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
NY Jets, A.J. Duhe / Focus On Sport/GettyImages

4. The A.J. Duhe Game

Most Jets fans, long-time and recent, have experienced several instances where it has appeared that they have gotten the short end of the stick from the NFL. Whether that be in controversies like SpyGate, or just the way officials have called certain Jets games over the years.

It's common for fans of sports teams, especially those like the Jets who haven't had much success, to feel like the system is rigged against them.

However, the one game that could be used as 'Exhibit A' to support the argument for a potential conspiracy against the franchise is the 1982 AFC Championship Game on January 23rd, 1983, between the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets.

Dubbed the 'Mud Bowl' because heavy rain in South Florida — combined with some questionable groundskeeping at the Orange Bowl — had transformed the field into swamp-like conditions.

As legend has it, Don Shula and the Miami Dolphins purposely didn't cover the field because of their team's distinct speed disadvantage against the Jets.

The Jets, heading into the 1982 season, led by the late Walt Michaels, were coming off a 10-win playoff season, but the upcoming campaign was sidetracked by an eight-week player strike. New York worked around the adversity and finished the year at 6-3.

The Jets qualified for the playoffs and won two straight road games over the Bengals and Raiders to advance. They were one game away from the Super Bowl when the skies opened up and drowned the Jets' chances of winning it all.

In one of the ugliest playoff games in NFL history, due to the field conditions, both the Dolphins and Jets offenses were stuck in quicksand, producing only one score combined.

The unlikely hero in this drench-filled debacle was Dolphins linebacker A.J. Duhe, who had intercepted only two career passes in six seasons before the AFC Championship.

Still, in this pivotal game, he picked off three of Richard Todd's passes, one that he returned for a late touchdown to seal a 14-0 victory for Miami.

Over the years, the Jets have had their fair share of championship game losses — four in total counting the controversial Mud Bowl in Miami. It was a day when Mother Nature and Don Shula teamed up to deny the Jets their first trip back to the Super Bowl since 1969.