Ranking Every New York Jets Season in Franchise History

Rocco Constantino@@br_jets_reportContributor IAugust 2, 2012

Ranking Every New York Jets Season in Franchise History

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    2012 marks the 53rd season in the history of the Jets franchise.  

    Although there has been only one Super Bowl in the past 52 years, the memories this franchise has given three generations of New York Jets fans have been priceless.

    There have been improbable triumphs, mind-blowing collapses and a legacy that fans are proud to call their own.

    Jets fans are stringently loyal, and no matter how many times the team messes up the draft, hires the wrong coach or gets "oh so close" to the Super Bowl, they will never give up. Their faith may waver, but they won't leave this franchise. They have too much invested.

    The eras run together in a colorful concoction of thrilling highs and terrible lows. There were the New York Titans, Broadway Joe, the dreadful 1970s, the New York Sack Exchange, the Rich Kotite disaster, the Bill Parcells revival, the new millennium, Herm and Mangenius and now Rex and Revis Island.

    The franchise started in the Polo Grounds, went on to the rollicking Shea Stadium days, then to the Meadowlands and now a new home in MetLife Stadium. The memories created in each stadium were distinct and vivid.

    Leon Hess once famously said, "I'm 80 years old, I want results now."

     No matter what age any Jets fan is, they know exactly how he felt when he said that.

    As the Jets prepare for their 53rd season, one can only hope that they will be writing a new page in team history; that they will finally come through on that Super Bowl promise we aren't talking about anymore.

    Maybe one day, the names of Revis, Mangold, Sanchez and Harris will be up there next to Snell, Maynard, Grantham and Boozer.  But nobody will by up there with Namath.

    This slideshow takes a deeper look at every Jets' season in franchise history by ranking them in order of worst to best.  The top and bottom seasons are easy to predict, but the 50 seasons in between are the scariest roller coaster ride you have ever been on.     

    There's a "Jets' Fans Agony Index" to rate the heartbreak from 0-100 for each season along the way to help guide you. Hang on; this is a bumpy ride.

    But one that no proud Jets fan would trade for anything. 

52. 1996 (1-15)

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    Head Coach: Rich Kotite

    Record: 1-15 (fifth AFC East)

    Highlights: Somehow, the team managed a 31-21 win in Week 9 against the Arizona Cardinals behind a 199-yard rushing performance from Adrian Murrell. The next highlight came in Week 16, when Kotite announced he would resign after the season.

    Lowlights: The Jets lost their first two games to the Broncos and Colts, respectively, by a combined score of 52-13, and things never got better from there. 

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: This is the unquestioned worst season in Jets history.  

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: The only season that could rank lower than this would be if there was an entire season lost due to a work-stoppage, and even that might be better than enduring this debacle. 

    Team Most Valuable Player: Adrian Murrell: Murrell had a great season for the Jets considering the circumstances. He ran the ball 301 times for 1,249 yards and six touchdowns.  

    Team Least Valuable Player: Rich Kotite: Kotite was clueless, miserable and overwhelmed as he bumbled his way through the final year of his six-year coaching career.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 100

    The Bottom Line: Just an outright disaster of a season from start to finish, and the less written about it, the better. The team didn't even get the benefit of having the No. 1 draft pick in the 1997 NFL draft. as it traded the pick to the Rams. The Rams ended up drafting future Hall of Famer Orlando Pace.    

51. 1976 (3-11)

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    Head Coach: Mike Holovak/Lou Holtz

    Record: 3-11 (fourth, AFC East)

    Highlights: The outcome of the game itself wasn't a highlight, but on December 12, 1976 Joe Namath suited up for the Jets for the last time in his career. The Jets lost 42-3 to a strong Bengals team that day. The Jets beat the winless Buccaneers and swept a two-win Bills team for their three wins. 

    Lowlights: Watching Namath the entire season. The legend was a shell of his former self as he limped his way to the end of his career. Namath went 1-7 in eight starts and had five games in which he completed less than 10 passes. The team set a franchise record by being outscored by its opponents by a combined 214 points.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: This season was even worse than their 3-11 record suggests. The Jets were lucky to have the putrid Bucs and Bills on their schedule three times.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: Hey, at least they beat the Bills and Bucs.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Clark Gaines: Gaines ran for 724 yards and had 41 receptions for 400 more yards. He had five touchdowns to lead the team.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Richard Todd: Todd was a 23-year-old rookie in 1976 and played in 13 games for the Jets in 1976. He completed an abysmal 40.1 percent of his passes and had a 33.2 quarterback rating. Todd surpassed 100 yards, passing just twice.  

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 96

    The Bottom Line: It's always tough to move on from a legend, but the truth is, the Jets should have replaced Namath at least two seasons before. What made things worse was that Todd was completely overmatched as a rookie, and even a gimpy Namath fared better than Todd.  

    If that wasn't enough, Lou Holtz was a disaster on the level of Rich Kotite as a head coach and didn't even make it through his first season as a head coach before resigning.  

50. 1975 (3-11)

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    Head Coach: Ken Shipp/Charlie Winner

    Record: 3-11 (fourth AFC East)

    Highlights: The Jets moved to 2-1 to start the season by romping the New England Patriots, 36-7, in their home opener. Also of note was that the game was attended by Japan's Emperor Hirohito. 

    Lowlights: After the 2-1 start, the Jets lost the next eight games to fall into last place in the AFC East. The low point of the season came in Week 9. The Jets lost to the Baltimore Colts, 52-19, and then fired head coach Charlie Winner after the game.  

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The team's minus-175 point differential was the second-worst performance in team history, behind just the 1976 team. The team ranked dead last in the NFL in points allowed and yards allowed.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: Give the team a sliver of credit for giving fans some hope through the season's first three weeks. Also, a sweep of the Patriots in any era deserves some accolades. 

    Team Most Valuable Player: John Riggins: Riggins rushed for 1,005 yards and was named to the Pro Bowl. Amazingly, this was the only time Riggins was selected to the Pro Bowl in his Hall of Fame career. He would leave the Jets in the offseason to sign with the Redskins

    Team Least Valuable Player: Joe Namath: Although credit has to be given to Joe Namath for trying to play a full season while barely being able to walk, his play was abysmal in 1975. Namath only completed 48.2 percent of his passes and threw 15 touchdowns against 28 interceptions. His quarterback rating sunk to 51 for the season. 

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 93

    The Bottom Line: The end of the Namath era in New York was painful and ugly. The 1970s were a horrid decade for the Jets, and the 1975 team was mired right in the middle of the pain. The team hadn't been good for a while and wasn't about to improve much anytime soon.

49. 2005 (4-12)

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    Head Coach: Herman Edwards

    Record: 4-12 (fourth AFC East)

    Highlights: After a disappointing loss to the Chiefs on opening day, the Jets bounced back to beat the Dolphins, 17-7, behind a dominant defense in Week 2. However, Chad Pennington would be injured the next week, thrusting Brooks Bollinger into the starting role, thus ending any hope the Jets had at having a decent season.  

    One other highlight was the fact that the Chiefs inexplicably traded a fourth-round draft pick to the Jets for head coach Herman Edwards. The Jets turned that pick into Leon Washington.  

    Lowlights: As bad as the results were on the field, nothing was as bad as the sickening hit that ended Wayne Chrebet's NFL career in Week 9. Chrebet caught a pass to convert a late third-down against the Chargers, but his head hit the turf hard and knocked the popular receiver unconscious. Fittingly, Chrebet held onto the ball despite being out cold.

    Also of note, Curtis Martin's season ended early thanks to knee surgery, and Pennington played in just two full games.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: Besides the on-field disastrous results, it was tough on Jets fans to watch Pennington, Martin and Chrebet all suffer serious injuries. Chrebet deserved to come off the field to a standing ovation at the conclusion of his Jets career, not helped off in a woozy haze after laying unconscious on the turf.  

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: It's tough to rank the team any lower because of the injuries to the key players. The team had its chance to see if it had anything in Bollinger and proved to itself that they didn't.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Jonathan Vilma: A year after being named the AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year the year before, Vilma earned his first Pro Bowl nod when he amassed an outstanding 128 total tackles to lead the club. Honorable mention goes to Ty Law, who racked up 10 interceptions.  

    Team Least Valuable Player: Brooks Bollinger: The Jets took a chance on Bollinger in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL draft and thought they might have something in the young signal-caller from Wisconsin. They didn't. He threw just seven touchdowns in 11 games in leading the 31st-ranked offense in the NFL. His play prompted the Jets to bring a 42-year-old Vinny Testaverde out of semi-retirement.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 95

    The Bottom Line: It's the NFL, and players are bound to get hurt. This was just one of those seasons totally lost to too many injuries. In addition to Pennington, Testaverde and Bollinger, Jay Fiedler and Kliff Kingsbury appeared in games at quarterback.

    At least the Jets were able to turn their poor season into two first-round draft picks in 2006. They used those picks to select D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold.  

48. 1995 (3-13)

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    Head Coach: Rich Kotite

    Record: 3-13 (fifth in AFC East)

    Highlights: One of the only things Jets fans had to root for all season was the remarkable story of a rookie free agent named Wayne Chrebet. Chrebet was given little-to-no chance to even make the roster, yet he worked his way right into a job as a starting wide receiver.  

    He went on to establish a Jets rookie record for receptions when he surpassed Matt Snell in a Week 14 loss to the Patriots. The previous mark had stood for over 20 years.  

    Lowlights: Once again, the Jets were atrocious right from the start. Kotite was the team's third head coach in three years and got off to a brutal start with a 52-14 loss on opening day to the Dolphins.

    The on-field disasters, however, paled in comparison to the personal loss the team had when general manager Dick Steinberg lost his battle with stomach cancer on September 25.   

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: Practically nothing from this season had any redeeming qualities. The only thing that can be said about Kotite's first season as a Jets head coach is that it wasn't as bad as his second. According to Pro Footbal Reference's simple rating system, which measures the success of each individual season against the rest of the league, this was the second-worst season in franchise history.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: Only the disheartening injuries of 2005 and the sad end of Broadway Joe's career keep this season from being rated lower than 48th. The team allowed the least amount of passing yardage in the NFL, so it had that going for it. That mostly had to do with the fact that teams just rammed the ball down their defense's throats on the ground every game.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Hugh Douglas: The rookie registered 10 sacks and proved to be an outstanding situational pass-rusher. After the season, Douglas was named the AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Of course, two seasons later, he was traded to the Eagles, where he would become a three-time Pro Bowler.  

    Team Least Valuable Player: Vance Joseph: Remember him? No? Good! He was a quarterback for the University of Colorado and the Jets tried to convert him into a starting cornerback as a rookie free agent. Anytime he was on the field, it was easy pickings for any quarterback who threw his way.

    It was one of the more disastrous experiments in franchise history.  He played in 13 games, starting six of them, and was off the roster by the end of the season.  

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 95

    The Bottom Line: This team was flat-out hard to watch. It allowed over 2,000 yards on the ground and had the 30th-ranked defense in the NFL.  Week after week, teams just pounded the ball on the ground against the Jets, who stood little chance in any of the games they played. They were outscored by 151 points, the fifth-worst total in franchise history.  

47. 1977 (3-11)

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    Head Coach: Walt Michaels

    Record: 3-11 (fourth AFC East)

    Highlights: It's getting really hard to find highlights in these seasons. Not much went right for Michaels in his first year as Jets head coach. The team turned to Richard Todd full-time to replace Joe Namath, who was now a member of the Rams.

    Todd struggled for most of the season, but gave a brief flash of future promise in a loss against the Raiders. Todd threw for 396 yards and four touchdowns against a Raiders team that would advance to the AFC Championship game. Besides that highlight, I have nothing. 

    Lowlights: After starting the season 2-2, the Jets went on a seven-game losing streak to sabotage their season. I said it before, the 1970s were a rough time to be a Jets fan.  

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The Jets were lucky to have the Bills and Saints on their schedule, as both were three-win teams in 1977. Two of their three wins came against them. The Jets were shutout three times in 1977 and scored less than 14 points five other times. They also ranked dead last in the NFL in passing defense.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: The 1977 Jets came into the season with no expectations of success whatsoever. They came off two of the worst seasons in franchise history the two years before and were in year one of the post-Namath era. The plan was to hand the reigns to Todd, let him takes his lumps and hope he doesn't get killed trying to develop.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Bruce Harper: The popular Jet was an all-around threat as a receiver, running back and return man. He was third in the NFL with 1,867 return yards and led the NFL with 42 kick returns. The rookie was third on the team in both rushing and receiving yards as well.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Richard Todd: It's hard to pick on Todd here because he was just a young quarterback who had very minimal help around him, but someone has to be the scapegoat. Todd came into the year with some experience from the year before, but showed almost no improvement in his first full year as a starter. Better days would be ahead, though.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 60

    The Bottom Line: This year couldn't have been as frustrating as years past for Jets fans. While nobody likes to sit through a three-win season, this team had nothing from the start. Namath was gone, and the team was being turned over to Todd and Michaels to build from the ground up.  

46. 1992 (4-12)

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    Head Coach: Bruce Coslet

    Record: 4-12 (fourth AFC East)

    Highlights: The Jets went 5-0 in the preseason behind exceptional play from Browning Nagle, the team's second-round draft pick in 1991. Nagle got off to a great start, as he threw for 366 yards and two touchdowns in an opening day loss to the Falcons.

    It looked like the Jets would have a seamless transition from the Ken O'Brien era. At the time, the 366 yards passing was the second-highest total for any NFL quarterback making his first career start.

    Beating the Dolphins, who were the AFC East champs in 1992, was also a highlight.

    Lowlights: While this season was marked with disappointment, the real lowlights had nothing to do with game results. First, in a Week 9 loss to the Broncos, Jets legend Al Toon suffered a concussion and was forced to retire immediately after just eight seasons.  

    However, the real tragedy came in Week 13, when Dennis Byrd and Scott Mersereau collided in the backfield in a game against the Chiefs. Mersereau suffered a back injury that would cut short a promising career, and Byrd was paralyzed from a broken neck.  

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The Jets had high expectations in 1992 after squeaking into the playoffs the year before at 8-8. The team took a major step back on the field, and the injuries to Toon and Byrd cast a pall over the organization. 1992 also marked the end of the Jets careers of Ken O'Brien and Freeman McNeil.  

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: While the team was coming off a playoff appearance in 1991, this really ended up being a rebuilding season more than people realized. With McNeil, O'Brien and Toon all reaching the end of their Jets careers and Mark Gastineau and Joe Klecko long gone, the 1980s were now officially over. It's hard to penalize a team too much for poor play in such a transitional year. 

    Team Most Valuable Player: Dennis Byrd: No Jet player stood out statistically, so the nod goes to Byrd. Byrd's courage in fighting his horrific injury has been inspirational for people inside and outside the organization.  

    Despite being 3-9 the week after Byrd's injury, the team went up to Buffalo the next week and beat the AFC East-leading Bills behind an inspired effort. The Jets will rightly retire his jersey in 2012.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Browning Nagle: Maybe the Jets overrated his talent, but that still doesn't excuse his utter inability to lead the Jets into the end zone. After throwing two touchdowns on opening day, Nagle threw just five more all season. He threw 17 interceptions and had a quarterback rating of 55.7. After just one season, it was clear Nagle wasn't the answer.  

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 88

    The Bottom Line: The Jets were probably sabotaged from the start when O'Brien held out for more money, and instead of caving to O'Brien's demands, leadership turned the team over to Nagle instead. Throw in the catastrophic injuries, and it was a tough year for fans to deal with.  

45. 1980 (4-12)

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    Head Coach: Walt Michaels

    Record: 4-12 (fifth AFC East)

    Highlights: Just about the only highlight this year came in Week 3 against the 49ers. In the game, Richard Todd broke an NFL record with 42 completions in one game. Despite finishing with 447 yards passing, the Jets lost to the 49ers, 37-27. Running back Clark Gaines caught 17 passes in the game, a team record that still stands today.

    Lowlights: The Jets were limping to the end of a dismal season when they hosted the winless Saints for the second-to-last game of the year. In a total mail-in effort, the Jets inexplicably lost to the Saints, 21-20, behind two fourth-quarter rushing touchdowns by Tony Galbreath. It was the kind of effort that would get a coach fired in today's game.  

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The loss to the hapless Saints alone causes this to be one of the worst seasons in franchise history. Unlike other seasons where the team had key injuries, this team just flat-out underachieved. The Jets were virtually eliminated before the first full week of October when they started the season 0-5. 

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: It very easily could be, as the Jets really had no excuse for a season like this. The only redeeming quality of this season was that young players like Mark Gastineau, Joe Klecko, Marty Lyons, Mickey Shuler and Wesley Walker gained valuable experience towards more promising times.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Marvin Powell: Powell was the team's only Pro Bowler, and by now, was established as one of the best young tackles in the league. Powell was an All-Pro the year before as well.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Richard Todd: Todd was not a kid anymore, and his NFL-leading 30 interceptions was unacceptable.  

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 90

    The Bottom Line: The Jets were coming off consecutive 8-8 seasons, and expectations were cautiously high. It was the first time the Jets posted back-to-back non-losing seasons since 1968 and 1969, and Todd seemed to be developing slightly as a quarterback.  

    However, as Todd regressed, so did the team. The year was a total give-up, and if this happened today,it would have constituted a major shakeup in the coaching staff and player personnel.   

44. 1989 (4-12)

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    Head Coach: Joe Walton

    Record: 4-12 (fifth AFC East)

    Highlights: After starting the season with two losses by a combined nine points, the Jets scored 21 fourth-quarter points for a stunning 40-33 come-from-behind win against the Dolphins. Things went downhill fast from there, though.

    Lowlights: Echoes of "Joe must go!" bounced around the half-empty Meadowlands as the Jets mailed in the final three games of the season. The team lost the final three games of the year by a combined score of 88-14, ushering Walton out the door. Unfortunately, it would be seven more years before the team would have another winning season. 

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: Even though there are other Jets teams who had similar outcomes, none quit on its coach quite like the 1989 team.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: This was a team strapped by aging players, poor personnel decisions and a head coach who was finishing his run in the NFL. Looking back, there was no way this team would succeed.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Erik McMillan: McMillan had one of the great brief careers in Jets history. The opportunistic safety made the Pro Bowl for the second time in his two-year career in 1989 after scoring three defensive touchdowns. McMillan led the team with six interceptions and returned both fumbles he recovered for touchdowns.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Chris Burkett: With Al Toon battling injuries and Wesley Walker battling old age, the Jets acquired Burkett, who had been a promising receiver for the Bills. Burkett led the NFL in yards per reception in 1986 and topped the 700-yard mark in 1986 and 1987. With the Jets, he was a total bust in 1989, as he caught just 21 balls in 13 games.   

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 85

    The Bottom Line: Jets fans were at their wits end with Joe Walton in 1989 as it was clear that a brief era of prosperity was drawing to a slow and painful end. The team had a minus-158 point differential, which was its third-worst total in franchise history and was non-competitive for most of the year. Ken O'Brien started just 12 games in 1989 but was sacked an NFL-high 50 times.  

    This season was a total mess, but it at least led to Walton's departure.   

43. 1963 (5-8-1)

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    Head Coach: Weeb Ewbank

    Record: 5-8-1 (fourth AFL East)

    Highlights: Many of this season's highlights came off the field. A group led by Sonny Werblin bought the New York Titans of the AFL and changed their name to the Jets. The team also hired Weeb Ewbank as head coach after he was let go by the Baltimore Colts.

    The Jets reached their high-water mark in Week 4 when they stood at 3-1 after a three-game winning streak. However, they faded fast to a disappointing end.

    Lowlights: The team won just two of its final 10 games as the early-season excitement faded quickly. A 53-7 drubbing at the hands of Tobin Rote and the San Diego Chargers came in the middle of that run.  

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: Although it was a historic season for the franchise, the season-ending slump made for a sour conclusion. The team had to be penalized for a 48-0 no-show loss to the Chiefs on the final week of the season, a team it beat 17-0 earlier in the year. 

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: Too much good feeling at the start of the year. Fans got to enjoy some excitement with the ownership, coaching and name change, followed by a nice start to the year.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Blake Turner: Although Larry Grantham was named First-Team All Pro, Turner had the best season on the team. Turner was one of just five receivers in the AFL to top the 1,000-yard mark and was third in the league with 71 catches.  

    Team Least Valuable Player: Dick Guesman: It seemed that most players on the roster at least had decent seasons in 1963 except kicker Dick Guesman. Guesman attempted 24 field goals and made just nine of them on the year for a 37.5 field-goal percentage.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 20

    The Bottom Line: Any losing on the field was buoyed by the new direction of the franchise. It got off to a good start and were competitive for the most part during its losing streak.   

42. 1962 (5-9)

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    Head Coach: Bulldog Turner

    Record: 5-9 (fourth AFL East)

    Highlights: Back-to-back home wins against the Chargers and Raiders in Weeks 8 and 9 left the New York Titans with a 4-5 record and some momentum for a big home matchup against Hank Stram and the Dallas Texans. The Titans lost a previous game to the Texans by three points in Week 7 and now had them at home. Unfortunately, the Titans were blown out, 52-31, and spiraled downhill from there. 

    Lowlights: The Week 10 loss to the Texans was disheartening, as the franchise was struggling financially, and a win against the AFL Champions might have helped the team's popularity. The real lowlight came at the end of the season when owner Harry Wismer was unable to meet the team's payroll, forcing the league to take over operations.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: Despite not having an awful record, the Titans ranked last in the AFL in total defense and second-last in total offense.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: The team showed a knack for pulling out victories and, based on their statistics, could have probably fared much worse record-wise. Also, give the team a little credit for playing every week despite not knowing if their paychecks would clear or not.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Dick Christy: Christy led the AFL in total punt return and kick return yards, as well as all-purpose yards. In addition to his prowess in the return game, Christy led the Titans with 535 rushing yards and was just two catches behind Art Powell for the team lead in receptions. He finished with 62 catches for 538 yards. 

    Team Least Valuable Player: Harry Wismer: Wismer took the fall as the overwhelmed owner who ran the team into the ground with poor financial decisions and miscalculations. Wismer secured the run-down Polo Grounds as the team's home and thought fans would flock to see the exciting new team in New York. He was dead wrong.  

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 35

    The Bottom Line: This season marked the end of the New York Titans franchise, as the team would soon fall to an ownership group led by Sonny Werblin. The team and the AFL were still new, so the Jets fanbase had yet to really grow frustrated with the dealings of the team.  

    On the field, it's hard to picture players racing each other to the bank to cash their paychecks before they bounced, but that's what the legend says.

41. 2007 (4-12)

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    Head Coach: Eric Mangini

    Record: 4-12 (third AFC East)

    Highlights: Most of the Jets' highlights from the 2007 season had nothing to do with their play on the field, and that's a good thing. The Jets honored the recently retired Curtis Martin and Wayne Chrebet with separate days of appreciation as a reminder of the not-so-distant but so-much-better past.  

    The team also struck a chord when it traded in its green and white for blue and gold to honor the Titans for the first time. Former Titans Larry Grantham, Bill Mathis, Don Maynard and Curley Johnson were on hand.

    Lowlights: Let's call the lowlight of the season a 23-20 overtime loss to the Redskins in Week 9. The Jets won the toss in overtime and advanced the ball inside the Redskins' 40-yard line. They decided to punt on fourth down, and the Redskins subsequently went on the game-winning drive. The loss dropped the Jets to 1-8.  

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: This season was supposed to be one of hope for the Jets. They were coming off a 10-6 record from the year before and added Darrelle Revis and David Harris via the draft and Thomas Jones in a trade. The team never meshed and should have been a lot better than their record.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: The results may have been dreadful on the field, but this is where the core of the current team got it's start. Revis, Harris, Nick Mangold and D'Brickashaw Ferguson were all 24 years old or younger and getting their feet wet. The team took their lumps playing youngsters, but it paid off down the line.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Jerricho Cotchery:  Always a fan favorite, Cotchery had his best statistical season as a Jet in 2007. He caught 82 passes for 1,130 yards and was the Jets' most reliable player all season long.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Chad Pennington: This was an unfortunate way for Pennington to end his Jets career. Pennington looked like he lost the minimal zip he had on the ball and also lost his knack for winning games. He went 1-7 as a starter, throwing just 10 touchdowns against nine interceptions.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 94

    The Bottom Line: By this point, Jets fans were sick of a roller coaster ride that lasted the past four seasons. Starting in 2004, their records in order were 10-6, 4-12, 10-6 and 4-12 again. This drove the fans' agony meter back up into the mid-90s, and most wanted Mangini gone. He was given one more season in which he had a five-win improvement, but the Jets missed the playoffs in 2008, and he was gone.

40. 1970 (4-10)

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    Head Coach: Weeb Ewbank

    Record: 4-10 (third AFC East)

    Highlights: The Jets started their inaugural campaign in the NFL in 1970 and recorded their first victory in Week 2 with a 31-21 win over the Boston Patriots. Their only other big win came in a Week 11 matchup against the Vikings, who were the defending Super Bowl champions. The Jets beat the Vikes, 20-10, to hand the Vikings one of their two losses on the year. 

    Lowlights: In the team's first matchup with the Colts since Super Bowl III, Joe Namath fractured his wrist in a 29-22 loss. Namath was able to finish the game, but missed the rest of the season.  

    If that wasn't bad enough, the Jets played the Giants for the first time in the regular season and blew a 10-3 second-half lead. The Giants scored 19 unanswered points to pull out a 22-10 win. Both losses were part of a six-game losing streak.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: This season marked the beginning of the downfall of Namath, and that's sad enough to keep this low. This also was the start of a full decade of mediocre-to-awful football. Super Bowl III was about to become a distant memory very fast.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: It's hard to penalize the team too much for competing with Al Woodall at quarterback instead of Namath. The Jets Super Bowl heroes were now in their late-20s and getting old fast.  Despite the poor record, the Jets had the fifth-best defense in the NFL and 14th-ranked offense.  

    Team Most Valuable Player: John Elliott: In their first year in the NFL, the Jets had one Pro Bowl player, and Elliott was that man. The defensive tackle made three consecutive Pro Bowls, with 1970 being his final appearance.     

    Team Least Valuable Player: George Sauer: Sauer was a popular Jet who came into the 1970 season having made four straight Pro Bowls. With Don Maynard now 35 years old, Sauer was supposed to carry the torch as the next great Jets receiver.  

    Instead, Sauer caught just 31 passes for 510 yards and abruptly retired after the season at the age of 27. Sauer said the game was becoming too violent and left to pursue a career as a writer. 

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 41

    The Bottom Line: Although this season went south fast with Namath's injury, Jets fans at the time really couldn't complain about much. They were just two years removed from their historical Super Bowl win and enjoyed a good season in 1969. Surely, one down season wouldn't foreshadow any kind of Super Bowl drought, would it?

39. 1973 (4-10)

14 of 52

    Head Coach: Weeb Ewbank

    Record: 4-10 (4th AFC East)

    Highlights: This season would serve as Weeb Ewbank's swan song as an NFL head coach, as Charlie Winner was hired as an assistant and announced as the head-coach-in-waiting before the season started. The team beat the Patriots and Colts twice each. Knowing Ewbank was retiring at the end of the season allowed Jets fans and players to give him a proper send off after the final home game of the year.

    Lowlights: Because the Mets were in the World Series, the Jets had to play their first six games on the road and didn't play their first home game until October 28. The team could not send Ewbank off as a winner, as O.J. Simpson and the Bills beat the Jets, 34-14, on the season's final game. Simpson ran for over 200 yards to eclipse the 2,000-yard mark on the season.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: Although they won four games on the year, they only defeated two teams on their schedule.  

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: The Jets were put in a tough spot right from the start with their season-opening six-game road trip. Al Woodall and Joe Namath split the season at quarterback, so there really wasn't much hope for this season from the start. 

    Team Most Valuable Player: Jerome Barkum: Generally seen as a bust after being picked No. 9 overall in the 1972 NFL draft, Barkum enjoyed his best season in 1973 and made his only Pro Bowl. He finished second in the AFC with 810 receiving yards and sixth in the NFL in yards per catch. 

    Team Least Valuable Player: Al Woodall: Woodall went 1-5 as a starter and completed 50 percent of his passes. He threw nine touchdowns and eight interceptions in a very nondescript season.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 45

    The Bottom Line: Many Jets fans were likely distracted by the Mets' run to the World Series, and by the time that was over, the Jets were practically eliminated. The seasons of awful Jets football in the 1970s seem to blur together.

38. 1964 (5-8-1)

15 of 52

    Head Coach: Weeb Ewbank

    Record: 5-8-1 (third AFL East)

    Highlights: The Jets moved into Shea Stadium and trounced the Broncos, 30-6, on opening day. After beating the Patriots on Halloween, the Jets were 4-2-1 and looking good in the AFL East. Rookie Matt Snell ran for a combined 348 yards in consecutive wins against the Raiders and Oilers.  

    The biggest story, though, came when the Jets traded quarterback Jerry Rhome to the Oilers for a first-round draft pick. That pick ended up being Joe Namath.

    Lowlights: After their victory over the Patriots, the Jets drew over 60,000 fans in their first Shea Stadium sellout for a game against the Bills. The Jets lost 20-7, starting a stretch in which they lost six of their final seven games.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The Jets had some nice momentum early, but losing six of their last seven took away any goodwill the team had built up.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: After being outscored by their opponents by a combined 295 points the previous two seasons, the Jets made huge strides when they had a point differential of just -37 for the year. Their defense was improving, as they led the AFL with 34 interceptions.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Dainard Paulson: Paulson led the AFL with 12 interceptions and was named to his first Pro Bowl. This was close between Paulson and Snell, who was named AFL Rookie of the Year and made the Pro Bowl after rushing for 958 yards. 

    Team Least Valuable Player: Dick Wood: There weren't many poor performances in 1964, so the burden of the losing season falls on the shoulders of the quarterback. Wood threw 25 interceptions and completed just 47.2 percent of his passes for a quarterback rating of 54.9.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 30

    The Bottom Line: The Jets may not have improved record-wise in 1964, but they made a big improvement in being able to compete better in games consistently. They had a number of promising young stars like Snell, Blake Turner, Bill Baird and Bill Mathis and had veterans in place like Don Maynard and Larry Grantham. It looked like success was on the horizon.  

    1964 Jets Yearbook Video

37. 1965 (5-8-1)

16 of 52

    Head Coach: Weeb Ewbank

    Record: 5-8-1 (second AFL East)

    Highlights: Just about everything Joe Namath did. The Jets had many of their pieces in place, and Namath was going to be the player who brought them to the promised land.  

    Namath got his first start in Week 2 and threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to the Bills. Namath helped the Jets to a four-game mid-season winning streak. Don Maynard led the AFL with 14 touchdown catches.  

    Lowlights: Even with the arrival of Namath, the Jets didn't win their first game until Halloween, starting the year 0-5-1.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: While there was a ton of excitement around the franchise, it didn't translate into wins right away. The Jets were never a factor for postseason play, and despite Namath's ability, the team still ranked seventh out of eight teams in points scored.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: Namath arrived, and he looked like the real deal.  

    Team Most Valuable Player: Don Maynard: While Namath grabbed all the headlines, it was Maynard who had the best overall season. Maynard had 68 catches for 1,218 yards and 14 touchdowns. Maynard and Namath both were Pro Bowl players in 1965, but Maynard gets the nod as team MVP. Namath stated just nine of the team's 14 games.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Mike Taliaferro: Not many Jets had down seasons in 1965, but Taliaferro was one player who didn't produce during extensive action. He started five games at quarterback and threw three touchdowns and seven interceptions. Taliaferro completed 37.8 percent of his passes and had a quarterback rating of 36.1.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 25

    The Bottom Line: The team had now been in existence for six full seasons and hadn't experienced a winning season yet. The fanbase had to be frustrated with a lack of progress in the win column, but with young stars like Namath and Snell, the team was heading in the right direction.

    1965 Jets Yearbook Video

36. 1994 (6-10)

17 of 52

    Head Coach: Pete Carroll

    Record: 6-10 (5th in AFC East)

    Highlights: The Jets were happy to be rid of Bruce Coslet, who didn't do much to improve on the Joe Walton era. Carroll was a young hotshot assistant and was asked to inject new life into the franchise. When the Jets beat the Broncos in overtime in Week 2 to move to 2-0, it looked like the perfect hire.

    Lowlights: This one's easy; it's the fake spike game. At 6-5, the Jets were coming off a great win against a good Vikings team in Minnesota. They built a 24-6 second-half lead on the Dolphins and looked like a lock to go to 7-5.  

    However, Dan Marino led a furious comeback capped by the fake spike play to lead the Dolphins to a 28-24 win. The team went on to lose the final four games after that, and allegations that the team had quit on Carroll followed it through the end of the year.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: This season was one of the most epic collapses in franchise history. The Jets were nearly impossible to watch as they bumbled their way through their final six games. Their season-ending loss to the Houston Oilers, who were 1-14 going into the game, was as big a mail-in effort as the team ever had and played a big part in getting Carroll fired.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: The season certainly had its highs, and the vibrant feel around the club when it had success was something the franchise lacked for much of the Bruce Coslet era. There were some good times before the fake spike game.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Mo Lewis: Lewis made plays all over the defense as he established himself as one of the finest young linebackers in the league. Although his tackle numbers were down, he still registered 130 total tackles to lead the team. Lewis also had six sacks, four interceptions, one fumble recovery and a touchdown.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Aaron Glenn: It's tough to pin the whole season on one play and one player, but Glenn is going to be the scapegoat here. Glenn was the cornerback in charge of covering Mark Ingram, the player who caught the touchdown from Matino on the fake spike play. Glenn had his back to the play, as the winning touchdown was corralled by Ingram.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 96

    The Bottom Line: The agony index is all the way back up, as being burned by Marino never sat well with Jets fans. Throw in the six-week collapse and embarrassing loss to the Oilers, and this season will make your blood boil.

    After the season, Carroll was fired and Leon Hess uttered his famous line, "I'm 80 years old; I want results now."  

    He then hired Rich Kotite.

    Poor Mr. Hess; God rest his soul.   

35. 1971 (6-10)

18 of 52

    Head Coach: Weeb Ewbank

    Record: 6-8 (third AFC East)

    Highlights: The Jets beat the AFC champion Miami Dolphins in Week 3 without Joe Namath and after looking bad during losses in the first two weeks.

    After that, the next highlight didn't happen until Week 11, when Joe Namath returned from knee surgery to play out the string in a lost season. Namath played the final four games of the year, but completed just 28 total passes as the Jets went 2-2 over that stretch.

    Lowlights: For all intents and purposes, the season ended on August 7 in a preseason game against the Buccaneers. Namath injured his knee trying to make a tackle after a fumble and required surgery that would keep him out for four months.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: Without Namath, this season was nondescript and unmemorable. The Jets weren't awful and never lost more than two consecutive games. However, the offense was terrible, as they ranked 23rd out of 26 teams in points scored and dead last in yardage.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: Even without Namath, the 6-10 record marked a two-game improvement over the 1970 season. Give the Jets credit for beating the Dolphins and Chiefs during the year; both teams went on to win their division.

    Team Most Valuable Player: John Riggins: Riggins burst onto the scene as a rookie after being picked No. 6 overall in the 1971 draft.  He led the team with 769 yards rushing and had 36 receptions for 231 yards.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Al Woodall: With Namath out with a knee injury, Woodall began the season as the Jets starting quarterback. It took just four games before Weeb Ewbank had to turn to third-stringer Bob Davis.

    Woodall played a total of five games on the year and failed to throw a touchdown pass all season. The final straw for Woodall came in Week 4 against the Patriots when he completed just four passes for 20 yards in a 20-0 loss.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 30

    The Bottom Line: Fans had to realize there was no hope for the season when Namath went down in August. The offense was difficult to watch, and the defense wasn't significantly better. The wins against the Dolphins and Chiefs gave the fans some hope, as did Riggins' performance as a rookie.  

34. 1990 (6-10)

19 of 52

    Head Coach: Bruce Coslet

    Record: 6-10 (fourth AFC East)

    Highlights: Under new coach Bruce Coslet, the Jets started the season 2-2, which was already half as many wins the team had the year before. The Jets matched their four-win total from 1989 when they beat Troy Aikman, Emmit Smith and the Cowboys 24-9 in Week 9.    

    Lowlights: The Jets were done in by a five-game losing streak after their big win over the Cowboys. They lost three of those games by double digits.

    First-round draft pick Blair Thomas really never got going as a full-time running back, as he only topped 10 carries in three games all year. He scored just one touchdown all year.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The Jets had to beat an awful Patriots team and the Buccaneers in the last two meaningless games of the season to get to their six wins. The second half of the season was a waste.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: There was early excitement around the team. Coslet brought over a reputation as an offensive guru, as he was Sam Wyche's coordinator for the Bengals' Super Bowl team. The Jets did win six games, which was a two-game improvement from the year before. The Jets were fourth in the NFL in rushing yards.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Dennis Byrd: The second-year defensive lineman became one of the top young pass-rushing threats in the AFC when he registered 13 sacks on the season. Byrd registered a sack in nine games, including a three-sack performance against the Patriots in Week 15.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Tony Stargell: Stargell was a rookie defensive back who the Jets had high hopes for after picking him in the third round of the 1990 NFL draft. He started from day one, which was a mistake.  

    In a Week 3 Monday Night Football game against the Bills, Stargell was abused by Jim Kelly and never gained his footing despite starting all 16 games. Stargell played one more season with the Jets in 1991 before moving on to the Colts. 

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 55

    The Bottom Line: The Jets got rid of Joe Walton and replaced him with Coslet and drafted All-American running back Blair Thomas No. 2 overall, so everything was going to be OK, right? Not so much.  

    Coslet and Thomas provided fans some hope in the early part of the season, but as the season wore on, it was a different story. Fans had to be happy with the slight improvement over the mess that was the 1989 season, but by this point, the glory of the 1985 and 1986 seasons seemed like a lifetime ago.

33. 1961 (7-7)

20 of 52

    Head Coach: Sammy Baugh

    Record: 7-7 (third AFL East)

    Highlights: The Boston Patriots lost just four games all season, and two of them came at the hands of the New York Titans in the first four weeks of the season. The Titans started the year 3-1 behind a potent offense that averaged 31 points a game over the first month of the season.

    Lowlights: After starting strong, the offense sputtered in losses to the Chargers and Broncos. The loss to the Broncos was particularly disheartening, as they won just three games all season and the Titans had handled them easily just three weeks prior.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The record wasn't that bad, but the Titans never really threatened for a postseason berth. The team was only two games above .500 for one week all year. They also had one of the worst defenses in the AFL, ranking seventh out of eight teams in yards allowed.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: The AFL was just two years old, and the Titans seemed like a solid middle-of-the-road team. They had a solid quarterback in Al Dorow, a top running back in Bill Mathis and a big-name coach in Sammy Baugh.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Bill Mathis: Mathis was second in the AFL in rushing yards with 846. He was also second in the AFL with seven touchdowns. Mathis was just 23 years old and was a First Team All-Pro. He was one of the top young stars in the upstart AFL.    

    Team Least Valuable Player: Dick Guesman: I can't claim to have seen the 1961 Titans in person, but it seems that most players on the team had a decent season. Guesman earns the nod as the team's Least Valuable Player as the kicker. The kicker/defensive tackle made just five of 15 field goals on the year.  

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 35

    The Bottom Line: The second season for the Titans wasn't that bad, but it was virtually no improvement on the team's inaugural season. The team had 7-7 records in each of their first two seasons, but in 1961, the Titans had a -89 point differential, which was 72 points worse from the season before. Either way, the team seemed to have a lot of young talent. 

32. 1987 (6-10)

21 of 52

    Head Coach: Joe Walton

    Record: 6-9 (fifth AFC East)

    Highlights: After two straight playoff appearances, the Jets started the 1987 season 2-0 with wins over AFC East rivals the Bills and Patriots. However, that would be the only time the Jets were two games over .500 all year.  

    One other highlight came on November 1, when the Jets presented Don Maynard his Hall of Fame ring and retired his No. 13. Maynard had been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame that January.

    Lowlights: The NFL players strike was a black eye for the whole league and sabotaged what might have been a nice season for the Jets. Besides stopping any momentum the Jets had from their 2-0 start, the strike divided the team, as Mark Gastineau was one of the first and most prominent players to cross the picket line.

    Gastineau fought with teammates both in the press and in person as he cited the need to earn money to pay his alimony. Popular Jets Joe Klecko and Marty Lyons also crossed the picket line after Gastineau.  

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The Jets had high expectations coming into 1987, so players strike or not, 6-9 was not an acceptable record. The team lost five of its final six games in a typical Jets collapse.  

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: Considering the divisiveness of the team in the locker room, the record could have probably been much worse than 6-9.  

    Team Most Valuable Player: Al Toon: Toon made his second straight Pro Bowl after finishing first in the AFC with 68 receptions. While the rest of the Jets were busy phoning in the final four games of the season, Toon registered three straight 100-yard performances in Weeks 13-15.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Mark Gastineau: Besides the strife Gastineau caused in the locker room, Gastineau was downright unproductive all season. He finished with just 4.5 sacks and, despite playing against people who were literally taken off the street, had just one sack during the games played with replacement players.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 73

    The Bottom Line: Fans were disenchanted with the players' strike around the NFL, and it was no different in New York. The strike not only interrupted the season and brought controversy to the team, but it stopped what appeared to be a nice stretch of seasons for the Jets.   

31. 1966 (6-6-2)

22 of 52

    Head Coach: Weeb Ewbank

    Record: 6-6-2 (third AFL East)

    Highlights: The Jets were flying high after a Week 5 win over the San Diego Chargers, the 1965 AFL West champions. The 17-16 win had the Jets in first place in the AFL East, and for the first time in franchise history, they looked like one of the elite teams in the AFL. Joe Namath lead the AFL in passing yards for the first time.

    Lowlights: Just as fast as the Jets ascended to the top, they came crashing down to reality with a Week 6 loss to the Oilers. The Oilers won just three games all season, including the 24-0 victory over the Jets.

    Over an eight-week stretch, starting with the Oilers game, the Jets won just one game.  

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The long stretch of poor play in the middle of the season took away all the positive strides taken during the first five weeks.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: Despite the collapse, the Jets continued to show promise, and in retrospect, this season was an important building block leading up to Super Bowl III.  

    Team Most Valuable Player: Matt Snell: Snell was a Pro Bowl running back in 1966 after finishing sixth in the AFL with 644 rushing yards. He was a valuable weapon out of the backfield as he led all AFL running backs with 48 receptions, a total which was good for fourth overall.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Joe Namath: It's tough to call Namath the Least Valuable Player, but he did throw an AFL-high 27 interceptions on the year. While his interceptions nearly doubled from his rookie season, his touchdowns only increased by one. His four-interception performance against the Oilers stopped the early-season momentum the Jets gained from their 4-0-1 start.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 65

    The Bottom Line: The franchise had been existence for seven years as of 1966 and still didn't have a winning season. During the mid-1960s, the Jets were never able to get over the hump of being an average team in the AFL despite having some great talent.  

    Fans were getting frustrated, but the later part of the decade was just around the corner.

    1966 Jets Yearbook Video

30. 2003 (6-10)

23 of 52

    Head Coach: Herman Edwards

    Record: 6-10 (third AFC East)

    Highlights: There weren't many highlights in this lost season for the Jets, but it was pretty cool to see a 40-year-old Vinny Testaverde throw for 373 yards against the Dolphins in Week 2. The Jets beat just one team with a winning record in 2003, the Tennessee Titans, who finished with a 12-4 record.  

    On December 20, the Jets announced their 40-year anniversary team and celebrated with a nice ceremony at halftime of their game that night. 

    Lowlights: The season effectively ended on August 23, when Chad Pennington dislocated his wrist in a preseason game against the Giants. Any hopes that the Jets might survive without Pennington were quelled when the team started off by losing its first four games.

    In non-game action, this was also the season of Joe Namath's televised drunken antics with Suzy Kolber. 

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The Jets had high hopes in 2003 after two straight playoff appearances in 2001 and 2002, and this was a difficult season to digest. Questionable decision-making by Herman Edwards during the first two seasons of his coaching career caused fans to have a shot fuse with him, even though he was dealing with the Pennington injury.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: This was the first losing season in six years, and because of the Pennington injury, it was understandable. The Jets allowed 299 points on the season, which placed them eighth in the NFL in that category.  

    Team Most Valuable Player: Shaun Ellis: Ellis had the best statistical season of his career when he recorded 12.5 sacks and had 48 tackles, both career highs.  

    Team Least Valuable Player: Curtis Conway: With Wayne Chrebet near the end of his career, the Jets brought in Conway to compliment Santana Moss. Conway, who had been a star with the Chargers and Bears, contributed next to nothing, with just 46 catches and two touchdowns. 

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 80

    The Bottom Line: Even though the Jets were put in a bad spot with the Pennington injury, this season didn't sit well with fans. Edwards' game management was so bad that the next season, the team hired Dick Curl to stand next to Edwards on the sidelines to tell him how to manage the clock during games.

    Namath may not have cared much about the team struggling, but fans certainly did.   

29. 1984 (7-9)

24 of 52

    Head Coach: Joe Walton

    Record: 7-9 (third AFC East)

    Highlights: The Jets moved into the Meadowlands and picked up their first win in the new stadium in Week 3 when they beat the Bengals, 43-23. The Jets got off to a great start as they won six of their first eight games. Surely, they would pass their win total of seven from the previous season, right?

    Lowlights: The Jets failed to surpass their win total from the previous season, when they finished with a 7-9 record. The team lost six games in a row after starting off 6-2. Three of the losses in its streak came at the hands of its two biggest rivals at the time, the Giants and Dolphins.    

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: There was some excitement with the new stadium and hot start, but ultimately, it was another Jets collapse to end the season.  

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: Despite the evident talent, this team wasn't quite ready to win yet. They were in transition after trading Richard Todd in the offseason, and although they had the players in place, they were still one season away from really making a move.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Mark Gastineau: Gastineau recorded 22 sacks, which, at the time, was an NFL record.  

    Team Least Valuable Player: Pat Ryan: For the only time during his 13-year career, Ryan was given the reigns as a team's starting quarterback. While he didn't play too badly, he didn't take advantage of his opportunity. Ryan started 11 games and went 6-5. He threw 14 touchdowns and 14 interceptions before turning the job over to a young Ken O'Brien for good.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 75

    The Bottom Line: The season was another roller-coaster ride for Jets fans. The team was on top of the world when it started 6-2, but fell to a laughing stock as it dropped seven of its last eight games. The winning streak was probably fool's gold, as it didn't beat a single team with a winning record during the streak.

    Players like Gastineau, O'Brien, Freeman McNeil, Mickey Shuler, Marty Lyons and Lance Mehl were still in their 20s, so there was reason for optimism. 

28. 1974 (7-7)

25 of 52

    Head Coach: Charlie Winner

    Record: 7-7 (3rd AFC East)

    Highlights: In a change of a trend, the Jets ended the season on a six-game winning streak. The only problem was that they started the season by losing seven of their first eight games.

    The Jets broke a six-game losing streak by beating the Giants, 26-20, at the Yale Bowl. Joe Namath hit Emerson Boozer with a five-yard touchdown pass in overtime for the win. For the first time since 1969, Namath played a full 14-game schedule.

    Lowlights: Charlie Winner took over for Hall of Famer Weeb Ewbank as the team's head coach, and it took Winner some time to get on his feet. Ewbank stayed on as an executive, but retired at the end of the year.  

    The low point of the season came in Week 8 when the Jets fell to the Oilers, who were 2-5 at the time. The loss was the Jets' sixth straight defeat.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The 1-7 start doomed this season from being anything significant. While they did end the season nicely, it was pretty clear this team was going in the wrong direction with an aging Namath at the helm.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: Give the Jets credit for coming off the deck to win their final six games. Too many Jets teams have simply played out the string once a season went south. Veterans like Namath and Boozer wouldn't let that happen. 

    Team Most Valuable Player: Richard Caster: Caster made the second of his three career Pro Bowls in 1974 when he led the team with 745 receiving yards on just 38 catches. Caster topped 100 yards three times and had seven touchdowns.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Greg Gantt: Never heard of Greg Gantt?  Me neither. Gantt was the team's punter and averaged an abysmal 35.9 yards per punt, which was last in the NFL. It's not hard to find high school players who average more than 35 yards per punt.  

    Gantt was allowed to return in 1975, but when he repeated his performance, he was out of the NFL for good.  

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 50

    The Bottom Line: The Jets toyed with fans' emotions as usual in 1974. Namath played a full season, which was great to see, but his decline was evident, and that was a shame at the age of 31. Fans had to be turned off by the way the team started, but then energized with the nice winning streak to end the year. Oh, the life of a Jets fan.

27. 1983 (7-9)

26 of 52

    Head Coach: Joe Walton

    Record: 7-9

    Highlights: The Jets were coming off two straight playoff appearances and returned nearly every key player from their AFC Championship game squad from the season before. Things seemed to be business as usual as the Jets bludgeoned Dan Fouts and the San Diego Chargers, 41-29, on opening day, but things got sticky from there.  

    Lowlights: December 10 marked the end of an era, as the Jets played their final home game at Shea Stadium.

    If you talk to any Jets fan over the age of 45, they will tell you how much of a special place Shea Stadium was to watch a Jets game. Shea was the home of the Jets during their Super Bowl seasons, for all of the atrocious play of the 1970s and the 1982 AFC Championship game team.

    Whether the team was good or bad, the fans were insane at Shea Stadium, where it seemed that no rules applied to anyone or anything, and the upper deck literally shook during the great times. 

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The Jets had very high expectations coming into this season, as most fans felt they were the best team in the AFC the year before. For this team to be 7-9 was very disappointing, even if there was a change in head coaches.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: The team didn't have an epic collapse or play terrible football. It seemed that they just never got on track and never recovered from their disappointing loss in the 1982 AFC Championship game.  

    Team Most Valuable Player: Joe Klecko: Sure, Mark Gastineau had 19 sacks, but if you ask anybody who followed the team closely at the time, Klecko was the real leader of the defense.  Klecko returned from a knee injury that cost him nearly the entire 1982 season to record 6.5 sacks while doing all of the grunt work along the defensive line.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Richard Todd: Todd was in a no-win situation, as he had the task of replacing Joe Namath. The fact that he lasted eight years was a testament to him. In 1983, Todd threw 26 interceptions and just 18 touchdowns.  

    Even though he led the team to the AFC Championship game the year before, it was clear he wasn't the team's quarterback of the future. He was traded in the offseason. 

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 91

    The Bottom Line: Jets fans had huge expectations for this team, and Todd's inability to string together any consistent play drove the fanbase insane. The Jets had excellent players at nearly every position except quarterback, and that killed them in 1983 and 1984.   

26. 1979 (8-8)

27 of 52

    Head Coach: Walt Michaels

    Record: 8-8 (third AFC East)

    Highlights: The highlight of the 1979 Jets season was the fact that the 1970s were over. They had 8-8 records in 1978 and 1979, which were the only seasons in the 70s that they didn't have a losing record. The Jets won their final three games to reach eight wins.

    The season also featured a sweep of the Miami Dolphins, who finished 10-6.

    Lowlights: At 5-5 after 10 weeks, the Jets harbored slim playoff hopes. Thoughts of the playoffs, though, were dashed when the team lost three games in a row to fall to 5-8.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: While eight wins was pretty good by the standards set in the 1970s, it still marked no improvement from the 1978 season.  

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: Basically, the same reason why the season isn't ranked higher. They did win eight games, and any season they sweep the Dolphins is always a bonus. The team ranked ninth in the NFL in total yards on offense.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Bruce Harper: Harper led the NFL in kick return yards and yards per touch and was second in the NFL in all-purpose yards. In addition to a great season as a return man, Harper had 280 rushing yards and 292 receiving yards.  

    Team Least Valuable Player: Richard Todd: Todd had another sub-par season, throwing 22 interceptions and 16 touchdowns. Todd was now in his fourth season as a starter, and at 26 years old, serious questions were arising as to whether he was the long-term solution at quarterback.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 60

    The Bottom Line: the Jets averaged five wins per season throughout the 1970s and had five seasons of four wins or less.  Fans couldn't complain too much about eight wins.  However, they had eight wins in 1978 as well, so there really was no progress in 1979.  

25. 1993 (8-8)

28 of 52

    Head Coach: Bruce Coslet

    Record: 8-8 (3rd AFC East)

    Highlights: The Jets went 3-0 against the Dolphins and Giants, two teams who had winning records in 1993.  The Jets beat the Redskins in an unwatchable 3-0 game in Week 13 to move to 8-5 on the year.  On November 21, the Jets recognized the 25th anniversary of the Super Bowl III team at halftime of a game against the Bengals.  

    Lowlights: The Jets lost the final three games of the year to miss out on the playoffs.  They faced the Cowboys, Bills and Oilers the final three weeks, all of whom went 12-4.  The real low point of the season came in Week 14 when the team lost to the awful Colts in a brutal 9-6 game.  That loss stopped a six-game winning streak and was a dagger in the Jets' playoffs hopes. 

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The Jets were close to the playoffs as they were one game behind the Steelers, who were the wild card.  Their offense flat out stunk as they had seven games where they failed to score more than 10 points.  In five of their final six games, they failed to score more than one touchdown.  

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: They put themselves in a tough spot by losing to the Colts, so they have nobody to blame but themselves.  However, they faced the Cowboys and Bills, the two Super Bowl participants in 1993, in Weeks 14 and 15, then the 12-4 Oilers in Week 16.  They were ranked sixth in the NFL in total defense.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Mo Lewis: Lewis had a career-high 158 tackles and led a defense that was fifth against the run in 1993.  He added four sacks and two interceptions as well.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Blair Thomas: By this point, Thomas was supposed to be in the prime of a dominant career.  Instead, he started five games and ran for just 221 yards in 11 total games.  He was off the team by the end of the season and his place as an all-time draft bust was etched in stone.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 35

    The Bottom Line: An 8-8 record was a four-game improvement from the previous season, but wasn't enough to save Coslet's job.  In retrospect, the season was bittersweet for Jets fans.  Not many were enamored with Coslet and were happy to see him go.  However, this was also the first season in a long time that Freeman McNeil and Ken O'Brien weren't in Jets uniforms.  It was sad to see them go.  If you measured the agony index after the loss to the Colts, it would have been off the charts.  But an 8-8 record and the reality that they weren't winning any of their final three games was enough to make this season more acceptable than any others.

24. 1988 (8-7-1)

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    Head Coach: Joe Walton

    Record: 8-7-1 (4th AFC East)

    Highlights: The best highlight of 1988 came in the final minutes of the season.  The Giants had to beat the Jets in Week 16 to win the NFC East.  The Giants held a 21-20 lead late in the fourth quarter but Ken O'Brien hooked up with Al Toon on a 5-yard touchdown to give the Jets the win and squash the Giants' playoff hopes.  The Jets had perhaps their best game in Week 3 when they trounced a good Oilers team 45-3.  

    Lowlights: Mark Gastineau left the team abruptly during the season and announced his retirement for personal reasons.  His girlfriend, Brigitte Nielsen played a major role in that decision.  On the field, back-to-back ugly losses to the Bills and Patriots by scores of 9-6 and 14-13 essentially ended the season by Week 12. 

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The season was maddeningly inconsistent and had a number of ugly games.  The Jets were ranked 23rd out of 28 in total defense and struggled mightily to stop the run.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: Despite the inconsistent play, the team had a number of highlights.  Knocking the Giants out of playoff contention in the final quarter of the season was phenomenal, as was sweeping the Dolphins.  Erik McMillan was also a one-man show on defense as he intercepted eight passes and scored two touchdowns on the way to earning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Al Toon: McMillan was great, but Toon gets the nod here.  Toon led the NFL with 93 catches and had his second 1,000 yard receiving season.  Oh, and did I mention he caught a late touchdown to beat the Giants in Week 16?

    Team Least Valuable Player: Mark Gastineau: Gastineau's retirement was a huge blow to the team as he was enjoying a revival and leading the AFC in sacks after seven weeks.  Gastineau's said that he was leaving the game because Nielsen was stricken with cancer.  She turned out to be cancer-free (thankfully) and Gastineau later admitted he was afraid of failing a drug test for steroids, so he walked away from the game.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 60

    The Bottom Line: The Jets had a two-game improvement from the year before, but could have done even better with more consistent play.  The Jets faced a tough schedule as every team in the AFC East had a winning record except the Dolphins.  They also faced the Browns, Bengals and Giants, all of whom won at least 10 games in 1988.

23. 1972 (7-7)

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    Head Coach: Weeb Ewbank

    Record: 7-7 (2nd AFC East)

    Highlights: The Jets had a lot of offensive milestones in 1972.  Most impressively, Don Maynard became the NFL's all-time leading receiver when he caught his 632nd career pass on December 11.  On September 24, Joe Namath passed for 496 yards and six touchdowns while completing just 15 passes in a 44-34 win over the Colts.  The Jets ran for a club-record 333 yards in a romp over the Patriots.   

    Lowlights: The Jets lost four of their last five games, beating only the hapless Saints by a single point.  

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The Jets sputtered to the finish line, losing four of their final five games, all to teams with winning records.  They were ranked 22nd in total team defense out of 26 NFL teams.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: The Jets did finish .500 after two consecutive losing seasons.  They had the No. 2 ranked offense in the NFL in both yardage and scoring.  They were 6-3 going into the brutal five-game stretch at the end of the year. 

    Team Most Valuable Player: Joe Namath: After starting a combined eight games the previous two seasons, Namath returned to full-time action and played great.  He led the NFL in passing yards, touchdowns and yards per game.    

    Team Least Valuable Player: Jerome Barkum: Barkum was the Jets No. 9 overall selection in the 1972 NFL Draft, but contributed just about nothing to the team as a rookie.  Barkum ended with 16 catches for 304 yards and two touchdowns.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 10

    The Bottom Line: This was the season of the undefeated Dolphins team, so the Jets were going nowhere anyway.  On top of that, both the Steelers and Browns had tremendous seasons, so the wild card was out of play early.  The team was fun to watch and it was good to see Namath return healthy to lead the NFL in passing.  The Jets nearly pulled off the impossible and upset the Dolphins in Week 10.  It took a late touchdown pass to Mercury Morris for the Dolphins to pull off the 28-24 win.  It was the most points the Dolphins allowed all season.

22. 2011 (8-8)

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    Head Coach: Rex Ryan

    Record: 8-8 (2nd AFC East)

    Highlights: Opening day fell on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11.  The Jets won a thrilling game against the Cowboys in an electric atmosphere at MetLife Stadium.  

    The Week 12 win against the Bills, who finished in last place once again, was particularly satisfying.  Mediocre wide receiver Stevie Johnson had rare success against Darrelle Revis and let everybody know about it after every five-yard catch.  He took things too far with a tasteless touchdown celebration, earning a personal foul penalty that helped the Jets bounce right back to score.  He later dropped a possible touchdown pass to help the Jets to a 28-24 win.

    Lowlights: Without Nick Mangold, the Jets were physically abused by the Ravens in Week 4.  Embarrassing losses to the Eagles and Giants also didn't sit well with Jets fans.  Nothing was worse than Santonio Holmes' meltdown in Week 17 and the subsequent finger-pointing and revelations after the season though. 

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: With the epic implosion over the final three weeks, the Jets are lucky this season isn't ranked lower.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: The team was in playoff contention until their Week 15 loss to the Giants.  That's a lot better than most Jets teams throughout their history.

    Team Most Valuable Player:  Darrelle Revis: Once again Revis was clearly the best cornerback in the NFL.  He's so good that when a receiver catches a few short passes in front of him, people tend to wonder what's wrong.  The Jets base their entire defense around the man, who could be more valuable? 

    Team Least Valuable Player: Wayne Hunter: The easy way out is to pick Mark Sanchez here, but Hunter's poor play caused Sanchez to play scared.  Hunter barely even blocked people by accident and committed his share of atrocious penalties.  D'Brickshaw Ferguson had a rough season on the line as well.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 97

    The Bottom Line: This team was flawed from the start, as Mike Tannenbaum failed to make any major changes in the offseason.  Their lack of depth on the offensive line was inexcusable and the discord in the locker room was disgusting.  Rex Ryan put a huge target on the back of the Jets franchise and at the conclusion of this season, Jets fans had to sit back and take it as all the haters were able to take their shots. 

21. 1999 (8-8)

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    Head Coach: Bill Parcells

    Record: 8-8 (4th AFC East)

    Highlights: Hands down, the highlight of this disappointing season was the play of Ray Lucas at quarterback.  The Jets' season was finished when Vinny Testaverde went down with an injury in the second quarter on opening day.  After wasting everybody's time with Rick Mirer at quarterback for six games, Parcells turned to Lucas and a dismal season became enjoyable to watch.  Lucas was essentially Tim Tebow a decade earlier, but with a better arm and without the hype.  He went 6-3 as a starter, but it wasn't enough for a playoff bid.

    One other highlight came not long after Testaverde went down.  Parcells inserted punter Tom Tupa at quarterback when went down, and everyone assumed he would just hand the ball off to Curtis Martin while Tetsaverde was examined on the sideleines.  Tupa however faked a hand-off and hit Keyshawn Johnson for a 25-yard touchdown.  It was a small consolation during a difficult time.

    Lowlights: Testaverde's injury ended a Jets season before it even got started.  One year removed from the AFC Championship game, many thought the Jets were the best team in the AFC in 1999.  Testaverde played so well in 1998 and it was difficult to see him down on the turf, knowing the worst had just happened.  Also, anything involving Mirer was most definitely a lowlight.

    Before the season started, Leon Hess passed away from a blood disease.  It would be the first time in 36 years that the Jets would be without their beloved owner.  It's a shame the Jets couldn't get him one more Super Bowl.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The Jets lost six of their first seven games and fans were left thinking "what might have been" for the entire NFL season.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: The play of Lucas was truly inspirational.  Although the Jets had no shot at the playoffs, to watch Lucas succeed was incredible.  It might be hard to fathom as the whole world hates the Jets now, but at this time, it seemed like everyone was rooting for Lucas and the Jets to succeed. 

    Team Most Valuable Player: Ray Lucas: If you read the first part of this slide thoroughly, this was an easy guess.  Lucas grew up less than 15 miles from the Meadowlands and  was a star at Rutgers, which was less than an hour away.  His only losses came in two games against Peyton Manning and against the Giants in a game in which he threw for 284 yards and four touchdowns.   

    Team Least Valuable Player: Rick Mirer: Parcells gets some fault here too for sticking with Mirer for so long and failing to recognize sooner that he was not the answer.  Mirer went 2-4 and threw just five touchdowns.  In two of his six games, the team failed to score a touchdown.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 25

    The Bottom Line: There was a ton of early frustration because of the crushed hopes that went along with the Testaverde injury.  However, the team's inspired play down the stretch left a warm feeling among fans.  That feeling went away pretty quickly when Parcells stepped aside and named Bill Belichick the head coach.  That lasted one day before the evil genius resigned as the "H.C. of the NYJ" to take over in New England.

20. 1978 (8-8)

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    Head Coach: Walt Michaels

    Record: 8-8 (3rd AFC East)

    Highlights: The Jets were coming off of three-straight three-win seasons, so wins against the Bills and Dolphins the first two weeks of the season were tremendous.  The two AFC East wins gave the Jets a quick leg up in the division and a lot of early momentum.  

    The Jets also won six of nine games in the middle of the season to put themselves at 8-6 going into the final two weeks.  Michaels was named the NFL Coach of the Year for leading a fine revival with one of the league's youngest teams.   

    Lowlights: The Jets lost a heartbreaking 37-34 overtime game to the Browns in Week 15 with the playoffs on the line.  The team fought back from a 27-10 second-half deficit to take a 34-27 lead.  A late Browns touchdown tied it before the Browns knocked off the Jets with an overtime field goal.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: It was arguably one of the best non-winning seasons in franchise history, if that means anything.  The only non-winning seasons ranked higher all had some kind of special attachment to them.  The team also had one of the worst defenses in the NFL in 1978, ranking 27th out of 28 teams. 

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: The Jets were truly a feel-good story in 1978.  They had been an insignificant team since 1969 and were now back on the map.  They also scored 359 points, which was good for third in the NFL.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Wesley Walker: Walker was named 1st Team All-Pro after leading the NFL in receiving yards with 1,169.  His 24.4 yards per catch still ranks as one of the top 20 averages in NFL history.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Chris Ward: Ward wasn't totally awful as a rookie starter, but he gets this spot by default.  No Jets really underachieved, so Ward takes the rap for the team's draft-day blunder in 1978.  Sitting fourth, the Jets had the chance to grab Hall of Fame wide receiver James Lofton and could have paired him with Walker to form a lethal combination.  They could have also nabbed Pro Bowl tackle Mike Kenn.  They instead took Ward, who had a six-year career for the Jets but was never more than average.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 5

    The Bottom Line: This was the first feel-good Jets team in a decade.  While the team fell short of their goals, they were no longer the dregs of the AFC.  They had young stars like Walker, Joe Klecko, Marvin Powell and Bruce Harper, so there was reason for optimism.  Maybe if they didn't have non-divisional games against the Steelers and Cowboys, that year's Super Bowl participants, they could have won that extra game to get into the playoffs.

19. 2000 (9-7)

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    Head Coach: Al Groh

    Record: 9-7 (3rd AFC East)

    Highlights: Vinny Testaverde returned after missing nearly all of the 1999 season with an Achille's injury.  He led the Jets to a 20-16 opening day win over Bret Favre and the Packers.  The Jets started the season 4-0, with wins against the Patriots, Bills and Buccaneers as well.  The highlight of the season, and one of the highlights in franchise history, was the "Monday Night Miracle" win against the Dolphins.  We all know the script by now.  The Jets overcame a 30-3 4th quarter deficit to pull out the incredible 40-37 overtime win to move to 6-1 on the year.  

    Lowlights: The Jets had two separate three-game losing streaks after the Monday Night Miracle as they finished in 3rd place in the AFC East despite a winning record.  A 10-7 home loss in Week 16 to the Lions was particularly excruciating. 

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: Despite a 6-1 start, the Jets couldn't find enough wins along the way for a playoff berth.  

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: The schedule was brutal in 2000 as all seven of the team's losses came against teams that finished .500 or better.  Two of their last three games came against the Ravens and Raiders, the two teams who played in the AFC Championship game.  

    Team Most Valuable Player: Mo Lewis: Despite being on the wrong side of 30, Lewis had a career-best 10 sacks to lead the team.  He was also second on the team in tackles and made his third and final Pro Bowl for his play.

    Team Least Valuable Player: John Hall: Hall had the worst season in his checkered career when he led the NFL with 11 missed field goals.  He made just 65.6 percent of his field goals, which was the second-worst percentage in the NFL.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 50

    The Bottom Line: This was Al Groh's first and only year as head coach and he actually did a decent job considering the mess that Bill Belichick made with his resignation.  This was a team in transition as Keyshawn Johnson was traded in the offseason and the Jets had four first-round picks in the NFL Draft.  They added Chad Pennington, John Abraham, Shaun Ellis and Anthony Becht.  Woody Johnson was also approved as the team's new owner.

18. 1991 (8-8)

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    Head Coach: Bruce Coslet

    Record: 8-8 (2nd AFC East)

    Highlights: The Jets won a do-or-die game in Week 16 against the Dolphins.  The winner would lock down the final playoff spot in the AFC.  Raul Allegre nailed a 44-yard field goal in the 4th quarter to tie the game at 20 and converted a 30-yard field goal in overtime to send the Jets to playoffs.  It was the only game Allegre played in his Jets career as he filled in for an injured Pat Leahy.   

    Lowlights: With the playoffs on the line, the Jets lost a brutal 9-6 game to the Patriots in Week 15.  Pat Leahy's 18-year NFL career came to an end when he was injured in that game.  Playing in their first playoff game in five years, the Jets lost 17-10 to the Oilers in a winnable game.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: Although the Jets returned to the playoffs, their 8-8 season was filled with frustrating losses.  The most embarrassing loss came at the hands of the Colts who finished the year 1-15.    

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: Even though they were only .500, they did return to the playoffs and played a competitive, if frustrating game.  For the second straight year, the team improved by two games and seemed to be moving in the right direction.  

    Team Most Valuable Player: Jeff Lageman: The much-maligned first-round draft pick had his best season when he broke out for 10 sacks.  he anchored a strong defensive line that also featured Dennis Byrd, Marvin Washington, Scott Mersereau and Bill Pickel.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Tony Stargell: There weren't many poor performances this season, but Stargell just flat out stunk.  He started all 16 games as a rookie the year before and took his lumps.  He made no progress in his second year and was out of the starting lineup after seven games.  He was off the roster by the end of the year.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 15

    The Bottom Line: Even though the season had its frustrations, the return trip to the playoffs and continued improvement in the wins department had fans happy again.  Blair Thomas actually had a halfway decent season and Brad Baxter was a revelation with 11 touchdowns.  The win over the Dolphins in Week 16 was as thrilling a game the team had in some time.

17. 1960 (7-7)

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    Head Coach: Sammy Baugh

    Record: 7-7 (2nd AFL East)

    Highlights: The New York Titans of the AFL are open for business!  The franchise's inaugural season began with a 27-3 win at the Polo Grounds against the Bills.  Quarterback Al Dorow scored the team's first two touchdowns on runs in the second quarter.  Kicker Bill Shockley scored the first points in franchise history with a first-quarter field goal.  The team had a late-season three-game winning streak, but it wasn't enough to catch George Blanda and the Oilers for the AFL East title.

    Lowlights: The team gave up 17 fourth-quarter points to Jack Kemp and the Los Angeles Chargers to fall in a wild 50-43 game in the season finale.  A mid-season four-game losing streak doomed any playoff hopes the Titans harbored. 

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: Even though it was the team's first season, attendance and fan reaction was tepid at best.  Owner Harry Wismer expected bigger crowds, but people just didn't show up.  The team allowed the most points in the AFL that season.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: It was the first season in franchise history, so .500 wasn't a bad result.  The team was exciting to watch as they scored 382 points, tops in the AFL.  

    Team Most Valuable Player: AL Dorow: The quarterback not only threw for an AFL-high 26 touchdowns, but also ran for seven more.  He led the team with 453 yards rushing too.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Bill Shockley: I can't sit here and pretend to know who played poorly for the 1960 New York Titans, but Shockley's stats as a kicker stood out as quite poor.  He was just 9-21 on field goal attempts for the year including just 6-10 from less than 30 yards.  He actually did well as a part-time running back though.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 0

    The Bottom Line: By and large, New Yorkers didn't seem to care much about the Titans at the start of the AFL as the Giants were in the midst of a phenomenal era of football.  The team had just 5,727 paid fans at their opening game.  Any fans who were excited about the new Titans franchise likely weren't distraught at a 7-7 season. 

16. 2008 (9-7)

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    Head Coach: Eric Mangini

    Record: 9-7 (3rd AFC East)

    Highlights: It was debated that the Jets were the best team in the NFL after a Week 12 win at Tennessee.  The Titans were the NFL's last undefeated team at 10-0 and the Jets handled them easily, 34-13.  The previous week the Jets won at New England in overtime in a Thursday night prime time affair.  The Jets had massive offensive outbursts in Weeks 4 and 10 against the Cardinals and Rams respectively.  They scored 56 and 47 points in blowout wins.  The Cardinals later went on to the Super Bowl that year.

    Lowlights: Brett Favre went into the tank after the Titans win as the team dropped four of their last five games.  The Jets still had a chance to make the playoffs in Week 17, but needed help in the early games.  Once they didn't get that help, they rolled over in a 24-17 loss to the Dolphins.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: They peaked too early.  Everyone knew this was a one-season pit stop for Favre, and when he collapsed during the final five games, there was a lot of animosity.  

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: Before this run of success, there were very few times in franchise history when it could be argued that the team was the best in the AFC.  Even though it came in Week 12, the Jets were in that debate.  Only a Favre injury, which he either didn't disclose to the team or the team didn't disclose to fans, slowed them down.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Leon Washington: The Jets had seven Pro Bowlers but Leon Washington may have been the team's best weapon.  Thomas Jones had a tremendous year, but he had the benefit of running behind an outstanding offensive line.  Washington led the NFL in all-purpose yards and was one of the top threats in the NFL on special teams.  He also contributed 448 yards on the ground and 355 in the air.  His 2,337 all-purpose yards currently ranks 23rd all-time in NFL history.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Brett Favre: Favre made the Pro Bowl and was on fire through the first 12 weeks.  However, his play over the last five weeks was outright deplorable.  Favre led the NFL with 22 interceptions.   

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 15

    The Bottom Line: While it was frustrating to watch the team collapse after such a great start, the 9-7 mark represented a five-game improvement from the year before.  Best of all, the team was littered with young stars like Darrelle Revis, Nick Mangold, David Harris and Dustin Keller.   

15. 1997 (9-7)

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    Head Coach: Bill Parcells

    Record: 9-7 (2nd AFC East)

    Highlights: The fans were excited about having Parcells as their coach and figured there would be a turnaround.  What wasn't expected was a 41-3 drubbing of a decent Seahwaks team on opening day.  That was outright euphoric and it was clear this was the start of a new era.  The team topped the Ravens in Week 10 in overtime as part of a stretch in which they won five of six games.  The Jets were 6-3 after winning just four games the previous two seasons combined.

    Lowlights: Late-season losses to the Colts and Bills, who had a combined record of 9-23 were tough to take.  While it was hard to complain about the season, fans were left wondering what might have been if they could have taken care of business against these teams.  

    Watching Barry Sanders run for 184 yards in the season finale wasn't fun either.  The Jets had opened up a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, but didn't score another point after that.  They bottled up Sanders for a large part of the game, but couldn't stop him in crunch time. 

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: They didn't make the playoffs and those loses to the Colts, Bills and Lions were quite disheartening.  This team is arguably the best non-playoff team in franchise history.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: After the Rich Kotite years, it's hard to put into words just how great it was to have a legitimate team with a Hall of Fame-level coach.  The team allowed just 286 points all season, the sixth-best total in the NFL.  

    Team Most Valuable Player: Aaron Glenn: Glenn became the first Jets cornerback to start in the Pro Bowl after a stellar season in 1997.  He was also second in the NFL with a 26.5 yard kick return average.  

    Team Least Valuable Player: Kyle Brady: This was Brady's third year in the NFL and he was supposed to be developing into a top threat in the team's passing attack by now.  Instead, he had just 22 catches an two touchdowns as the team's starting tight end.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 0

    The Bottom Line: Sitting through the Kotite era was one of the most torturous experiences in the franchise's history.  For Parcells to turn this franchise around from that, seemingly at the snap of a finger, was a miracle.  After the damage done by Kotite, fans figured they had a long rebuilding process.  Even though the Jets missed the playoffs, it was incredible to know the team was relevant again so soon.  

14. 1967 (8-5-1)

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    Head Coach: Weeb Ewbank

    Record: 8-5-1

    Highlights: When the Jets beat the Patriots 29-24 in Week 11, it clinched the first winning season in franchise history.  Joe Namath became the first player in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards in a season.  He threw for 343 yards in the season finale and ended with 4,007 yards through the air.  Don Maynard and George Sauer each topped the 1,000 yard mark.  Between Weeks 2-10, the Jets went 7-1-1 and played perhaps the best stretch of football in franchise history to that point.

    Lowlights: The Jets lost 33-24 in Week 11 to the Broncos, who were the worst team in the AFL that year.  They also lost to the Bills 20-17 on opening day.  The Bills finished 4-10 in 1967.  The Jets finished one game out of first place.  The Oilers returned two Joe Namath interceptions and a blocked field goal for touchdowns in a 28-28 tie.  The Oilers went on to win the AFL East over the Jets by one game.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: This is the highest ranked non-playoff season.  Although they missed out on the playoffs, it was a historic season for Namath and the Jets.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: Short of making the playoffs, there was nothing more you could have asked from this team.  They even gave the powerful Raiders their only loss of the season.  

    Team Most Valuable Player: Joe Namath: This one was a slam dunk.  This was Namath's best statistical season as he set career highs in most passing categories.  His 4,007 yards was an unfathomable number for the times and was nearly 700 more yards than the next best quarterback.  Namath also established a career high with 26 touchdowns.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Matt Snell: It's tough to get on Snell who played in just seven games this season, but his production was way down before he was injured.  Snell carried the ball 61 times for 207 yards over half the season.  Over a full year, those numbers project to career-lows.  He also failed to score a touchdown.  Snell would have a bounce back season the next year and would be one of the heroes of Super Bowl III.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 0

    The Bottom Line: Namath's season was mind-boggling, even by the loose standards of the AFL.  Only a handful of players had surpassed the 3,000 yard mark in the AFL's existence so to watch Namath throw for 4,000 yards was unbelievable.  The glory days of the Giants were now long gone as the team was in a dreadful period of play.  This was the first step towards the Jets taking over New York City.   

    1967 Jets Yearbook Video

13. 2002 (9-7)

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    Head Coach: Herman Edwards

    Record: 9-7 (1st AFC East)

    Highlights: The final regular season game of the 2002 season was one of the wild moments in Jets history.  The team got a ton of help in the early games, setting up an improbable scenario in which the Jets could clinch the AFC East by beating the Packers (who were 12-3 at the time) in the late game.  The Jets responded by scoring 14 points in each of the last three quarters of the game in an incredible 42-17 romp.

    In the first round of the playoffs, the Jets faced Peyton Manning and the Colts.  Chad Pennington hooked up with Richie Anderson for an early 56-yard touchdown and the Jets never looked back in a 41-0 masterpiece.

    As it turned out, the Jets beat Tom Brady, Favre and Manning on consecutive weeks to clinch a playoff spot and advance to the Divisional Round of the playoffs.

    Lowlights: The Jets were outscored 102-13 in consecutive early-season losses to the Patriots, Dolphins and Jaguars.  After opening a 21-6 lead, the Jets lost 24-21 to the Browns to fall to 2-5 on the year.  They Jets went into a conservative shell with the big lead and watched as the Browns chipped away for the win.  Some good did come out of this though as Herman Edwards had his "you play to win the game" rant in the post-game press conference.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: As phenomenal as the end of this season was, the first three months were a roller coaster ride.  The 2-5 start had Jets fans fuming, but a 4-0 November got them back on track.  The Jets ranked in the bottom half of the league in points scored and points allowed.  

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: Not only did they qualify for the playoffs in amazing fashion, but they steamrolled Manning and the Colts in front of a raucous crowd in what would be the team's final playoff win at the Meadowlands.  

    Team Most Valuable Player: Chad Pennington: After a 1-4 start, Edwards smartly replaced Vinny Testaverde with Pennington, who ignited the offense and went 8-4 in his first season as a starter.  Pennington threw 22 touchdowns and had just six interceptions for a 104.2 quarterback rating.  His play as a first-year starter against the Packers and Colts was truly incredible.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Vinny Testaverde: Testaverde was now 39 years old and just didn't have it anymore.  He threw three touchdowns and three interceptions in an uninspired 1-3 start to the season.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 15

    The Bottom Line: The end of the season and playoff win provided some of the great moments in Jets history.  The Jets were totally outmatched in a 30-10 loss to the Super Bowl-bound Raiders in the second round of the playoffs, but there was no way they were beating them.  The agony index goes up slightly for fans having to put up with some of the incomprehensible decisions and mistakes by Edwards as a coach.

12. 2006 (10-6)

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    Head Coach: Eric Mangini

    Record: 10-6 (2nd AFC East)

    Highlights: Standing at 4-4, the Jets went up to New England and upset the Patriots 17-14.  After being snubbed by Bill Belichick in a Week 2 postgame handshake, Mangini made sure he grabbed Belichick's hand with both hands and pulled him in with a big smile on his face.  It was a sight to see.  The win boosted the Jets to a 6-2 finish and a return to the AFC playoffs.

    Lowlights: Losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Patriots was tough, but after a four-win season in 2005, it was great to be there.  

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The Jets made it to the playoffs, but they weren't anywhere near the top of the class in a stacked AFC in 2006.  The Patriots, Ravens, Chargers and Colts were a combined 51-13 that year.  The Jets were only ranked 25th in total offense and 30th in rushing yards per attempt. 

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: They allowed 295 points, which was the sixth-best total in the NFL.  Their play over the final eight games of the season was truly inspired.  It was also good to see Chad Pennington back at the helm after his rotator cuff injury in 2005.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Laveranues Coles: Coles had a career-best 91 catches and topped the 1,000 yard mark for the third time in his career.  

    Team Least Valuable Player: Kevan Barlow: Barlow was brought in from the 49ers to help pick of the slack left by the departed Curtis Martin, who retired in the offseason.  Barlow instead was a hindrance in the backfield as he averaged just 2.8 yards per carry for a career-low 270 yards.  Barlow had been a weapon out of the backfield in the past, but in 2006 caught just seven passes all year. 

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 0

    The Bottom Line: The AFC was just too powerful in 2006 for the Jets to really do anything, so it was enjoyable that they bounced back from a four-win season to make the playoffs.  It was also great to have Pennington back and healthy.  Best of all, after watching Herman Edwards bumble his way through a five-year Jets career, it was promising to see Mangini at work, even if his "Mangenius" moniker didn't stick for too long. 

11. 2001 (10-6)

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    Head Coach: Herman Edwards

    Record: 9-7 (3rd AFC East)

    Highlights: The Jets beat the Raiders in Oakland on a late John Hall 53-yard field goal in the final week of the season to clinch a playoff berth.  On October 1, the Jets played their first home game after the 9/11 attacks.  Edwards presented the game ball from his first career win to New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani in an emotional pregame ceremony.

    Lowlights: A 14-9 home loss to the lowly Bills in Week 15 put the Jets in a precarious situation in which they had to go to Oakland and win in Week 16 to clinch a playoff spot.  

    The Jets played a sloppy game against the Raiders in the playoffs.  Jerry Rice, who was 39 years old at the time, had nine catches for 183 yards.  The Jets looked like they would get the ball back with a chance to tie the game, as the Raiders were content to run the ball into the line on 3rd-and-11 with 1:42 left, but Charlie Garner broke off an 80-yard touchdown run to seal the win.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The Jets could have done better in their playoff game, so that left a sour taste in the fans mouths.  The Jets ranked 24th in total offense.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: After a two-year hiatus, the Jets returned to the playoffs in exciting fashion.   

    Team Most Valuable Player: Curtis Martin: Martin had 1,513 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns and continued to be one of the best running backs in the NFL.  He racked up 333 carries and still maintained a 4.5 yards per carry average.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Vinny Testaverde: It wasn't a vintage year for Vinny stat-wise, as he threw for just 2,752 yards.  It was his lowest total over a full season since 1994.  He threw just 15 touchdowns and had 14 interceptions.  

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 15

    The Bottom Line: This was an emotional season that was interrupted by the 9/11 attacks, which happened just two days after Edwards made his Jets coaching debut.  They improved by one win and made the playoffs for the first time since the 1998 AFC Championship game loss, but the defense let them down in the playoffs.  

10. 1981 (10-5-1)

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    Head Coach: Walt Michaels

    Record: 10-5-1 (2nd AFC East)

    Highlights: The Jets won seven of their last eight games to clinch their first playoff berth since 1969.  This was the first winning season for the franchise in 11 years.  In November, the Jets vaunted defensive line was invited to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, thus giving birth to one of the great nicknames in all of sports: The New York Sack Exchange.  Although it was an unofficial stat, Joe Klecko and Mark Gastineau both topped 20 sacks on the season. 

    Lowlights: It didn't get any lower than the final moments of the Jets playoff game against the Bills.  The Jets rallied from a 24-0 deficit and were driving for the game-winning score with all the momentum in the world.  However, Richard Todd's pass was intercepted near the end zone to seal a wild 31-27 Bills win. 

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: Richard Todd's interception.  With the defense the Jets had, there's no reason to think they couldn't have made a deep playoff run if the Jets could have cashed in with a touchdown.  There was no truly dominant team in the AFC, so the time was right.  

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: The Jets came out of nowhere to become one of the best teams in the AFC.  They hadn't had a winning season since 1969 and were sitting at 3-4-1 half way through the season.  Their ride to the playoffs made for wild times at Shea Stadium.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Joe Klecko: He was the leader of a defensive line that unofficially racked up 66 sacks on the year, one short of an NFL record.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Richard Todd: It was his best statistical season, but that interception against the Bills was inexcusable.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 35

    The Bottom Line: If the Jets would have lost the playoff game in a less heartbreaking fashion, the agony index would be significantly lower.  However, that pass from Todd still causes nightmares.  Either way, the Jets seemed to be back after a decade of absolutely dreadful football.

9. 2004 (10-6)

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    Head Coach: Herman Edwards

    Record: 10-6 (2nd in AFC East)

    Highlights: The Jets started the season 5-0, including a win against the Chargers in San Diego.  It was the best start in franchise history.  One of the unsung heroes of this season was Quincy Carter, who had to fill in for an injured Chad Pennington for three weeks.  Carter went 2-1 and the Jets wouldn't have made the playoffs without the wins.  

    The real highlight of the season was a 20-17 overtime win against the Chargers in a return trip to San Diego for the first round of the playoffs.  The Jets had a 17-7 fourth quarter lead on the AFC West champs but needed a Doug Brien 28-yard field goal in overtime for the win.

    Kevin Mawae made his sixth straight Pro Bowl for the Jets after this season.  It was the second-longest streak behind Winston Hill's seven-season streak.

    Lowlights: Doug Brien's missed field goals and Herman Edwards' maddening strategy in the Divisional Round playoff game against the Steelers.  The Jets had the ball inside the Steelers 30-yard line late in the fourth quarter of a tie game when Edwards went ultra-conservative in his play calling, settling for a 47-yard field goal attempt, which Brien missed.  Amazingly, the Jets got the ball back two plays later and the same exact thing happened with Edwards and Brien.  This field goal miss was from 43 yards. though.  The Steelers would eventually win in overtime.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The Jets had now been to the playoffs three out of the past four seasons and these kind of meltdowns were becoming inexcusable.  Everybody in the world except Edwards seemed to know that settling for a field goal in excess of 40 yards in Pittsburgh was the wrong decision.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: This was the first time the Jets made the playoffs in three out of four years, and up to the end of the Steelers game, this was a tremendously enjoyable season.  The Jets allowed just 261 points, which was the fourth-best total in the NFL.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Curtis Martin: It's seasons like this that landed Curtis Martin in Canton.  Martin ran the ball 371 times for 1,697 yards and 12 touchdowns.  Both totals rank in the top 30 all-time in NFL history.  Just incredible.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Doug Brien: It makes me sick to even write his name.  He kicked for the Bears in Weeks 2 and 3 the next season then was out of the NFL for good.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 94

    The Bottom Line: Just getting to the playoffs and even winning the first round simply wasn't good enough anymore.  Edwards drove fans absolutely insane with his game-management and the end of this season it reached a boiling point.  Amazingly, all of this happened after the Jets hired Dick Curl to babysit Edwards on the sideline to make sure this kind of thing didn't happen.

8. 1986 (10-6)

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    Head Coach: Joe Walton

    Record: 10-6 (2nd AFC East)

    Highlights: The Jets reeled off a franchise-record nine straight wins after starting the season 1-1.  The streak included wins against the Broncos and Patriots, both division winners that year.  The Jets trounced the Chiefs 35-15 in the first round of the playoffs behind a stellar performance from Freeman McNeil.  The Chiefs had no answer for the veteran running back who thrashed them for 135 yards on 31 carries.

    This was also the season that featured one of the greatest regular season games in franchise history.  Ken O'Brien outgunned Dan Marino in an amazing 51-45 overtime thriller.  The quarterbacks combined to throw for an NFL record 884 net passing yards and 10 tocuhdowns.

    Lowlights: Fans were left wondering "what could have been" as a rash of key injuries hit the team as it sputtered to five-straight losses to end the season.  As good as this season was, it ended in typically heartbreaking fashion for the Jets.  The team held a 20-10 lead in a second-round playoff game against the Browns at the two-minute warning.  Incredibly, the Browns were able to tie the game then win it in overtime thanks in large part to a personal foul penalty on Mark Gastineau.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The 10-1 start got the fans hopes up that something special was happening in New York.  For a large part of the season, it could have been argued that the Giants and Jets were the two best teams in football.  To see that all come crashing down, coupled with the loss to the Browns was disheartening.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: It was a great ride and injuries played a big role in the team's demise.  

    Team Most Valuable Player: Al Toon: In just his second season, Toon elevated himself to an elite level as he set a franchise record with 85 catches.  He gained 1,176 yards on the way to being named an All-Pro along side Jerry Rice.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Mark Gastineau: Gastineau had just two sacks on the season and his penalty in the Browns game was an abomination.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 65

    The Bottom Line: There's nothing a team can do when it's hit with a big rash of injuries, but this season still feels like a giant missed opportunity.  It's still hard to believe that a team can blow a 20-10 lead inside the two-minute warning.

7. 1985 (11-5)

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    Head Coach:  Joe Walton

    Record: 11-5 (2nd AFC East)

    Highlights: On a personal note, I attended my first Jets game in 1985 and it was the 62-28 win over the Buccaneers.  The 62 points set a franchise record.  The Jets were actually down 14-0 relatively quickly in the game.  Even as an 11-year old sitting in the upper deck of the west end zone of Giants Stadium, I knew this wasn't going to happen every time I went to a game.

    The Jets clinched a playoff spot with a 37-10 demolition of a decent Cleveland Browns team in Week 16.

    Also of note, Joe Namath was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame the August before the season started and had his number retired at halftime of a Jets win over the Dolphins on Monday Night Football.

    Lowlights: The first-round playoff defeat at the hands of the Patriots was tough to take.  The Jets turned the ball over four times and were never in the game as the Pats built a 23-7 lead on the way to a 26-14 win.  

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The Jets fizzled in the playoffs despite being one of the top teams in the NFL.  They ranked fourth in the NFL in total offense and only two teams in the NFL gave up fewer points than the Jets defense.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: Playoff stinker aside, the team was one of the best teams the Jets ever fielded.  Pro Football Reference lists this season as the third-best regular season in franchise history based on their simple rating system

    Team Most Valuable Player: Ken O'Brien: This was O'Brien's best season as a Jet as he led the NFL in passer rating with a 96.2 mark.  He threw 25 touchdowns and had just eight interceptions all year.  The incredible thing is that O'Brien was sacked 62 times in 1985, which was an NFL record at the time.  The total still ranks as the fifth-highest total in NFL history.

    Team Least Valuable Player: The entire offensive line: That's 62 sacks allowed in case you didn't read the stats from above.  

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 20

    The Bottom Line: It feels like the Jets should have gotten much more out of this season than a Wild-Card berth and a first-round playoff exit.  The only consolation was that if the Jets did get to the Super Bowl, the 1985 Bears were there waiting and nobody from the AFC was beating them.

6. 1982 (6-3)

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    Head Coach: Walt Michaels

    Record: 6-3 (2nd AFC East)

    Highlights: On November 21, the Jets beat the Colts 37-0, which wasn't a big deal as the Colts were winless in 1982.  What mattered was that it was the NFL's first week back playing after the 57-day players' strike.

    The team's best game probably came in the AFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Raiders.  The Raiders were 8-1 and were led by standout rookie Marcus Allen.  After beating the Bengals convincingly on the road in the Wild Card round, the Jets beat the Raiders 17-14 on a fourth quarter touchdown by Scott Dierking.

    Lowlights: The Mud Bowl.  The Dolphins didn't put the tarp on their field the night before the game as a rain storm ripped through Miami.  This considerably slowed down a Jets offense that scored the third-most points in the NFL that season.  Richard Todd threw five interceptions, one of which was returned by A.J. Duhe for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to seal the 14-0 win.

    Also, Joe Klecko suffered a ruptured patella tendon early in the season, causing him to miss a majority of the year.  Incredibly, he returned for the Raiders playoff game and helped inspire the team to the win.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The only thing keeping this team from being ranked at the upper echelon of all-time Jets teams is the players' strike.  The team only played nine games, so who knows how the season would have turned out.  

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: Aside from the 1998 team, this was the best chance the Jets had to win a Super Bowl.  The incredible offense was balanced by a defense that was ranked sixth overall in the NFL.  

    Team Most Valuable Player: Freeman McNeil: McNeil led the NFL in rushing with 786 yards and a 5.2 average.  He beat out Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett for First Team All-Pro honors.

    Team Least Valuable Player: The NFLPA and owners: Allowing the labor strife to cancel nearly half the season was inexcusable.  There was another strike just five seasons later, so little progress was actually made here.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 70

    The Bottom Line: Most of the Jets fans' agony came from areas out of the team's control this year, so we'll give the franchise a break.  First, the strike interrupted what could have been the best regular season in franchise history.  Then there was the antics of the Dolphins in the AFC Championship game.  To be fair, the Dolphins beat the Jets twice in the regular season, but three times would have been tough.  The Jets only lost to two teams all year, the Dolphins (three times) and to the Chiefs in a meaningless game in the season finale.

5. 2009 (9-7)

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    Head Coach: Rex Ryan

    Record: 9-7 (2nd AFC East)

    Highlights: Ryan came to the Jets with the promise of a strong defense and showed he wasn't kidding in a Week 2 win against the Patriots.  The Jets knocked off New England 16-9, shutting out the Patriots in the second half.  It was the only time all year the Patriots were held without a touchdown.

    The Patriots got revenge in Week 12, beating the Jets and dropping their record to 4-6.  The Jets won five of their last six games though to sneak into the playoffs, including a 37-0 thrashing of the Bengals in the final regular season game ever played at Giants Stadium.

    After disposing of the Bengals in the Wild Card round, the underdog Jets beat the Chargers behind a 128-yard rushing performance by Shonn Greene.  

    Lowlights: The Jets lost a dreadful 10-7 game to the Falcons in Week 14 to fall to 7-7.  It appeared their playoff hopes were in jeopardy and Ryan even declared the Jets were "obviously out of playoff contention."  Even though he was wrong, this loss was brutal.

    The Jets held a 17-14 lead over the Colts in the AFC Championship game at halftime, but an injury to Greene, who had been a breakout star in the postseason, changed the complexion of the game.  The offense did nothing without him and fell short of the Super Bowl again.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: Their regular season wasn't fantastic as Mark Sanchez played like a rookie at times.  The Dolphins and Bills were also-rans yet again, but the Jets went just 1-3 against them.  A loss to a bad Jaguars team also made things difficult along the way.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: The Jets' improbable run to the AFC Championship game came completely out of nowhere and the new head coach didn't seem so crazy for calling his squad a Super Bowl team after all.  This kind of thing just never happened to the Jets before. 

    Team Most Valuable Player: Thomas Jones: Ryan wanted to be a "ground and pound" coach and Jones certainly fit the bill.  He ran the ball 331 times for 1,402 yards and 14 touchdowns, all career highs.  It was one of the great seasons ever by a Jets running back.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Lito Sheppard: Sheppard came to the Jets after a Pro-Bowl career with the Eagles and was supposed to team with Darrelle Revis to form a fearsome pair at cornerback.  Sheppard turned out to be a shell of his former self and played in just 11 games.  He lasted just one season in New York. 

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 0

    The Bottom Line: There were  some stressful times during the season, but the euphoric ride to the AFC Championship game was incredible.  The other three times the Jets advanced that far, the team was clearly one of the best teams in the AFC from the start of the season.  This year, that wasn't the case and it made it that much better.  For a rookie quarterback and head coach to lead the team that way was fantastic.

4. 1969 (10-4)

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    Head Coach: Weeb Ewbank

    Record: 10-4 (1st AFC East)

    Highlights: In a game that some say was as important as Super Bowl III, the Jets beat the Giants 37-14 in a preseason game in August.  Preseason games were taken more seriously back then and it was said the win validated what some said was a fluke win over the Colts.

    The Jets went on a six-game winning streak in the middle of the season to take a firm grip on the AFL East division.  A 34-26 win over the Oilers in Week 13 clinched the Jets' second straight division title.

    Lowlights: The Jets fell 13-6 to the Chiefs at Shea Stadium on a late Lew Dawson touchdown pass to cut short a potential second-straight Super Bowl trip.  Namath passed for just 164 yards and threw three interceptions in windy conditions.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: The fact that the Jets couldn't muster any offense at home in the playoffs against the Chiefs was disappointing.  The Chiefs rode their strong defense to a Super Bowl championship, so there was a good chance the Jets could have done the same.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: It was a great season of validation of the 1968 team.  The Jets were no fluke and were clearly one of the top teams as the AFL came to a close.  This year, the Jets had the defense to match the offense as both units were ranked third in points for and points against.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Gerry Philbin: Philbin anchored a Jets defense that was even better than the Super Bowl III defense.  It was the best defensive unit the Jets featured as members of the AFL.  The defensive end was  a ferocious pass rusher and garnered First Team All-Pro accolades along with Matt Snell, John Elliott and Don Maynard.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Joe Namath: Hard to knock Broadway Joe just one year removed from Super Bowl III, but his numbers were significantly lower than the previous two seasons.  He threw 19 touchdowns and 17 interceptions while only throwing for for 2,734 yards.  Namath's performance in the playoff game against the Chiefs also left a lot to be desired.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 15

    The Bottom Line: The fact that the Jets captured a second-straight division title can't be ignored.  Sure, the playoff loss left fans wondering if they had another magical run in them had they gotten past the Chiefs, but it was a satisfying year nevertheless.  

    1969 Jets Yearbook Video

3. 2010 (11-5)

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    Head Coach: Rex Ryan

    Record: 11-5 (2nd AFC East)

    Highlights: There haven't been many more satisfying games in Jets history than the Divisional Round playoff win at New England.  The Jets bashed around Tom Brady so much that he was visibly scared of the Jets' pass rush.  The Jets had five sacks in the 28-21 win.

    Almost as satisfying was the first-round playoff win against Peyton Manning and the Colts.  For a full year Jets fans had to hear how they wouldn't have beaten Manning in the season finale in 2009.  They were able to pull off the improbable 17-16 win on a Nick Folk field goal at the end of regulation.  

    Mark Sanchez set an NFL record with four career playoff road wins.  Amazing that with all the legendary quarterbacks who have played the game, this record belongs to a second-year kid who people love to say isn't good enough.

    In the regular season, the Jets had big wins against the Patriots and Steelers. 

    Lowlights: The Jets stood at 9-2 and were deemed ready to take over the AFC East from the Patriots when they faced them in a Monday Night Football matchup.  The Jets never showed up and lost an embarrassing 45-3 game.

    With wins over Manning and Brady, the Jets needed to get past Ben Roethlisberger for a trip to the Super Bowl.  Not many things were as disheartening as watching the Jets lay an egg and play unmotivated football during the first half as the Steelers opened a 24-3 halftime lead.  The Jets furious comeback fell one drive short and it was another season without a Super Bowl. 

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: It was very similar to the 1998 season, but the '98 team gets the slight nod here.  Not much to complain about here, it's splitting hairs between the two teams

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: The team had tough losses to the Super Bowl-champion Packers, the Patriots and good Bears and Ravens teams.  This season, it felt that the Jets truly belonged among the elite teams.  They had a 4-2 record against the Colts, Patriots and Steelers.   

    Team Most Valuable Player: Darrelle Revis: This season was one of the best seasons ever by a cornerback without question.  For the first time, teams flat out did not throw to Revis' side of the field.  He made his reputation the year before, but this took things to a new level.  It was one of the great seasons ever by a Jets defender.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Kyle Wilson: Tough to pick on the rookie here, but he was a first round draft pick who wasn't supposed to be too far off from Revis.  Wilson was supposed to give the Jets a second shut-down corner and make it nearly impossible to pass outside on the team.  He was thoroughly over-matched though and ended up starting just six games.  His playing time dwindled as the season went on.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 65

    The Bottom Line: While it was amazingly gratifying to beat Manning and Brady in the playoffs, it was pure agony to get so close only to fall short again.  It was an incredibly enjoyable season that gave the franchise some of its great moments, but if the Jets could have made just one stop in the first half of that Steelers game or gotten the ball back one more time, they would have been in the Super Bowl.

2. 1998 (12-4)

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    Head Coach: Bill Parcells

    Record: 12-4 (1st AFC East)

    Highlights: The Jets thoroughly dismantled a good Jaguars team in the Divisional Round of the AFC playoffs.  The Jets jumped out to a 34-14 fourth quarter lead and cruised to the 34-24 win.  The Jets finished the season with a 31-10 trouncing of the Patriots for a team-record 12th win and first-round playoff bye.  The Jets ended the season by winning 10 of their final 11 games and were the hottest team in the AFC going into the playoffs. 

    Lowlights: The Jets held a 10-0 third quarter lead in the AFC Championship game in Denver but fell apart as the game wore on.  The turning point came when John Elway completed a 47-yard pass to Ed McCaffrey which ultimately led to the Broncos first points.  It was the first big play of the game for the Broncos.  The Broncos recovered the ensuing kickoff and tied the game with a field goal.  It was all downhill from there as they fell 23-10.

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: They just didn't close the deal.  With the Falcons already waiting in the Super Bowl, the Jets just had to hang on for two more quarters.  It didn't happen as Terrell Davis willed the Broncos to victory in the final home game of John Elway's career.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: The fact that this season was just two years removed from the 1-15 Rich Kotite campaign is unfathomable.  Even though the Jets fell short, making it to their first AFC Championship game in 16 years was amazing.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Vinny Testaverde: In his first year as a Jet, Testaverde went 12-1 as a starter.  He threw 29 touchdowns against just seven interceptions.  His interception total was the fewest he had in any full season.

    Team Least Valuable Player: Keith Byars: There really wasn't a player on the team who had a bad season, so its Byars by default.  After the Broncos snapped the ball over punter Tom Rouen's head, it set the Jets up in a great situation to possibly grab the AFC Championship game by the throat.  Byars instead fumbled the ball back to the Broncos inside their own 20-yard line.

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 15

    The Bottom Line: Man, what could have been? The Vikings had been the best team in football in 1998 and when the Falcons upset them in the NFC Championship game, it left the Super Bowl door wide open for the AFC.  To come so close was gut-wrenching at the time, but in retrospect, getting to the AFC Championship game two years after the worst season in franchise history puts this season as one of the best.  Pro Football Reference's simple rating system rates this as the greatest Jets regular season ever.  It's hard to argue that.

1. 1968 (11-3)

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    Head Coach: Weeb Ewbank

    Record: 11-3 (1st AFL East)

    Highlights: The ultimate Jets highlight of all-time: Joe Namath running off the field at the Orange Bowl with his finger raised up in the air.  It's one of the most enduring images in NFL history.

    Before the Super Bowl, the Jets won a terrific AFL Championship game against an excellent Raiders team that had won its past nine games.  Namath threw for 266 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winning score to Don Maynard in the fourth quarter.  Maynard had 118 yards and two touchdowns.

    In the regular season, this was the year of the "Heidi Game."  The Raiders scored two touchdowns in nine seconds to win 43-32.  Nobody saw the end of the game as NBC switched to a showing of the movie Heidi when they thought the Jets had the game in hand.  Here's what fans didn't see.

    After the season, 11 Jets were named to the AFL's All Pro squad.

    Lowlights: The Heidi Game was a little ridiculous and losses to the Bills and Broncos were bothersome, but this was largely a season with very little disappointment.  

    Why the season isn't ranked higher: Rankings don't go higher than "one."  One of the great seasons in NFL history.

    Why the season isn't ranked lower: No chance.  Even if the Jets break through to win another Super Bowl in mine or anyone else's lifetime, it'd be hard-pressed to top this.  The season's historical significance can not be overstated.

    Team Most Valuable Player: Joe Namath: It's often said that his brashness and confidence leading up to the Super Bowl not only convinced the Jets they could win, but put doubts in the Colts' minds that they could lose.  Matt Snell may have had the best game in the Super Bowl, but this was Namath's team through and through.  A historical season for the ages. 

    Team Least Valuable Player: Nobody: Out of respect for the greatest team in franchise history, no player is named least valuable.  To do what the Jets did took a total team effort.  

    Jets' Fan Agony Index: 0

    The Bottom Line: The undisputed greatest season in franchise history and it's not even close.  We're coming up on two generations of Jets fans who haven't seen a Super Bowl championship.  If they finally break through and win again it will be euphoric.  But I can't see how it would top the significance of Super Bowl III.

    1968 Jets Yearbook Video