by Mark Kelly
The New York Jets made many exciting changes this offseason to reverse their historical trends of failure. Adam Gase, Joe Douglas, Le’Veon Bell, C.J. Mosley, and Quinnen Williams joined the organization in the offseason improving an already promising core that includes Jamal Adams and Sam Darnold. Expectations are high despite a difficult schedule to start the season. Will this new era lead to better results? Here is some of the history they are trying to reverse.
This Sunday marks the first NFL Sunday for the 2019 season. This season marks the 100th anniversary for the NFL.
The New York Jets start their 60th season playing football and their 50th as a member of the NFL. For Jets fans, playing 49 previous years in the NFL has not worked out well. They are one of four franchises (Lions, Browns – based on interpretation – and Chiefs) that have failed to reach the Super Bowl of the 26 franchises that made up the 1970 NFL season.
The Jets and Chiefs appeared in two of the four Super Bowls played before the rival leagues joined together for the 1970 season. When both leagues agreed on the merger on June 8, 1966, they needed time to prepare for the merger. One of the agreements called for an AFL-NFL Championship Game that would pair the champions of each league against each other starting with that 1966 season. The AFL-NFL Championship game later became known as the “Super Bowl.”
WILL THE STREAK END THIS SEASON?
Despite the Jets vital role in giving the rival AFL league credibility by winning Super Bowl III, very little else has gone right since. Including their final season in the AFL in 1969 and its been 51 seasons between Super Bowl appearances.
While going that long without a Super Bowl appearance is enough to irritate their fanbase, it’s not the only long streak of futility. They are also one of three franchises since the merger, to never host a conference championship (Tennessee Titans – the original Houston Oilers – and the Detroit Lions are the other two of the 26 franchises).
NO DIVISION TITLES SINCE 2002
The last time the Jets won the AFC East was 2002. That marked just their second division title since the merger (1998 was the other). Every other franchise except for the Detroit Lions (3) has won at least four division titles.
The last time the Jets reached the postseason was eight seasons ago in 2010 (when they made their second consecutive AFC Championship appearance). Their current streak is the tied for the second-longest in franchise history without a postseason appearance (went 11 successive seasons from 1969-1980).
The Jets take on the Buffalo Bills to start the 2019 season at Met Life Stadium. Sunday will be the 13th time that the Jets open the against Buffalo, the most for any opponent. The Jets are 8-4 in those previous season openers.
Despite the many meetings with Buffalo to start the season, this will be just the third time they are starting the season against them at home.
The Jets won the previous two meetings in 2012 and 1960 (first game in franchise history).
STARTING SEASON STRONG?
In 2012, the Jets set a franchise record for most points in a season-opening game when they defeated Buffalo 48-28. Last season the Jets matched that total when they defeated the Lions in Detroit, 48-17.
Despite those strong starts to the season, the Jets finished under .500 in both seasons (6-10 in 2012 and 4-12 last season).
Looking at the Jets performances in season-opening games, starting the season strong hasn’t helped the Jets much. Since the merger in 1970, the Jets have won 11 or more game three times (1985, 11-5, 1998, 12-4 and 2010, 11-5). In each of those seasons, the Jets lost their season opener.
Mark Kelly is a staff writer for the World Wide Sports Radio Network