During this offseason let us take a look back at some of the interesting and rare accomplishments in the history of New York Jets football. This is the first of a five part series.
One of the most famous games in New York Jets history occurred on October 23, 2000 at the Meadowlands. The Miami Dolphins faced off against the Jets in front of a national audience on Monday Night Football. After falling behind 30-7 in the fourth quarter, the Jets made an historic comeback. Highlighted by Vinny Testaverde‘s four touchdown passes, the Jets rallied to score 30 points in the quarter to force overtime.
Enter Marcus Coleman. Coleman was drafted in the fifth round of the 1996 NFL draft out of Texas Tech. Coleman played the “Raider” position in college, making him a very versatile defender, but for the Jets he was a CB, starting 47 games for them from 1996-2002.
On the Dolphins first possession of overtime, they faced a 3rd and 5 when quarterback Jay Fielder was intercepted by Coleman. However, Coleman coughed up the ball trying to gain yards on his return and Dolphins’ wide receiver Oronde Gadsden recovered it, giving them another chance (also remember that this was when any score on a team’s first possession in overtime won the game).
Looking to make the most of their second chance, Fiedler drove the Dolphins into Jets territory, setting up a 1st and 10 at the Jets 43-yard line. Needing another 10 or so yards to get into field goal range for Kicker Olindo Mare. Fiedler took to the air when he was intercepted again by Coleman, who this time held on to the ball.
Facing a 3rd and 3 from their own 41-yard line, Testaverde connected with wide receiver Wayne Chrebet for 28 yards. When John Hall buried a 40-yd field goal four plays later, the Jets had an improbable 40-37 win. The 23-point rally still stands as a franchise record in a game forever known as the “Monday Night Miracle”.
Lost in the hysteria was Coleman’s efforts. He became only the second player in NFL history to record two interceptions in overtime, joining cornerback Frank Minnifield of the Cleveland Browns who accomplished the feat on November 30, 1986.
Mark Kelly covers the New York Jets for ProFootballSpot.com. You can follow him on twitter @CkmagicSports. Looking for more Jets news and features? Like our Jets Facebook page and also follow @spot_jets on Twitter.