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Which Was the Best New York Jet Team Since 1980?

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2004 Jets – The team finished 10-6 which was 2nd in the AFC East and good for the Wild Card. The Jets beat the Chargers but lost an agonizing game to the Steelers in the divisional round of the playoffs. Herm Edwards conservative play calling at the end of the game coupled with Doug Brien’s two misses at the end of regulation doomed the Jets as they lost in overtime. The offense was led by Curtis Martin and his 1,697 yards rushing and Lamont Jordan averaged 5.2 yards per carry in a backup role, Chad Pennington quarterback efficiently throwing to Santana Moss, Justin McCairens and an aging Wayne Chrebet.  The defense was led by Shaun Ellis, John Abraham and Jonathan Vilma.

2009 Jets – The team finished 9-7 and made the playoffs as a Wild Card. They beat the Bengals and the Chargers in the playoffs before falling to the Colts in the AFC Championship Game. This team led the league in rushing behind Thomas Jones, Shonn Greene and Leon Washington. Rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez led the passing attack with Braylon Edwards at WR and Dustin Keller at TE. The defense led the league in allowing 14.8 points per game behind Darrelle Revis, Shaun Ellis, David Harris, Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard and Kerry Rhodes.

2010 Jets – The team finished 11-5 and made the playoffs as a Wild Card. In the playoffs they beat Peyton Manning and the Colts in Indianapolis, followed by Tom Brady and the Patriots in Foxboro finally losing a heartbreaker in Pittsburgh to Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers in the AFC Championship. While the 2009 team was a bunch of underdogs with no expectations this year’s team had a bullseye on their back all year starting with Hard Knocks in training camp and carrying on through the season. Offensively the team was led by second year QB Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson at RB, Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery at WR with Dustin Keller at TE. Defensively Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie at CB, Shaun Ellis at DE, David Harris and Calvin Pace at LB and Jim Leonhard at S.

For my money I would take the 2010 Jets as the most talented followed closely by the 1998 team. The 1986 team will always be a favorite of mine as they were so fun to watch. What are your thoughts?


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  • matr dontelli iii

    2010 followed by 1981. in 2010 we had hard knocks, the comeback victories and everything was breaking in our favor. after the season i was walking in beautiful downtown newark, nj wearing my jets sweatshirt and some complete stranger pointed out that we should have won that year. ‘you guys shoulda won last year. that was your year, man.’ and it was. but the defense spotted the steelers 17 points on the road can’t do that. 1981 because the dolphins left the field uncovered to take away our speed advantage, and it worked. had they covered the field we likely would have won that game and gone to the superbowl we had the full sack exchange going and the offense was fast and potent. shula finally got his revenge from superbowl iii.

    • Joe Willie

      81 The field was a big factor—looking at the conditions Micheals blow his stack – the team lost its composure and Todd blew it– F Shula I hate him! he lost the SB again that yr to an ex jet John Rigggins

      • matr dontelli iii

        i was gonna mention that riggins got our revenge. i picked this team because i felt they were not beaten fairly whereas the others were beaten fairly though most beat themselves rather than were beaten. in 81 if i recall correctly there was a blown call leading to miami’s first touchdown, maybe a bad call on a fumble. this put the jets in a hole and then they started trying to throw in the bad conditions instead of being patient. recipe for disaster. i don’t understand why teams lose their patience when down by a single score early in a game. just play your game. if you’re the better team you’ll come back and win. the only time you need to try to hurry to get back into the game is when it’s the fourth quarter, or if you’re behind by more than three scores in the first half.

        • Joe Willie

          Joe Walton was calling the plays as OC in the 81 season –he wasted a lot of talent in the 1980s as an OC and HC–BrUTAL!

  • Joe Willie

    Best “team” since 1980 was the 1998 group, they were on a great roll and Parcells was pushing all the right buttons till the 2nd half of the Denver game in the AFC championship game when it unexplainablely fell apart—if Parcells started Vinny from the beginning instead of the injury/mistake prone Folly we might have had home field and crushed the Broncos, then easily won the SB vs the Falcons The teams of the mid 80′s had the best talent front-liners and depth–But Joe Walton couldn’t make it happen.

    • Craig Hoffman

      Even though I didn’t list it the 1999 team might have been best of all but got blown up by the Testaverde injury Week 1.

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