Throughout the year we will educate New York Jets fans on memorable events in their history and find articles you wouldn’t find on any other site.
While New York Jets fans are getting ready for the 2017 season, we at ProFootballSpot.com enjoy going back to memorable events in history that helped shape this franchise. One of those memories for New York Jets fans is the 1993 season. Join us in this five-part series as we go back 25 years in New York Jets history.
When we left Part One we finished with the Jets first three games of the season. After losing in their season opener to Denver at home, they defeated Miami and New England with their offense and QB Boomer Esiason leading the way. Remember one unique thing about the 1993 NFL season is it was the only season in NFL history where teams got TWO byes.
Heading into Week 5 (remember the Jets had a bye after Week 2) the Jets had a record of 2-1 and were starting to turn heads around the NFL. Boomer Esiason had a rebirth, throwing for 909 yards (303 YPG) 5 TD and 2 INT while completing over 72 percent of his passes (111.5 QB Rating). The Jets had averaged 29.6 PPG in their first three games and looked a lot better than the team the experts had predicted to finish third in the AFC East.
Week 5 was going to be a real test for the Jets. Entering the Meadowlands was the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles coached by former Jets offensive coordinator Rich Kotite. The Eagles were led by QB Randall Cunningham, who had led an explosive offense that had averaged just less than 390 yards per game. As an interesting footnote, the Jets were winless in four all-time meetings against the Eagles.
The Jets came out and shocked the football world by jumping out to a 21-0 lead as Esiason connected for two more TD in the first half, both to TE Johnny Mitchell. Things went from bad to worse for the Eagles as the Jets knocked Cunningham from the game with a broken leg. However, the Eagles and backup QB Bubby Brister were able to cut the lead to 21-14 at the half.
Late in the 4th quarter the Jets, leading 30-28, were deep in Eagles territory about to put the game away when Esiason was intercepted by Eagles CB Eric Allen. Allen caught the ball on the Jets 6-yard line and then proceeded to put his name in long list of players that have broken the hearts of Jets fans. Allen eluded several Jets tacklers to make it to the end zone where he presented the ball to Cunningham, who was standing on crutches in the tunnel at the west end of Giants Stadium dressed in street clothes.
The Jets had one last chance to win the game, but were held on fourth down inside the Eagles 30 when Esiason was stopped two yards shy of a first down. The loss tied a team record for the largest lead blown in team history. Final Eagles 35 Jets 30.
The next week the Jets traveled to Los Angeles with the NFL’s top-rated offense to take on the Raiders. Showing no signs of a hangover, the Jets jumped out to a 17-0 lead. Just like the previous week against the Eagles, the Jets knocked out the Raiders starting QB as Jeff Hostetler, who was replaced by 40-year old Vince Evans.
Despite his age, Evans was reborn, connecting with James Jett on a 42-yard TD pass and Alexander Wright on a 68-yard TD pass to cut the Jets lead to 17-14, After the Raiders tied the game, the Jets took the lead back and held a 20-17 lead when Evans and the Raiders took over at their 28-yard line with 4:29 left.
Evans led the Raiders to the Jets 15-yard line with: 58 seconds remaining when things got interesting. For NFL fans what was about to happen was unique and amazing. For Jets fans, this is just another case of “Same Old Jets”.
Evans scrambled down to the Jets’ 7 and used the Raiders’ last timeout to stop the clock with: 32 seconds to play. When Evans took the snap for the next play the clock stayed frozen at 0:32 as he completed a 6-yard pass to receiver Tim Brown, who was kept out of the end zone by Jets strong safety Brian Washington.
The Raiders were on the 1 and the clock was still at 0:32. The Jets players began screaming at the officials that the clock hadn’t moved. As they yelled, the clock did start to tick, down to 23 seconds. At that point, the referees intervened, took 16 more seconds off the clock and gave each team a chance to get set at the line of scrimmage for the game-deciding play.
While Raiders head coach Art Shell was screaming for Evans to spike the ball and kick the game-tying FG, his QB did not hear him. In the confusion that ensued, the Raiders ended up with a chance to regroup and when running back Nick Bell ran into the end zone with 4 seconds to go, the Jets suffered yet another heart-breaking loss. For the second straight week the Jets blew a 17-point lead. Final Score: Raiders 24 Jets 20.
After the Jets second bye week of the season, they came home to take on the Buffalo Bills. Despite not scoring an offensive TD, the Bills defeated the Jets 19-10 thanks to four Jets turnovers (it was the first time the Bills won a game where they did not score an offensive TD in five seasons). After the Jets lost this game, James Hasty made his most famous quote when asked about the teams 2-4 start. “We are the best 2-4 team in football”, Hasty said.
Perhaps no two games better define the history of the New York Jets than their consecutive losses against the Eagles and Raiders. Only the Jets could blow leads of 21 and 17 in consecutive weeks.
Next Up: Jets get back on track against cross-town rivals.
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.