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Hutch's top 5 Jets victories since 1996

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1 Hutch's top 5 Jets victories since 1996 on Sat 22 Nov 2008, 2:25 am

Hutch's top 5 Jets victories since 1996
by Dave Hutchinson/The Star-Ledger
Saturday November 15, 2008, 7:08 PM
John Munson/The Star-LedgerRemember these two guys? Wayne Chrebet and Chad Pennington were thrilled after the Jets knocked off the Packers to win the AFC East in 2002.

Star-Ledger Jets beat writer Dave Hutchinson is in his 13th season covering the team, and gives us his take on the great performances he's witnessed in that time:

Wow, what a win on Thursday night at Gillette Stadium, and what a clutch performance by quarterback Brett Favre in the Jets' 34-31 overtime victory. One win doesn't make a season, but it can surely break a season and that's what the Jets were facing.

Favre was brought here to save the day and he certainly did in that game. Kudos to GM Mike Tannenbaum for making the deal to bring Favre here. And the price, a conditional fourth-round pick, is a win-win for both the Jets and Packers. The better Favre plays, the higher the draft pick the Packers receive.

I tell you, I can't remember seeing some of the veteran Jets players so happy following a victory and I was happy for them. Guys like Shaun Ellis, Chris Baker and Brandon Moore were absolutely giddy.

And how about veteran kicker Jay Feely? Where would the Jets be without him this season?

With the Jets coming off one of their biggest victories in years, I've decided to make a list of my top-five victories since I started covering the team full-time in 1996.

Here goes:

1. Dec. 19, 1998 -- Jets 17, Bills 10 at Buffalo

Bill Parcells delivers the Jets their first ever AFC East title since the merger just two seasons removed from a disastrous and embarrassing 1-15 finish. What a ride. QB Vinny Testaverde throws 29 touchdowns and just seven interceptions that season as the Jets roll to a 12-4 finish.

The Game -- Testaverde hits WR Dedric Ward for a 71-yard TD late in the third quarter to give the Jets a 17-10 lead. S Victor Green intercepts Bills QB Doug Flutie with 3:52 left to secure the victory. I vividly remember the jubilation in the Jets' cramped dressing room, with long-suffering Jets like Mo Lewis and Green on the verge of tears.

2. Jan. 6, 2002 -- Jets 24, Raiders 22 at Oakland

The model citizens who reside in the "Black Hole'' were ready to bury the Jets and with good reason. Entering the game, the Jets hadn't won in Oakland since 1962. It was a do-or-die moment for the Jets -- win and they're in, lose and they go home.

The Game -- With 59 seconds left to play, K John Hall launched a 53-yard field goal to give the Jets an improbable victory. The win was even more noteworthy because the Jets were coming off a crushing loss to Buffalo the previous week in a game that could've secured a playoff berth.

3. Jan. 8, 2005 -- Jets 20, Chargers 17 in OT at San Diego

The Jets weren't even given a puncher's chance in this one, especially with the already weak-armed Chad Pennington battling through a strained rotator cuff injury. The Chargers (12-4) were thinking Super Bowl and the loss ultimately cost coach Marty Schottenheimer his job.

The Game -- Doug Brien kicked a 28-yard field goal with five seconds left in the extra session for the win. Pennington (23 of 33 for 279 yards, two TDs and no INTs) was brilliant. The Jets had the game won in regulation but a personal foul on LB Eric Barton against Chargers QB Drew Brees gave the Chargers new life and Brees hit TE Antonio Gates for a game-tying TD with 11 seconds left.

4. Dec. 29, 2002 -- Jets 42, Packers 17 at Giants Stadium

The Jets go against the Brett Favre-led Packers in a must-win game in the season finale after the Patriots keep them alive with a victory over the Dolphins in overtime. The Jets win only their second AFC East title.

The Game -- In stunning fashion, the Jets rout the Packers as Chad Pennington throws three TD passes to cap his coming-out season. Pennington took over for an ineffective Vinny Testaverde and went 8-4 as the starter as the Pennington era began.

5. Nov. 14, 2008 -- Jets 34, Patriots 31 in OT at New England

Everything is on the line here. The Jets have undergone a $140 million makeover -- and added QB Brett Favre for good measure -- and owner Woody Johnson wants results. There's the collective psyche of the team, first place in the AFC East, and perhaps coach Eric Mangini's job. It's hard to imagine Mangini surviving two losses to a Tom Brady-less Patriots team.

The Game -- The Jets jump to an early 24-6 second-quarter lead but need a 34-yard field goal by Jay Feely in overtime for the game-winner. Favre is masterful, completing 26 of 33 passes for 258 yards, two TDs and no interceptions.

Honorable mentions:

Oct. 23, 2000 -- Jets 40, Dolphins 37 in OT at Giants Stadium

I know. I know. This one just misses the cut. There was more at stake on Thursday night. I'm sorry. It was the seventh game of the season ... Jets rally from a 30-7 fourth-quarter deficit in the biggest comeback in club history.

Nov. 12, 2006 -- Jets 17, Patriots 14 at New England

Eric Mangini defeats his estranged mentor, Bill Belichick, in the mud and rain at Gillette Stadium. Jets prepared for the game by practicing in the rain that week and it pays off.

Jan. 4, 2003 -- Jets 41, Colts 0 at Giants Stadium

In an absolute stunner, Herm Edwards humiliates his good friend Tony Dungy and further extends QB Peyton Manning's postseason failures -- for the moment, that is.

Oct. 27, 1996 -- Jets 31, Cardinals 21 at Arizona

This one makes the list for all the wrong reasons as it's the Jets' only victory in an embarrassing 1-15 season under Rich Kotite. RB Adrian Murrell runs for a then club-record 199 yards and a touchdown.

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2 Re: Hutch's top 5 Jets victories since 1996 on Fri 05 Dec 2008, 3:48 am

GreenBlood

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Yes the monday night miracle the greatest game i have ever seen.

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3 Re: Hutch's top 5 Jets victories since 1996 on Fri 05 Dec 2008, 3:49 am

I agree.....Monday Night Miracle!

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4 Re: Hutch's top 5 Jets victories since 1996 on Sun 14 Dec 2008, 2:22 am

NamathFavre420

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Monday Night Miracle. I remind every Dolphins fan of this.

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