Best New York Jets Teams Of All Time

Since the franchise’s first season as the New York Titans in 1960, from American Football League (AFL) members to the current-day New York Jets, fans have seen highs and most recently many lows. Since the first season, New York has clinched 14 playoff births, won 12 playoff games, and have one Lombardi Trophy. The franchise’s current record is 428-547-8. That totals out to an all-time under .500 winning percentage at .439.

While the numbers aren’t exactly pretty, there have still been great teams and players that have shown up in the bright lights of New York City. Today, let’s look at the three greatest New York Jets teams of all time.

Best New York Jets Teams Of All Time

1. 1968

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This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to Jets fans as the 1968-1969 New York Jets were the only team in franchise history to make and win a Super Bowl. Backed by Namath’s guarantee the Jets defeated the Baltimore Colts 16-7 and pulled off the biggest upset in Super Bowl history. New York entered that Sunday in January as 18-point underdogs and as many like to say, the rest was history. Another piece to this team was their regular season record of 11-3 which still stands as the highest winning percentage in a single season in Jets history at .786.

This team was headlined by their Hall of Fame coach Weeb Ewbank and Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath. To this day, Ewbank remains atop the franchise as the winningest coach in Jets history and Joe Namath remains the best quarterback in franchise history. Namath still holds records for passing yards and touchdowns. The list could go on and on for other records Namath still holds. During this season Namath was surrounded by weapons all over the field with key pieces in Don Maynard, Emerson Boozer, Matt Snell, and George Sauer. New York also put together one of the best offensive lines the franchise has ever seen headlined by Winston Hill and Dave Herman. In total, this offense had three Hall of Famers on it with Namath at quarterback, Maynard at receiver, and Hill at left tackle.

On top of the impressive offense, New York put an impressive defensive product on the field. This Jets defense was able to hold the Colts to just seven points despite Baltimore putting up a total of 58 points in the first two rounds of the playoffs that year. This defense sent four players to the Pro Bowl that season. Those players were John Elliot, Verlon Biggs, Al Atkinson, and Gerry Philbin who was also selected as First-Team All-Pro. On top of these pieces, safety Johnny Sample played a big role during this season by hauling in seven interceptions which was the most he had in a single season while a member of the Jets.

This team had everything you need to win. A hall-of-fame coach, hall-of-fame quarterback, hall-of-fame wide receiver, and a hall-of-fame left tackle protecting the quarterback’s blindside. This group also had an impressive defense that was able to contain some of the league’s best offenses including Baltimore’s in Super Bowl III.

2. 1998

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The 1998 New York Jets is argued by many as the most talented roster in Jets history and for good reason. This team had everything from coaches to players and this team achieved everything except, capturing the Lombardi. Led by Hall of Fame head coach Bill Parcells this team still stands as the only Jets team to win 12 games in a single season in franchise history. New York took home the AFC East crown and beat the Jacksonville Jaguars at home in the divisional round before going to Denver. Unfortunately, that is where the road ended for this group as they fell to John Elway, Terrell Davis, and the Denver Broncos 23-10 in the AFC Championship Game. The Broncos went on to win the Super Bowl for the second consecutive year.

On offense, this group was headlined by quarterback Vinny Testaverde who completed 61.5% of his passes for 3,256 yards and 29 touchdowns. The weapons around Testaverde came up huge as well with pieces like Curtis Martin, Wayne Chrebet, and Keyshawn Johnson. Chrebet and Johnson both tallied over 1,000 receiving yards, while Curtis Martin rushed for 1,287 yards and eight touchdowns. New York was also strong in the trenches headlined by Hall of Fame center Kevin Mawae and Super Bowl champion Jumbo Elliott. New York finished fourth in the NFL and second in the AFC in total offense.

It wasn’t just the offense that made noise, the defense was one of the elite units in football. Gang Green finished seventh in the NFL in total defense. The unit was led by Pro Bowl linebacker Mo Lewis who also took home First-Team All-Pro honors and Pro Bowl cornerback Aaron Glenn. On top of these key players, the defense also featured Victor Green, Bryan Cox, Anthony Pleasant, and Jason Ferguson. Against this talented defense, teams only averaged 16.6 points per game against New York which was tied for the lowest points allowed per game in the NFL.

Despite not finishing the job and reaching the mountain top this team had just about every position covered with some of the best talent in football. Coached by a Hall of Famer, this group sent five players to the Pro Bowl one of which was selected as an All-Pro. It also consisted of a Hall of Fame center in Kevin Mawae. This team remained mostly the same entering the 1999 season but unfortunately, Vinny Testaverde tore his Achilles in week one. If it wasn’t for that injury this core of players could have taken home the franchise’s second Lombardi Trophy.

3. 2010

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The 2010 New York Jets hold a special place among Jets fans because it is the last team to make the playoffs as New York finds themselves in a 13-year postseason drought. After falling one win short of going to the Super Bowl in 2009, the Jets were one of the most talked about teams entering the 2010 campaign. Led by second-year head coach Rex Ryan, Gang Green was featured on Hard Knocks and took the offseason hype and ran with it. After an 11-5 regular season record, New York defeated the Colts on the road in the Wild Card round and then gave the franchise one of the best and most talked about playoff wins ever. Ryan and the Jets defeated Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and the New England Patriots in Foxborough to advance to the AFC title game.

The offense featured second-year signal caller Mark Sanchez who completed 54.8% of his passes for 3,291 yards and 17 touchdowns. The numbers aren’t overly impressive but Sanchez was able to manage the game and get the ball in his playmakers’ hands. Some of those playmakers included LaDainian Tomlinson, Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, Jerricho Cotchery, and Dustin Keller. Gang Green also had one of the league’s best offensive lines that featured from left to right, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Matt Slauson, Nick Mangold, Brandon Moore, and Damien Woody. New York finished sixth in the AFC in total offense.

The defense was even more impressive than the offense and really what made this team so dominant through the regular season and deep into the playoffs. Ryan, a defensive coach, took this group and helped shape them into the third-ranked defense in football. One of the best on the field that fueled the success was Darrelle Revis where receivers found themselves lost on ‘Revis Island’. Other key contributors were Antonio Cromartie, Bart Scott, David Harris, Calvin Pace, Shaun Ellis, and Bryan Thomas. This defense also held opponents to 19 points per game which was third best in the AFC.

Unfortunately for this group despite all of the positives that came from this season it was another year that fell short and the second consecutive season where New York got eliminated in the AFC Championship game this time to the Pittsburgh Steelers. This was the last team Jets fans could truly be proud of as during the 13-year postseason drought New York has had just one winning season. The 2024 team will look to become the first Jets team to clinch a ticket to the dance since this impressive 2010 run.

Main Image: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

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