Jets fans have found it very tough to find joy on Christmas over the years. It seems like a tradition. An awful Jets performance to end the season. Often with plenty on the line. Christmas Eve is sometimes used so games will not take place on Christmas Day, but occasionally teams do play on Christmas. Here is a list of Jets games that have taken place around the holiday:
December 26, 1993
Cary Blanchard misses three field goals against the Bills, resulting in a 16-14 Jets loss on a cold day in Buffalo. One week later, the Jets were blanked in Houston when a victory would have given them a postseason berth. This would be Bruce Coslet’s last season as Jets head coach.
December 24, 1994
The Jets complete a 6-10 season by losing 24-10 against the Houston Oilers. Pete Carroll is fired after one season as head coach. The Jets started 6-5. They seemed headed for first place, but blew a late lead when Dan Marino capped Miami’s comeback with a fake spike. The Jets would not win again that season. It only got worse after that.
December 24, 1995
The Saints leave New Jersey with a 12-0 victory over the Jets. Fans wore bags on their heads. Not many were there. The attendance was listed at under 29,000. Rich Kotite’s first season as head coach ends with three wins. His team would only win once in 1996.
December 24, 2000
A playoff spot was waiting for the Jets if they could win in Baltimore. It was a tough task, but the Jets jumped out to a 14-0 lead. Things looked great. The Jets used a flea flicker. Baltimore scored to make it 14-7. It was the only touchdown for their offense all day. However, plenty of scoring followed. A field goal for special teams. Two points on a safety. The Jets were driving before halftime. It appeared they would extend the lead to either five or nine points.
Instead, Chris McAlister went 98 yards with an interception. Baltimore even went for two and converted. Suddenly Baltimore was ahead 20-14 before halftime. The Jets had been outscored 20-0 following their 14 first quarter points. Two Jermaine Lewis punt returns salted it away for the Ravens. A Super Bowl followed for Baltimore. They ended the season for New York’s other football team weeks later. As for the 34-20 Jets loss, it concluded head coach Al Groh’s season. No playoffs. He would leave to coach in college at Virginia. Groh would never coach an NFL game again.
December 26, 2004
New England beats the Jets 23-7 in front of a home crowd at Giants Stadium. One week later a loss in St. Louis nearly knocked the Jets out of a potential playoff spot. They would back in.
December 26, 2005
The final Monday Night Football game on ABC. New England beat the Jets 31-21. I was there. Cold and windy night in New Jersey. It started as Tom Brady against Brooks Bollinger. Doug Flutie and Vinny Testaverde made fourth quarter appearances. Linebacker Mike Vrabel caught two touchdown passes. The Jets fell to 3-12.
December 25, 2006
A rare Christmas game. The Jets win in Miami. This was a key game. The big 13-10 victory set up a playoff appearance. Six days later, a Jets win against the Raiders wrapped up a playoff spot. Maybe they should play more December 25 games.
December 26, 2010
A 38-34 Bears win in Chicago prevents the Jets from clinching on their own. They would back in when Jacksonville lost against Washington.
December 24, 2011
Victor Cruz goes 99 yards on a pass from Eli Manning. The Giants win 29-14. They go on to a Super Bowl win over New England. The Jets would be officially eliminated the following weekend, but this game (and that long touchdown) totally changed the fate of each team’s season.
December 24, 2016
New England embarrasses the Jets 41-3. Bryce Petty throws an interception and is knocked out of the game. Ryan Fitzpatrick comes in and throws two more picks.
December 24, 2017
A 14-7 loss to the Chargers features more pathetic offense. Petty goes 15-28 with just 119 yards and an interception. He is off target on a throw that could have resulted in a game-tying touchdown.
Merry Christmas Jets fans!