All-Time Lists

10 most heartbreaking losses suffered in NY Jets history

NY Jets, Mark Gastineau
NY Jets, Mark Gastineau / George Gojkovich/GettyImages
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NY Jets, Eric Allen / Doug Pensinger/GettyImages

9. The Eric Allen Game/1993 Season

The truth is that there were at least four heartbreaking losses in the 1993 Jets season alone that could have all qualified for this list and spot. And each heartbreaker contributed to the team just barely missing the playoffs that season.

The history books will point you to the Jets' final week shutout defeat at the hands of Houston as the game that knocked New York out of the playoffs, but the Jets' had several baffling heartbreaking losses during the year that led to their eventual elimination.

A week before the infamous Buddy Ryan right hook game, there was the Jets losing to the Bills 16-14 in Buffalo, after kicker Cary Blanchard missed three field goals, one in the closing moments. Thurman Thomas fumbled into the end zone in that same game but was credited with a touchdown run instead.

It wasn't the first inexplicable loss in controversial fashion on the road by the Jets that season. In Week 6, the Jets blew a 17-0 lead and lost 24-20 to the Raiders at the final gun after backup Vince Evans rallied Los Angeles to an improbable victory.

The game ended in controversial fashion when the game clock magically froze with the Raiders at the one-yard line in the final seconds. The "malfunction" and the officials gave the Raiders enough time with no timeouts at their disposal to run another play and score the go-ahead touchdown.

For this list, the heartbreaking loss that qualifies above all others from the 1993 season is what many Jets fans remember as the Eric Allen game.

If you are not a Jets fan or like punishment, I highly recommend seeking out and watching the Jets/Eagles game on CBS from October 3rd,1993. The legendary duo of late greats Pat Summerall and John Madden was on the call for what was one of the wildest games of that era.

The Eagles lost superstar quarterback Randall Cunningham to injury early on, fell behind 21-0, and then 28-14 late to eventually tie the game with future Jet Bubby Brister, only to fall behind 30-28 on a safety.

And with the Jets up 30-28 with possession looking to put the game away, Eric Allen would intercept Boomer Esiason and proceed to zig-zag all over the field to return the football 94 yards for what was the eventual winning score of 35-30.

It's one of the greatest defensive plays in NFL history. Unfortunately, it came at the expense of the Jets. 

Words don't do this game justice. To fully understand how awful of a loss this was for the Jets, you would have had to go back in time and relive it. The game also featured one of the greatest single-game performances by a Jets tight end ever.

Johnny Mitchell dominated the action, nabbing seven receptions for 149 yards and three touchdowns. On that day, he was an unstoppable force, and it appeared that the second-year pro would be a megastar for years to come.

However, Mitchell, like the Jets' fortunes in 1993 and most of the seasons in the 90s, would never deliver on their promise.

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