Looking back in the annals of New York Jets history, it’s hard to compare this season to any other season. However, one in particular comes to mind.
The 2017 New York Jets’ season has been a wonderful surprise and a frustrating exercise.
After a rough 0-2 start, Gang Green has shown consistency is many areas. They have shown resilience in a few matchups, like their win over the first-place Jacksonville Jaguars. They have also shown inexperience and an inability to hold onto leads. All of those things are learning curves.
In 1991, Bruce Coslet was in his second season as head coach. The New York Jets were coming off a 6-10 season and had a young, aggressive defense led by Pete Carroll. Sandwiched between a 1-3 start and a three-game losing streak in Weeks 14-16 was a 6-2 stretch.
The 1991 New York Jets had an incredibly frustrating loss to the Indianapolis Colts at home, which was the Colts’ only win that season. They had a heartbreaking Monday Night Football loss to the Bears which still gets talked about among New York Jets historians. They also suffered a last-minute loss to the Super Bowl-bound Buffalo Bills where they held the ball for twice as long and dominated them.
The season came down to a win-and-you’re-in game at Miami in Week 16 where all the lessons learned that season paid off in an overtime victory. They lost to the Houston Oilers in the Wild Card game but you could see a young team that was learning how to win.
However, for the early 1990s New York Jets, the Dennis Byrd tragedy the next season really set them back, as did Browning Nagle not being able to handle the role of an NFL QB. Despite that, the 1991 New York Jets season saw the emergence of one of the best linebackers in team history in Mo Lewis. Jeff Lageman, Victor Green and James Hasty continued in their growth, much like Darron Lee, Demario Davis, Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye have this season. Rob Moore developed into a number one receiver, like Robby Anderson is learning how to.
I mention the 1991 season because this current regime can learn from past mistakes. Like the 2017 team, the 1991 New York Jets had a veteran QB that didn’t figure into their future. How this regime handles that going forward is vital, as well as the free agent moves and draft picks they make. They are lessons that this current team needs to apply to keep building a model that can provide consistent success.