Facebook Pixel

    Ranking the Best New York Jets Teams of All Time

    Despite a tortured past, the New York Jets still have plenty of legendary teams worthy of recognition — which teams are the best in franchise history?

    The New York Jets have been around since the 1960 season and the birth of the American Football League (AFL).

    Since then, the organization has seen the highest of highs and the true lowest of lows throughout its now 64 years of existence.

    As New York prepares for the start of a new season, it’s time to look back at some of the best teams in franchise history and highlight the people who made those years possible.

    Who Are the Greatest Teams in New York Jets’ History?

    The Jets have just one Super Bowl title but plenty of memorable playoff moments. While the all-encompassing era of Jets football has been met with heartbreaking losses and disastrous decisions, there are quite a few teams that left fans smiling about their long-term impact on the franchise.

    Today, we break down the greatest teams in Jets history, starting with one of their more improbable runs.

    5. 1982 Jets

    The 1982 season was a weird time for the NFL. The player’s strike that year cut the NFL season to just nine regular season games, leaving some teams shattered from top to bottom.

    Not the Jets, though.

    Led by head coach Walt Michaels, who re-signed following the season, New York went 6-3 and came away with two improbable playoff wins against the reigning AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Raiders. Their 14-0 loss in the “Mud Bowl” to the Miami Dolphins was one of the only blemishes on what was a fun season in New York — and their first true playoff run after the Super Bowl-winning team.

    4. 2004 Jets

    Not many teams come close to knocking off a 15-win organization like the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs. The 2004 Jets came mighty close to doing that, though.

    The 2004 season was a strange one for the Jets. New York started a franchise-best 5-0 to begin its season, ended the year 10-6, and was the bottom seed in the AFC playoffs. It was the third time in four seasons New York reached the postseason.

    The playoffs showed just how hard an out this team was that year. Gang Green upset the heavily favored San Diego Chargers in the Wild Card Round but fell heartbreakingly to the 15-1 Steelers in the Divisional Round, a 20-17 overtime loss.

    MORE: Ranking the Best Quarterbacks in New York Jets’ History

    Making matters worse was the fact that Jets kicker Doug Brien missed not one but two field goals to end regulation that would have won the Jets the game. A spot in the AFC title game was foiled by a kicker in the biggest moment.

    Would this team have beaten the eventual champion New England Patriots and won the Super Bowl? Probably not, but they consistently performed like one of the better teams in the league that year, and it showed come playoff time.

    3. 2010 Jets

    It took the Steelers and Jets 44 years to meet in the playoffs for the first time, but in six years, Pittsburgh crushed New York’s hopes twice. We already mentioned the 2004 Jets team, but the 2010 Jets were even better than that unit and still couldn’t get by Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

    The 2010 Jets were a dominant team despite their 11-5 record. They had reached the AFC title game the year before and expectations were high under Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez.

    Behind a dominant defense that finished in the top five in most categories for the second straight year and one of the best rushing attacks in the league, New York managed to beat not only the Peyton Manning-led Indianapolis Colts but the Tom Brady-led Patriots on the road before falling 24-19 to the Steelers in the AFC title game.

    Not many teams can say they beat two Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks in back-to-back road playoff games, but the 2010 Jets can. They are one of the more deserving teams on this list for that alone.

    2. 1998 Jets

    If the Super Bowl-winning team was the most successful, then the 1998 Jets were the most dominant group in team history. Seriously.

    The ’98 Jets had a higher point differential than their ’68 counterparts and even finished the season with the same amount of wins. Under the coaching of Bill Parcells, New York owned the fifth-best offense and second-best defense in the league that season. After a slow 2-3 start, New York won 10 of its last 11 games and had the second-best record in the conference.

    The issue? The defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos stood in the way of New York reaching the Super Bowl and ended up going back-to-back after thwarting the Jets’ playoff run in the AFC title game, 23-10.

    The 12 wins earned that season are still the current Jets record for victories in a single season. Despite not reaching the Super Bowl, this is one of the best units in team history.

    1. 1968 Jets

    There really is no other option. The ’68 Jets are the only Super Bowl-winning team in franchise history, but they were also a historically great team with an impact that is still felt today.

    New York’s 11-3 mark that season is one of the best in team history, and the team ranked in the top five of both offensive and defensive categories in the AFL that season. Under Hall of Fame coach Weeb Ewbank, and “Broadway” Joe Namath, the Jets entered Super Bowl 3 as heavy underdogs to the NFL champion Baltimore Colts.

    KEEP READING: Ranking the Best Running Backs in New York Jets’ History

    Despite being thrashed in the first two Super Bowls to their league rivals, the AFL saw the Jets pull off a miracle 16-7 victory over Don Shula, Johnny Unitas, and the Colts. The win showed that the AFL was a league to be respected on its own and the beginning of the end of the Don Shula era in Baltimore.

    If the Jets don’t beat Baltimore in that game, Shula could have remained a Colt for longer — never giving rise to the Miami Dolphins or Dan Marino and opening up a major gap in the AFC during the early ’70s.

    NFL history changed forever because of the ’68 Jets.

    Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

    Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

    Related Articles