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NY Jets no longer sole holders of longest Big 4 playoff drought

Woody Johnson
Woody Johnson, Getty Images

Misery has some company

The New York Jets have company for the longest active playoff drought in North American professional sports.

After their 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars on Wednesday, the Buffalo Sabers were officially eliminated from playoff contention. It marked the 13th straight season they have missed the postseason, which tied them with the Jets for the longest drought in the “big four” sports leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL).

Similar to the Jets, the Sabers have been stuck in the mud for a decade. For a multitude of reasons, Buffalo has always been finishing at the bottom of the standings and is widely considered one of hockey’s worst teams.

Yet, the Sabers are very similar to the Jets in that their playoff drought is poised to end soon.

Both teams have young talent who are stars or stars in the making. The Jets have Breece Hall, Garrett Wilson, and Sauce Gardner among others. The Sabers have defensemen Rasmus Dahlin, goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, and a loaded minor league system.

They have also both shown signs of progress, with the Jets having good starts to both 2022 and 2023 before faltering and the Sabers not being eliminated until the waning days of the regular season. Buffalo also has a plus-1 goal differential; if they maintain it, this would be their first season with a positive goal differential since they last made the playoffs in 2011.

Between these two teams, though, the Jets seem to be ready to end their drought first. The team has made key additions in this year’s offseason such as Tyron Smith, Haason Reddick, and Mike Williams. Star quarterback Aaron Rodgers will also be back in the fold.

With these additions on top of an already talented roster, the Jets legitimately have one of the best rosters in the NFL on paper. As the owners of the 11th-best odds to win Super Bowl 59 at DraftKings, New York is fully expected to return to the playoffs for the first time in over a decade.

For now, these two teams will keep each other company in the longest playoff drought club.

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