Jets legend Joe Namath talks before the Jets played the Colts on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018 at MetLife Stadium. The Jets honored the 1968 championship team at halftime.
Andy Vasquez, Staff Writer, @andy_vasquez
Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the Jets’ victory over the Colts in Super Bowl III. It was a wonderful moment for the franchise. The only problem is, they haven’t had one like it since.
Stadiums have changed, players have come and gone. But one thing remains the same: Fifty years since the Jets last won the Super Bowl, they’re still trying to find their way back to football’s biggest game.
Here’s a look at the numbers behind the Jets’ Super Bowl drought.
Stadiums: The Jets’ home field was Shea Stadium during their Super Bowl season. They’ve played in two stadiums since.
The Jets moved from Shea to the Meadowlands in 1984, and played at Giants Stadium until 2009. In 2010, the Jets moved across the parking lot at the to MetLife Stadium where they’ve played their home games ever since.
AFC championship game appearances: The Jets have come within a game of the big game four times since their big Super Bowl win. All four games have been on the road.
In 1982, the Jets lost 14-0 to the Dolphins at the Orange Bowl (Richard Todd’s five-interception game); In 1998, they lost 23-10 in Denver, surrendering 23 unanswered points; in 2009, they fell to the Colts 30-17, getting outscored 17-0 after halftime; and in 2010, they lost 24-19 to the Steelers when their second-half comeback came up short.
The average cost for a 30-second commercial in last year’s Super Bowl: When the Jets played in the Super Bowl the cost for a 30-second spot was $67,500. That would be $468,000 today adjusting for inflation. But the reach and popularity of the Super Bowl has obviously increased exponentially over the last 50 years as this illustrates vividly.
Full-time head coaches: The Jets will introduce Adam Gase as their next head coach in the coming days, and the former Dolphins coach will be the 14th coach to try to win the Super Bowl since Weeb Ewbank did it 50 years ago.
The full-time coaches who have tried and failed: Charley Winner (1974-75), Lou Holtz (1976), Walt Michaels (1977-82), Joe Walton (1983-89), Bruce Coslet (1990-93), Pete Carroll (1994), Rich Kotite (1995-96), Bill Parcells (1997-99), Al Groh (2000), Herm Edwards (2001-05), Eric Mangini (2006-08), Rex Ryan (2008-2014) and Todd Bowles (2015-2018).
Super Bowl winners: In the 50 years since the Jets’ last championship, most of the teams in the NFL have won a championship. The only teams who haven’t: Texans, Jaguars, Lions, Browns, Cardinals, Titans, Chargers, Panthers, Falcons, Bengals, Vikings and Bills.
Teams have made Super Bowl appearances: Just about every team in the NFL has been back to the Super Bowl since the Jets last made their lone appearance. The only teams who haven’t: the expansion Texans and Jaguars, the Browns and the Lions. The Jets 50-year Super Bowl drought is the second-longest behind the Lions, the only team that was in the league for Super Bowl I and has yet to play in the big game.
Starting quarterbacks: Since Joe Namath ran off the field at the Orange Bowl and into the the history books the Jets have had a difficult time finding a quarterback to recapture his magic. Sam Darnold is the Jets’ 31st starting quarterback since Namath retired. The Jets have had 35 total starting quarterbacks since their Super Bowl win.
Days since their last Super Bowl: A lot has happened in the 50 years since the Jets won the Super Bowl. Man first set foot on the moon 189 days after the Jets’ Super Bowl win. Richard Nixon resigned (2,035 days), the Berlin Wall came down (7,606 days), we celebrated the dawn of a new millennium (11,311 days) and the Cubs won the World Series (17,461).
How many more days will the Jets have to wait before their next triumphant moment? Well, next year’s Super Bowl LIV is only 386 days away.