The New York Jets' Matteau Moment
Recently, a fellow bleacher report writer had written an article about Matteau's game winning goal against the Devils in the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals that launched the Rangers to the Stanley Cup finals. This got me thinking, what is the New York Jets' Matteau moment?
Well if you know the Jets then you know they have not had much playoff success. And in my mind the moment that comes closest to matching Matteau didn't happen in the playoffs at all.
If you woke up on Tuesday October 24th, 2000, you would have seen the headlines on the newspapers saying "The Monday Night Miracle Men", and for a day that is exactly what they were.
The night before, the Jets took on divisional foe Miami Dolphins and it was a key match-up in the season. The Meadowlands was packed to capacity as the J-E-T-S chants could have been heard from Maine, to Florida, and across to LA, only because it was a nationally televised game.
But the intensity was short lived as the fish swam out to an early lead and built that lead to 30-7 going into the fourth quarter. The fans began to pile out of the stadium while Jets announcer Howard David quoted "And with a whole quarter to go, this game is over."
There were a few optimists left in the stands, they remained loyal to their team and stuck it out. Arnold Schwarzenegger was in the booth at halftime and made a bold prediction that Wayne Chrebet would catch a TD to win the game. Arnold was close.
Chrebet would catch a fourth quarter TD which was followed by a Jumbo Elliot TD to send the game into overtime where John Hall would finish off the second largest comeback in NFL history.
To show how strange of a game this was, the Jets recorded 20 first downs in the fourth quarter and Vinny Testaverde threw three touchdowns to players who have never recorded a touchdown before, which were Coles, Wiggins, and Elliot.
In overtime, The Jets intercepted the ball twice, but one was fumbled immediately and given right back to the Phins. The second though led to John Hall's field goal.
OK, its not the playoffs and it didn't propel the Jets to the Super Bowl like Matteau propelled the the Rangers to the Cup Finals. But to me,this is the greatest Jets moment in my lifetime.
And it isn't the same because there is no single hero in this game, there were several. It could have been Chrebet, Elliot, Testaverde, Hall, or even the "New York Sack Exchange" who were responsible for holding the Phins in the 4th quarter.
It just goes to show you, if you pay 80$ for that ticket, you may as well stay for the whole game because you never what will happen before the final buzzer sounds.
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