By Tyson Rauch
With the holiday season quickly approaching with joy and cheer in the air, we decided to look back at the top 10 Jets moments over the past 10 years.
#10) April 20, 1996 — New York City â€“ The chants began increasing in volume as the time approached. Keyshawn Johnson! Keyshawn Johnson! With the #1 pick in the 1996 NFL Draft the New York Jets select Keyshawn Johnson. The crowd goes wild as the Jets finally have a star and game breaker while giving the fans renewed hope for their beloved team. The crowd loved KJ and he loved them right back.
#9a) February 29, 1998 — Bill Parcells announces the signing of a center from the Seattle Seahawks named Kevin Mawae. Most fans had no idea who he was or why the Jets gave him a substantial contract but looking back at it now a brilliant move by the Jets front office.
#9b) March 25, 1998 — The New York Jets sign Curtis Martin after the New England Patriots do not match their aggressive offer sheet. The Jets gave up their 1st and 3rd round picks and had many fans confused since they had a productive Adrian Murrell on the roster. Little did they know the man and player Mr. Parcells had acquired and the impact he would have on the entire organization.
#8) August 31,1997 — Seattle Washington – The New York Jets in their season opener pummel the Seattle Seahawks 41-3 in Bill Parcells debut. The Jets started out fast and never looked back opening the eyes of both their fans and the entire NFL. This is not the same old New York Jets any longer.
#7) September 24, 2000 — The New York Jets vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Keyshawn Johnson vs. Wayne Chrebet. The Jets in a bold move traded KJ to Tampa Bay for draft picks and this game was supposed to be his revenge against Gang Green. The loud mouth receiver did not do much during the game but the Bucs were still winning 17-14 late in the 4th quarter. The Buccaneerâ€™s fans were ripping and taunting the few remaining Jets fans in attendance when an OOOOOOH blurts throughout the stadium. Mike Alstott fumbled and the Jets have one last chance. As we watch the Jets lineup we notice Curtis Martin take off his right glove and throw it on the ground in the backfield. Next thing you know Martin takes the handoff runs to the right and then lobs up a pass to Wayne Chrebet in the back of the end zone for the game- winning touchdown. Both Keyshawn Johnson and the Tampa Bay Bucs fans were humbled that night. The look of jubilation on the faces of Wayne and his teammates after the game could have lit up half of Florida.
#6) October 23, 2000 — Monday Night Football– Dolphins vs. Jets in a big AFC East battle. Things looked bleak as the Jets were losing 30-7 in the beginning of the 4th quarter and the fans were filing out. This fan stayed as I never leave a game early and the memory of this game will never leave me. The Jets scratched, clawed and refused to quit and ending up winning the game 40-37 in OT. Never have I been more proud of a team that refused to quit or give up.
#5) January 4, 2003 — The New York Jets vs. Indianapolis Colts in the 1st round of the NFL Playoffs. The stadium was electric as the revived Jets came out firing on all cylinders, as the Colts had no idea what hit them. The second half of the game was merely a party for the fans as the Jets won in dominant fashion 41-0.
#4) December 29, 2002 — The New York Jets vs. the Green Bay Packers in the final game of the regular season. The Jets had slim playoff hopes as they needed to beat the Packers as well as get some help in order to qualify. The game was slated for 4:15 so the Jets would clearly know their status prior to the game. One thing went wrong though, both games that impacted the Jets ran overlapped into the start time of the their own. The Jets began their game while many fans either remained in the parking lot watching the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots or huddled by TVs inside of the stadium. Then all of a sudden the crowd erupted as the Patriots won and all of the cards fell in the Jets favor. All the Jets would have to do now is win their game and the AFC East and a home playoff game was all theirs. The crowd was fired up and so were the New York Jets winning the game going away 42-17.
#3) January 10, 1998 — Divisional Playoff game — The Meadowlands was filled with green as the fans were fired up a big match up versus the Jacksonville Jaguars. The New York Jets beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 34-24 and Keyshawn Johnson put on a game for the ages. KJ had 121 receiving yards, a 10-yard end around rushing td, a fumble recovery and game ending interception. The atmosphere after the game was one that I will never forget as fans were running around hugging each other, some crying and others screaming pure ecstasy as the feeling of success has finally sunk in.
#2) December 19, 1998 — Ralph Wilson Stadium– The New York Jets win the AFC East for first time in team history with a win over the Buffalo Bills 17-10. The win topped off a tremendous season where the Jets finished 12-4, were dominant throughout and achieved a 1st round bye in the NFL playoffs. The Jets are no longer the laughing stock of the AFC or the NFL.
#1) February 11, 1997 -â€“ Hall of Fame Coach Bill Parcells introduced as head coach of the New York Jets. A team in desperate need of a leader, motivator and winner signed one of the best in the business to lead their franchise. The Jets got instant credibility throughout the NFL something that was lacking for about a decade. Finally the Jets got it right and are heading in the right direction.