The Goddamn Jets. That’s an Instagram follower of mine. It’s an apt name, a reference from 1999’s Big Daddy. It’s 2020, and I’m still watching the god damn Jets suffer every year. What happened in 1969 after the Jets won Super Bowl III? Did Joe Namath sell his soul? Or did a curse spread from the “Guarantee”? While the former may actually be a true statement, let’s delve into the curse that’s been bugging the Jets for the past 11+ years.
Our story begins in 2009 with the Jets drafting a young rookie quarterback from USC. You might know him – his name is Mark Sanchez.
Sanchez led the Jets to two straight AFC championship games, then fell into a pit of mediocrity most known for ‘The Buttfumble’ game. The Jets have not been to a playoff game since Sanchez’s Jets lost to the Steelers in the 2010 AFC championship. That’s 3,433 days from the time of publishing.
However, that brings us to the first counterpoint. Henry, how were the Jets cursed when they went to the playoffs twice in two years?
For that, my sole argument is that the Jets did not win the Super Bowl either of those years. Had they truly not been cursed, they would have given up 24 unanswered points in the 2009 AFC championship game to the Colts.
Had the Jets not been cursed, Antonio Brown would have dropped the key first down catch against Pittsburgh. Had they not been cursed, the football gods wouldn’t have brought fans so close yet so far to a Super Bowl. After the 2010 season ended, everything fell apart.
In the 2011 offseason, the Jets released multiple skilled players. The list included veteran OL Damien Woody, OL Kris Jenkins, WR Jericho Cotchery, and Sanchez’s mentor, QB Mark Brunell. Without two offensive linemen that were apart of a stellar unit that gave Sanchez pressure on just 23.4% of dropbacks in 2009 (3rd-lowest in the league) and a top-tier WR in Jericho Cotchery, the Jets failed to return to the playoffs, posting an 8-8 record.
Come 2012, Calvin Johnson was known by one word: Megatron. Megatron did not have a cursed year following his Madden 13 cover appearance, reeling in 1,964 receiving yards. However, the Jets did! The acquisition of Tim Tebow created a turbulent QB competition during the offseason, an atrocious draft class set the future rebuild back years, and Darrelle Revis suffered a torn ACL week 3. The Buttfumble happened week 12, Greg McElroy started week 16, and Rex Ryan’s 6-10 team was known as ‘a circus’.
In 2013, the Jets hired a new general manager in John Idzik. Geno Smith made his debut, Darrelle Revis was traded to Tampa Bay, and the Jets gave up a fourth-round selection for Chris Ivory. The Jets went 8-8.
2014 was the year Richard Sherman and the “Legion of Boom” championed a super bowl run on the Jets’ home turf. The Jets lacked any boom. Whatsoever. The team went 4-12, leading Rex Ryan to get fired.
In 2015, new Head Coach Todd Bowles and General Manager Mike Maccagnan set out to right the ship. They reacquired Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. Through trades, the Jets found their quarterback in Ryan ‘Fitzmagic’ Fitzpatrick, as well as acquiring WR Brandon Marshall.
After a locker room squabble broke Geno Smith’s jaw, Fitzpatrick worked magic, giving the Jets a 10-6 record. However, a costly drop by WR Kenbrell Thompkins spoiled the Jets’ playoff berth.
In 2016, everything fell apart. Mike Maccagnan took Christian Hackenberg over Dak Prescott and Jacoby Brissett. That’s all I need to say. The Jets went 5-11, and Fitz’s magic had run out. Fitzpatrick started 11 games and threw just 12 touchdowns alongside 17 interceptions, six of which came during one game.
That’s not good.
2017 brought the end of the Fitzpatrick era, with Maccagnan electing to bring in journeyman QB Josh McCown to control the offense. The Jets again went 5-11 and no players made the Pro Bowl (leading to rookie S Jamal Adams’ infamous tweet that he sought to never miss a Pro Bowl again).
2018 brought the savior in Sam Darnold… who then threw a pick-six on his first pass ever. Don’t worry. No Darnold slander here. He’s already close to cementing himself as one of the better Jets QBs in history, which is saying something. But Darnold broke his foot, and the Jets went 4-12. Todd Bowles was fired, and I started my account that December.
2019… oh, man. Jets owner Christopher Johnson passed up on coaches Kliff Kingsbury and Matt Rhule for Adam Gase. Adam. Gase.
Then CJ Mosley hurt his groin during Week 1. Then Darnold got mononucleosis. Then Trevor Siemian broke his ankle on primetime TV. Then Luke Falk started two games. Then the Jets had 21 total injuries. Then the fans flew planes and put up billboards to “Fire Gase.” Then the Jets didn’t. Then Jamal Adams voiced concerns about his contract. A generational talent, one of the few successful picks of the Maccagnan era, voiced frustrations about his contract negotiations before Patrick Mahomes, arguably the most talented player in the NFL, began his talks for an extension. Of course he did, because it’s the Jets. And the Jets are cursed.
So, in summation:
- 2009- Lost AFCG, 9-7
- 2010- Lost AFCG, 11-5
- 2011- Cutting players led to poor record, 8-8
- 2012- The Circus Year, lost Revis, Tebowtime, 6-10
- 2013- Idzik hired, Revis traded, 8-8
- 2014- Rex’s last hurrah, 4-12
- 2015- Bowles, Fitzmagic, Thompkins. 10-6.
- 2016- Fitz. No magic. 5-11
- 2017- McCown tried. 5-11
- 2018- Bowles’ Last Stand. 4-12
- 2019- Injuries. Injuries. Injuries. 7-9
So the Jets look pretty cursed. When they are finally near a position of success, something always happens and throws off the plans of winning. Perhaps 2020 brings a stronger decade of New York football – it better.