The 1998 Jets stole the hearts of their fans by coming within one game of the Super Bowl. A decade later, the Jets have another shot at it. This years Jets have a very similar physical and mental makeup to the ’98 team. However, the difference this year the Jets don’t have to contend with a living legend vying for one last Super Bowl. Instead, the living legend is under center for Gang Green and wants to hoist that Lombardi Trophy one more time. The 2008 version of the Jets may not be as talented as the Elway lead Broncos, but this team has a leader comparable to that team.
The 1998 Jets vs the 2008 Jets have many similarities. Both are lead by veteran quarterbacks who have the ability to make explosive plays and win games. Obviously, this years team has an edge with Favre being in a completely different playing field as Testaverde is playing in. The running game is top notch but an edge has to be giving to future Hall of Famer Curtis Martin. His physical and mental impact on the game cannot be matched by TJ. Career years from Keyshawn and Chrebet certainly cannot be down played, however, when the season is over expect to see better numbers coming from Coles and Cotchery with a nice little bonus from Chansi Stuckey as he should hover around the 400-500 yards for the season. Dedric Ward had a very similar season that year and Stuckey might be a little bit better. Dustin Keller will be far superior to any play of the Jets fan favorite Kyle Brady. Brady was merely a serviceable blocking tight end. Keller has put up better numbers through Week 11 than Brady did the entire year.
My absolute favorite is the Defense and Special Teams. This years team overall has a substantially better defensive package. They will blow away the numbers of the ’98 as a whole. However, Pepper Johnson, Mo Lewis and the rest of the linebacker core are better than this current linebacker unit. These are once in a lifetime players and not only had a ton of success but won with other teams. Kris Jenkins, Shaun Ellis, Kerry Rhodes, and Darelle Revis would’ve helped push that team to a Super Bowl if they replaced the Parcells unit.
Special Teams is absolutely laughable! My Jets team MVP Leon Washington is proving to be one of, if not these best special teams player in the NFL. Devin Hester might be as quick as lightning but Washington is just as good. The combination of Aaron Glenn and Leon Johnson never even had the talent come close to what is being done this season.
Both teams have a ton of talent, heart, and desire to win a Super Bowl. The ’98 team stole our hearts and almost gave us that first taste of glory since Broadway Joe did it. The jury is still out on this years team but I want all the fans to take a step back and listen to the players talk. I’m not a huge fan of mainstream coverage because the players give mostly canned answers. Nobody can expect them to say controversial things about their employer. But, take a look at the confidence and dedication you can sense in all of their voices. This team has a leader and its a direct reflection on what Favre has brought to the locker room. This team has a winning, humble attitude.
Heck, I’ll go out on a limb the 2008 team is much better than the 1998 team could ever be. We don’t know the outcome yet, but I think its got a great chance to overshadow ’98.