The New York Jets are a franchise with a long and storied history. While most seasons inevitably end in heartbreak for the Jets and their fans, some Jets teams have taken us on unforgettable rides that Jets fans will remember fondly for the rest of their lives. Can this year’s team make the list? Probably not but who knows. Here are the best New York Jets teams of all time.
This team defined everything about what it means to play Jets football. From the smash-mouth, run it down your throat rushing attack to the hard hitting, stifling defense, the 2009 Jets were an absolute blast to watch. The rise of Darelle Revis as the game’s premier cornerback began with this team. Revis consistently rendered every opponent’s number one receiver irrelevant. The tandem power running of Thomas Jones and Shonn Green wore down opposing defenses. Unfortunately for this squad, inconsistent play from rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez would lead to a loss at the hands of the Colts in the AFC Championship game.
Much of the 2009 team remained intact for the 2010 season. They key roster change came in the form of replacing Thomas Jones with one of the greatest running backs to ever play the game, LaDainian Tomlinson. Tomlinson shared the load with Shonn Green as they combined for over 1,600 rushing yards on the season. Despite Darelle Revis being injured for much of the season, other Jets defenders like linebacker corps David Harris and Bart Scott shut down opposing teams week after week. After winning a thrilling divisional playoff game against rival New England, the Jets went on to lose a heartbreaking AFC Championship game to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
This Jets team holds a place in my heart as my personal favorite. This team had Curtis Martin, the best player to ever suit up for Gang Green in my opinion. It had Keyshawn Johnson, one of the most explosive receivers in the league at the time. Working in tandem with wide receiver Wayne Chrebet, the two managed to amass over 2,200 yards receiving combined. This was the result of veteran quarterback Vinny Testaverde’s calm, composed play. The 1998 Jets would eventually lose the AFC Championship Game to the eventual Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos.
You may have noticed something in common with the last three Jets teams on the list. If you did, you noticed that each of those teams lost in the AFC Championship Game. Each team fell just one game short of the Super Bowl, and that is what separates the 1968 New York Jets from every other team before or after. This team was the only Jets team to not only make the Super Bowl but win it. We are still well behind the Giants. Led by hall of fame quarterback Joe Namath, the 1968 Jets would go on to defeat the Baltimore Colts 16-7 to win the only Super Bowl in Jets franchise history.