NY Jets now hold this tragic distinction across all American sports
By Justin Fried
NY Jets owner Woody Johnson proclaimed this week that the organization needs to "win now." Johnson insisted that he wasn't "the patient sort," and that the Jets were "in the win business."
While that may be true for the team's 2023 plans, the last decade-plus hasn't been especially kind to the franchise. And as of Wednesday night, the Jets now hold one tragic distinction across all major professional American sports.
The NBA's Sacramento Kings qualified for the playoffs last night, snapping a 16-year playoff drought. With the Kings relinquishing that title, the Jets now hold the record for the longest active playoff drought across all major professional American sports.
Provided the NHL's Buffalo Sabres don't make a surprising final push for the postseason, they will tie the Jets with 12 consecutive seasons without a playoff appearance.
There's a sizable drop to the third-place teams with a six-way tie between the Denver Broncos, Charlotte Hornets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, and Detroit Tigers.
The Jets' streak is particularly impressive, however.
The NY Jets hope to snap their historic playoff drought in 2023
The NFL arguably has the most parity of any of the four major professional American sports leagues. It's rare to see a team in the modern NFL go a decade without a playoff appearance.
The Jets are now at 12 seasons without a playoff game. Behind them, the Broncos sit at seven seasons, and the Detroit Lions are at six seasons. Every other organization has made the playoffs within the last five years.
That's some impressive parity, and it makes it all the more impressive that the Jets have managed to go 12 consecutive seasons without accidentally stumbling into the postseason.
It nearly happened in 2015 when the Ryan Fitzpatrick-led Jets finished 10-6 but still failed to reach the postseason. Aside from that one year, the Jets haven't had a winning season since 2010.
There is optimism, however, that this dreaded streak will come to an end next season. For the sake of Joe Douglas, Robert Saleh, and the rest of the Jets' brass, it essentially has to.
The Jets likely have the best core that they've possessed since those AFC Championship Game years in 2009 and 2010. With Aaron Rodgers soon to be at quarterback, there's no excuse for the Jets to miss the postseason again.
For now, however, the Jets stand alone at the bottom of all four major American sports leagues. Every single team in those leagues has seen the playoffs more recently than the Jets.
It's a lamentable honor, but it's hard to say it's not deserved.