Jets dropped to 2-3. The Jets playing at home for the third straight week would get back to .500 with a 35-9 over the Indianapolis Colts, as they picked off rookie quarterback Andrew Luck twice, while Shonn Greene and Joe McKnight combined for 232 rushing yards with three touchdowns. A week later, the Jets traveled to Foxboro and had the New England Patriots on the ropes with a 26-23 lead. However, Tom Brady got the Pats down the field and got the game in overtime. The Patriots would take the first possession of overtime and got a 48 yard Field Goal by Stephen Gostkowski. New overtime rules gave the Jets one possession to tie or win the game, but Mark Sanchez would be stripped as the Pats won 29-26. A week later, under a darkened sky ahead of Hurricane Sandy, the Jets played a sloppy game at home and suffered a 30-9 loss at the Dolphins’ hands. After going into the bye week with a record of 3-5, the Jets struggles continued as they suffered a third straight loss at the Seattle Seahawks 28-7. The Jets would get back in the win column with a strong 27-13 win over the St. Louis Rams, as the Jets defense picked off Sam Bradford once and forced two fumbles. Four days later, the Jets season would completely unravel with an embarrassing 49-19 loss to the Patriots on Thanksgiving Night. The Patriots would score five touchdowns in the 2nd quarter, including three during a 52-second stretch, which featured a fumble by Mark Sanchez in which he ran into the back of his own lineman Steven Moore in a play that would live in infamy with the name “Buttfumble.” The Jets would win the next two games after the Buttfumble game, but fans had completely turned against Sanchez as the Jets beat the Arizona Cardinals 7-6, with Greg McElroy coming on to throw the winning touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. A week later, the Jets earned a 17-10 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, despite collecting 166 yards rushing than Sanchez putrid 111 yards passing. The ugly play would catch up to the Jets a week later as they suffered a 14-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans, as Sanchez was picked off four times. McElroy would start a week later and suffered a concussion as the Jets clinched their first losing season since 2007 with a 27-17 loss to the San Diego Chargers. The Jets season would end with a 28-9 loss to the Bills as they finished with 6-10. When it was all over, the number showed just how ugly the season was as Mark Sanchez had 13 touchdown passes against 26 turnovers, while Tim Tebow was hardly used at all and served only to distract and divide the locker. Following the season, the Jets would fire General Manager Mike Tannenbaum and replace him with John Idzik, while Tebow was released.
2013: After a tumultuous season, the Jets were just looking for some stability, as they selected Geno Smith to challenge Mark Sanchez for the starting quarterback job. The second-round pick out of West Virginia ended up carrying the load after Sanchez suffered a shoulder injury in the pre-season. The Jets hosted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their season opener. Geno Smith struggled early, throwing a costly interception as the Buccaneers lead early 14-5. However, as the first half came to a close, Smith connected with Kellen Winslow II to get back in the game for his first career touchdown. After a scoreless third quarter, the Jets took the lead on a Nick Folk Field Goal. The Buccaneers appeared to have the game won as Rian Lindell kicked a 37-yard field goal with 34 seconds left. Geno Smith would get the ball to midfield but forced out of the pocket time appeared to be slipping away until he is by Lavonte David after stepping out of bounds. With the penalty, the Jets are able to win 19-17 the game on a 48 yard Field Goal by Folk. The Jets would face the New England Patriots in a Thursday Night game at Foxboro Stadium. The Jets revamped defense did a terrific job keeping the Patriots in check, but three interceptions in the fourth quarter would doom the Jets to a 13-10 loss. Alternating wins and losses would become the Jets hallmark, as they rebounded to beat the Buffalo Bills 27-20 in Week 3, as Geno Smith connected with Santonio Holmes on a 69-yard touchdown pass. The pass came moments after the Bills tied the game after trailing by two touchdowns. Following an ugly Week 4 loss to the Tennessee Titans, the Jets would upset the Atlanta Falcons in their only Monday Night appearance of the season. The Jets had controlled the game taking a 17-7 lead at the half. The Falcons would battle back to take the lead with under two minutes left, but Geno Smith showing veteran poise guided the Jets into Field Goal range, as Nick Folk won the game 30-27 with a 43-yard Field Goal. However, a week later, Smith looked anything but a franchise QB as he struggled in a 19-6 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. A week later, in their rematch with the Patriots at Met Life Stadium, Geno Smith again struggled early as the Pats held a 21-10 lead at the half. However, the Jets would turn things around as Antonio Allen intercepted and returned a Tom Brady pass 23 yards for a touchdown. Geno Smith added an eight-yard TD run, and Nick Folk added a Field Goal to give the Jets 17 unanswered points in the third quarter. The Patriots would battle back to tie the game. Rex Ryan would roll the dice in overtime and have Nick Folk attempt a 58 yard Field Goal. The kick was no good, but the Patriots were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. Given a second chance from 43 yards, Folk was dead center perfect as the Jets won the game 30-27. The Jets again would be unable to keep the momentum, as they suffered a 49-9 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The Jets would continue to alternate wins and losses in Week 9 as they stunned the New Orleans Saints 26-20. Chris Ivory was the star against the Saints, rushing for 139 yards with a touchdown as the Jets running game helped keep Drew Brees off the field. The Jets would go into their bye week with a record of 5-4. Still, the next three games saw Geno Smith play terrible football, as fans called for him to be benched, especially after the Jets managed to score just three points in consecutive losses to the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins. The Jets would finally get back on track with a 37-27 win over the Oakland Raiders, as Geno Smith silenced some of the critics by passing for 219 yards with a touchdown and rushing for 50 yards with another touchdown. A week later, Geno Smith and the Jets would take another step back as their playoff hopes were extinguished in a 30-20 loss to the Carolina Panthers. The Jets would finish the season strong, beating the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins to finish the season with a record of 8-8. In the win over the Browns, Coach Rex Ryan was given a standing ovation, while their season-ending win over the Dolphins served to knock their rivals out of the playoffs. Geno Smith had an up and down season, passing for 3,046 yards but with 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. However, the Jets best rookie was Sheldon Richardson, who won Defensive Rookie of the Year, making 78 tackles, a pass defended, a forced fumble, 3.5 sacks, and 2 rushing touchdowns.
2014: Coming off a year in which they overachieved and posted an 8-8 record, the New York Jets hoped they could return to the playoffs as the season began. One big strength was their defensive line led by reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Sheldon Richardson and Marcus Wilkerson. To move forward, the Jets need vast improvement from quarterback Geno Smith who struggled in his rookie season. Smith was good enough in the opener, completing 23 of 28 passes for221 yards with a touchdown and interception to help the Jets start the season with a 19-14 win over the Oakland Raiders, as Chris Ivory’s 71-yard Touchdown run proved to be the difference. In Week 2, the Jets jumped out to a quick start against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, leading 21-3 in the second quarter. The Packers stormed back to take a 31-24 lead at the end of the third quarter. With a chance to even the score, Geno Smith connected with Jeremy Kerley on a 37-yard touchdown pass with five minutes left. However, the play would not count as assistant coach Marty Mornhinweg called for a time out. The Packers would hold on to win the game 31-24. The Jets would drop their next two games at home against the Chicago Bears, and Detroit Lions as injuries to the secondary began to take their toll. Things would only get uglier for Gang Green in Week 5, as they were blanked by the San Diego Chargers 31-0. Geno Smith was beyond awful, completing just 4-of-12 passes with an interception before being benched in favor of Michael Vick. After the game, it was learned that Geno Smith missed a key team meeting while going to the movies. Despite fans’ objection, Geno Smith would remain the starter. Facing the Denver Broncos, Smith had a good game until Aqib Talib sealed the Broncos 31-17 win with a 22-yard interception return with 15 seconds left. Geno Smith was also solid four days later in Foxboro, as the Jets gave the New England Patriots all they could handle on Thursday Night Football. The only failure for Smith and the Jets was the ability to finish drives, and they had to settle for four field goals by Nick Folk in the first half. New York would take a brief 19-17 lead in the third quarter on a touchdown run by Chris Ivory. The Patriots would battle back with a touchdown and field goal and held a 27-19 lead in the fourth quarter when Geno Smith connected with Jeff Cumberland on a ten-yard touchdown pass with 2:31 left. The Jets were just two points away from tying the score but could not complete the two-point try and dropped to 1-6 with a 27-25 loss. Following the loss, the Jets would attempt to improve their offense landing Percy Harvin in a surprise trade with the Seattle Seahawks. The deal would not help, as Geno Smith unraveled in Week 8, throwing three interceptions while being showered with a chorus of boos in the first quarter against the Bills at Met Life Stadium. Michael Vick would take over and did not fare much better, losing 43-23 for the Jets’ seventh straight loss. Vick got the start in Week 9, but the Jets could not do any better, losing 24-10 to the Kansas City Chiefs as frustrated Jets fans hired a plane to carry a banner calling for the firing of General Manager John Idzik during the team’s practices. The Jets would get back in the win column finally in Week 10, as they upset the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-13, thanks to a 17 point first quarter highlighted by Michael Vick’s 67 yard TD pass to T.J. Graham. Michael Vick set a personal milestone during the game, becoming the first quarterback to rush for over 6,000 yards. Following the bye week, Geno Smith would return to the field after Vick suffered an injury during an ugly 38-3 loss to the Bills on the road. However, Geno Smith continued his poor play, passing for 65 yards in an ugly 16-13 Monday Night loss to the Miami Dolphins. Smith would play better in the last four games, as the Jets won twice and played two close games, including a 17-16 loss to the Patriots. In the finale, Geno Smith passed for 353 yards, with three scores to beat the Dolphins 37-24 in what would be Rex Ryan’s final game as coach of the Jets had a complete house cleaning, including dismissing GM John Idzik following the 4-12 season.
2015: To replace the bombastic Rex Ryan as head coach, the New York Jets hired Todd Bowles, who was much more reserved and wanted to bring more discipline to the team. Bowles had to act as a disciplinarian right away when he released IK Enemkpali after he had a locker room fight with Quarterback Geno Smith. The fight resulted in Enemkpali breaking Smith’s jaw after the two argued over money and the failure of Geno Smith to show at an event hosted by the linebacker in his hometown Houston. With Smith on the sidelines, the Jets began the season with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center. Fitzpatrick had a strong game to start the season, passing for 179 yards with two touchdowns, while Chris Ivory ran for 91 yards with two scores as the Jets slammed the Cleveland Browns 31-10 at Met Life Stadium. A week the Jets defense impressed the nation on Monday Night Football, forcing five turnovers to beat the Indianapolis Colts 20-7. Ryan Fitzpatrick was solid again, passing for 244 yards with two touchdowns. Returning home, the Jets suffered a letdown, as Fitzpatrick was intercepted three times during a 24-17 loss at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles, who remained the only team the Jets have never beaten. The Jets played a regular-season game in London for the first time in Week 4, beat the division rival Miami Dolphins 27-14 as Chris Ivory had a field day rushing for 166 yards. With a 17-point third quarter, the Jets continued their strong start by beating the Washington Redskins 34-20 at Met Life Stadium, following the bye week. Ryan Fitzpatrick was solid again, passing for 235 yards with two scores, but his biggest play came when he ran one into the endzone himself from 18 yards, while Chris Ivory had 196 all-purpose yards. The following week the Jets would put up a valiant effort but came up just a little short, losing to the New England Patriots in Foxboro 30-23. A week later, the Jets would suffer a second straight loss, as Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a hand injury on the first series. Geno Smith took over and played well, but it was not enough as the Oakland Raiders moved up and down the field at will and won the game 34-20. Despite undergoing surgery during the week to repair torn ligaments in his non-throwing hand, Ryan Fitzpatrick got the start a week later as the Jets returned home to face the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fitzpatrick was sharp, passing for 272 yards with two touchdowns as the Jets win 28-23. Four days later, Rex Ryan returned to Met Life Stadium, now coaching the Buffalo Bills as the NFL debuted color rush, making the game look like a mixed-up Christmas pageant with the Jets in head to toe green against the all-red Bills. Also returning was IK Enemkpali, who was chosen by Rex Ryan to be a Bills team captain to taunt the Jets. Turnovers would be an issue for the Jets as Ryan Fitzpatrick was picked off twice as the Bills won the game 22-17. Fitzpatrick would struggle again the following week as the Jets dropped to 5-5 with a road loss to the Houston Texans 24-17. Returning home, the Jets got back on track with a dominant 38-20 win over the Dolphins, as Ryan Fitzpatrick appearing to be fully healthy, threw for 277 yards with four touchdowns. The Jets would face the New York Giants for Meadowlands bragging rights in Week 13. Despite a strong game from Fitzpatrick, the Jets trailed 20-10 at the start of the fourth quarter. Following a field goal by Randy Bullock, Ryan Fitzpatrick tied the game with a nine-yard pass to Brandon Marshall with 27 seconds left. In overtime, the Jets took the first possession deep into Giants’ territory but settled for a 24-yard Field Goal from Bullock. The Giants had a chance to answer, but Josh Brown missed a 48-yard Field Goal, allowing the Jets to score a 23-20 win. After their big win over the Giants, the Jets were back in the playoff chance and charging fast, as they easily beat the Tennessee Titans 30-8. The Jets would get a Saturday night win against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 15, as they picked off Kellen Moore three times as Randy Bullock hit a 40-yard Field Goal with 36 seconds left to win the game 19-16. In their final home game, the Jets got big games from Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brandon Marshall to beat the Patriots 26-20 in overtime. After the Patriots rallied to tie the game at the end of regulation, the Jets took the first possession of overtime after the Patriots chose to kick the ball away after winning the coin toss. The Patriots would not get the ball back as Ryan Fitzpatrick completed a five-play 80-yard scoring drive with a six-yard score to Eric Decker. At 10-5, the Jets just needed a win in their final game to make the playoffs. That last game came against their ex-coach as they faced the Bills on the road. The game would end up being another major letdown for the Jets, as Ryan Fitzpatrick was picked off three times, with the Bills winning 22-17 for the second time. The Jets would fall just short of the postseason despite a 10-6 record.
2016: The New York Jets entered the season looking to build off a solid 10-6 season that saw them narrowly miss the playoffs. However, trouble was brewing from the start as they lost several key players as they were stuck in Salary Cap hell. The Jets opened the season at home against the Cincinnati Bengals and lost a heartbreaker as Mike Nugent won the game for Cincinnati 23-22 with a 47-yard field goal with 55 seconds left. Four days later, the Jets ended a five-game losing streak against the Buffalo Bills, winning a Thursday Night shootout 37-31 as Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 374 yards. A week later, Fitzpatrick suffered the worst game of his career, with six interceptions as the Jets lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 24-3 at Arrowhead Stadium. The loss to the Chiefs would start a tailspin for the Jets as they dropped four straight, adding losses to the Seattle Seahawks (27-17), Pittsburgh Steelers (31-13), and Arizona Cardinals (28-3). The Jets would get a big game out of Matt Forte, who rushed for 100 yards with a pair of touchdowns to beat the Baltimore Ravens 24-16 to end their four-game losing streak. The Jets started slowly in Week 8, trailing the winless Cleveland Browns 20-7 at the half. The Jets turned things around quickly in the third quarter as Quincy Enunwa caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick, while Matt Forte added a four-yard score to give the Jets a lead. Forte added a second touchdown in the fourth quarter as the Jets recorded a 31-28 win. Wins would become increasingly rare for the Jets as the season progressed. In Week 9, Ryan Fitzpatrick struggled again, throwing two interceptions in a 27-23 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Making the loss even more frustrating was that the Jets battled back to take the lead in the fourth quarter only to see it erased in 27 seconds on a 96-yard kickoff return by Kenyan Drake. A week later, the Jets looking for a spark gave Bryce Petty his first start at quarterback, but the Jets could not supply any offense as they suffered a mind-numbing 9-6 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at the Meadowlands. Ryan Fitzpatrick got the start after a bye week as the Jets hosted the New England Patriots. Playing perhaps his best game of the season, Fitzpatrick passed for 269 yards with two touchdowns as the Jets held a 17-13 lead in the fourth quarter. However, Tom Brady rallied the Patriots down the stretch to bring down the Jets 22-17. The disheartened Jets barely even showed up a week later, as they suffered a humiliating 41-10 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football. After the Colts’ loss, Bryce Petty was named the starting quarterback for the rest of the season. Despite early struggles on the road against the San Francisco 49ers, trailing 14-0 early, Petty held steady as Bilal Powell led the Jets back, rushing for 145 yards with two touchdowns, including a game-winning 19-yard dash in overtime to win the game 23-17. In a Saturday Night showdown at the Meadowlands, Bryce Petty was injured when he got sandwiched between Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake as the Dolphins slammed the Jets 34-13. With Fitzpatrick getting the start in Foxboro, the Jets were the ones who looked flat, suffering a listless 41-3 loss. In the season finale, the Bills looked listless as Rex Ryan was fired a week earlier, and the rest of the team looked to exit as quickly as possible as the Jets won 30-10 to finish the season 5-11.
2017: Expectations were far from lofty as the season began for the New York Jets, with it clearly being a season for rebuilding. The Jets started with two road losses against the Buffalo Bills 21-12 and the Oakland Raiders 45-20. Coming home, the Jets played much better, with a 20-6 win over the Miami Dolphins in a brutally hot game, in which the only points the Jets allowed came in the final seconds of the game. A week later, the Jets stunned the Jacksonville Jaguars in overtime 23-20. Among the highlights a 75-yard touchdown run by Bilal Powell and a nine 69-yard touchdown run by Elijah McGuire. The Jets were their own worst enemy allowing the Jaguars to score ten unanswered in the fourth quarter to tie the game, but Chandler Catanzaro decided the game with a 41-yard field goal. Starting the season at 2-2 was big for the Jets, who were picked by most experts to be the worst team in the NFL. Josh McCown would not let that happen. The Jets would go on to beat McCown’s former team, the Cleveland Browns, 17-14. Forcing five turnovers in the red zone. At 3-2, the Jets hosted the New England Patriots, holding a 3-2 record, losing a hard-fought battle because of an Austin Seferian-Jenkins touchdown that was called back and turned into a touchback for New England on a controversial replay reversal, that helped the Patriots escape with a 24-17. In Week 7 against the Dolphins in Miami, the Jets let a two-touchdown lead evaporate, allowing 17-unanswered points in a 31-28 loss. Week 8 would be just as frustrating as they lost to the Atlanta Falcons 25-20 at the Meadowlands in a game where they had their chances to win. On Thursday night, the Jets would end their three-game skid, beating the Bills 34-21 as Matt Forte led the way with 77-yards and two scores. However, going into the bye week, the Jets suffered a 15-10 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers led by Ryan Fitzpatrick to hit the bye week with a record of 4-6, which was not bad by any Jets’ fans standard. After the bye, the Jets would lose another close one against the Carolina Panthers 35-27. A week later, the Jets would stun the Kansas City Chiefs 38-31 as Josh McCown passed for 331 yards, with Jermaine Kearse, reeling in 157 yards on nine catches. A week later, against the Denver Broncos, McCown broke his hand in a 23-0 loss, as the Jets dropped their final four games with Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg confirming they were not the quarterbacks of the future. After the loss in Denver, the Jets were beaten by the New Orleans Saints 31-19, the Los Angeles Chargers 14-7, and the Patriots 26-6, finishing 5-11. Looking at the numbers from the season statistical wise, nothing really popped out, but there were some bright spots. Josh McCown threw for 18 touchdowns and 2,926 passing yards. Bilal Powell showed Jets fans as he does every year, that he is one of the most consistent running backs in the NFL even behind a banged-up offensive line with 772 rushing yards on 178 carries. Robby Anderson finally busted through as a playmaker has 63 receptions for 941 yards and seven touchdowns. Demario Davis, who left after the season, lead the team with 135 tackles while Jets rookie safeties Marcus Maye and Jamal Adams showed promise being third and fourth in total tackles. Some notable offseason moves that are notable were Muhammad Wilkerson leaving after signing a huge contract two years ago. After the season, the Jets had the sixth overall pick but traded up to get the Indianapolis Colts third pick and selected Sam Darnold out of USC, hoping he could be the franchise quarterback the Jets have not had since Broadway Joe.
Written by Spark @Justsayingtakes
2018: Following a disappointing season, GM Mike Maccagnan made aggressive moves to rebuild the New York Jets. Starting on draft day, the Jets moved up three spots to select Sam Darnold, third overall from USC. Jets fans hoped Darnold would become their first true franchise quarterback since Joe Namath. In free agency, the Jets signed defensive stalwarts Trumaine Johnson, a cornerback from the Los Angeles Rams. Avery Williamson, a linebacker from the Tennessee Titans, to massive contracts adding defensive talent to their pair of budding star safeties, Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye. The season got off to an inauspicious start in Detroit as Darnold’s first career pass attempt was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. Despite falling behind to the Lions early, the Jets youngsters showed wisdom beyond their years. Darnold rebounded, throwing two touchdowns, while Adams recorded his first interception, returning it for a touchdown. The Jets went on to blow out the Lions 48-17. The forward thrust of Jets’ first outing soon gave way to engine trouble as the Jets lost to the Miami Dolphins 20-12 in the home opener. It was the first of three straight losses. Four days later, The Cleveland Browns won their first game since 2016 on Thursday night 21-17. After a 31-12 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Jets bounces back with two impressive wins against the Denver Broncos (34-16), highlighted by Isaiah Crowell’s 219 rushing yards, and the Indianapolis Colts (42-34), highlighted by Sam Darnold’s 280 passing yards and two touchdowns, getting back in the mix at 3-3 six games into the season. The Jets could not sustain the momentum as they dropped six straight games, with Darnold missing three games due to a foot sprain. The Jets looked listless with an elderly Josh McCown under center. Coming back from injury in Week 13, Darnold led the Jets to a much-needed 27-23 win against the struggling Buffalo Bills. The Jets would lose their final three games, with an especially pathetic showing in the season finale against the New England Patriots, getting blown out in Foxboro 38-3. Despite the limp to the finish, a silver lining gave Jets fans hope for the future. Rookie, Sam Darnold, returned from injury in week 13 and played like the quarterback Jets fans were hoping for. Throwing for 931 yards, six touchdowns, and only one interception over the last four games, Darnold showed poise, maturity, and noticeable improvement, providing some momentum heading into the offseason. As expected, Todd Bowles was fired immediately after the season, but Mike Maccagnan was retained as GM, setting up what would be a dramatic offseason. The Jets had another top-five draft picks, a head coach vacancy, and cap space to surround their homegrown burgeoning stars with talent.
Written by Stephen Walsh
2019: With extensive holes to fill, owner Chris Johnson played chemist as he searched to combine the perfect concoction of talent, leadership, ego and ignite a winning culture in the New York Jets’ cockpit. After an extensive interview process, Johnson and GM Mike Maccagnan tapped reputed quarterback whisperer Adam Gase as their new head coach. Gregg Williams, the Bountygate mastermind, would lead the defense. In free agency, the Jets spent lavishly to bring in both offensive talents, running back Le’Veon Bell, receiver Jamison Crowder, and guard Kelechi Osmel. On defense, the Jets added linebacker CJ Mosley. The Jets also drafted defensive lineman Quinnen Williams out of Alabama with the third overall pick. Having hired a head coach, spent big money in free agency, and completed a critical draft, the Jets seemed like they were diving headfirst into the Gase-Maccagnan union. Then, on May 15, three weeks following the draft and merely five weeks ahead of training camp, the Jets announced the firing of Maccagnan. While never formally addressed, many presumed Gase and Maccagnan never saw eye to eye, Gase being the last man standing. After a three-week search, the Jets wooed the highly touted Eagles executive Joe Douglas to become their new GM. Kicking off the season at home against the Buffalo Bills, the Jets came out engines ablaze through three quarters, up 16-3. Leveon scored his first touchdown off Darnold’s pass, and Crowder was everywhere, catching ten passes. However, the Jets defense showed cracks with linebacker Avery Williams already out for the year (torn ACL in the second preseason game), and CJ Mosley sidelined with a groin injury sustained earlier in the game. They were outscored 14-0 in the fourth quarter and crash-landed with a 17-16 loss. Ahead of their Week 2Monday night matchup against the Cleveland Browns, Sam Darnold announced that he had tested positive for mononucleosis. With Darnold, only one year removed from his college years, out indefinitely with the kissing disease, the stage was set for the former Trevor Simien to take over controls until Darnold returned. The turbulence did not stay away for long, though, as Simien soon became another casualty in the injury plague that ravaged the 2019 Jets. Dusting off the bottom of the depth chart, Gase looked to undrafted free agent Luke Falk to call the signals. The Gase-Falk connection couldn’t create any spark as the Jets lost their second straight game in as many weeks 23-3. With two quarterbacks and two-star linebackers sidelined, the Jets would lose consecutive games to the New England Patriots and Patriots Eagles by a combined score of 61-20, falling to 0-4. During this time, Darnold’s day to day status and recovery garnered most of the attention. He made his much-anticipated comeback in Week 5 against the Dallas Cowboys. The Jets hit Mach-speed in the first half, soaring to a 21-6 lead. They weathered a late Dallas come back to pick up their first win by a score of 24-22. Gase performed like the offensive maestro he was touted to be as Darnold threw for 338 yards and two touchdowns. Gregg Williams coached up his patchwork linebacker corps, and superstar safety Jamal Adams made a critical sack late to seal the game. Heading into their second Monday night matchup of the season at home against the Patriots, the stars were aligned for the Jets to save their season and fly into the playoffs. It wasn’t to be. The Jets were blown out from the start, embarrassingly losing 33-0, with Darnold throwing four picks, as “he saw ghosts.” The Jets would make it three consecutive losses, with flat performances against the Jacksonville Jaguars and pitiful Miami Dolphins. At 1-7, through the first half of a frustrating season, it looked like Gase’s tenure as a coach would be much shorter than anticipated. However, the Jets pulled together to win six of the last eight games, finishing at 7-9. None of the six wins were particularly inspiring, and that stretch included a 22-6 loss to the previously 0-10 Bengals. Nonetheless, finishing out the season relatively strong helped Gase keep his job. The season’s bright spots included Jamal Adams being rewarded for his consistent outstanding play by being named first-team All-Pro.
Written by Stephen Walsh
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