Why are the New York Jets Cursed at Quarterback?


Oct 26, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback

Geno Smith

(7) throws the ball against the Buffalo Bills in the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets drafted Geno Smith in the second round of the 2013 draft, with the hopes of installing him as the franchise quarterback of the future. After leaving the Jets with high hopes going into the 2014 season, based on his play in the final weeks of 2013, Geno regressed his way out of the lineup in recent weeks. It would appear that Geno Smith’s days are numbered as a member of the New York Jets.

As the Jets go back to the drawing board at the quarterback situation, I got to thinking about the past. The Jets have had many quarterbacks through their doors. None of them, however, have been All-Pros since Joe Namath. They have had some decent ones, quarterbacks that have made the Pro Bowl, but never that franchise quarterback that could lead them to a title.

It would seem that the Jets are cursed, specifically at the position of quarterback. Let’s take a look at different points in history.

In the now famous quarterback class of 1983, the Jets chose Ken O’Brien. Yes, they left Dan Marino on the board at the time, but that isn’t the point of this discussion.

Ken O’Brien was one of the most accurate passers in Jets history. In an era that was not as pass driven as the league is now, O’Brien passed for over 25,000 yards as well as 128 touchdowns vs 98 interceptions. He was a Pro Bowler twice in his career for the Jets and completed over 58% of his passes over a nine-year career.

He had great weapons, like Al Toon and Wesley Walker, but never had a good offensive line. As I always say, with the offensive line goes the offense, and the same was true with the Jets. O’Brien was sacked 62 times in one season, 50 times in two other seasons, and 40 times in still one more season. With that, the Jets were limited in their effectiveness, and O’Brien could never lead the team further than the divisional playoff round.

Chad Pennington was chosen by the Jets in the first round of the 2000 NFL draft. After sitting behind Vinny Testaverde, he took over the Jets offense early in the 2002 season, and excelled. Chad started 12 games, threw 22 touchdowns against only six interceptions, leading the league in passer rating with a 104.2. He led them to a 41-0 playoff win over the Colts, and the Jets finally had a quarterback that could take them into the future.

But the following season, the injury bug hit Chad Pennington, and it didn’t let him loose until his time with the Jets ended. Chad was never again the same quarterback. He did lead the team to the playoffs three more times, and earned the Comeback Player of the Year award for the team in 2006. But, he never had the same type of year that he had in 2002.

Even when the Jets had chosen a quarterback that could lead them, they couldn’t keep him healthy. The curse continues.

Aug 24, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback

Mark Sanchez

(6) goes back to pass against the New York Giants during the second half at MetLife Stadium. New York Jets defeat the New York Giants 24-21 in OT. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

Finally, I had to talk about this guy, Mark Sanchez. The Jets made him their first big move in the Rex Ryan era, trading up to take him with the fifth pick in the 2009 draft. When the Jets had weapons, such as a great running game, and Braylon Edwards, he led the Jets to two AFC title games. He was on an upward swing in his career, topping out with a 32 touchdown season (26 passing, 6 rushing).

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But then, the Jets starting changing the weapons at his disposal every season. His confidence wore away, and so did his play, to finally being released where he signed with Philadelphia. The Jets had yet another quarterback that had talent, but couldn’t bring out the best in him either.

There have been many others, but these are just three of the big ones spread out through recent Jets history.

What is it? Why are the Jets cursed at finding a quarterback? Bad coaching? Is it bad personnel choices? Dumb luck? Or is it some crazy combination that has taken the Jets? Please debate below……