Jets year-by-year highlights
|All-Time Jets Draft||Jets vs. Atlanta Falcons||Jets vs. Miami Dolphins|
|All-Time Honors||Jets vs. Baltimore Ravens||Jets vs. Minnesota Vikings|
|Jets All-Time Alphabetical Roster||Jets vs. Buffalo Bills||Jets vs. New England Patriots|
|Jets All-Time Numerical Roster||Jets vs. Carolina Panthers||Jets vs. New Orleans Saints|
|Jets All-Time Practice Squad Roster||Jets vs. Chicago Bears||Jets vs. New York Giants|
|Jets All-Time Coaches Roster||Jets vs. Cincinnati Bengals||Jets vs. Oakland Raiders|
|100-yard Receiving Games (Jets/Titans)||Jets vs. Cleveland Browns||Jets vs. Philadelphia Eagles|
|100-yard Receiving Games (Opponents)||Jets vs. Dallas Cowboys||Jets vs. Pittsburgh Steelers|
|100-yard Rushing Games (Jets/Titans)||Jets vs. Denver Broncos||Jets vs. San Diego Chargers|
|100-Yard Rushing Games (Opponents)||Jets vs. Detroit Lions||Jets vs. San Francisco 49ers|
|300-yard Passing Games (Jets/Titans)||Jets vs. Green Bay Packers||Jets vs. Seattle Seahawks|
|300-yard Passing Games (Opponents)||Jets vs. Houston Texans||Jets vs. St. Louis Rams|
|Primetime/Overtime/Thanksgiving Results||Jets vs. Indianapolis Colts||Jets vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Preseason Results||Jets vs. Jacksonville Jaguars||Jets vs. Tennessee Titans|
|Jets vs. Arizona Cardinals||Jets vs. Kansas City Chiefs||Jets vs. Washington Redskins|
The seeds of Super Bowl victory were sown in 1959-60, when the New York Titans and the American Football League struggled to life. The kindest way to describe owner Harry Wismer’s stewardship was that it was “fraught with controversy” before the bankrupt Titans were taken over by the league in Nov. 1962.
Four months later, the five-man syndicate headed by David A. “Sonny” Werblin bought the Titans, rechristened them the Jets and hired Weeb Ewbank as coach. They got their on-field pilot when quarterback Joe Namath signed his legendary $427,000 rookie contract the day after the 1965 Orange Bowl. He joined an offensive cast that included wide receivers Don Maynard and George Sauer, the one-two backfield punch of Matt Snell and Emerson Boozer, and a line anchored by perennial AFL All-Star tackle Winston Hill. The defense was built around linebackers Larry Grantham and Al Atkinson and ends Gerry Philbin and Verlon Biggs.
And they took off on a flight plan that in 1969 landed Namath at the Miami Touchdown Club, where he accepted an award and made “the Guarantee” that in three days the Jets would defeat the heavily favored Baltimore Colts.
“When I look back at that period now,” Namath reflected decades later, “I realize not only was I a very confident young man, I was also very angry. It was more or less anger and frustration stemming from how everybody was putting the team and the league down that led me to make that guarantee.”
Raspberries morphed into respect after the Jets turned five takeaways into a 16-0 lead en route to rocking the football world with their 16-7 win over the Colts at the Orange Bowl on Jan. 12, 1969.
The Jets hosted a playoff game at Shea Stadium in 1969 (a wind-marred 13-6 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs) and made television history, taking on the Browns on opening night in 1970 when the NFL and ABC first unveiled “Monday Night Football.”
The teams of the early Eighties were led by “the New York Sack Exchange,” the front four of Joe Klecko, Mark Gastineau, Marty Lyons and Abdul Salaam that piled up QB sacks at a blistering pace. “It always feels good when you feel appreciated,” Lyons has said, “and that was reflected in the way we played. We didn’t want to disappoint ourselves or our teammates.”
That group guided the Jets to the 1981 playoffs, a home AFC Wild Card affair that began badly as Buffalo opened a 24-0 lead and ended heartbreakingly at the Bills 11-yard line with 14 seconds left as Richard Todd’s interception sealed their 31-27 loss.
Then Todd, tailback Freeman McNeil and the Sack Exchange led the Jets to a 6-3 record in the strike-shortened 1982 season, and on to two road playoff victories. But the run ended in the Orange Bowl with a 14-0 loss to the Dolphins in the AFC Championship Game — a.k.a. “the Mud Bowl” — on Jan. 23, 1983.
There were playoff berths in 1985 and 1986. The latter appearance ended in a road defeat as the Jets of McNeil and Al Toon, with quarterbacks Ken O’Brien and Pat Ryan and coach Joe Walton, lost to the Browns in the second overtime, 23-20.
For the next decade, there was just one more postseason berth, in 1991, before Bill Parcells’ 1998 team almost topped them all. Behind Vinny Testaverde and Curtis Martin, that team finished 12-4 by winning 10 of its last 11, including a 17-10 win at Buffalo that clinched the club’s first AFC East title. Then came the first home playoff win since 1986, 34-24 over Jacksonville before a jubilant Meadowlands sellout crowd. But on a windy day at Denver’s Mile High Stadium, the Jets 10-0 lead with 25-and-a-half minutes to play, John Elway’s Broncos weren’t to be denied, striding back for the 23-10 victory on Jan. 17, 1999.
Eleven seasons later, Ryan didn’t wait long to get the Jets back as far as Parcells had gotten the ‘98 team. The ‘09 Jets went on a run of seven wins in eight games, including road playoff wins at Cincinnati and San Diego, before running out of gas in Lucas Oil Stadium in the second half of the AFC Championship Game in the 30-17 loss to the Colts.
Since Johnson took the franchises’s reins in 2000, the Jets have been to the postseason six times. Through ‘08 they tried to return to the Super Bowl under three coaches (Al Groh, Herm Edwards, Eric Mangini) and three dynamic QBs (Vinny Testaverde, Chad Pennington, Brett Favre). Now in Year 2 for Ryan, QB Mark Sanchez and a top-ranked defense, moving into a new stadium, the Jets may well have their best chance yet to find a companion for the single trophy that stands on display in the lobby of the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center.
AFL KICKOFF: The American Football League’s first organizational meeting was held in Chicago under the leadership of Lamar Hunt of Dallas. Charter franchises were granted to New York and Harry Wismer; Dallas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Denver and Houston (Aug. 14).
FEELING A DRAFT: The AFL held its first draft, lasting 33 rounds, then 20 more rounds 10 days later. The New York Titans took Notre Dame QB George Izo with their first overall pick (Nov. 22).
DIVISIONS OF LABOR: The league established its divisional setup, grouping the Titans in the East with Boston, Buffalo, Houston and placing Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles and Oakland in the West. BAUGH’S THE BOSS: Wismer hired Hall of Famer-to-be Sammy Baugh as the first coach of the New York Titans at $28,000 a year (Dec. 18).
FIRST IN THE FOLD: Flanker Don Maynard, a free agent after playing one season in the CFL, became the first Titans player to sign a contract. HOME TURF: Wismer gained access to New York’s Polo Grounds for Titans home games and established his team’s colors of blue and gold.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS: The Titans make a successful debut at the Polo Grounds, beating Buffalo in the rain, 27-3, before a crowd of 10,250 (5,727 paid) (Sept. 11). TOP HONOR: Guard Bob Mischak was named All-AFL, becoming the first all-league selection in franchise history.
TWO TO THE HOUSE: Dick Christy starred in the Titans’ 35-28 home-opening win over Denver with 70- and 64-yard punt-return touchdowns, still tied for the most PR scores in a game in league history (Sept. 24).
ANOTHER ARM: Minnesota QB Sandy Stephens was the Titans’ first pick of the 1962 draft (Dec. 2).
COACHING INTRIGUE: Wismer named Clyde “Bulldog” Turner to succeed Baugh as the Titans’ head coach, then when Baugh protested, agreed to pay off his former coach’s contract and keep Turner.
SIGNALCALLER SWAP: Lee Grosscup, the Giants’ backup quarterback in 1960-61, was signed just before the season opener, got the starting nod and directed a 28-17 victory over Oakland (Sept. 9).
RED INK RISING: Wismer was unable to meet his payroll and the AFL assumed the costs of running the Titans until the end of the season (Nov. 8)Headline
FIVE TAKE OVER: A five-man syndicate — David A. “Sonny” Werblin, Townsend B. Martin, Leon Hess, Donald C. Lillis and Philip H. Iselin — purchased the New York franchise for $1 million (March 28).
DAY OF CHANGE: Werblin and the new owners changed the franchise’s name from Titans to Jets. And the new owners named Weeb Ewbank, released by the Baltimore Colts, as the new coach and general manager of the team (April 15).
HAPPY CAMPERS: The Jets moved to Peekskill (N.Y.) Military Academy for their first training camp.
GRAND REOPENING: The Patriots prevailed, 38-14, in the rechristened Jets’ season opener at Boston College (Sept. 8).
HOME SWEET HOME: Rookie Marsh Starks had a 97-yard touchdown return of a missed field goal and Mark Smolinski’s TD run completed the fourth-quarter comeback to defeat the Houston Oilers, 24-17, in the Jets’ first home opener (Sept. 22).
SNELL SELECTED: Ohio State FB Matt Snell was chosen as the Jets’ No. 1 draft choice. Snell, also drafted by the NFL’s Giants, became the first No. 1 pick to sign with the Jets/Titans (Nov. 30).
K.C. MASTERPIECE: The Jets recorded the first shutout in club history with a 17-0 blanking of the Chiefs at the Polo Grounds (Dec. 1).
BIG TRADE: The Jets and Denver Broncos completed a nine player deal. The Jets sent Dick Guesman, Ed Cooke, Charlie Janerette, Jim Price and Sid Fournet to Denver for Gene Prebola, Wahoo McDaniel, Gordy Holtz and Bob Zeman (January).
BIG MONEY: The AFL and NBC announced a five-year, $36 million TV contract starting with the 1965 season (Jan. 29).
NEW HOME: The Jets officially moved into Shea Stadium with a season-opening 30-6 thumping of the Broncos. Jets TE Gene Heeter scored the first Shea TD on a 16-yard pass from Dick Wood (Sept. 12).
STANDING ROOM ONLY: The Jets, playing before their first Shea sellout, disappointed the crowd of 61,929 in a 20-7 loss to the Buffalo Bills (Nov. 8). BIG DEALS: The Jets traded rights to QB Jerry Rhome, their 25th-round draft pick, to Houston for a first-round choice, with which they selected Alabama QB Joe Namath (Nov. 28).
MATT-INEE IDOL: Snell, after rushing for 948 yards and catching 56 passes for 393 yards more, was named the AFL’s Rookie of the Year (Dec. 17).
JOE’S BIG BUCKS: The day after the Orange Bowl, Joe Namath signed a Jets contract for a then pro football record amount reported to be $427,000 (Jan. 2).
HUARTE ABOARD: Heisman Trophy winner John Huarte of Notre Dame signed a contract worth about $200,000, adding more than $600,000 worth of QB talent to the Jets roster in a week (Jan. 9).
WOUNDED KNEE: Namath, 23 days after signing his contract, underwent surgery in New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital to repair right knee cartilage and ligament damage (Jan. 25).
JOE UNVEILED: Namath played in his first game situation as a pro as the Jets’ rookies beat the Boston Patriots’ rookies in Lowell, Mass. (July 28). MORE JOE: After sitting for the season opener, Namath made his pro debut in the second quarter vs. Kansas City (Sept. 18), made his first start (19-for-40, 287 yards, two TDs) in a 33-21 loss at Buffalo (Sept. 26), and got his first starting victory (10-for-25, 180 yards, two TDs) in a 30-20 win over the Patriots at Fenway Park (Nov. 14).
AND FINALLY...: Namath was named the AFL’s Rookie of the Year after completing 164 of 340 passes for 2,220 yards, 18 TDs and 15 interceptions.
SEEING STARS: With Joe Namath at the offensive helm and earning the game’s MVP award, the AFL All-Stars beat Buffalo, 30-19 (Jan. 15). EXPAND, CONTRACT: The Jets lost Wahoo McDaniel, Willie West, Mike Hudock and LaVerne Torczon to the Miami Dolphins in the expansion draft (Jan. 16).
COME TOGETHER: Representatives of the AFL and NFL agreed to merge and play a world championship game following the 1966 season (June 8). SPOILERS: The Jets closed their otherwise disappointing 6-6-2 season at Shea by whipping Boston, 38-28, to cost the Patriots the Eastern Division title and a berth in the AFL Championship game (Dec. 17).
CRUSHING BLOW: RB Emerson Boozer was lost for the season after tearing knee ligaments during a 42-18 loss to the Chiefs at Kansas City. Boozer was challenging the pro touchdown record with 10 rushing TD and three receiving scores when he got hurt (Nov. 5).
WINNERS AT LAST: The Jets held off the Patriots, 29-24, at Boston to improve to 7-2-1 with four games left and clinch the first winning season in franchise history (Nov. 19).
400 CLUB: Joe Namath’s 415-yard passing game in a 29-7 home win over the Dolphins made him the first QB in club history to throw for 400 yards in a game (Oct. 1).
4,000 CLUB: Namath’s 343 yards in a season-ending 42-31 victory over the Chargers in San Diego on Christmas Eve gave him 4,007 yards for the season, making him the first QB in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards in a season (Dec. 24).
CHANGE AT THE TOP: Ownership partners Don Lillis, Leon Hess, Townsend Martin and Phil Iselin bought out Sonny Werblin, with Lillis assuming the club’s presidency (May 21). Lillis died (July 23). Iselin was appointed president and Mrs. Helen Springborn, Lillis’ daughter, joined the board of directors (Aug. 6).
CAMP RELOCATION: The Jets relocated their training camp to Hofstra University on Long Island in Hempstead, N.Y.
STORYBOOK TALE: The movie “Heidi” became a footnote in Jets and NFL history when NBC didn’t show the final 50 seconds of the Jets-Raiders game, in which the Jets had just taken a 32-29 lead with 1:05 to play, to allow the children’s special to begin on time. Oakland scored two TD in the last 42 seconds to win, 43-32 (Nov. 17).
ALL-PRO PARADE: Eleven Jets were named to the AFL’s All-Star squad, the most postseason honorees in franchise history.
CHAMPS AT LAST: The Jets defeated Oakland, 27-23, for their first AFL championship before 62,627 at Shea Stadium. Joe Namath passed for three TD, including the game-winner to Don Maynard (Dec. 29).
SUPER BOWL III: The Jets became the first AFL team to win the Super Bowl, pounding out a 16-7 victory over the NFL’s heavily favored Baltimore Colts at Miami’s Orange Bowl. Joe Namath (17-for-28, 206 yards), who “guaranteed” the victory three days earlier, was named Super Bowl MVP. Weeb Ewbank became the first coach to win world titles representing both leagues (Jan. 12).
NEW NEIGHBORS: Baltimore, Cleveland and Pittsburgh join the AFL clubs to complete the merger of the AFL and NFL. The Jets are placed in the new American Conference East with Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo and Miami (May 17).
NOT THE RETIRING TYPE: Namath announced his retirement from pro football in a dispute with the NFL over his ownership of a Manhattan bar, Bachelors III (June 6). Six weeks later, he announced the sale of Bachelors III and came out of retirement (July 18).
ALL-STAR FIRST: The Jets, the first AFL team to play in the Chicago preseason all-star game, defeated the College All-Stars, 26-24 (Aug. 1).
CROSSTOWN RIVALS: In a preseason game that had the feel of a regular-season rivalry, the Jets beat Giants, 37-14, at the Yale Bowl in the first meeting between New York’s pro football teams. Namath threw three TD passes and Mike Battle returned a punt 86 yards for a score (Aug. 17).
WHAT A KICK: Steve O’Neal launched a 98-yard punt in the milehigh air of Denver during the Jets’ 21-19 loss to the Broncos. The kick still stands as an NFL record for longest punt (Sept. 21).
ANOTHER CROWN: The Jets defeated the Oilers, 34-26, in the Astrodome to improve to 9-4 and clinch their second consecutive Eastern Division title (Dec. 6).
WINDED: Kansas City took its next step toward the Super Bowl by beating the Jets, 13-6, in the gusts of Shea Stadium in an AFL interdivisional playoff game (Dec. 20).
ALL-TIME BEST: Weeb Ewbank was named the all-time AFL coach and Namath, Don Maynard and Gerry Philbin were chosen to the league’s all-time first team as selected by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
STRIKE ONE: The NFLPA strike left the Jets with only rookies on hand as full training camp was set to open (July 19). Veterans reported to camp after missing three weeks due to the strike (Aug. 3).
MONDAY, MONDAY: The Jets opened the season with a 31-21 loss to their new AFC rivals, the Browns, in Cleveland in ABC’s inaugural Monday Night Football telecast (Sept. 21).
NEXT BAD BREAK: In the first meeting between the Jets and Colts since Super Bowl III, Joe Namath fractured his right wrist. He completed the game but then was sidelined for the rest of the season (Oct. 18).
NEW YORK, NEW YORK: The Jets and Giants met in the first regular-season game between the rivals, with the Giants coming back from a 10-3 third-quarter deficit for a 22-10 victory at soldout Shea Stadium (Nov. 1).
SHORT STAY: All-Pro WR George Sauer announced his retirement after only six seasons of teaming up with Don Maynard and Joe Namath in the Jets’ potent passing attack (April 16).
BIGGS BEGS OUT: Weeb Ewbank had a player exercise his option for the first time as DE Verlon Biggs signed with Washington, with the Redskins sending two draft choices to the Jets (June 10).
OH, JOE: Namath underwent surgery on his left knee after being hurt trying to make a tackle on a fumble return in the preseason opener against Detroit in Tampa (Aug. 7). After a streak of 19 regular-season games on the sideline, Namath returned in the second quarter vs. San Francisco and passed for 358 yards and three TDs in a 24-21 loss to the 49ers (Nov. 28).
DUEL FOR THE AGES: Joe Namath had the finest passing day of his vaunted career, completing 15 of 28 for 496 yards and six touchdowns as the Jets outlasted the Colts and Johnny Unitas, 44-34, in Baltimore. The teams combined for 872 passing yards, then an NFL record (Sept. 24).
ON A RAMPAGE: The Jets set a club record that still stands of 333 rushing yards in their 41-13 steamrolling of the Patriots in Foxboro. John Riggins (168) and Emerson Boozer (150) became the first and only RB tandem in franchise history to both rush for 150 yards in a game (Oct. 15).
MAYNARD MARK: Don Maynard became pro football’s all-time receiving leader with his 632nd career catch in the fourth quarter of a 24-16 Monday night loss at Oakland that eliminated the Jets from the playoffs (Dec. 11).
HIRING A WINNER: Charley Winner, former head coach of the St. Louis Cardinals, was hired as an assistant coach under Weeb Ewbank and was named to succeed Ewbank as Jets head coach for the 1974 season (Feb. 1).
EVICTION NOTICE: Due to the Mets’ presence in the World Series, the Jets were forced to play their first six games on the road. That included moving a home game against the Steelers to Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium, leaving the Jets with only six home games for the season.
SAD AND SWEET: Ewbank coached his last game after 11 years as the Jets’ football boss, but his departure was overshadowed by O.J. Simpson in the Buffalo Bills’ 34-14 rout at Shea. Simpson’s 200-yard rushing game gave him 2,003 yards for the year, making him the first player in NFL history to run for 2,000 yards in a season (Dec. 16).
STRIKE TWO: The Jets opened training camp with 31 rookies and one veteran as another NFLPA strike began (July 9). Playing with a team composed mainly of rookies, the Jets defeated Denver, 41-19, in the preseason opener (Aug. 3).
COMPLETING THE MOVE: The Jets’ new training facility opened at Hofstra University. The team first trained on the Hempstead, NY campus in 1968 (Sept. 3).
YALE LOCK: The Jets snapped the slump of their 1-7 start by posting their first regular-season win over their city rivals, the Giants, by 26-20 in overtime at the Yale Bowl. Joe Namath tied the score with a bootleg TD and won it on a 6-yard TD pass to Emerson Boozer (Nov. 10).
WEEB BOWS OUT: Weeb Ewbank announced his retirement as vice president of the Jets, effective at the end of the season (Nov. 12).
VICTORY BINGE: The Jets closed out the season with six consecutive victories to finish 7-7. In the streak were home upsets of playoff-bound Miami and Buffalo.
DISHING THE PICK: The Jets traded their first-round draft pick, 12th overall, to New Orleans for DE Billy Newsome (Jan. 28).
NEW LEADER: Al Ward, vice president of the Dallas Cowboys, was named Jets general manager to succeed Weeb Ewbank, who had retired (Feb. 13).
JOE WON’T GO: Joe Namath turned down a reported multimillion-dollar World Football League contract to sign a two-year contract with Jets (July 30).
STRIKE THREE: The final preseason game between the Jets and New England was canceled when the Patriots’ players went on strike (Sept. 14). The Jets’ players voted to support the strike and walked out of camp the week of their season opener at Buffalo (Sept. 16). The strike was settled and the Jets returned (Sept. 18).
VISITOR FROM THE EAST: Japan’s Emperor Hirohito attended the Jets’ home opener, a 36-7 romp over the Patriots at Shea Stadium (Oct. 5).
FIRING A WINNER: Charley Winner was dismissed as head coach after the Jets lost six games in a row and were in the AFC East cellar with a 2-7 record. Offensive coordinator Ken Shipp was named interim head coach (Nov. 19).
A GRAND BACK: John Riggins finished the Jets phase of his Hall of Fame career by becoming the first back in franchise history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Riggins’ fifth consecutive 100-yard game, for 121 yards against the Cowboys, gave him 1,005 for the season (Dec. 21).
HOLTZ ARRIVES: Lou Holtz, who had a successful four years at North Carolina State, signed a five-year contract to become the Jets’ head coach (Feb. 10).
DRAFT DÉJÀ VU: Eleven years after drafting Joe Namath, the Jets tabbed another Alabama QB in Richard Todd with their first-round selection (April 8).
ISELIN ILLNESS: President Phil Iselin, who led the Jets for eight years, suffered cardiac arrest while attending the team’s game at Denver (Sept. 19). Three months later, Iselin suffered a fatal heart attack while at his office (Dec. 28).
HOLTZ DEPARTS: Holtz, deciding he wasn’t right for the pros, resigned as Jets head coach with one game to go and returned to college coaching. Mike Holovak was named interim coach for the season finale vs. Cincinnati (Dec. 9).
JOE’S LAST STAND: Namath played in what was to be his final game as a Jet in a 42-3 loss to the Bengals (Dec. 12).
WALT’S TIME: Veteran defensive coach Walt Michaels signed a three-year contract to become Jets head coach. Also, Leon Hess was named acting president (Jan. 5).
WAIVE GOODBYE: Joe Namath, who wore No. 12 and was a symbol of the Jets for 12 years, was granted his freedom as he was placed on waivers when a special trade attempt with Los Angeles was unsuccessful (April 1-April 12). A month later, he signed as a free agent with Rams (May 12).
SHEA HEY: After a two-month court struggle, the Jets were guaranteed two September games and two October games for each of the remaining six years of the Jets’ Shea Stadium lease with New York City beginning in 1978. State Supreme Court Justice Harold Baer also allowed the Jets to play two preseason games plus their 1977 home opener in the Meadowlands (May 26).
KENSIL ASCENDS: Jim Kensil, executive director of the NFL since 1968, was named president and chief operating officer of the Jets. Hess, who served as acting president, became chairman of the board and chief executive officer for corporate matters (June 6).
WARD RESIGNS: Al Ward, Jets general manager since 1975, resigned (Dec. 30). He became assistant to the president of the AFC (April 1978).
FAME-OUS WEEB: Weeb Ewbank was selected to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Jan. 23).
JOE HANGS ‘EM UP: Joe Namath announced his retirement from football. GREEN CHANGES: For the first time since 1963, the Jets changed their uniform design. The team also adopted a new logo and changed the helmet to green (Feb. 27).
MICHAELS HONORED: Walt Michaels, who kept the youngest team in the NFL in playoff contention for 15 games, was named AFC Coach of the Year by UPI and by the Pro Football Writers of America.
MNF DISTINCTION: The Jets defeated the Vikings, 14-7, at Shea Stadium in the first Monday Night Football telecast to originate from the New York City area (Oct. 15).
CLOSING KICK: The Jets defeated AFC East rivals Baltimore (30-17), New England (27-26) and Miami (27-24) in the final three games of the year to finish 8-8.
MATT HEADS WEST: Backup QB Matt Robinson was traded to Denver for the Broncos’ 1980 first- and second-round draft picks and QB Craig Penrose (Feb. 1).
ON THE LAM: The Jets send their two first-round picks, 13th and 20th overall, to San Francisco for the 49ers’ second pick, which they used to selected Texas WR Johnny “Lam” Jones (April 29).
ON TARGET IN DEFEAT: Richard Todd completed 42 of 60 passes for 447 yards and three TD, breaking the NFL’s record for completions in a game, and FB Clark Gaines caught 17 of those passes, setting a team record that still stands, but neither could salvage a 37-27 loss to the 49ers at Shea (Sept. 21).
OWNER SHIFT: Townsend Martin sold his 25 percent interest in the Jets to Leon Hess, who assumed 75 percent ownership of the club. Helen Dillon remained at 25 percent (March 2).
RETURN TO PLAYOFFS: With their 28-3 victory over Green Bay at Shea, the Jets finished 10-5-1 and clinched their first playoff berth since 1969 (Dec. 20).
SACKMASTERS: In that Packers pummeling, the Jets added nine more sacks to finish the season with 66, at the time one shy of the NFL record. Ends Joe Klecko and Mark Gastineau, the leaders of the New York Sack Exchange, unofficially finished 1-2 in the NFL with 20.5 and 20 sacks respectively (Dec. 20).
BILLS COME DUE: After fighting back from a 24-0 deficit, the Jets’ dreams died when Buffalo’s Bill Simpson intercepted a Richard Todd pass on his 2 in the final 10 seconds to secure the Bills’ 31-27 Wild-Card win at Shea (Dec. 27).
KNEED TO THE SIDE: DE Joe Klecko was lost for 14 weeks after suffering a ruptured patella tendon in his knee in the fourth quarter of a 31-7 win at New England (Sept. 19).
STRIKE FOUR: The NFLPA struck pro football following the second regular-season weekend (Sept. 21). The league and the players’ association agreed on a five-year contract to end the 57-day strike and to play an abbreviated nine-game schedule with a 16-team playoff format for the 1982 season (Nov. 16).
MUDDY END: The Jets won five of their last seven after the strike to finish 6-3 and reach the postseason for the second consecutive year. Then they posted road playoff wins at Cincinnati and the L.A. Raiders before falling to Miami, 14-0, in the Orange Bowl mud in the AFC title game.
FREEMAN’S THE ONE: Freeman McNeil became the first Jet to lead the NFL in rushing as he finished with 786 yards on 151 carries (5.2 avg.) in the strike-shortened nine-game ‘82 season (Jan. 2).
WALT TO WALTON: After six seasons as head coach Walt Michaels announced his retirement (Feb. 9). The next day offensive coordinator Joe Walton was named head coach and defensive coordinator Joe Gardi was promoted to assistant head coach (Feb. 10).
RELOCATION PROJECT: Citing Shea Stadium as “rundown, neglected and the NFL’s poorest facility for athletes and spectators alike,” the Jets announced plans to move to the Meadowlands for the 1984 season (Oct. 6).
SHEA SWAN SONG: The Jets dropped a 34-7 decision to Pittsburgh in their final home game at Shea Stadium (Dec. 10).
HESS OWNS IT ALL: Leon Hess assumed full ownership of the team as Helen Dillon, a partner since 1968, sold her 25 percent interest in the club (Feb. 9).
TA-TA, TODD: The Jets concluded a week of trading by sending QB Richard Todd to New Orleans for a first-round pick, 15th overall (Feb. 18).
NEW DIGS: The Jets got off on the wrong foot in their new Meadowlands home with a nationally televised 23-17 Thursday night loss to Pittsburgh despite a 97-yard kickoff-return TD by Bobby Humphery (Sept. 6).
ON THE MARK: Mark Gastineau led the NFL in sacks for the second straight year, this time with a then league-record 22 sacks, which earned him his fourth out of five Pro Bowl appearances (Dec. 13).
NO. 12: In an emotional halftime ceremony televised nationally on Monday night, Namath came down from the ABC announcers’ booth to have his uniform number retired. The Jets then completed their 23-7 win over Miami (Oct. 14).
POINTED RESPONSE: The Jets scored the most points in club history in trouncing Tampa Bay, 62-28. The Green & White racked up 581 yards of offense, with Ken O’Brien tossing five TD passes, three to TE Mickey Shuler (Nov. 17).
SUPERFLY: O’Brien and WR Wesley Walker connected for the longest scrimmage play in club history, a 96-yard touchdown pass that opened a 14-0 lead en route to the Jets’ 27-7 win over the Bills at Buffalo (Dec. 8).
PLAYOFF CLINCHER: With a 37-10 home victory over Cleveland, the Jets finished 11-5 and clinched their third playoff spot in five years. O’Brien finished with a 96.2 passer rating to became the first Jets QB to lead the NFL in that category (Dec. 22).
DEATH BY TURNOVERS: The Jets gave the ball away four times, including on a fumbled kickoff that New England returned for a TD, in dropping a 26-14 Wild-Card decision to the Patriots, who went on to Super Bowl XX (Dec. 28).
AIR WARS: WR Wesley Walker set the club record for most touchdowns in a game with four TD receptions and Ken O’Brien’s Jets (449) and Dan Marino’s Dolphins (435) combined for 884 net passing yards — still the NFL record — in the Jets’ 51-45 overtime thriller (Sept. 21).
HOT START: The Jets won their ninth straight game — still a franchise record — as two late touchdowns propelled them to a 31-16 home win over Indianapolis and a 10-1 record (Nov. 16).
HURT FINISH: But the Green & White lost their last five games and limped into the playoffs because of a rash of injuries to key players. Pro Bowl LB Lance Mehl was lost for the season with a knee injury (Oct. 26). DE Mark Gastineau suffered a knee injury in the Colts win that cost him the rest of the regular season. And NT Joe Klecko and OT Reggie McElroy both needed reconstructive surgery after knee injuries vs. Pittsburgh (Dec. 13).
I, TOON: Al Toon elevated himself among the NFL’s wide receivers with 85 receptions, the most in a season in club history and second in the AFC. He was voted team MVP and selected for his first Pro Bowl (Dec. 17).
ERIE ENDING: In one of the most disappointing losses in their history, the Jets dropped a 23-20 decision to the Browns on Mark Moseley’s 27-yard field goal 17:02 into overtime after holding a 20-10 lead at the two-minute warning in regulation (Jan. 3).
HALL OF A WIDEOUT: Don Maynard joined teammate Joe Namath and coach Weeb Ewbank as Jets to be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Jan. 27) and to become officially inducted into Canton (Aug. 8).
STRIKE FIVE: The NFLPA began a strike following the Jets’ 43-24 romp over the Patriots on Monday Night Football ended the schedule for the second week of the season (Sept. 22).
COMEBACK PLAYERS: After Week 3 of the season was canceled, the next three games (Weeks 4-6) were played by teams of replacement players. The NFLPA sent its striking players back to work for the remainder of a 15-game regular season. In their first game back, the Jets fell to the Redskins at RFK Stadium, 17-16 (Oct. 25).
LUCKY 13: Flanked by fellow Jets Hall of Famers Ewbank and Namath, Maynard was presented with his Hall of Fame ring and his uniform number (13) was retired in halftime ceremonies of a 19-14 loss to Indianapolis (Nov. 1).
TRUCKED OUT: Joe Klecko, the only defensive player in NFL history to make the Pro Bowl at three different positions (DE, DT, NT), was waived upon failing his physical after the club recommended he retire (Feb. 8).
SPINNING TOP: Jim Kensil took medical retirement after serving 11 seasons as team president, and Steve Gutman, the club’s corporate treasurer and administrative manager since 1977, was named as Kensil’s successor (June 14).
LOST LINEBACKERS: The Jets said goodbye to two veteran LBs in training camp as former Pro Bowler Lance Mehl announced his retirement and Bob Crable injured his knee, underwent reconstructive surgery, was lost for the year and retired after the season (August).
GUSHER: The Jets scored 45 unanswered points in a 45-3 rout of the Oilers, with the 42-point margin of victory still the largest in franchise history.
MARK’S TIME: Citing personal reasons, DE Mark Gastineau left the team in midseason, announced his retirement, and was placed on reserve/retired (Oct. 21).
MORE TOON: WR Al Toon, with 93 catches, became the only Jet to lead the NFL in receptions since the 1970 merger and set the franchise record that still stands.
PRIME-TIME HISTORY: The Jets lost at home to Oakland, 14-7, on Monday Night Football in the Raiders head-coaching debut of Art Shell, who became the first African-American head coach in the NFL’s modern era (Oct. 9).
FUMBLE RUMBLE: Safety Erik McMillan equaled the NFL record for most fumble-return touchdowns in a season (2) when, two weeks after he had a 74-yard return TD at New Orleans, he had a 45-yard return score vs. San Francisco (Oct. 29).
IMPORTANT HIRE: Owner Leon Hess and president Steve Gutman named Dick Steinberg, the former New England director of player development, as the Jets’ vice president/general manager (Dec. 18).
WALTON ERA ENDS: Joe Walton’s Jets finished 4-12 with a lifeless 37-0 home loss to Buffalo (Dec. 23), setting the stage for Steinberg, citing the need for the team to get off to a “fresh start,” to announce Walton’s dismissal and the start of a head-coaching search (Dec. 26).
COSLET’S THE COACH: GM Dick Steinberg concluded his search by naming Cincinnati offensive coordinator Bruce Coslet as the eighth full-time head coach in club history (Feb. 6).
UNIFORM CHANGE: For the fourth time in franchise history and third time in Jets annals, the team changed uniform designs. The Jets added black to accent their green and white colors and switched to green pants as part of their road uniforms (Sept. 9).
LIDLIFTER: The Jets registered their first win of the Steinberg-Coslet era with a 24-21 win over Cleveland in their home opener (Sept. 16).
RECORD RETURN: Rookie WR-KR Terance Mathis tied an NFL record, broken in 1994, when he returned a punt 98 yards for a touchdown in the 24-9 Meadowlands victory over Dallas (Nov. 4).
OLÉ, RAÚL: Raúl Allegre’s 44-yard field goal as time expired sent the Jets’ do-or-die game against Miami to overtime, where Allegre won it, 23-20, with a 30-yarder as the Jets, despite their 8-8 record, returned to the playoffs (Dec. 22).
PAT ON THE BACK: Kicker Pat Leahy retired on a down note after missing the regular-season finale vs. Miami and the playoff game. But Leahy finished his remarkable 18-year career, all as a Jet, with 1,470 points, which still stands as the franchise’s career scoring mark.
DRY HOLE: In their first playoff game in five years, the Jets came up short on several key second-half plays and lost to the Oilers in the Astrodome, 17-10 (Dec. 29).
PASSING FANCY: After a strong showing in the Jets’ 5-0 preseason, Browning Nagle took over the offensive controls and threw for 366 yards and a touchdown in the season-opening 20-17 loss at Atlanta. The yardage total was the second-highest at the time by a QB making his first NFL start (Sept. 6).
TOON OUT: After suffering a severe concussion in Game 9 at Denver, WR Al Toon announced his retirement. Toon left the game with a club-record 101-game pass-catching streak (Nov. 27).
HORRIFIC COLLISION: DE Dennis Byrd was partially paralyzed in a freak collision with teammate Scott Mersereau in the third quarter of the Jets’ 23-7 Game 12 loss vs. Kansas City (Nov. 29). Byrd had spinal surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital (Dec. 3), then was moved to Mount Sinai Medical Center to begin his rehabilitation (Dec. 9).
SLUMPBUSTERS: Inspired by Byrd, the Jets defeated the AFC East-leading Bills, 24-17, in Buffalo. SS Brian Washington sealed the upset with a fourth-quarter interception of Jim Kelly that he returned for the winning TD (Dec. 6).
SIGNIFICANT HONOR: The Jets honored Byrd with the Most Inspirational Player Award, which the next year was renamed the Dennis Byrd Award and has been presented annually to the Jets’ “Most Inspirational Player” as voted by the team.
BYRD WALKS: Dennis Byrd, with the aid of two canes, walked into a news conference at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York to announce he would be leaving New York and returning home to Tulsa, Okla., to continue his rehab (Feb. 12). Byrd returned to the Meadowlands for the first time since his paralyzing accident, walking unaided onto the field to be honored at halftime ceremonies on opening day (Sept. 5).
LOTT SIGNS: GM Dick Steinberg made his first major signing under the NFL’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement by adding nine-time Pro Bowl S Ronnie Lott to the Jets’ roster (March 8).
BOOMER COMES HOME: Steinberg completed a trade with Cincinnati, bringing Pro Bowl QB and Long Island native Boomer Esiason to the Jets in exchange for a third-round draft pick (March 17).
O’BRIEN PACKS IT IN: QB Ken O’Brien, at the time second on the Jets’ all-time passing list, was traded to Green Bay for a fifth-round draft pick (Apr. 5).
McNEIL RETIRES: RB Freeman McNeil, then the Jets’ all-time leading rusher and 14th on the NFL’s all-time list, retired. McNeil set an NFL record with at least a 4.0 yard average in each of his 12 seasons (Apr. 21).
DRAFT-DAY TRADE: The Jets traded the third selection in the draft to Phoenix in exchange for the Cardinals’ fourth overall pick and Pro Bowl RB Johnny Johnson. Then the Jets drafted the player they had wanted, Florida State All-America LB Marvin Jones (Apr. 25).
SHULA DENIED: The Jets defeated Miami, 27-10, at the Meadowlands, forcing Dolphins coach Don Shula to wait another week before getting his 325th career victory and breaking George Halas’ all-time record (Nov. 7).
SUPER REUNION: The members of the Jets’ Super Bowl III team were reunited at the game against the Bengals to celebrate the 25th anniversary season of that historic victory. A weekend of activities was capped by the players being honored at halftime of the Jets’ 17-12 victory over the Bengals while wearing “throwback” uniforms (Nov. 21).
CARROLL PROMOTED: Defensive coordinator Pete Carroll became the ninth full-time head coach in club history when he replaced Bruce Coslet, who compiled a 26-38 record in his four seasons at the helm (Jan. 7).
RECORD CROWD: The franchise’s largest home crowd to date, 75,606, watched the Jets battle Miami for a share of first place in the AFC East. The Jets led, 24-6, in the third quarter before Dan Marino led a furious comeback, capped by the “fake spike” TD pass to Mark Ingram, for the Dolphins’ 28-24 win (Nov. 27).
STEINBERG ILLNESS: The team announced before its season finale against the Houston Oilers that vice president/general manager Dick Steinberg had stomach cancer (Dec. 24). Steinberg died Sept. 25, 1995.
RICHIE’S BALL: Owner Leon Hess named Rich Kotite the 10th full-time head coach in franchise history after firing Pete Carroll after the Jets finished 6-10 in his only season as coach (Jan. 5).
MOORE, MOORE, MOORE: WR Rob Moore was traded to Arizona the night prior to the draft for RB Ronald Moore and the Cardinals’ No. 1 choice (Apr. 21). As a result, the Jets held two first-round picks for the first time since 1984 (Russell Carter, Ron Faurot) and selected Penn State TE Kyle Brady and DE Hugh Douglas from Central State of Ohio (Apr. 22).
KOTITE’S FIRST: Kotite won his first game as Jets head coach with a 27-10 victory over the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars at the Meadowlands (Sept. 17).
WAYNE’S WORLD: WR Wayne Chrebet, the rookie FA from Hofstra, passed WR Al Toon the previous week, then became the Jets’ all-time leading rookie receiver with four catches at New England in game 14, surpassing Matt Snell’s 56-catch mark set in 1964 (Dec. 10).
THANK HUGH: Douglas was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after leading all first-year players with a team-rookie-record 10 sacks.
NEIL LEADS PARADE: QB Neil O’Donnell, after leading Pittsburgh to four straight playoff appearances that included a berth in Super Bowl XXX, signed with the Jets as an unrestricted free agent (Feb. 28). O’Donnell was one of a long line of veteran free agents that included tackles Jumbo Elliott and David Williams, WR Jeff Graham and QB Frank Reich, to join the Jets in the off-season.
KEY DRAFT PICK: For the first time in club history, the Jets had the first overall pick of the NFL Draft and selected Southern Cal All-America WR Keyshawn Johnson (Apr. 20).
O’DONNELL’S WOES: O’Donnell suffered a shoulder injury in Game 6 against Oakland (Oct. 6). After sitting out six games, the QB was preparing to return for Game 13 vs. Houston when he tore a calf muscle during pregame warmups (Dec. 1), which would sideline him the rest of the season.
MURRELL GETS A THOU: With 103 rushing yards in a loss at Buffalo, RB Adrian Murrell reached 1,000 yards for the season (Nov. 24) and ultimately became only the third RB in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards for a one-win team.
KOTITE STEPS ASIDE: Two days before the season finale against Miami, Rich Kotite stepped aside as head coach (Dec. 20). The loss to the Dolphins dropped Kotite’s two-season record to 4-28.
A PRESIDENT PASSES: Former Jets president and NFL official Jim Kensil, who spent 12 seasons with the club from 1977-88 and helped guide the Jets to four playoff appearances before retiring, died (Jan. 16).
A LITTLE BUBBLY: The Jets upgraded their Hofstra University practice facilities with improved grass and turf fields and a new air-supported indoor practice bubble (July 2).
BOFFO DEBUT: Jets fans had to be delirious with the result of the first game of the Parcells era, a 41-3 rout of the Seahawks in Seattle in which Neil O’Donnell threw five touchdown passes and the Jets gained 434 yards.
A.G. ACHIEVEMENT: Aaron Glenn became the first cornerback in franchise history to be named a starter in a pro football all-star game when he was elected to the Pro Bowl (Dec. 11).
WINNERS AGAIN: The Jets didn’t make it to the playoffs in Parcells’ first year, but they posted their first winning season at 9-7 in nine years and at least played in a win-you’re-in-lose-you’re-out game, the regular-season finale at Detroit in which Barry Sanders and the Lions prevailed, 13-10 (Dec. 21).
THE NEXT NEW LOOK: The Green & White went back to the future with a “new” logo. Actually, the team returned to the uniform and logo worn at the Jets’ inception in 1963 and during their Super Bowl III victory season (Feb. 3).
THEIR FAVORITE MARTIN: RB Curtis Martin officially became a New York Jet as the restricted free agent offer sheet he signed was not matched by the Patriots. The Jets did have to give up first and third-round picks, but coach Bill Parcells stated that Martin was worth it (March 25).
VINNY FROM ELMONT: QB Vinny Testaverde signed as a free agent and returned to Long Island, where he grew up, and fulfilled a lifetime dream of playing for the Jets. With the signing, QB Neil O’Donnell was released (June 24).
DIVISION CONQUERED: The Jets defeated the Bills, 17-10, at Buffalo to clinch their first AFC East title. The tough road victory also assured them of a first-round bye in the playoffs (Dec. 19).
A DOZEN W’S: The Jets set a club season record for victories when they beat the New England Patriots, 31-10, in their regular-season finale for their 12th win (Dec. 27).
HOME FOR THE PLAYOFFS: The Jets, playing in their first home playoff game since 1986, won their first playoff game since that season when they defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Meadowlands, 34-24 (Jan. 10).
FALLING SHORT AT MILE HIGH: The Jets took a 10-0 third-quarter lead but were unable to play the mistake-free football they had played all season in committing six turnovers and saw the Broncos come back for a 23-10 victory in Denver en route to defending their Super Bowl championship (Jan. 17).
VINNY’S SPOILS: Vinny Testaverde, after going 12-1 as the regular-season starting QB, throwing a club-record 29 TD passes, being named team MVP, guiding the Jets to the AFC Championship Game and playing in the Pro Bowl, was signed to a three-year deal with a four-year option (March 1).
HESS PASSES ON: Owner Leon Hess died at 85 due to complications from a blood disease (May 7). Hess started Hess Oil from his father’s one truck heating oil delivery business during the depression and built it into a multibillion-dollar company. He was one of a group of five who originally bought the New York Titans out of bankruptcy in 1963, and he became the sole owner of the Jets in 1984.
JETS FOR SALE: The estate of Leon Hess announced the Jets would be sold according to wishes expressed in Hess’ will (May 21).
ACHILLES HEEL: Testaverde ruptured his Achilles tendon in the second quarter of the season opener against New England and was lost for the season (Sept. 12). It was the first of numerous injuries as 15 Jets combined to miss 108 games and 89 starts due to injuries.
TUNA SWIMS UPSTAIRS: Bill Parcells announced a day after the 1999 season ended that “I’m not going to coach any more football games.” Parcells stayed on as director of football operations, and by contract Bill Belichick took over for Parcells as head coach (Jan. 3).
ONE AND DONE I: A day after taking the job, Belichick stunned the Jets and the football world by resigning as head coach, citing the uncertainty of the new ownership situation. Jets president Steve Gutman said Belichick had a signed contract “that is clear, unambiguous and specific” (Jan. 4).
WOODY’S TEAM: The estate of Leon Hess entered into an agreement to sell the New York Jets to Robert Wood Johnson IV for $635 million. The NFL voted unanimously to accept its finance committee’s recommendation to approve the sale to Woody Johnson (Jan. 18).
GROH STEPS UP: The Jets elevated linebackers coach Al Groh to head coach, making him the 12th full-time head coach in the franchise’s 40-year history (Jan. 24).
DEAL STRUCK: After NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and Federal Judge John W. Bissell ruled the Jets’ contract with Belichick was valid, Parcells and New England owner Robert Kraft ended the “border war” between the teams and brokered compensation for Belichick to become head coach of the Patriots. The Jets received the Pats’ first-round pick (16th overall) in the 2000 draft plus its fourth- and seventh-round picks in 2001. The Jets sent the Patriots a fifth-round pick in 2001 and a seventh-rounder in 2002 (Jan. 27).
KEY TRADE: The Jets sent WR Keyshawn Johnson, the first overall pick in the 1996 draft, to Tampa Bay for two first-round draft choices (Nos. 13 and 27) in the 2000 draft (April 12).
FOUR OF A KIND: The Jets became the first team ever to make four first-round selections in the NFL Draft, selecting DE Shaun Ellis at No. 12, DE John Abraham at No. 13, QB Chad Pennington at No. 18 and TE Anthony Becht at No. 27 (April 15).
CROSS TABBED TO HEAD JETS DEVELOPMENT: Jay Cross, president of business operations of the NBA’s Miami Heat, was hired as president of Jets development (July 25).
TESTAVERDE RETURNS: QB Vinny Testaverde, who missed virtually all of 1999 with a ruptured Achilles’ tendon, completed 23 of 44 for 261 yards and a TD in the Jets’ season-opening 20-16 win at Green Bay, the first victory in their club-record 4-0 start (Sept. 3).
MIRACULOUS: The fourth comeback victory of the season was the most incredible in franchise history as the Jets rallied from a 30-7 deficit for a 40-37 overtime victory over the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football at the Meadowlands. The Green & White scored a club-record 30 fourth-quarter points en route to the biggest comeback in franchise history (Oct. 23).
ONE AND DONE II: After less than one year on the job, Groh accepted an offer to coach at his alma mater, the University of Virginia (Dec. 29).
OVER AND OUT: Bill Parcells resigned from the Jets, ending his four-year reign (three as head coach) in charge of the football operations with a 39-26 regular-season record and 1-1 in the postseason (Jan. 9).
GIVE MY REGARDS: Two days after Parcells resigned, owner Woody Johnson chose Terry Bradway, the Kansas City Chiefs’ vice president of player personnel, as his new general manager (Jan. 11).
HERM’S TURN: The Jets named Herman Edwards, Tampa Bay’s assistant head coach and secondary coach, as their 13th full-time head coach. Edwards was tabbed after he, Maurice Carthon, Dom Capers and Ted Cottrell interviewed with Johnson and Bradway (Jan. 18).
JOB WELL DONE: Bill Hampton, the Jets’ equipment manager for 37 seasons, retired and turned over the department’s reins to his son, Clay (March 1).
TERROR HITS HOME: The second week of the season was postponed due to the terror attacks against the United States. The games were rescheduled to be played after the original last week of the regular season (Sept. 13).
HERM’S FIRST: Edwards earned his first NFL head-coaching win when the Jets defeated the Patriots, 10-3, at New England (Sept. 23).
EMOTIONAL MONDAY: The Jets honored the victims and heroes of the World Trade Center attacks in a stirring pregame ceremony before their 19-17 loss to the 49ers on Monday Night Football. Edwards presented the game ball the Jets players had presented to him after his first NFL head-coaching win the week before to New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (Oct. 1).
HALL OF A KICK: John Hall’s 53-yard field goal with 59 seconds left lifted the Jets over the Raiders, 24-22, in Oakland in the regular-season finale and into the playoffs. Herm Edwards thus became the first coach in club history to guide his team to the playoffs in his first year at the helm. The Jets’ reward: a return trip to Oakland six days later for the AFC Wild Card Game (Jan. 6).
RAIDERS’ REVENGE: The Jets fell to Oakland in the rematch in a 38-24 Saturday night shootout that was the NFL’s first-ever prime-time postseason game (Jan. 12).
MORTON’S OF BUFFALO: Chad Morton became the first player in NFL history to return kickoffs for TD in both regulation and overtime, with his 96-yard OT return lifting the Jets past the Bills at Buffalo, 37-31, on opening day (Sept. 8).
PACKING FOR PLAYOFFS: The Jets qualified for the playoffs and won the AFC East when their 42-17 thumping of the Green Bay Packers followed New England’s 24-21 OT win over Miami. The Jets, Patriots and Dolphins all finished at 9-7, with the Green & White winning the division based on a better record in common-opponent games (9-5 to the Pats’ and Dolphins’ 8-6 records) (Dec. 29).
PENNINGTON IMPACT: The Green Bay game was QB Chad Pennington’s 12th of the season and was his best of the regular season in terms of passer rating — his 17-for-24 accuracy for 196 yards and four TD gave him a 134.7 rating and lifted his season rating to 104.2, the best in club history and the top mark among qualifying NFL quarterbacks (Dec. 29).
COLTS CORRALED: The Jets rolled to the first postseason shutout in club history when they blanked Indianapolis, 41-0, in the AFC Wild Card Game. The 41-0 win tied the New York Giants (2002 NFC Championship vs. Minnesota) for the second-most points in a shutout victory in NFL history (Jan. 4).
TARGETING D-ROB: The Jets traded two first-round draft choices (Nos. 13 and 22) and a conditional pick to Chicago for the Bears’ fourth overall pick (April 25). The next day they selected Kentucky DT Dewayne Robertson fourth overall.
JOE’S NEW TITLE: The Jets announced that Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath would serve as the club’s ambassador-at-large (June 25).
EASTERN EXPOSURE: The Jets became New York’s first pro football team to travel to Asia as they took on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the defending Super Bowl champions, in the American Bowl. The Bucs downed the Jets in the Tokyo Dome, 30-14, in the season’s first preseason game (Aug. 2).
CHAD’S CALAMITY: QB Chad Pennington suffered a fracture/dislocation of his left wrist while scrambling out of the pocket during the annual preseason game against the New York Giants (Aug. 23). He had surgery that night and was able to return to action 10 weeks after the operation in relief of Vinny Testaverde against the Eagles in Philadelphia (Oct. 26).
THURSDAY KICKOFF: The Jets kicked off the NFL’s regular season, opening the schedule with a 16-13 Thursday night loss to the Redskins at Washington (Sept. 4).
FIVE ALIVE: After a rare home opener, a win against the Bengals, the Jets reeled off four more wins to open the season 5-0 for the first time in franchise history. Included in the streak were wins at San Diego and Miami, then home over Buffalo and San Francisco (Oct. 17).
CHAD CUFFED: QB Chad Pennington suffered what turned out to be the first rotator cuff tear in his throwing shoulder when falling awkwardly at the end of scramble in the third quarter of the 22-17 loss at Buffalo (Nov. 7). Pennington missed three games before returning to lead a 29-7 win over Houston (Dec. 5), and he played through the playoffs before undergoing surgery (Feb. 8).
MAWAE-HAWAI’I VI: Kevin Mawae was selected to play in his sixth consecutive Pro Bowl. It was the second-longest all-star streak in club history behind OT Winston Hill, who played in seven straight, three AFL All-Star Games and four Pro Bowls, from 1967-73 (Dec. 29).
CURT BY A NOSE: RB Curtis Martin gained just enough in the regular-season finale at St. Louis, 153 yards on 28 carries, to edge Seattle’s Shaun Alexander by a single yard for the NFL’s 2004 rushing title. Martin, with 1,697 yards, became just the second player in club history to capture the prestigious title, 23 years after Freeman McNeil (Jan. 2).
VAUNTED VILMA: LB Jonathan Vilma, the Jets’ first-round draft choice, was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (Jan. 7).
WORKING OVERTIME: The Jets became the first NFL team to play three consecutive overtime games, including their regular-season-ending 32-29 loss in St. Louis (Jan. 2), their 20-17 Wild Card win at San Diego (Jan. 8) and their heartbreaking 20-17 Divisional Round loss at Pittsburgh (Jan. 15).
CHAD CUFFED II: Chad Pennington suffered the second rotator cuff tear in his right shoulder in less than a year when his arm was yanked from behind as he was trying to pass against Jacksonville (Sept. 25). He then underwent arthroscopic surgery, his second shoulder operation in eight months (Oct. 6).
VINNY REDUX: Vinny Testaverde was signed as the emergency backup to Brooks Bollinger (Sept. 27) after Pennington and No. 2 QB Jay Fielder were injured vs. the Jaguars. Testaverde moved into the starting lineup and directed an inspirational 14-12 home win over Tampa Bay (Oct. 9) before losing his next three starts and handing the reins back to Bollinger.
END OF A TRADITION: The Jets, who played in ABC’s first Monday Night Football telecast in 1970, played in the network’s last in a 31-21 loss to New England at the Meadowlands (Dec. 26).
DEAL HERM OUT: Jets deal head coach Herm Edwards to Kansas City for the Chiefs’ fourth-round draft choice. General manager Terry Bradway immediately began setting up interviews to find a successor (Jan. 6).
ERIC'S ERA: Eric Mangini was hired as the team’s 14th full-time head coach. Mangini, a Jets defensive assistant under Bill Parcells from 1997-99 became, at the time, the 15th-youngest head coach in league history, holding his introductory news conference two days before his 35th birthday (Jan. 17).
T, TOO: Mike Tannenbaum is promoted to general manager by Woody Johnson as Terry Bradway steps back to focus exclusively on player personnel and the draft (Feb. 7).
ABE TRADED: The Jets completed a three-team trade with Atlanta and Denver that sent DE John Abraham, one of their first-round picks in 2000, to the Falcons for the 29th overall pick, which the Broncos traded to the Falcons (March 21).
BRICK AND NICK: The Jets begin rebuilding their offensive line through the draft by selecting tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson with their fourth overall pick and center Nick Mangold with the 29th pick from the Abraham deal (April 29). NO. 80 SAYS GOODBYE: Wayne Chrebet, one of the most popular players in franchise history, announced his retirement from football (June 2).
PATS ON THE BACK: After a 4-4 first half, the Jets opened the second half of the season with a 17-14 upset of the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, Mangini’s “home office” for the previous four seasons (Nov. 12).
FANTASTIC FINISH: The Jets picked up speed with five wins in their last six games to gain the AFC’s fifth seed in the playoffs. The victory that locked it up was the solid 23-3 home win over the Raiders on New Year’s Eve that secured a 10-6 record and clinched the postseason berth (Dec. 31).
LYING IN WAIT: The Jets’ second visit of the season to Gillette Stadium didn’t go as well as the first in November as the Patriots pulled away for a 37-16 AFC Wild Card victory (Jan. 7).
NEW BACK IN TOWN: The Jets announced the acquisition of the Bears’ Thomas Jones after negotiating a contract extension with his agent and swapping second-round picks, their 37th overall for the Bears’ 63rd (March 6).
TRADE WINDS: Mike Tannenbaum consummated two dramatic first-day draft trade-ups, moving 11 rungs to No. 14 overall in a trade with Carolina to select CB Darrelle Revis, then 16 slots in Round 2 to No. 47 in a trade with Green Bay to take LB David Harris (April 27).
FAREWELL, CURT: RB Curtis Martin formally announced his retirement from the Jets and the NFL with an 11-stop media blitz around New York City. “Retirement’s not an end but a beginning ...I don’t see this as a sad time,” Martin said (July 26).
CHREBET ENCORE: Wayne Chrebet returned to the Meadowlands turf one more time to be honored at halftime on Wayne Chrebet Day. Fittingly, the Jets defeated No. 80’s favorite opponents, the Dolphins, 31-28, for their first win of the season (Sept. 23).
REMEMBER THE TITANS: The Jets set aside their green and white uniforms for navy and gold throwback threads worn by the New York Titans of 1960-62 and recognized four Titans who went on to play for the Jets’ Super Bowl III team — WR Don Maynard, RB Bill Mathis, LB Larry Grantham and P Curley Johnson. The new look didn’t help in the 16-9 loss to the Eagles (Oct. 14), but the Jets served in the navy one more time and scored their most points of the season in their 40-13 victory at Miami (Dec. 2).
NO. 28 AGAIN: Curtis Martin was back in the Meadowlands on Curtis Martin Day to receive tribute from Jets fans in honor of his outstanding career. The opponent was fitting — Pittsburgh is Martin’s hometown — and the occasion helped lift the Jets to their most noteworthy win of the season, 19-16 in OT over the playoff-bound Steelers.
IN WITH THE NEW: The Jets made aggressive roster moves once the unrestricted free agency period began. They signed perennial Pro Bowl G Alan Faneca, OT Damien Woody, LB Calvin Pace, Pro Bowl FB Tony Richardson and TE Bubba Franks as free agents and traded with Carolina for DT Kris Jenkins. They also traded two former first-round picks, LB Jonathan Vilma (to New Orleans) and DT Dewayne Robertson (to Denver) (Feb. 29-April 25).
BRETT THE JET: GM Mike Tannenbaum struck a trade with Packers GM Ted Thompson that brought Brett Favre, the NFL’s all-time passing leader to the Jets for a conditional (2009 third round) draft pick (Aug. 6). Favre made his Green & White debut in the second preseason game at home vs. the Redskins (Aug. 16) and his regular-season debut in the 20-14 victory over the Dolphins at Miami (Sept. 7). Favre finished the season with 22 touchdowns passes and led the Jets to a 9-7 record.
PILES OF POINTS: The Jets enjoyed two historic home offensive explosions. They stopped the Super Bowl-bound Arizona Cardinals, 56-35, grabbing a 35-0 halftime lead as Favre threw six touchdown passes for the first time in his career and tying Joe Namath’s franchise record (Sept. 28). Against the Rams, the Jets opened a record-setting 40-0, first-half lead en route to a 47-3 victory, the largest margin-of-victory in franchise history (Nov. 9).
ROAD RAGE: The Jets 8-3 start was punctuated by the best three-game road stretch in franchise history. They trimmed the Bills (5-2 coming in), 26-17, at Buffalo (Nov. 2). Two weeks later they went to New England on Thursday night and outdueled the Patriots (6-3), 34-31, winning on Jay Feely’s overtime field goal (Nov. 13). Finally, they knocked out the Titans (10-0), the NFL’s last unbeaten team, 34-13 at Tennessee (Nov. 23).
EXIT ERIC: The day after their 2008 season ended with four losses in their last five games to finish 9-7, owner Woody Johnson and GM Mike Tannenbaum held a news conference to announce that Eric Mangini would not return after three seasons as the Jets head coach. He left with a 23-26 record, including a loss in his only playoff appearance after the 2006 season (Dec. 29).
REX REIGN BEGINS: After an aggressive three-week search, during which a half-dozen candidates were interviewed for the Jets’ head-coaching position, owner Woody Johnson announced that Rex Ryan, the highly successful defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens from 2005-08, would become the team’s 15th full-time head coach (Jan. 19).
NO. 4 SAYS NO MORE: The Jets place Brett Favre on the reserve/retired list, after his 18th NFL season. Favre told reporters on a conference call, “It was worth a shot for me to go to New York. I wish I could’ve played better down the stretch. I didn’t. It’s time to leave.” (Feb. 11) The Jets released Favre on April 28.
AFC CHAMPIONSHIP: Ryan led the Jets to the AFC title game for the first time since 1998. The Jets were powered by a defense the led the NFL in eight categories including: scoring defense (14.8 ppg), pass defense (153.7) and opponents passer rating (58.8).
11 WINS: New York finished with their most wins in the regular season since the 1998 season when they earned 12.
2ND CONSECUTIVE AFC CHAMPIONSHIP: For the first time in franchise history the Jets made consecutive AFC Championship appearances. Led by second-year passer Mark Sanchez, New York earned two road wins in the postseason for the second consecutive season. The four victories gave Sanchez the most road postseason wins in NFL history by a quarterback.
30 VICTORIES: Third-year signal caller Mark Sanchez became only the fifth NFL passer in the Super Bowl era to earn 30 victories in their first three seasons, including postseason play.
PRO BOWL HONORS: The Jets sent four players to the All-Star game, LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson, C Nick Mangold, RG Brandon Moore and CB Darrelle Revis.
31.6 HIGHEST IN 30+ SEASONS: RB/KR Joe McKnight finished the season with a 31.6 kickoff return average, the highest single-season total in Jets history and best in the NFL since Ron Brown’s 32.8 average for LAN in 1985 of any returner with at least 20 returns.
IRON MEN: G Brandon Moore and T D’Brickashaw Ferguson both moved into first on the active NFL list at their respective positions for consecutive starts. At the end of the season, Moore led all active NFL guards with 136 straight starts, while Ferguson ranked first amongst current tackles with 112 consecutive starts.
RUN STUFFERS: New York’s defense held Indianapolis to 41 yards on 17 rushes, helping the Jets to a 35-9 victory. It was the first time in franchise history that the team did not allow a rush of more than five yards.
Consecutive Kickoff Returns: With KR Joe McKnight’s 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown vs. HST (Oct. 9), the Jets extended their consecutive seasons with a kickoff return for a score to 11, adding to their NFL record. Comparatively, the next closest team (Cleveland) has scored a kickoff return touchdown in just six consecutive seasons.
IDZIK IN: Following a thorough search process lasting almost three weeks, the New York Jets named John Idzik their general manger (Jan. 18). Idzik took the helms of the Green & White after spending the previous six seasons with the Seattle Seahawks as their vice president of football administration.
GENO IS SECOND TO NONE: In his NFL debut, Geno Smith passed for 256 yards, one touchdown and one interception on 24-of-38 passing and registered an 80.6 passer rating. The performance made him the first rookie quarterback drafted in the second round or later to pass for at least 250 yards and win on Kickoff Weekend since the 1970 merger.
ANOTHER FIRST FOR GENO: Geno Smith became the first Jets passer to throw for 300 yards as a rookie when he completed 16-of-29 passes for 331 yards two touchdowns and two interceptions in his third professional game - a Week Three 27-20 victory over the visiting Buffalo Bills (09/22).
FINISH STRONG: New York scores 20-or-more points in each of the final four games of the season helping the team win three of four and end the season with an 8-8 record.
REX RETURNS: New York Jets announce Head Coach Rex Ryan will return for his sixth season, tying him with Walt Michaels for the third-longest tenure as a head coach in franchise history.
BIG CHANGES: Mr. Johnson cites the team not winning for the reason behind letting general manager John Idzik and head coach Rex Ryan go the day following the 2015 season finale.
CONSULTANTS: Mr. Johnson contracts Charlie Casserly and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Ron Wolf to help him identify the Jets new football leadership.