The Zionist Conspiracy

A clandestine undertaking on behalf of Israel, the Jets and the Jews.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Worst Jets Losses: 20 Through 11

Earlier this season, I posted a list of what I thought were the 15 best wins in Jets history. In the spirit of this disastrous season, it seems to make sense to post a list of the Jets worst losses. Since there are so many painful memories, I am listing the top 20 (actually 21, due to a tie) losses instead of 15; many other worthy losses fail to make the cut. The list is truly off the cuff and was drafted while the bus I take to Manhattan was stuck in traffic yesterday morning. The list covers games since I started watching the Jets in the late 70's and is of course very subjective, and I almost certainly forgot about some games.

Following are the 20th through 11th worst losses:

20 (and 21). Tie: Jets lose to Houston Oilers 17-10 in AFC Wildcard game on December 29, 1991 and Jets lose to Oakland Raiders 38-24 in AFC Wildcard game on January 12, 2002.

The Jets were the underdogs in both games, but blew chances to win each. In the loss to Houston, Ken O'Brien was intercepted twice deep in Oilers territory, and Jets final drive stalled after a questionable offensive pass interference penalty called on Al Toon.

In the loss to Oakland, John Abraham left the game in the first quarter with "flu symptoms" and the Jets defense displayed one of their worst performances of the season. When the Jets pulled within 31-24 with less than two minutes left, Herm Edwards declined to try an onside kick, instead kicking deep, but the defense allowed an 80 yard TD run by Charlie Garner to seal the game.

19. Jets lose 9-5 to Indianapolis Colts on November 11, 1984, in the first game I attended at Giants Stadium. After starting the season with a 6-2 record, the Jets entered this game having lost two straight. The 3-7 Colts appeared to be just the opponent to get the Jets back on track, but the Jets offense was abysmal. Almost comically, Pat Ryan started the game at QB, was ineffective and replaced by Ken O'Brien, but O'Brien was even worse, so Ryan was sent back in, only to suffer a concussion, with O'Brien taking his place again.

The Colts did not win another game in 1984, while the Jets won just once more, losing seven of their last eight games to finish the season 7-9.

The game marked the first of many awfully played contests between the Jets and the Colts over the next 15 years.

18. Jets lose to Miami Dolphins 45-3 on November 24, 1986. Nine weeks earlier, the Jets defeated Miami 51-45 in one of the most exciting games in team history (and a game that I rated the 7th best win in Jets history). That win was the start of a nine game winning streak for the Jets, who came into this game with the best record in the NFL.

Four weeks after the Mets won the World Series, hopes were high for a Giants vs. Jets Super Bowl.

Alas, the Jets loss to Miami on Monday Night Football was the start of the implosion of the '86 Jets. Coach Joe Walton ripped into his players during halftime and the Jets rewarded him by losing their last five regular season games. The loss was, I believe, the most lopsided game in MNF history.

17. Jets lose to Detroit Lions 10-7 on December 17, 2000. After a 6-1 start, the Jets were struggling, but at 9-5 looked set to clinch a playoff berth. The Jets came out flat, and their offense never got anything going, with their only score coming after an interception return to the Detroit 1 yard line. The offense did manage a long drive in the final two minutes, to set up a 35 yard field goal attempt in the final seconds to send the game into overtime. But John Hall's kick was not only wide but short too.

The following week, the 2000 Jets completed their collapse with a loss in Baltimore, where they blew an early 14-0 lead. Coach Al Groh then resigned after just one season.

16 and 15. Tie: Jets lose 20-17 to Baltimore Ravens on November 14, 2004 and Jets lose 14-9 to Buffalo Bills on December 30, 2001.

These two games epitomize the awful playcalling during the Herm Edwards era. In last season's loss to the Ravens, the Jets had a 14-0 lead and the ball deep in Baltimore territory late in the first half when a bizarre Lamont Jordan option pass was intercepted in the Ravens end zone and returned deep into Jets territory. The game's momentum was immediately changed, but the Jets had a chance to win the game late in the fourth quarter. With first and goal at the 4 yard line and a minute left, the Jets ran on first down for a one yard gain, went into a full huddle, threw an incompletion on 2nd down, and then failed to get a play in time as the play clock wound down on 3rd down. Instead of taking a delay of game penalty and having 3rd and goal from the 8 with 9 seconds left, the Jets used their last timeout and kicked a field goal. In overtime, they won the coin toss but went three and out, and Baltimore kicked the winning field goal in their first possession.

In the loss to Buffalo, the 9-5 Jets needed a win against the pathetic 2-12 Bills to clinch a playoff berth. The Jets didn't take the Bills seriously and their offense was flat all game. Late in the 4th quarter, the Jets drove deep into Buffalo territory, but despite having no timeouts, offensive coordinator Paul Hackett directed QB Vinny Testaverde to throw over the middle twice in the final 40 seconds, causing the clock to run out before the Jets could take even one shot at a pass to the end zone for the winning touchdown.

14. Jets lose 24-0 to Houston Oilers on January 2, 1994. After a 8-5 start, the Jets had lost two straight but as a result of a Miami loss earlier in the day, could still make the playoffs with a win in this Sunday night matchup. They didn't even show up.

Having already clinched a playoff berth, Houston rested QB Warren Moon and several other starters. But the Oiler backups dominated the Jets' inept defense, while Jets QB Boomer Esiason could get nothing going on offense.

This game is best remembered by Oilers' defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan punching offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride.

Jets head coach Bruce Coslet was fired several days after this loss.

13. Jets lose to Detroit Lions 13-10 on December 21, 1997. After an 8-4 start in Bill Parcells' first season as their head coach, the Jets had lost two out of three and needed to beat the Lions on the road to make the playoffs. The Jets took a 10-0 lead, but second half turnovers and their failure to stop Barry Sanders turned the tide. Detroit led 13-10, but the Jets sustained a long 4th quarter drive and had the ball at the Lions' 9 yard line. Jets running back Leon Johnson threw an option pass into the end zone that was intercepted, and the Lions put the game away on a 50 yard run by Sanders.

12. Jets lose 26-14 to New England Patriots on December 28, 1985. In their first home playoff game at Giants Stadium, the Jets moved the ball well but lost QB Ken O'Brien to a concussion. The Jets turned the ball over four times, including a fumble on a 3rd quarter kickoff return that the Patriots returned for a touchdown. New England went on to the Super Bowl, while the Jets did not play another playoff game at home for 13 years.

11. Jets lose to Oakland Raiders 30-10 on January 12, 2003. The Jets came into this second round playoff game on fire, having defeated defending champs New England, the 12-3 Packers, and the Colts by a combined score of 113-34 in their previous three games. With QB Chad Pennington playing tremendous football, hopes were rising that the Jets could repeat the feat achieved by the 2001 Patriots, who won the Super Bowl on the leadership of young QB Tom Brady.

In the first half, the Jets kept the game close, and tied the score at 10-10 in the final seconds of the half on a Pennington touchdown pass. The Jets looked to have the momentum entering the second half, but a Richie Anderson fumble and two Pennington interceptions changed that. The Raiders blitzed Pennington relentlessly, sacking him four teams, a scheme that teams have since used to stop the Jets' QB.

Later this week: The ten worst losses in New York Jets history.