Even the most diehard Jets fan has to admit it’s been a while since the team gave them something to truly shout about. In fact, it’s been too long.
That doesn’t mean there has never been stuff to celebrate; one of those things is a range of quality QBs. Here we look at the best quarterbacks in New York Jets history, when we were competing amongst the top 10 highest-scoring NFL games by TwinSpires. Good times!
Number 5. Mark Sanchez
Kicking off our list of the best quarterbacks in New York Jets history is Mark Sanchez. His inclusion feels a little bit strange to be honest; a look at his career as a whole is a tad on the underwhelming side.
What can’t be ignored though is the genuine hope he inspired amongst Jets fans during the early years; during his first two years he had the Jets in consecutive AFC Championship games and whilst Super Bowl appearances never arrived those seasons saw him achieve things that no other Jets player has ever done.
Number 4. Ken O’Brien
Ken O’Brien gets a rough ride from a lot of Jets fans on the grounds that he’s not Dan Marino; he certainly deserves his spot in our top five though. All told, O’Brien spent a decade with the Jets tossing 24,386 yards and recording 124 touchdowns.
He twice earned Pro Bowl honors and in 1985 became the only Jet to lead the NFL on pass rating; it was a feat that saw him named AFC Player of the Year. On top of that, the College Football Hall of Famer took the Jets to the playoffs three times. It’s worth noting that O’Brien’s most memorable moment came against the aforementioned Marino. How? 479 yards and four touchdowns back in 1986.
Number 3. Vinny Testaverde
Testaverde landed in the NFL as the number one overall draft pick in 1987; it wasn’t until he was a veteran that he joined the Jets.
The former Heisman winner was 35-years-old by that point but it didn’t take long for him to show that age really is just a number. His first season in New York saw him make just the second Pro Bowl roster of his career whilst he also led the league courtesy of his pass rating and of his 29 passing touchdowns.
Like O’Brien, Testaverde helped the Jets to three playoff appearances but with three seasons fewer spent in the Big Apple.
His overall haul for the Jets stands at over 12,000 yards and 77 touchdowns. Remarkably, he wasn’t done after moving on from the Jets. At 44 he defied the NFL odds and became the holder of a rather random record – the oldest player to win a NFL game.
Number 2. Chad Pennington
When the Jets drafted Chad Pennington in 2000 it was an exciting time. Although he went down at number 18 he arrived with a host of Mid-American Conference awards to his name after a stellar final year at college.
It didn’t take long to shine through at the elite level; in 2002, his first year as the starting QB, Pennington topped the charts for percentage completion and pass rating. It would prove quite the year with his 38 touchdowns and 68.9% completion going down as career bests in the end but, still, what a season. Injuries eventually killed any chance of him becoming a true legend but that pesky shoulder also gave him the opportunity to scoop the Comeback Player of the Year in 2006; it’s not an award you want to win but is evidence that he wouldn’t quit easy. What might have been!
Number 1. Joe Namath
Finally, topping our list of the best quarterbacks in New York Jets history is Hall of Famer Joe Namath; perhaps that should be Broadway Joe. If you need us to explain why then we need to ask if you’re even a Jets fan! The Jets have one Super Bowl in their history. That came in 1968. The hero of the day was Broadway Joe; not only did Namath win the Super Bowl MVP award but he’d talked up the Jets chances long before anyone gave them a shot at glory. He’s not just renowned for his Super Bowl exploits though; he stayed in New York for 12 seasons winning the AFL MVP award twice and leading the lead on several occasions across several categories. You have to wonder if anyone will ever eclipse him for the Jets.
There you have it, the best quarterbacks in New York Jets history.