Fresh off of a 26-13 win over the 1982 Jets in round one, the 2009 squad came into a semifinal matchup in the Best Jets Team Ever tournament against Broadway Joe and the 1968 Super Bowl Championship Jets. Rex was fired up, and feeling pretty emotional to see his Dad on the other sideline. But it was not to be today, courtesy of www.whatifsports.com, as the 1968 Jets put “ground and pound” right back in the 2009 Jets’ faces, rushing for 224 yards, and pounding Rex’s first team 37-10.
The 2009 Jets won the toss and elected to receive, but Sanchez was intercepted by Bill Baird deep in their own territory on the 32 yard line. 1968 was on it quickly, runs of 15 yards by Matt Snell, and runs of 7 and 5 yards by Emerson Boozer set them up deep. A connection from Namath to George Sauer on the next play set the Super Bowl III champs up first and goal from the 3. Snell scored on a draw play to go up 7-0.
2009 kept it close on the next drive going 7 plays for 53 yards, setting up a Jay Feely field goal from 35 yards out to make the score 7-3. Setting up the score were receptions by Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards, for 16 and 17 yards respectively.
A drive started by the 1968 Jets that carried over into the second quarter covered 15 plays, 69 yards and 8:53 of playing time, really taking the 2009 Jets style to them. The drive finally stalled on the 4 yard line where Jim Turner connected to run the score to 10-3 in favor of the Champs.
2009 stayed in it, tying the score on the ensuing drive. Sanchez hit Dustin Keller for 11 yards. On the next play, Sanchez and Cotchery connected on a 45 yard hookup, setting them up on the 1968 Jets’ 30. 5 plays later, Sanchez hit David Clowney for a 10 yard TD strike to tie the score at ten.
This was the last time we heard from the 2009 Jets on the scoreboard.
After exchanging punts, the 1968 Jets started a drive from their own 33 yard line. Namath made a big third down conversion, hitting George Sauer for 26 yards. On the very next play, Namath connects again, this time to Pete Lammons, who broke a Revis tackle and scampered 34 yards down to the 7. 2 plays later, Namath connected with fellow Hall of Famer Don Maynard in the endzone to make it 17-10.
Mark Sanchez of 2009′s inaccuracy did him in, and ultimately put his team in too deep of a hole. 3 plays into the next drive, Sanchez is intercepted by Cornell Gordon, setting the 1968 Jets up deep at the 2009 Jets’ 37. 3 plays later, still at the 37, Matt Snell took a handoff up the middle to paydirt, opening up the lead to 24-10. After exchanging punts, Sanchez is intercepted again, trying to make things happen downfield late in the half, again by Bill Baird, setting the 1968 Jets up at the 24 yard line of 2009. Jim Turner connected from there to make the halftime score 27-10 in favor of Broadway Joe, Buddy and the rest of the 1968 Jets.
2009 had a chance to change the momentum in the 3rd quarter, when James Ihedigbo picked off a Namath pass to thwart a long 1968 Jets drive. However, Sanchez threw his fourth INT, this time to Randy Beverly, setting up a 38 yard field goal by Jim Turner. A late fourth quarter TD by Matt Snell sealed the rout 37-10.
The player of the game was Matt Snell, rushing 20 times for 158 yards and 3 TDs. Emerson Boozer added 10 rushes for 62 yards. Joe Namath was 19-35 passing for 206 yards, 1 TD and the Ihedigbo INT. George Sauer led all receivers with 7 catches for 92 yards. Don Maynard added 6 catches for 35 yards and 1 TD. In a losing effort, Mark Sanchez was 14-33 passing for 179 yards 1 TD, but the 4 costly interceptions. Thomas Jones rushed 18 times for 60 yards. Jerricho Cotchery led the team in receiving with 4 catches for 82 yards.
So the final is set, 1968 Jets vs the current 2010 Jets. The head coach with the guarantees, vs the QB that made good on a guarantee. The champs, vs the ones we hope will be champs in the Super Bowl soon. The QB that took over the town vs the QB that is doing so now. So many storylines. Rex vs his Dad. It should be a great final. Who will be crowned the Best Jets Team Ever? Tune in to find out.