Grading every NY Jets logo and uniform set in franchise history

Which is the best uniform set in Jets' history?
Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

In NY Jets franchise history, the team has used eight different primary logo designs and recently introduced a ninth one in April of 2024.

The Jets have never had a winning record with any of these designs, but some are more successful than others. In this article, we’ll break down the different logos, how the team fared in each one, notable players and coaches, playoff appearances, and more.

The Titans of New York (1960-62)

  • Logo: Titans of New York
  • Primary Color: Navy Blue
  • Secondary Color: Gold, White
  • Stadium: Polo Grounds
  • Record: 19-23 (.452)
  • Playoff Appearances: None
  • Notable Players: Don Maynard, Art Powell
  • Coaches: Sammy Baugh, Bulldog Turner
  • Owner: Harry Wismer

In 1960, Harry Wismer helped introduce a new football team to New York for the American Football League’s inaugural season. He named the team the Titans of New York because “Titans are bigger and stronger than Giants,” taking a dig at their NFL counterpart.

Their home stadium was the Polo Grounds, and primary colors were navy blue and gold, modeled after Notre Dame. The team competed under the Titans moniker for just three seasons, having a 19-23 record (.452) and struggling for any sustained success.

The most notable player during this time was Don Maynard, who was the first player to sign with the Titans of New York. Maynard would go on to help the Jets win Super Bowl III and be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a part of the class of 1987.

Grade C+

NY Jets Airplane Logo (1963)

  • Logo: Airplane in Green with 'JETS' in white
  • Primary Color: Kelly Green
  • Secondary Color: White
  • Stadium: Shea Stadium
  • Record: 5-8-1 (.393)
  • Playoff Appearances: None
  • Notable Players: Don Maynard
  • Coach: Weeb Ewbank
  • Owner: Sonny Werblin (syndicate ownership)

In 1963, the Titans of New York were bought by a group led by Sonny Werblin. In 1963, Werblin spearheaded the effort to move the team from the Polo Grounds in Manhattan to Shea Stadium in Queens.

Werblin then renamed the team the New York Jets, as it rhymed with Mets, whom they shared Shea Stadium with, and was located near LaGuardia Airport. The team ditched the navy blue and gold and introduced much more familiar colors in green and white.

Werblin also helped hire Weeb Ewbank as the head coach, who would lead the team to their first and only Super Bowl in 1969. The airplane logo only lasted a single season, and the team had a record of 5-8-1 (.393).

Grade: C-

NY Jets in White (1964)

  • Logo: NY Jets, white with green trim and green 'JETS'
  • Primary Color: Green
  • Secondary: White
  • Stadium: Shea Stadium
  • Record: 5-8-1 (.393)
  • Playoff Appearances: None
  • Notable Players: Matt Snell
  • Coach: Weeb Ewbank
  • Owner: Sonny Werblin

In the 1964 season, the Jets introduced the logo most recognizable with the Jets but with one caveat: the color pattern was reversed. The logo ushered in a new era of brand identity but with similar on-field performance.

The team went 5-8-1 yet again but saw running back Matt Snell rush for 964 yards in 14 games. Weeb Ewbank coached the team and would go on to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a part of the class of 1978.

Along with Ewbank, the Jets' future was bright as they would go on to draft a quarterback that would change the football landscape forever.

Grade: C

NY Jets Super Bowl Logo (1965-1977)

  • Logo: Green with White Trim and White 'JETS'
  • Primary Color: Kelly Green
  • Secondary Color: White
  • Stadium: Shea Stadium
  • Record: 77-101-4 (.434)
  • Playoff Appearances: 1968, 1969
  • Notable Players: Joe Namath, Matt Snell, Don Maynard, Emerson Boozer, Richard Todd
  • Notable Games: Super Bowl III
  • Coaches: Weeb Ewbank (1963-1973), Charley Winner/Ken Shipp, Lou Holtz/Mike Holovak, Walt Michaels
  • Owner: Sonny Werblin, Leon Hess

The Jets made a color palette swap in 1965, bringing to life the iconic Jets logo and enjoying a stint of stability for some time. With this updated logo, the Jets brought in rookie quarterback Joe Namath. Before Namath led the Jets to Super Bowl III, they had yet another 5-8-1 season.

Sonny Werblin then takes a backseat in ownership and allows Leon Hess to take the reigns in 1967. In 1968, the Jets won the AFL East division, which consisted of the Boston Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Houston Oilers (later Tennessee Titans), and Miami Dolphins.

They would go on to defeat the Baltimore Colts in the first-ever Super Bowl matchup between the AFL and NFL, a win guaranteed by Joe Namath. This would be the only Super Bowl appearance and victory in franchise history to date. The Jets would return to the playoffs once more in 1969 but lost in the Divisional Round.

Ewbank would coach for four more seasons before the end of his tenure as Jets head coach in 1973, with a 71-77-6 record (0.461). Unfortunately, the Jets found themselves at the bottom of the AFC following 1969 and wouldn’t return to the playoffs until yet another logo change.

Grade: B

The New York Sack Exchange (1978-1989)

  • Logo: 'JETS' in white with green background
  • Primary Color: Kelly Green
  • Secondary Color: White
  • Stadium: Shea Stadium, Meadowlands
  • Record: 89-93-2 (.489)
  • Playoff Appearances: 1981, 1982, 1985, 1986
  • Notable Players: Joe Klecko, Mark Gastineau, Ken O’Brien, Freeman McNeil, Richard Todd, Wesley Walker, Al Toon, Marty Lyons, Abdul Salaam
  • Notable Games: Shootout at the Swamp, Mud Bowl
  • Owner: Leon Hess
  • Coaches: Walt Michaels, Joe Walton

Perhaps the most successful time in New York Jets history, the Sack Exchange era put the Jets into the spotlight. Joe Klecko, Mark Gastineau, Marty Lyons, and Abdul Salaam led the league in 1981 with 66 sacks, escorting the team into the playoffs in 1981 and 1982.

They lost to the Miami Dolphins 14-0 in the 1982 AFC Championship Game and wouldn’t reach the playoffs again until 1985. From 1978 to 1989, the Jets saw four playoff appearances, which would lend its hand to this logo/uniform combination having the best winning percentage at .489.

This logo and era remains a fan favorite, not only for it being the winningest in franchise history but also for the memories of the New York Sack Exchange. It doesn't quite achieve the 'A' mark since it is still a sub-.500 record.

Grade: B+

NY Jets Black Trim (1990-1997)

  • Logo: Black outline
  • Primary Color: Kelly Green
  • Secondary Color: White, Black
  • Stadium: Meadowlands
  • Record: 45-83-0 (.352)
  • Playoff Appearances: 1991
  • Notable Players: Ken O’Brien, Boomer Esiason, Rob Moore, Wayne Chrebet, Keyshawn Johnson
  • Coaches: Bruce Coslet, Pete Carroll, Rich Kotite, Bill Parcells
  • Owner: Leon Hess

The logo remained largely unchanged in 1990 except for a black outline being added, marking the first time black was utilized as a color. The Jets also introduced for the first time a throwback uniform. The uniforms were an homage to the Super Bowl era with a twist: green helmets adorned with the green logo.

They wore this once in 1993, and three times in 1994 going 2-2 over those four games. The rest of the 1990s were a tumultuous time for the Jets, having a franchise-worst record of 1-15 under head coach Rich Kotite in 1996.

They only made the playoffs once under Bruce Coslet with Ken O’Brien at quarterback, where they would lose in the Wild Card Round to Houston Oilers 17-10.

The Jets' fortunes would take a turn in 1997 when following the 1-15 season, Leon Hess was able to lure Bill Parcells away from the Patriots. The Jets would go 9-7 that year, but the best was yet to come.

Grade: D+

NY Jets Super Bowl Inspired Look in Hunter Green (1998-2018)

  • Logo: Inspired by Super Bowl III led by Bill Parcells, more modernized logo
  • Primary Color: Hunter Green
  • Secondary Color: White
  • Stadium: Meadowlands, MetLife Stadium
  • Record: 161-175-0 (.479)
  • Playoff Appearances: 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010
  • Notable Players: Vinny Testaverde, Chad Pennington, Brett Favre, Mark Sanchez, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Curtis Maritn, Laveranues Coles, Jerricho Cotchery, Kevin Mawae, Darrelle Revis, LaDainian Tomlinson, Eric Decker, Brandon Marshall
  • Notable Games: Miracle at the Meadowlands, AFC Championships in 2009/2010, 9/11/2011
  • Coaches: Bill Parcells, Al Groh, Herm Edwards, Eric Mangini, Rex Ryan, Todd Bowles
  • Owners: Leon Hess, Woody Johnson

Bill Parcells helped lead the effort to return to a logo very similar to that from Super Bowl III, but with some modern touches that would last two decades.

The primary color also changed from Kelly to Hunter Green, but white remained prominent. Parcells propelled the Jets into the 1998 playoffs with the help of Vinny Testaverde’s arm, Curtis Martin’s legs, and then-rookie Keyshawn Johnson’s hands.

This was the first AFC division championship for the Jets, not including those in the AFL. They would meet the Denver Broncos in the conference championship, falling victim to John Elway.

A saga ensued that would see Parcells abruptly retire, a change of ownership, Bill Belichick to be named head coach only to resign on a napkin that same day, and more Jets turmoil.

But fans didn’t have to wait long for a return to prominence as the Jets made the playoffs just three years later in 2001. Under Herm Edwards' leadership, Vinny Testaverde and Curtis Martin yet again led the team to the wild card with a 10-6 record.

The next year in 2002, the Jets would win their second (and last to date) division championship having a 9-7 record under new quarterback Chad Pennington, but still relying on the reliable shoulders of Curtis Martin and Laveranues Coles.

A couple more playoff appearances in 2004 and 2006 had the same familiar faces with a few new ones but yielded similar results with the Jets unable to make it past the divisional round.

This would be followed by the Brett Favre experiment and then the eventual drafting of Mark Sanchez. That would kickstart the Rex Ryan era, who wasn’t here to kiss any rings.

For one reason or another, the Rex Ryan era is very nostalgic for Jets fans. Ryan would help lead the Jets to the AFC Championship Games in back-to-back seasons in 2009 and 2010. Sanchez was the man under center, while Thomas Jones, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Shonn Greene ran out of the backfield.

Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards would lead the team in receiving, with help from Santonio Holmes. Darrelle Revis was the team’s top performer, earning the moniker "Revis Island" while excelling as a shut-down cornerback.

Following the success in 2010, the Jets would travel the road of mediocracy and venture even lower as they would finish in last place in their division four out of eight times with zero playoff appearances before the next uniform was introduced.

Grade: B

Take Flight (2019-2023)

  • Logo: 'JETS' in modernized lettering
  • Primary Color: Gotham Green
  • Secondary Color: Spotlight White
  • Alternate Color: Stealth Black (first alternate)
  • Stadium: MetLife Stadium
  • Record: 27-56-0 (.325)
  • Notable Players: Quinnen Williams, Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson, Jermaine Johnson, Breece Hall
  • Owner: Woody Johnson

There is a reason Woody Johnson and leadership wanted to move on from these jerseys, besides the obvious new merchandise to be sold. No playoff appearances, no winning seasons, and a pitiful .325 winning percentage led to this logo and uniform combination only lasting five years. There’s not much to say about this uniform combination in terms of success.

Hopefully Jets fans in the future can look back fondly on these years and appreciate the players taken in these drafts: Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson, Breece Hall, and Jermaine Johnson to name a few. It also brought the Aaron Rodgers in for his first season.

Interestingly enough, Rodgers never suited up for a regular season game in these uniforms, as he was injured in Week 1 when the Jets were donning their Sack Exchange era throwback uniforms.

Those throwbacks have now been confirmed as the official uniforms for the 2024 season and beyond.

Grade F

Jets fans can only hope that this ‘New Legacy’ uniform combination brings more wins. The Jets can do their fans a favor by making it last more than five years, win a few division championships, more playoff appearances, and throw in a Super Bowl while we’re at it.

At the bare minimum, let’s at least hope for an above .500 winning percentage for the first time ever in a logo/uniform combination.