New York Jets
New York Jets Football
The New York Jets are an American professional football team. Playing in the AFC East (along with the Patriots, Dolphins and Bills), their home games are held at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The team was the first AFL franchise to defeat an NFL team, beating the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.
Jets Hall of Fame Players
The following NFL Hall of Fame players have worked for the Jets organization: Weeb Ewbank, Don Maynard, Joe Namath, John Riggins, Ronnie Lott and Art Monk. It should be noted, however, that Monk, Lott and Riggins all achieved NFL fame on other teams.
Jets Retired Jerseys
The following jerseys have been retired by the New York Jets: Joe Namath (12), Don Maynard (13), Joe Klecko (73) and Weeb Ewbank (jacket). While Dennis Byrd’s #90 jersey has not been officially retired, it hasn’t been worn since his career-ending injury in 1992.
Origin of the New York Jets
The team started as the New York Titans, but the name was changed to the New York Jets when Sonny Werblin and Leon Hess saved the team from bankruptcy. The name change was due to the fact that the team now played a short distance from LaGuardia Airport, and the sound of jet engines overhead could frequently be heard.
The New York Jets football team hired respected coach Weeb Ewbank to lead the team, and quarterback “Broadway” Joe Namath was also brought on board. In 1967, Namath became the first quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in a season.
Beating the NFL – Superbowl III
After beating the Oakland Raiders in the AFL championship game in 1969, the Jets had the opportunity to play against the NFL champion Baltimore Colts. Namath guaranteed a win, but many were skeptical since the AFL had always been viewed as an inferior football league. Namath was proven correct, however, and the Jets went on to win 16-7.
This game, by the way, was the first to bear the name of the Super Bowl, although it is now known as Super Bowl III. It proved that the AFL was a legitimate league, and it went a long way towards bringing about the NFL/AFL merger in 1970.
The New York Jets of the 1970s
Namath suffered through a series of knee injuries, missing large parts of the 1970, 1971 and 1973 seasons. He was waived after the 1976 season.
Later in the decade, coach Walt Michaels was hired, and quarterbacks Matt Robinson and Richard Todd each took snaps under center. The Jets finished 8-8 in the last two seasons of the 70s.
The team started to come around in 1981, thanks in large part to players like Wesley Walker, Freeman McNeil and Jerome Barkum. The defense was also much improved, and the “New York Sack Exchange” was anchored by standouts Joe Klecko and Mark Gastineau.
The team made it all the way to the conference finals in 1982, but they ultimately lost to the Miami Dolphins in a game which has come to be known as The Mud Bowl.
In 1983, the team played their last game at Shea Stadium, having failed to come to a new lease agreement with the city. They moved to Giants Stadium in 1984.
After the move, the team had a degree of success, and players such as Ken O’Brien and Al Toon were instrumental. They advanced to the divisional playoffs in 1986, but fell in defeat to the Cleveland Browns. This game was notorious for a roughing the passer call on Mark Gastineau which resulted in a first down and eventual touchdown for the Browns.
The Jets of the 1990s
The team struggled to find a quarterback throughout the decade, at various times starting men such as Browning Nagle, Ken O’Brien, Boomer Esiason and Neil O’Donnell.
In 1994, the Jets were involved in a play which has since been dubbed “The Fake Spike.” With the clock winding down, Dolphins’ quarterback Dan Marino acted as if he would run up to the line of scrimmage and spike the ball. Instead, he faked a spike and threw it to receiver Mark Ingram for a game-winning touchdown. The Jets defenders (especially Aaron Glenn) were completely fooled.
Bruce Coslet started the 90s as the head coach, but he gave way to Pete Caroll after the 1992 season. Carroll lasted one year, being fired after a 6-10 season. His replacement, Rich Kotite, served as coach for two seasons, before being replaced by Bill Parcells.
Bill Parcells Era
Parcells took over in 1997 and had compete control over the franchise. He drafted receiver Keyshawn Johnson with the top pick in the NFL Draft, and he brought in players such as running back Curtis Martin, quarterback Vinny Testaverde and receiver Wayne Chrebet.
Their 1998 season proved to be their most successful, as the NFL New York Jets finished the regular season with a record of 12-4. They would ultimately lose to the Broncos in the AFC championship, 23-10.
Owner Leon Hess died prior to the start of the 1999 season. While Parcells had been hired by Hess, new owner Woody Johnson wanted to keep Parcells around. “The Big Tuna,” however, would step down as coach at the end of a season in which they finished 8-8.
New York Jets – The Modern Era
Bill Belichick, Parcells’ successor, quit after one day on the job. He then accepted a head coaching job with the New England Patriots. Al Groh took over for the 2000 season, and he promptly traded Keyshawn Johnson to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for a first round pick.
That same season, the Jets staged the biggest comeback in the history of Monday Night Football. Known as the “Monday Night Miracle,” the team overcame a 30-7 deficit in the fourth quarter against the Dolphins, ultimately winning on a John Hall field goal in overtime.
Groh’s disciplinary style proved to be unpopular with the team, and he resigned after one season. He was succeeded by Herman Edwards, a disciple of Tony Dungy.
Chad Pennington emerged as the starting quarterback, and players like Laveranues Coles and Santana Moss provided excitement on offense. Curtis Martin, meanwhile, continued to make his case for a spot in Canton, Ohio. In 2004, linebacker Jonathan Vilma was voted as the Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Edwards coached the Jets for five seasons, compiling a record of 39-41. During that stretch, the team made three playoff appearances. A number of players left the team during this time, including Jason Ferguson, Anthony Becht, Sam Cowart, Doug Brien, Kareem McKenzie and LaMont Jordan.
With the departure of Edwards, former New England defensive coordinator Eric Mangini was hired to take over as head coach. The team went 10-6 in his first season, but they were eventually knocked out of the playoffs by the New England Patriots.
The 2007 season was not as successful, and the team finished with a record of 4-12. After starting 1-7, Pennington was eventually benched in favor of quarterback Kellen Clemens.
Early in the season, the Jets accused Patriots coach Bill Belichick of authorizing his staff to film Jets’ defensive signals. Referred to in the media as “Spygate,” the incident resulted in the Patriots having to forfeit their first round pick in 2008.
Current Jets Stars
As of this writing, some of the Jets’ biggest stars include: Chad Pennington, Kellen Clemens, Thomas Jones, Laveranues Coles, Jerricho Cotchery, Alan Faneca, Shaun Ellis, Darrelle Revis and Mike Nugent.