The Zionist Conspiracy
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Worst Jets Losses: Ten Through Six
This morning, I posted the 20th through 11th worst losses in New York Jets history. Following are the tenth through sixth worst losses in the team's sorry history:
10. Jets lose to Carolina Panthers 26-15 on October 15, 1995. Remembered in infamy as "the Bubby Brister game," this game represents everything that was awful about the Rich Kotite era.
The Panthers, an expansion team in their first NFL season, had never won an NFL game. Late in the first half, the Jets led 12-6 and had the ball. Playing for an injured Boomer Esiason, backup QB Bubby Brister threw a shovel pass toward running back Adrian Murrell, but the pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Sam Mills. Brister threw two more interceptions in the second half. Neither the Jets nor Kotite would recover from this loss.
9. Jets lose 22-17 to Buffalo Bills on November 7, 2004. Coming into this game, the Jets were 6-1 and QB Chad Pennington was having a very strong season. Late in the 1st quarter, Pennington scrambled for a first down. He got the first down, but was sandwiched by two Bills and lost the ball.
At the time, nobody had any reason to believe that the hit by linebacker London Fletcher and cornerback Nate Clements would commence another dark era for the Jets.
Pennington continued to play until the 4th quarter, but was ineffective. After the game, he described the injury as nothing major, "a charley horse, just in your shoulder." Pennington missed the next three games, and was inconsistent after coming back. Only after the season did the Jets acknowledge that Pennington had torn his rotator cuff and would have to undergo major surgery on his shoulder.
8. Jets lose 30-28 to New England Patriots on September 12, 1999.
The 1999 season opened on a warm sunny September Sunday in the New York area. Hopes for the Jets were as high as ever, after a 12-4 1998 season and a trip to the AFC Championship.
It was also the second day of Rosh Hashanah, and as the Jets opened their 1999 season, Jews were reciting the U'Nesaneh Tokef prayer, recognizing that G-d would decree, "who will live and who will die ... who will enjoy tranquility and who will suffer ... who will be degraded and who will be exalted."
The Jets season died that day, their history of degradation recurring yet again, any hopes of tranquility dashed. It happened by Achilles, specifically the rupture of the Achilles tendon of QB Vinny Testaverde.
Testaverde dove for a rare Curtis Martin fumble and in the process his foot was caught in the old awful Giants Stadium artificial turf.
Promising young running back and return man Leon Johnson was also lost for the season with a knee injury. Johnson was never effective after that injury.
The Jets actually were competitive, largely due to the performance of punter and fourth string QB Tom Tupa, who was inserted to replace Testaverde. Several questionable decisions by Bill Parcells - including two second half two-point conversion attempts, a fake field goal, and the insertion of Rick Mirer at QB - all backfired. The Jets clung to a late 4th quarter lead, but an Adam Vinatieri field goal with three seconds left gave New England the win.
The 1999 Jets lost 6 of their first 7 games before Parcells turned to third-string QB Ray Lucas. Lucas energized the team, which finished with an 8-8 record.
Alas, while Testaverde returned for the 2000 season, by then Parcells had resigned, and most of his staff (with the exception of assistant Al Groh) - including offensive coordinator Charlie Weis - had left to join defensive coordinator Bill Belichick in New England. Vinny's favorite wide receiver - Keyshawn Johnson - was also gone by 2000, having been traded to Tampa Bay.
7. Jets lose 28-24 to Miami Dolphins on November 27, 1994. With a 6-5 record, a win over Miami would put the Jets in a tie with the Dolphins atop the AFC East.
The Jets dominated the first half, taking a 24-6 lead. The Giants Stadium crowd was as loud as it has ever been for a regular season game.
In the 4th quarter, two Boomer Esiason interceptions turned the tide. Dolphins QB Dan Marino passed for a touchdown to cut the Jets lead to 24-21. Marino led the Dolphins down the field in the final minute. With the clock winding down, he made a spiking motion, as though he was going to down the ball to stop the clock for a field goal attempt to send the game into overtime. In the play that became known as "The Fake," Jets cornerback Aaron Glenn froze, and Marino completed the winning touchdown pass to Mark Ingram.
I'll never forget the long walk out of Giants Stadium to the Meadowlands parking lot. The fans were shocked, furious and resigned to endless misery.
The 1994 Jets lost the rest of their games, finishing 6-10. When the Eagles fired Rich Kotite, first year head coach Pete Carroll was fired because owner Leon Hess decided that he simply had to have Kotite to lead the Jets.
6. Jets lose 26-20 to Jacksonville Jaguars on September 25, 2005. QB Chad Pennington tore his rotator cuff when his arm was yanked from behind in the 3rd quarter. He underwent another shoulder surgery and faces a grueling rehab. It is questionable at best whether he will be an effective NFL quarterback again, let alone one that can lead his team to a Super Bowl. Backup QB Jay Fiedler also sustained a serious shoulder injury. The 2005 Jets never recovered from this loss, and the after-effects of Pennington's injury will include the Jets' bad salary cap situation becoming catastrophic, at least for 2006.
The Jets actually had a good chance to win the game late in the 4th quarter. Inexplicably, Pennington returned after the injury to Fiedler. Late in the 4th quarter, with the Jets trailing 20-17 and facing 3rd and goal from the Jaguars 8, Pennington threw over the middle into the end zone to WR Wayne Chrebet. At first, officials ruled that Chrebet made that catch for a touchdown, but replays indicated that Chrebet did not hold onto the ball and the Jets settled for a short field goal to send the game into overtime. It would be the last pass thrown by Pennington to Chrebet. In overtime, ignoring Pennington's injury, the Jets called a long pass to WR Justin McCareins. Predictably, the pass was very underthrown and intercepted, and on the ensuing drive, Jacksonville won the game.
UPDATE - 11/23: Just realized that I neglected to include the Jets MNF debacle on September 23, 1991. Against the Bears, the Jets 13-6 led late in the 4th quarter and the Bears were out of timeouts. If the Jets had fallen on the ball three times, they would have had to punt with about 20 seconds left. Instead, they handed the ball of to Blair Thomas, who fumbled on second down with a minute left. The Bears tied the game on a 4th down TD pass with one second left.
In overtime, the Jets missed a chip shot from 28 yards by Pat Leahy, and the Bears scored the winning TD.
The reason I forget about this game is because it was on a Jewish holiday, so I didn't see it.
I would rate this game as a tie for number 10.
Tomorrow: The fifth worst loss in New York Jets history.