Here we are, one victory from a return to the AFC Championship game. We were last there during the 1998 season, under the guidance of Bill Parcells and the emergence of Vinny Testaverde who stepped in for Glenn Foley and never looked back. He went on to have one of the best years of any QB who put a Jet uniform on. He threw 29 Touchdowns and only 7 picks, it was amazing. The Jets had a 10-0 lead in Denver in the 3rd quarter after a blocked punt by Blake Spence was followed by a 1 yard touchdown run by Curtis Martin. After that, Denver took over. Elway marched Denver down the field for a touchdown and the normally sure handed Keith Byars and Curtis Martin lost fumbles, which were just 2 of the 6 turnovers the Jets had that day. They lost the game 23-10, and dreams of a return trip to the Super Bowl ended.
Here we are, 11 years later, hard for me to believe it's been that long since that AFC Championship game in Denver. Some may say the Jets are playing with house money. Some may say that anything the Jets do from here is gravy. They have a rookie quarterback. The Jets have a rookie head coach. They have a rookie running back by the name of Shonn Greene who stepped up after the Leon Washington injury and had a huge game against the Bengals this past Saturday. It's all nonsense. You never know when you might get back here. Yeah, despite what Rex Ryan says, the Jets are an underdog. I say so what. Now is the time, this is not playing with "house money", you have to cease the opportunity. The Jets have arguably the best defense in football this year, statistics say it's number one. They have the best cover cornerback on the planet. Darrelle Revis; who has shut down the likes of Andre Johnson, Randy Moss, Steve Smith, T.O., Ochocinco and anyone else who has come his way. He will have another big test this week in Vincent Jackson, but I think he's up for yet another challenge and another receiver will find himself lost on Revis Island.
Am I setting myself up for more heartbreak? Jet fans will remember 2004 quite well. We were an underdog team, backed ourselves in to the playoffs big time that year. We had a chance to clinch a spot on the final Sunday of the season. We lose an overtime game to the Rams and finished the season at 10-6 after a 5-0 start that year. Luckily, shortly before our game ended, the Steelers who had nothing to play for that day beat the Bills and we squeaked in to the playoffs despite the loss. We went into San Diego and beat the Chargers. We went into Pittsburgh and had them beat as well. Unfortunately our kicker missed two kicks that would have won the game for us and our coach didn't help matters out by getting ultra conservative making the kicks longer than they should have been.
The opportunity is right in front of this football team. If the Jets can do what they do best, run the football and play defense. If our rookie QB can make good throws when called upon and protect the football; there is no reason the Jets can't go into San Diego and win. Now is the time.