New York Jets Jinx?: Top 10 "Cursed" Moments Since the 1969 Joe Namath Game
Disappointment has been instilled in every Jets fan's DNA.
Whether it's been an injury early in the season, a gust of wind in a crucial moment or a missed field goal, somehow the Jets always seem to end their season in disappointment.
It's hard to dispute that the Jets are cursed—they have been unlucky so many times, have had so many draft blunders and have been so close to reaching the Super Bowl for the second time...only to come up short again and again.
Although it's hard to pinpoint how the curse started—there's no established name for it—all Jets fans know it's there and willing to feed off their misery. Ultimately, though, it can be traced to 1969.
Ever since 1969, when Joe Namath did the impossible by beating the Baltimore Colts in an improbable win, every season has ended in heartbreak for Jets fans.
Even Joe Namath was haunted by the curse. He never had a winning season after the 1969 campaign, and he endured lingering knee problems. It's almost as if the team used up decades' worth of luck for that one amazing victory. So that's why I chose to name it "The 1969 Curse," because since 1969, the Jets have never made it to the Super Bowl.
10. 2005 Season Goes Down the Drain in One Quarter
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The Jets were a field goal away from the AFC championship in the 2004 season, so there was hope that the Jets can return to the playoffs in the 2005 season.
The Jets were 1-1 and at home in the Medowlands facing the Jaguars. Pennington hurt his shoulder in the third quarter and had to be taken out. Luckily the Jets signed experienced back-up Jay Fiedler, in the off-season.
Shortly after Fiedler would also hurt his shoulder and had to be taken out. Pennington would come back in injured and the Jets would eventually lose the game in overtime.
It was announced a few days later the both quarterbacks would be out for the season.
This left two year quarterback and sixth round draft pick, Brooks Bollinger to try and keep the season alive for the Jets.
As expected, it didn't really work out and Bollinger would post a 2-7 record as a starter. The Jets even tried to bring back 42 year old Vinny Testaverde out of retirement.That didn't work out either with Testaverde posting a 1-3 record as the starter.
The season was a huge let down and only the Jets would lose the top two QB's on the depth chart in one quarter.
9. Jets Draft Kyle Brady over Warren Sapp
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The analysts, knew it, the fans knew it, everyone seemed to know that the Jets should draft Warren Sapp, except for the Jets front office.
It seemed obvious,Sapp dropped down to ninth in the 1995 NFL draft and the Jets were in need of a defensive tackle. Even the fans were chanting "We want Sapp! We want Sapp!"
But the Jets decided to go a different direction and draft tight end Kyle Brady, fans and experts were
stunned.Chris Berman even said after the pick. "Ladies and Gentleman, our first real upset I think at this point in the draft." He was right.
Kyle Brady went on to play three seasons for the Jets before he was traded.
Meanwhile, Warren Sapp became one of the best defensive tackles of all time and a future Hall of Famer.
8. Chad Pennington Gets His Revenge on the Jets
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The next day Pennington signed with the Jets' division rivals, the Dolphins and quickly won the starting job.
Pennington would go on to have one of the best seasons of his career. He would finish with 3653 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and only seven interceptions.
He also lead the Dolphins to a win in the last game of the season over the Jets. This ensured that the Jets did not get a playoff spot at a 9-7 record and that the Dolphins would finish first in the AFC East.
Pennington would finish second in the MVP voting and would prove the Jets made a huge mistake.
7. Brett Favre, the 2008 Collapse, and the Comeback with the Vikings
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The Jets dumped Pennington for Brett Favre who had come out of retirement and was traded to the Jets. Fan's went crazy for Favre and made his jersey the top selling jersey at the time.
Favre helped the Jets exceed expectations by leading the Jets to a 6-3 record. The real test, though, was ahead of him the next two games where he had to play the Patriots and the Titans.
The Jets, lead by Favre, would beat the Patriots in 34-31 in a thrilling overtime win and crushed the undefeated, 10-0 Titans 34-13.
These two wins put the Jets at 9-3 and lead to a frenzy of hype and predictions for Jets fans and analysts. People were talking about a subway super bowl, Jets getting home-field advantage for the playoffs, and many more predictions.
No one thought that the Jets wouldn't make the playoffs, but little did everyone know it was all down hill from there.
The last five games, the Jets went 1-4, and would miss the playoffs. Brett Favre would throw for 1,011, two touchdowns, and nine interceptions in his last five games in a Jet uniform.
It was later discovered that he suffered from a torn bicep during the last five games which lead to the poor performances.
He would then retire, but come back to join the Vikings.
But in Jets curse fashion, once he took off the Jets uniform, Favre had one of the best seasons of his hall of fame career.
He would throw for 4,202 yards, 33 touchdowns and only seven interceptions in the 2009 season with the Vikings. Compare that too the 3,422 yards, 22 touchdowns and 22 interceptions with the Jets.
6. Richard Todd Chokes in the 1983 AFC Chamionship
The players strike of 1982 shortened the season to nine games, but that didn't effect Jets quarterback Richard Todd.
Todd was coming off an impressive 1981 season where he lead the Jets to a 10-5-1 record by throwing 25 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He would continue the same success in the 1982 season leading the Jets to a 6-3 record and a playoff spot.
Todd preformed well in the first two rounds of the playoffs he would finish 20-28 against the Bengals in the wild-card round and lead the Jets to a 44-17 win. They would also sneak past the Raiders with a 17-14 win on the road.
The only team standing in the way of the Jets getting to their first super bowl since 1969 was their division rivals, the Dolphins.
The night before the game, the Dolphins decided not to place tarp on the field, which lead to a wet muddy field.
The game was ugly neither offense could get anything going. But Richard Todd had to win the least valuable player for the game with one of the worst quarterback performances of all time.
He would throw for 103 yards, five interceptions, three to Dolphins linebacker A.J. Duhe.
One of Duhe's interceptions was returned for a touchdown and another put the Dolphins on the seven yard line and they rushed in for the score. The final score was 14-0, with all the Dolphins' points coming from Richard Todd.
This lead to the Jets looking for a quarterback in the 1983 draft but that comes up in a couple of slides.
5. Doug Brien Misses Two Field Goals
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Doug Brien was a pretty consistent field goal kicker for the Jets in the 2004 regular season, he was 24-29 with an 84% average. One game though, two kicks, marked his career in the NFL.
The score was 17-17 late in the fourth quarter and the Jets offense had little life.They were able to drive down to the 30 yard line and give Doug Brien a 47 yard field goal with 2:02 left. Brien missed it off the cross-bar and the game was still tied.
The Jets had new life when on the first play of the Steeler's drive, the rookie Ben Roethlisberger, was picked off by Eric Barton in Jets territory.
The Jets wanted to run the clock so Herm Edwards made the notorious decision to kneel it with Chad Pennington to make it a 43 yard field goal with the kick being the last play in regulations. Many critics say Edwards should've ran it with Curtis Martin and put Brien closer.
Brien missed it wide right for the last play of regulation. The Jets never got the ball back as the Steeler's won the game off of a field goal in overtime.
Doug Brien was released by the Jets and signed with the Bears where he was released after one season.
4. 1998 AFC Championship "The Wind"
Original Video Got Removed
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The Jets were up 10-0 at the half and it seemed like they were on the road to make it to their first Super Bowl since 1969.
The Broncos got the ball first and scored a touchdown quickly making it 10-7. The Jets were about to get the ball back on the kick-off, then came one of the most bizarre moments in Jets history.
A swirling gust of wind pushed the ball on the kick off back to the Broncos and they were able to recover the kick-off.
They would score a field goal and deflate the Jets. The Jets never scored again that game and lost 23-10.
3. 1999 Season Opener: Vinny Goes Down
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With the Jets making the AFC championship the previous season, the Jets seemed poised to get back there under coach Bill Parcells.
Little did they know in the season opener, star Quarterback Vinny Testaverde, would rupture an Achilles tendon and be out for the season.
The Jets back-up Rick Mirrer wasn't a good replacement leading the team too 2-6 before he was benched for Ray Lucas.
Ray Lucas was able to turn it around for the Jets and finish 6-2, but by week 12, they were eliminated from the playoffs.
That would be Bill Parcells last season as head coach for the Jets and eventually lead to another "cursed" moment.
2. Jets Draft Ken O'Brien over Dan Marino
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The Jets were looking for a quarterback to challenge Richard Todd for starting QB in the 1983 draft, after a poor performance in the 1983 AFC Championship. Luckily for the Jets, Pittsburgh quarterback Dan Marino fell right to them at the 24th pick.
Commissioner Pete Rozelle was announcing the Jets pick he paused at quarterback, and everyone in the room that the next two words were going to be "Dan Marino."
Turns out the Jets took Division II quarterback Ken O'Brien out of Cal-Davis instead. Dan Marino would be picked three picks later by the Dolphins.
One fan surprised over the pick said "Obviously the Jets know something about [Marino] that we don't know."
It tuned out the Jets didn't know Marino would become arguably one of the best quarterbacks in the history of football and a hated rival of the Jets.
Ken O'Brien would later have a pretty good eight seasons with the Jets and made the pro-bowl twice. But it's hard to look at his accomplishments once you compare them to Marino's hall of fame career.
1. Bill Belicheck Becomes Head Coach for a Day
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After Bill left the Jets as head coach after the 1999 season, he talked with Jets management to have defensive coordinator Bill Belichick succeed him.
One day after the news was publicized that Belichick was to be head coach of the Jets, Belichick was set to have an introduction press conference.
Before the press conference, Belichick infamously wrote "I resign as HC of the NYJ" on a piece of loose leaf paper. The press conference that was thought to introduce Belichick turned into a 30-minute resignation speech.
He then signed with the Patriots and the rest is history after leading them to three super bowl titles in four years, and the Jets still having none since 1969.