New York Jets 2010 Year In Review: Top 10 Moments
Calendar year 2010 was one of the best years in New York Jets' football history. Owner Woody Johnson has spent his money to ensure that the Jets are no longer the league's punchline as they were before the Bill Parcells era of the late '90s.
As the year draws to a close, let's pause to reflect on its top 10 moments.
Honorable Mention: Nov. 14, 2010, Jets Beat Browns in Overtime
This doesn't make the top ten because it was a game that felt more like relief than a fun moment for Jets fans.
After allowing a late TD to Colt McCoy and the Browns, the Jets found themselves in overtime.
The Browns were driving, when former Jet Chansi Stuckey made a first-down catch that would have put the Browns in field goal range. However, the wide receiver coughed up the ball and the Jets had momentarily averted disaster.
With just seconds remaining in the game, a tie seemed not only possible, but probable.
However, Sanchez and Santonio Holmes had other ideas. He took a slant pass up the seam for a touchdown winning the game for the Jets in overtime.
Now for the top 10 of 2010...
10. Sept. 13, 2010: Jets Play First Monday Night Game at New Meadowlands
Since their move from Shea Stadium, to share residence of Giants Stadium with the New York Giants, the Jets and their fans have always been second-class football citizens in New York. Although the rivalry doesn't have the vitriolic nature of Islanders/Rangers or of Mets/Yankees, the Jets-Giants feud is more like that of a younger brother who is struggling to get out of the shadow of his older brother.
Although the season opened in a hard-fought loss to the Ravens, the move to share a stadium equally with the New York Giants as the New Meadowlands Stadium and not "Giants Stadium" ushers in a new era of New York Jets' football.
“We’re finally here." - Woody Johnson on the New Meadowlands.
9. Sept.19, 2010: Jets Beat Patriots, 28-14
Mark Sanchez throws a career-high three touchdown passes leading the Jets past their arch rival the New England Patriots. The Jets turn a 14-7 deficit into a 28-14 win as Sanchez silences the critics for a week.
The win in the Jets' first of 2010, and their first in their new home.
"We're back to being who we think we are." - Rex Ryan
8. Sept. 26, 2010: Jets Slip By Dolphins in Jason Taylor's Return to Miami
Jason Taylor chose to sign with the Jets for the 2010 NFL season after being played around with by the Miami Dolphins.
For the second straight week, Mark Sanchez played like a star. The Jets moved to a winning record as Sanchez threw for two more TDs and 256 yards for the Jets.
This marked the first time in Sanchez's young career that the signal-caller threw for more than one touchdown in consecutive weeks, and the Jets' defense, despite allowing 23 points, made the play of the night when they intercepted Chad Henne to seal the win for New York.
"They booed, and I smiled." - Jason Taylor
7. Oct.11, 2010: Jets Get Revenge On Favre
Brett was "The Jet" Favre for one year: 2008. In that year he gave the Jets life and to the precipice of the playoffs.
His selfish attitude cost Eric Mangini his job as coach when the Jets collapsed down the stretch to miss the playoffs at 9-7.
The 29-20 victory, sealed by a Dwight Lowery pick-six of a Brett Favre pass was sweet revenge for the surging Jets whose record moved to 4-1 after the victory.
"That's a heck of a win." - Rex Ryan
6. Nov. 21, 2010: Sanchez to Edwards for Improbable Game-Winner vs. Texans
The Jets controlled the Texans for the game's first three quarters. They seemed poised to finally have that dominating win the fan-base was calling for.
Then, disaster struck. Shonn Greene fumbled, the Texans scored and the Jets found themselves up less than one score.
After a stop, the Texans scored again putting the Jets behind late in the game.
Sanchez was forced into a turnover, and a lot Jet fans headed for the exits.
A Texans field goal put the Jets behind by four.
Sanchez and the Jets had the ball 72 yards away from a game-winning score with under a minute to go and no timeouts.
After a 19 yard catch and run by L.T., Sanchez had the ball at the 48 of Houston. He threw deep and connected down the sideline to Braylon Edwards for 42 yards. On the next play, Sanchez hit Santonio Holmes on the fade in the corner of the end-zone and the Jets pulled out an exciting 30-27 win.
"We don't think we're ever out of it at all. We tick ourselves off when we put ourselves in those situations, but we know that we're always capable of coming back in any game in any situation." - Tight end, Dustin Keller
5. Dec. 26, 2010: Graham Gano Boots Jets Into Playoffs
It's kind of odd that a day on which the Jets lost would make the top ten, but it is the second straight year the Jets are in the playoffs under second-year head coach Rex Ryan.
Running back LaDainian Tomlinson said Gano's game-winning field goal against the Jacksonville Jaguars was "like Christmas."
It was a bittersweet day, losing a crazy game to the Bears in snowy Chicago, but Gano's kick was a great moment for Jets fans.
His field goal in overtime knocked the Jaguars out of Wild Card contention, and locked up the Jets' playoff spot in 2010.
"By the way, I think we're in the playoffs not the way I wanted it, but I'll take it." - Rex Ryan
4. Jets Win In Pittsburgh for the First Time in Their History
With the Jets leading 22-17, Ben Roethlisberger had the Steelers in position to break the Jets' hearts, and send New York to its third straight loss and a 9-5 season-record. The loss would have put the Jets' playoff hopes in serious peril and even the most ardent Jet supporter, had to be worried when the Steelers had it first-and-goal.
The Jets, however, stood tall and stoned the last two pass attempts sealing the victory for the Jets—the first win in Pittsburgh in the team's history.
"This win might surprise a lot of people, but it didn't surprise us." - Rex Ryan
"Same old Jets, going to Pittsburgh and picking up the win." - Rex Ryan
3. Jan. 3, 2010: Jets Crush Bengals In "Win and In" Scenario
After an improbable come from behind win over the Colts, the Jets found themselves at 8-7 as the calendar year flipped to 2010.
The Jets needed a win over the Bengals on a frigid night at Giants Stadium. This was to be the last game in Giants Stadium, and the Jets wanted to close the old building with a bang!
The Jets completely dominated the game and a potentially nerve-racking scenario became a party for Jets fans as the Jets rolled over the AFC North division champs to secure the Wild Card playoff berth.
"It’s a special feeling. A few weeks ago, people had us counted out." - Mark Sanchez
2. Jan. 9, 2010: Jets Beat Bengals In the First Round of the Playoffs
When the Jets blew out the Bengals in Week 17, they earned the right to face the Bengals again in the always exciting Wild Card round.
The Jets entered the game as three-point underdogs to the home-standing Bengals.
The Jets rode their other rookie, the electrifying Shonn Greene who rushed 21 times for 135 yards and a touchdown. Young Mark Sanchez was efficient and effective as the Jets pulled the upset to move on to round two of the playoffs.
"They might have a chance to make a move, their defense is that good." - Carson Palmer, Bengals QB
1. Jan. 17, 2010: Jets Advance to AFC Title Game Beating Chargers in San Diego
After dispatching of the Bengals, the Jets travelled to San Diego to face one of the league's best teams, and one of the Super Bowl favorites, the San Diego Chargers.
The Jets once again rode their newly found star Shonn Greene to victory in California.
Greene rushed for 128 yards and another touchdown for the suddenly surging Jets.
Trailing 7-3, the Jets scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to pull away from San Diego.
The Chargers mounted a late rally, but Vincent Jackson took a 15-yard penalty when he kicked a Rex Ryan challenge flag of a late, clutch reception along the sideline.
Normally reliable Nate Kaeding missed his three field-goal attempts, including a pair of short field goals.
The Jets were advancing to the championship game of the AFC for the first time since 1998.
"We believed the whole time, the whole year, when it probably wasn't the popular choice...We don't have to apologize to anyone." - Rex Ryan