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Today in NY Jets History: Joe Namath delivers on guarantee

NY Jets, Joe Namath, Guarantee, History
Joe Namath, New York Jets, Getty Images

On this day in 1969, Joe Namath made good on his bold prediction to win the Super Bowl

One moment in New York Jets history easily stands above the rest.

Fifty-five years ago today, the Jets won Super Bowl III against the Baltimore Colts. Only a few days before the game, quarterback Joe Namath guaranteed the victory. It was a bold prediction, considering the Jets were significant underdogs coming into the game.

Namath made good on his guarantee, leading the team to a 16-7 victory for its first-ever Super Bowl. The future Hall-of-Famer completed 17 of 28 passes for 206 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions, although the Jets’ defense was the real star of the show, forcing five turnovers.

New York’s Super Bowl victory was important not only for the franchise but for the entire sport. Going into the game, many believed that AFL teams were far less talented than NFL teams. The Jets’ win earned respect for the AFL side. Two seasons later, the leagues merged.

The memorable victory 55 years ago remains the team’s only Super Bowl. While the franchise has enjoyed some successful years, whether during the “Sack Exchange” era, the Bill Parcells years, or the Rex Ryan era, Namath’s Super Bowl remains the crowning achievement for the Jets franchise.

In the present day, the Jets are in the midst of a 13-year playoff drought, which represents nearly one-quarter of the 55 years that have passed since the Jets were crowned champions at the Miami Orange Bowl.

Each year, the anniversary of the Jets’ Super Bowl win serves as fuel for the franchise to reach the same heights. The desperation only increases each year the Jets’ playoff drought extends.

With Aaron Rodgers in the fold, the team is arguably in its best position to make a run since the Ryan years. They have a talented defense (featuring two first-team All-Pros) that needs the support of an effective offense.

There is a feasible path to success, but it will take a productive offseason and substantial improvement from the current regime to make it a reality. Whether it is adding offensive linemen and playmakers or having the coaching staff improve their decision-making, the Jets have their work cut out for them.

Until they figure it out, the Jets will continue to hang their hats upon achievements from over five decades ago.

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Robert Papalia
5 months ago

I saw that game 55 years ago on TV. I never thought in my wildest dreams that would be the only super bowl the Jets would be in.