NY Jets: Top 5 Best/Worst Week 1 Games
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In a little more than 24 hours, fans of the New York Jets will finally get a chance to see if all the experts' predictions about this team falling further in the standings is true.
For the optimistic Jets fans, the chance for your team to prove the experts wrong and showcase a dominant defense with a little bit of Tebow-mania on the side can vault this team back into the playoffs.
Walking down memory lane, I have complied a list of the top five best/worst Week 1 games in team history to get fans in the mood.
Ray Lewis ended the Jets chance at a comeback win with this hit on Dustin Keller in the Jets 2010 season opening loss to the Ravens.
Worst: 2010 - Ravens 10, Jets 9
Coming off the hype and hope of Hard Knocks and appearing in the AFC Championship game, Jets fans were thoroughly excited to see this team start the season. However, the joy was short lived, as the Jets disappointed their raucous fans at the team's first game at Met Life Stadium. Mark Sanchez completed just 10 passes for 74 yards.
Best: 2009 - Jets 24, Texans 7
The first game of the Rex Ryan/Mark Sanchez era got off to a great start as the Jets dominated the Houston Texans. Sanchez threw for 272 yards and a TD, while their defense smothered Matt Schaub and held them to just 183 total yards.
Larry Johnson's TD run three plays into the 2005 season opener was a sign of bad things to come in a 4-12 season.
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Worst: 2005 - Chiefs 27, Jets 7
After almost reaching the 2004 AFC Championship game (see Doug Brien), Jets fans were excited to start the 2005 season. They had sent Brien on his way in favor of Ohio State kicker supreme Mike Nugent. They had signed Ty Law to help with the secondary. They had signed Jay Fielder to help if Chad Pennington went down with an injury.
Sadly, the Jets season was summed up pretty quickly in one play when Larry Johnson took the third snap and raced 35 yards for a TD. The Jets managed a late TD to avoid the shutout, but for a fanbase that expected to build off the success of 2004, this was a major letdown.
Best: 1983 - Jets 41, Chargers 29
Fans were excited for the 1983 season as the Jets were coming off successful seasons that included consecutive playoff berths and a trip to the AFC Championship game in 1982.
Behind new coach and former offensive coordinator, the Jets and Joe Walton got off to a great start with a 41-29 win at San Diego. The Chargers themselves were coming off four straight playoff seasons which included trips to the 1980 and 1981 AFC Championship games. Richard Todd threw for two TD and Freeman McNeil ran for 120 yards and a TD in the win.
Vinny Testaverde returned to lead the Jets to an impressive season opening win in Green Bay.
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Worst: 1981 - Bills, 31 Jets 0
In a season that would eventually produce the sack exchange and the team's first playoff berth since 1969, the 1981 season started off horrendous for the Jets. Richard Todd and their offense totaled just 231 yards and eight first downs in a 31-0 washout.
Best: 2000 - Jets 20, Packers 16
After the disappointment of the 1999 season (more to come), the Jets got back their franchise QB Vinny Testaverde and he showed why they missed him so much.
Testaverde led a fourth-quarter comeback that was capped with a 3-yard TD pass to Curtis Martin. Martin was solid as well, running for 110 yards and a TD as the Jets upset Brett Favre and the Packers on their own turf.
Dan Marino and the Dolphins enjoyed ripping the Jets apart in the 1995 season opener.
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Worst: 1995 - Dolphins 52, Jets 14
Game one of the Rich Kotite era went just about how Jets fans expected, as Kotite slashed the roster and left the Jets with starters such as the great Charles Wilson at WR. Dan Marino and the Dolphins laughed all the way to the end zone as the Dolphins scored the final 38 points of the game.
Best: 1994 - Jets 23, Bills 3
Jets fans were hoping to forget the Bruce Coslet era as youthful, Pete Carroll was handed the reigns in the 1994 season. Carroll promised an end to the "same 'ol Jets" and delivered in Week 1.
The Jets dominated the three-time defending AFC Champs, holding the Bills to just 209 total yards and sacking Jim Kelly four times. This was just the second time in their last 14 games that the Jets defeated the Bills.
Jets fans everywhere watched in horror as Vinny Testaverde rolled in agony on the Meadowlands turf in the 1999 season opener. The Jets best chance to reach the Super Bowl rolled out with Testaverde, who did not play another down that season.
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Worst: 1999 - Patriots 30, Jets 28
Without a doubt the most damaging season opener in team history as Jets fans watched Vinny Testaverde tear his Achilles diving for a fumble by Curtis Martin. After reaching the AFC Championship game in 1998, the Jets loaded up by adding veterans such as Steve Atwater in the hope of reaching the Super Bowl.
In addition to their 1999 season going down the drain, this was also the final season for Bill Parcells, who retired after the final game. With Bill Bellichick set to take over as coach, he shocked the Jets and resigned before officially accepting the job, to take over as head coach of the Patriots.
The Patriots drafted Tom Brady in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft and 13 years later Jets fans are still cursing his name as he and Brady have led the Patriots to nine AFC East titles, five AFC titles and three Super Bowl championships.
Best: 1997 - Jets 41, Seahawks 3
After washing themselves clean of the Rich Kotite seasons, the Jets entered a new era with two-time Super Bowl champion Bill Parcells as head coach.
Opening the season in Seattle, the Jets thoroughly dominated the Seahawks as Neil O'Donnell threw for 270 yards and five TD.
Parcells would turn around a 1-15 team in 1996 to a 9-7 team in 1997. The next season the Jets would win their first AFC East title in team history.