A Roller Coaster of a Team

andrew lief

The New York Jets: They’ll bring you up, but then they’ll always break you down. This should become the team’s motto and should be told to every person before they commit to becoming a Jets fan for the rest of their life.

In the 47-year history of the Super Bowl, the Jets have made it once.  That was in 1969 when “Broadway” Joe Namath led the Jets to a 16-7 win over the Baltimore Colts.  So every Jets fan that was born after Jan. 12, 1969 has never experienced their favorite team winning a Super Bowl, let alone participating in it.

During my lifetime they’ve put fans through a rollercoaster of expectations.

In 1998 Vinny Testaverde led the Jets to the AFC Championship game in his first season as the quarterback.  The following season the Jets were the favorites to win the Super Bowl, but in typical Jets fashion, Testaverde ruptured his Achilles tendon in the first game of the season.

Next, in 2004 the Jets advanced to the AFC Divisional round where they played the Pittsburgh Steelers after they upset the San Diego Chargers 20-17 in the Wild Card round.

I’ll never forget watching this game on my couch with my father.  After taking a 17-10 lead, they gave up a touchdown in the fourth quarter, which tied the game. With a chance to win the game Doug Brien missed not one, but two field goals in the fourth quarter, which would have sent the Jets to the AFC Championship game.  The Steelers eventually won the game in overtime, obviously.

Now, let’s talk about the disappointment of the Rex Ryan/Mark Sanchez era.  After back-to-back AFC Championship game appearances against the Colts and Steelers, the Jets were said to be Super Bowl favorites by many experts.

Of course as only the Jets can, they finished the season 8-8 and didn’t make the playoffs.  Sanchez regressed tremendously in year three and all of their veterans seemed to slow down a lot.

I’m sure everyone knows about the “butt fumble.”  Well, I don’t think people realize how devastating that fumble, along with that entire game, was.

The game took place on Thanksgiving last year, so once families were done with their delicious turkey dinner they sat down on the couch to watch their favorite team.  Little did they know that their favorite team would embarrass them on national TV.

The Jets allowed the Patriots to score 21 points in 52 game seconds, which helped them win 49-19.  If that’s not a sure way to ruin someone’s Thanksgiving, then I don’t know what is.

Since you now have the history of the Jets’ failures, let’s talk about the heartbreaking this year’s team has done so far.

On Oct. 7 on Monday Night Football, the Jets beat the Atlanta Falcons 30-28, who were expected to be a Super Bowl contender this season.  Geno Smith had the best game of his career going 16-20 for 199 yards and three touchdowns, while committing no turnovers.

The Jets followed this great performance with an absolutely terrible one in week six.  They lost 19-6 to the winless Pittsburgh Steeelers.  Smith went 19-34 for 201 yards, while throwing two interceptions.

This was such a classic Jets game.  Going into it, the players felt great about their team, the fans felt great about their team and now, nobody feels great about the team.

This Sunday is a very important for the Jets.  They’re playing their rival the New England Patriots at Metlife Stadium.  A loss would give them a 3-4 record. With the Broncos and Chiefs both being 6-0 and playing in the same division one of the two AFC Wild Card teams will have at least 10 wins most likely.  This means one team that is in the .500 area in the AFC will have to  separate themself from the pack if they don’t want it to come down to week 17 or a tiebreaker.

On Sunday I think the Jets will disappoint the fans once again.  I think the Patriots’ star tight end Rob Gronkowski will make his season debut and score two touchdowns in a 27-13 Patriots win.