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“We’re going to win the game. I guarantee it.” Those famous words spoken by Joe Namath prophesized an unlikely championship victory against the heavily favored Baltimore Colts back in 1969. The confidence and bravado that fans were accustomed to from their franchise quarterback was backed up with phenomenal play on both sides of the ball for the New York Jets as they defeated the Colts 16-7 in Super Bowl III. This legendary tale represents the highest point in the history of this team.
Fans of Gang Green suffered through many seasons that would be described as mediocre at best following their lone championship season. Owner Woody Johnson is hoping that the present-day team, under the instruction of head coach Todd Bowles, can restore the team to former glory. After going 10-6 in his first season with the Jets, the defensive minded Bowles has plans to solidify this team into a force to be reckoned with in the AFC East.
Things will, undoubtedly, be a lot different this season at MetLife Stadium. Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Jets quarterback of the last few seasons, is testing the market in free agency. His backup, Geno Smith, signed with the New York Giants. So, too, did standout receiver Brandon Marshall. Tight end Kellen Davis and Pro Bowl center Nick Mangold also left the team for free agency. Wide receiver Eric Decker looks to return from a major injury last year and may be the only recognizable face in the lineup. The Jets defense, previously anchored by Darrelle Revis, will need to find a new leader. Revis is looking for a new team in free agency.
The message coming from the top is clearly that the Jets are moving on. The team had been trying to piece together a contender the past few years, but now it seems they are starting over. A healthy draft this season and a few key moves could get this team on the road to winning again. Bowles and company will have their hands full molding new players into the next generation of New York Jets.
Legends of the gridiron including Joe Namath, Don Maynard, Joe Klecko, Curtis Martin, and Mark Gastineau have all worn the green and white jersey of the New York Jets. More about the history of the New York Jets can be found by clicking here.