New York Jets: Most Clutch Performers of All Time

Chris Dela Rosa@chris_deezyContributor IJune 28, 2011

New York Jets: Most Clutch Performers of All Time

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    In their 51-year history, the Jets have had every kind of player, ranging from the egotistical one to the "chosen one."  Of these kinds of players, the best ones are the clutch players, the ones you know you can count on in a tough situation, the go-to guy when you need something done.

    This list is to honor eight of those men who have been clutch for the Jets over the course of their career or in the biggest game of their career.  

    As always, feedback is welcome.  Enjoy!

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8) Lance Mehl

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    Former Jets linebacker Lance Mehl is best known for his big plays in the 1982 playoffs against the Raiders in the divisional round. 

    Mehl had two interceptions and a forced fumble. Had one of those turnovers not occurred, the Raiders could have scored, preventing the Jets from winning that game 17-14. 

    Mehl’s career may not have been the longest or most successful, but Jets fans will not forget his clutch defensive plays against Los Angeles.

7) Mark Sanchez

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    He still cannot get over the AFC Championship Game hump, but over the last two seasons, Mark Sanchez has shown all the non-believers that he can be a clutch quarterback. 

    Take the video on this slide for example. Many quarterbacks cannot make a precision pass like the one he made to Santonio Holmes when the game is on the line.  Sanchez not only produced late in this game, but he also made great game-winning passes in overtime (to Santonio) against Detroit and Cleveland (the two games before their victory against Houston).  

    If Sanchez continues to have games like these, he could become one of the most clutch performers in New York Jets history. 

6) Pat Leahy

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    Who wouldn’t want to trust Pat Leahy?  The former Jets kicker won countless games using his boot and holds several New York Jets records after playing from the mid seventies to the early nineties.

    For example, Leahy holds the Jets all-time record for most points scored with 1,470, and he also holds the team record for games played with 250.  

5) Matt Snell

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    This former Jets running back is responsible for the lone New York touchdown in Super Bowl III.  Matt Snell’s career statistics aren’t the highest in franchise history, but his contribution was extremely valuable. 

    Snell’s rushing touchdown, 121 rushing yards and 40 yards through the air helped balance the teams offense in what was the most important game in his life.

4) Vinny Testaverde

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    Once your team is down 30-7 going into the fourth quarter, a comeback is ruled out. When it came to Vinny Testaverde and the Jets in October of 2000, he proved that any comeback is possible. 

    He and the Jets fought all the way back as Testaverde was making passes left and right.Tthe comeback was capped off when Testaverde dumped the ball in the end zone to offensive lineman Jumbo Elliot with over a minute left in regulation. 

    Had Testaverde not been on his game in the final quarter, the Dolphins may have gone back to Miami laughing at the poor competition the Jets had given them in the first three quarters.

3) Jim Turner

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    Not many people know this name, but Jim Turner is THE unsung hero of Super Bowl III.  While Matt Snell scored the only touchdown for the Jets, his score was only for six of the 16 points the Jets had that game. 

    Through three fields goals and an extra point, Turner scored the other 10.  You may be saying that he’s just kicker, and it’s his job, but there is no pressure like the pressure in the Super Bowl.

    Without Turner’s 10 points, one of the greatest upsets in Super Bowl history may not have happened.

2) Wayne Chrebet

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    While Chrebet may not have been responsible for helping his team win a Super Bowl or leading a comeback when down 30-7, he was definitely the guy anyone could count on. 

    When the going got tough, Wayne Chrebet did not let the pressure get to him as he would consistently make tough catches, especially on third down, earning himself the nickname Mr. Third Down. 

    He was not a flashy guy, but when the Jets needed a first down through the air, Wayne Chrebet was the guy they went to for years.

1) Verlon Biggs

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    While most people think of Joe Namath as the man that should receive an immense amount of praise for leading the Jets in Super Bowl III, there is another player that deserves the same kind of recognition. 

    Verlon Biggs was the playmaker that got the Jets into Super Bowl III when he sacked Raiders quarterback Daryle Lamonica on a 4th-and-10.  Biggs was not just clutch in the AFC Championship game; he also forced a fumble in Super Bowl III that would help the Jets win their first and only Super Bowl.  

    Without Biggs, the Jets may not have even appeared in Super Bowl III.