The NFL is a quarterback driven league. Often the face of the franchise, the quarterback’s success and failures tie in directly with that of the teams. Just looking back at the past several Super Bowl winning teams they all have had exceptional quarterbacks including players such as Tom Brady, Payton Manning, Russell Wilson and Drew Brees. All of these guys are what one would call a franchise quarterback, players who solidify the teams quarterback position for years.
The New York Jets, also known as the Titans (1960-62) have been a franchise that have lacked a franchise quarterback for most of their existence. The Jets have had starting quarterbacks that have had a decent run of a few years, but often never held down the post to make fans and ownership feel comfortable with them for the long term.
The Jets have just one Super Bowl win and appearance in 58 seasons. Their all time record is 392 wins 468 losses and eight ties. The team has not drafted particularly well at quarterback, most recently they have done terrible. They have signed or traded for quarterbacks that were past their prime and just names that fans recognized as good players, but never panned out with the Jets.
43 starting quarterbacks have gone under center for the New York Jets and this list is going to rank each one of them. While their accomplishments in college or with another franchise will be noted it will not factor into where each player ranks on the list, only what they have done in a Jets uniform. So lets get to it and rank every starting quarterback in the history of the New York Jets!
43. J.J. Jones
J.J. Jones appeared in sven games for the Jets in 1975 as an undrafted free agent, but was the QB of record for one game in which he lost. His career lasted just that one season, and his stat line justified it. his totals for 1975 were 181 yards with one touchdown and FIVE interceptions, completing a horrible 28% of his passes.
He left the Jets and the NFL after he told New York media that incoming coach Lou Holtz told him that a black quarterback had never played for him and never will. He went on to play two seasons in the CFL for the Calgary Stampeders from 1976-77. Although he didn’t have much of career in the NFL he can still be considered a pioneer for black quarterbacks in the league. He tragically died in a housefire in 2009.
42. Pete Liske
The Jets drafted Pete Liske 115th overall in the 1963 AFL Draft. He also got drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles that same year in the NFL draft. At one point there were two professional leagues before they merged and became just the NFL in 1970. Liske only appeared in two games with gang green and compiled an 0-1 record with 55 yards and two picks, throwing just 18 passes.
After that season he went to the CFL and found great success with the Calgary Stampeders from 1966-68, so much so that the Stampeders added his number 14 to their Wall of Fame. He would return to the NFL in 1969 before going back to the CFL in 1972. Liske mad himself a decent football career, but was just a blip in the Jets quarterback history.
41. Jack Trudeau
Jack Trudeau spent most of his career in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts. In his rookie year of 1986 he lost all eleven games he started. Trudeau came to the Jets in 1994 starting just two games as the backup getting a win and a loss. He threw just one touchdown in a Jets uniform and four interceptions.
After his NFL career Trudeau had a nationally syndicated radio show with Fox Sports Radio in 2011, but got dropped later that same year. He has also had run ins with the law. In 2015 he was arrested for a DUI in Indiana, blowing a .31 in the breathalyzer and threatened to kill the police officer. He was arrested for the same charge back in 1990.
40. Bubby Brister
In his 14 year career in the NFL, Bubby Brister had one of his least productive seasons while playing with the Jets. As the backup quarterback in 1995 Brister went 1-3 with four touchdowns and eight picks.
Drafted by the Steelers in 1986 he was one game under .500 in seven seasons with Pittsburgh at 28-29. Most notably he won two Super Bowl rings as a member of the Denver Broncos in 1998 and 1999 backing up John Elway. In 1998 he contributed in a big way when Elway went down with an injury. Brister started 4 games and won them all, throwing 10 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
After the 2000 season, Brister retired and spent some time as a sports analyst for Fox Sports in Denver. He would also co-host a hunting and fishing show for the outdoors channel in 2003, working his way up to producing those kinds of videos in 2005.
39. Michael Vick
A classic example of the Jets hoping to catch lightning in a bottle was when they signed Micahel Vick to a one year $5 million dollar contract. Vick was a superstar quarterback with the Atlanta Falcons in the early 2000s but his career got derailed after being arrested for organizing a dog fighting ring and being suspended from the NFL in 2007 and 2008. He returned in 2009 with the Philadelphia Eagles for five seasons that started well but ended bad productivity wise.
In his time with the Jets he went 1-2 with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He did record his 6,000th rushing yard with the Jets in week 10 of 2014, becoming the first QB to reach that milestone in a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
38. Greg McElroy
Drafted in the seventh round of the 2011 draft, the Jets did not select Greg McElroy thinking he would be the solution to their QB problems. Even having a great college career at Alabama which included a national championship in 2009, His one NFL start came against the Chargers in week 16 of the 2012 season. McElroy was punished for 11 sacks, two shy of the NFL record and was a pedestrian 14/24 for 185 yards throwing one interception and no scores. After suffering an ankle injury in a preseason game the following season he was released. He signed with the Bengals and spent the whole year on the practice squad.
37. Glenn Foley
The Jets drafted Foley in the seventh round of the 1994 draft. He was a career backup with the team and during his tenure went 1-7 throwing 10 touchdowns to 17 interceptions. In1998 he began the season as the starter, but after starting 0-3 and getting injured he lost his job to Vinny Testaverde. He would spend the next season in Seattle, which was also his last in the NFL.
His greatest accomplishments came while playing for Boston College. In 1993 he upset the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame 41-39, won his teams bowl game against Virginia while placing fifth in the Heisman Trophy race.
Born and raised in Cherry Hills New Jersey, In 2016 Foley was inducted into the Camden County Hall of Fame. In 1988 he led Cherry Hills East to an 11-0 record and won the only South Jersey title in the programs history.
36. Frank Reich
Frank Reich had a record of 1-6 as a New York Jet throwing 15 touchdowns to 16 interceptions. While his Jet career was nothing to write home about, his claim to fame came earlier in his career.
Drafted by the Bills in in the third round of the 1985 draft he was the backup to Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly. In the last game of the 1992 season, Jim Kelly got injured and Reich was the starter for the first playoff game against the Houston Oilers. The Bills were down 35-3 in the third quarter, but Reich orchestrated “The Comeback” and led the Bills to an improbable 41-38 overtime victory, the largest deficit to overcome in NFL history. He then started the next game and won that one as well, beating the Steelers 24-3. Kelly would return to win the AFC championship game and the Bills got routed in the Super Bowl by the Cowboys 52-17.
35. Kyle Mackey
The 296th pick of the St. Louis Cardinals (football not baseball) in the 1984 draft, Kyle Mackey played only two seasons in the NFL in 1988 and 1989 playing backup QB for the Dolphins then the Jets. In 1989 he appeared in three games with the Jets while only recording one loss. He never threw a touchdown in a Jets uniform but did throw an interception while amassing 125 yards.
In 1990 he would take his game to the Arena Football League and play for the Albany Firebirds and the Fort Worth Calvary in 1994. Although he didn’t have much of a football career going 1-3 combined in his two seasons in the NFL throwing twice as many picks as touchdowns (6 INT – 3 TD) Mackey is currently a high school coach leading the Silsbee Tigers in Hardin County Texas.
34. Browning Nagle 1992
The 34th overall pick in the 1991 NFL Draft, Browning Nagle did not live up to his selection at all. In 1992 he was allowed to start 13 games and it was arguably the worst season by a Jets quarterback. His record was 3-10 which gives him the worst winning percentage (23%) of any Jets quarterback to start at least 10 games. In two of his three wins he didn’t even throw a touchdown and for the season threw just seven touchdowns compared to 17 picks.
After the 1992 season he would start just one more NFL game for the Colts in 1994 and would then play in the Arena Football League for two years in 1999 and 2000. Playing for the Orlando Predators and Buffalo Destroyers, His AFL career was like night and day compared to his NFL one. Int hose two years he threw for 74 touchdowns and only 18 picks.
33. Mike Taliaferro
In the 1963 draft Mike Taliaferro was drafted by both the New York Giants of the NFL and the Jets of the AFL after winning the Rose Bowl at the University of Illinois. He chose Gang Green and served primarily as a backup during his four years in New York. During his tenure he won three games and lost four, throwing 8 touchdowns and nearly twice the amount of interceptions (15).
in 1968 he would play for the Boston Patriots where he would play for three seasons. Although he went 4-10 in 169 as the starter, he was an AFL all star. That year he threw for 19 scores and 18 interceptions, the only time in his career he would finish a season with a positive TD-INT ratio.
32. Marty Domres
Born in Ithaca New York, Domres played nine seasons in the NFL, playing for the Jets in his final season. Domres did not live up to being the ninth overall pick in the 1969 draft where the San Diego Chargers took him. Somehow he managed a 3-1 record in his rookie season with them despite throwing two touchdowns and 10 interceptions. In 1972 he played for the Baltimore Colts replacing legendary quarterback Johnny Unitas. He had his best season as a pro with a losing record of 4-5 but played well with 11 touchdowns compared to 6 interceptions. He played his last season as a pro with the Jets and recorded an 0-2 record throwing for one score and one pick. His best game was against Miami completeing 14/24 passes for 94 yards and a touchdown. His other two appearances can be called bad at best, with a combined 3/16 passing and 20 yards.
31. Galen Hall
Galen Hall played just two seasons of professional football, spending one season with the Redskins and Jets. With the Jets he only had two starts losing both, but appeared in 13 games. That season he threw for only three touchdowns opposed to nine interceptions and a horrible 38% completion rate. He never played again after 1963, but in 1964 he began his long and illustrious coaching career.
From 1964 to 1984 he was a college assistant coach with stops in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Florida. He would become Florida’s head coach compiling a very good record of 40-18-1 from 1984-89. Most notably he coached the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe from 1998-2000 winning two world bowls. in 2001 he became a coach in Vince McMahon’s spectacularly awful XFL for the Orlando Rage and led them to an 8-2 record to become the only XFL coach of the year. His last coaching job was at Penn State as offensive coordinator from 2004-11.
30. Bill Demory
Bill Demory played one season in the NFL which was with the Jets. Primarily a backup quarterback, he started three games in the 1973 season winning just one of those contests. In those three games he threw 8 interceptions and only 2 touchdowns completing just 30% of his passes which is second worst in Jets history among quarterbacks to start a game. and only 4 more completions to his team than his opponents. He did sign with the Jets for the following year but saw no game action. Football obviously was not going to work out for Demory and he decided to go back to college in 1989 and earned a masters degree in business and administration. He currently is a economics professor at Central Arizona College.
29. David Norrie
David Norrie was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the 11th round of the 1986 draft. He never appeared in a game with them and made his only two starts in is career with the Jets in 1986. He started his two games during the NFL strike which lasted for about one month. In the two games Norrie started under center he was 0-2 with 1 touchdown and 4 interceptions.
While David Norrie never played in the NFL or anywhere else after that season, he began his broadcasting career in 1991 as a color analyst for the UCLA Bruins radio team. He then got a TV analyst job with Fox Sports Net and has since worked his way to doing national college football games for ESPN and ABC making a nice career for himself.
28. Tony Eason
The 15th pick of the New England Patriots in the 1983 draft, Tony Eason was an accomplished quarterback before getting traded to the Jets in 1989. His record with New England was 28-21 and played against the famous ’85 Bears in Super Bowl XX getting routed 46-10. Eason got pulled in the second quarter without completing a single pass. His Jet record is easily forgettable, appearing in 18 games over two seasons but going 0-2 with one touchdown and three interceptions, passing for just 410 yards.
Eason played college ball at the University of Illinois and holds records for passing yards in a season (3,671) and career passing yards per game (300.1). Eason had a good career, just not while with the Jets.
27. Ed “Butch” Songin
Although Drafted by the NFL in 1950 by the Cleveland Browns, Butch Songin didn’t play pro football until 1960 at 36 years old for the newly created AFL and the Boston Patriots. In fact Songin played in the first ever AFL game losing to the Denver Broncos. Two years later he became a member of the New York Titans appearing in seven games and started just two, winning one while throwing two touchdowns and 7 interceptions.
Butch could have possibly made a career playing hockey. He was an All-American hockey player at Boston College and a member of the 1948 National Championship team. Even more amazingly he did it while still playing quarterback with the football team. Despite having a short lived football career, he managed to have a decent ratio of touchdowns (38) to interceptions (31).
26. Rick Mirer
Rick Mirer was the second overall pick of the Seattle Seahawks in the 1993 draft. As a rookie he went 6-10,but never was able to live up to being the second pick as he never had a winning record.
As a backup in 1999, he got his chance due to an injury to start six games for the Jets. After going 2-4 with five touchdowns and nine picks, he lost the starting job. He managed to stick around in the NFL for eight seasons, compiling a 24-44 record.
Mirer has since started his own winery, Mirror Wine Company, where a percentage of the sales go to his Mirer Family Foundation. His foundation assists youth programs, children’s health benefits and gives financial assistance for higher education.
25. Johnny Green
Starting eight games in 1962 for the New York Titans, Johnny Green went 3-5 as the starter throwing 10 touchdowns and a whopping 18 interceptions. his best game came against the Broncos going 22/46 for 292 yards throwing a career best five touchdowns and three picks. 1962 was a quarterback carousel for the Titans as they had three different quarterbacks start at least one game that year. Green got the most opportunity starting 8 of the 14 games placing in the top five that season passing yards per game (158.3), passer rating (55.4) and completions (128). He was on the team in 1963 when the franchise changed its name to the Jets, but only appeared in one game and attempted just six passes.
24. Lee Grosscup
As stated before the Jets started three QB’s in 1962 and combined to go 5-9 collectively. Grosscup was the season opener starter and contributed a 1-3 record to the losing season. He threw 8 touchdowns and interceptions completing just 45% of his passes. He would lose his starting job to a knee injury and was cut at seasons end. The former 10th overall pick of the New York Giants in 1959 never started for them and by today’s draft standards would be considered a bust.
In 1966 he began his broadcasting career and became quite accomplished, enjoying a twenty year run as a college football analyst for ABC. He spent his more recent years in broadcasting as a radio analyst with the University of California (1989-2003) being let go in 2004.
23. Quincy Carter
Quincy Carter spent his last NFL season with the Jets in 2004 to serve as a backup. He started three games and won two of them, which would helped the Jets finish 10-6 that season and just qualifying for the playoffs. During his three week fill in Carter threw for 2 touchdowns and just one pick while completing 60% of his passes.
Post NFL, Carter would try to continue playing in the Canadian Football League, Arena Football League and even the Indoor Football League, but he would start having trouble with the law. He has been arrested for possession of Marijuana, two arrests for DUI and most recently in 2013 for family violence allegedly throwing a car seat at his girlfriend.
22. Dick Jamieson
In 1960 Dick Jamieson has the honor of being the first starting quarterback in Jets history! He won his only start while appearing in 11 games with the Titans, but his numbers were really good considering he wasn’t the starter for the season. His stat line for the year ended up being 35/70 for 586 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions. In his era of football his 6 passing scores were good for tenth in the league that year.
Jamieson had a very brief plating career being a member of the Titans until 1961, however he made a good career in coaching. He was an assistant coach from 1972 -97, going back and forth between college and the NFL. In between that run he earned a shot as a head coach at Indiana State, going 11-11 in two seasons (1978-79).
21. Matt Robinson
The Jets selected Matt Robinson in the ninth round of the 1977 NFL Draft. In 1978 he started most of the season and won six of his eleven games while throwing for 13 touchdowns. He threw 26 interceptions in his Jet career throwing half of them in 1978.
Although he was the starter going into the 1979 season, he lost the job after the first game of the year. The Jets traded him after the season to the Broncos, who for some crazy reason gave the Jets a first and second round picks for in the 1980 draft for the less than mediocre quarterback.So much for that trade, the following year in Denver Robinson went 4-3 throwing only two touchdowns and a horrendous 12 interceptions.
20. Kellen Clemens
Kellen Clemens was a second round pick of the Jets in 2006 and was mainly a backup during his time with the team. Thought to potentially succeed Chad Pennington who was on his way out at the time, that never materialized. As a starter he went 4-5 and threw only five touchdowns and got intercepted 11 times, with most of his stats but one win coming in the 2007 season.
He went on to play for the Rams and played for the Chargers this past season. Even with these teams he has not been able to become a full fledged starter, but he has been in the league for 11 seasons.
19. Brooks Bollinger
Brooks Bollinger was a career backup quarterback in the NFL and the Jets selected him in the sixth round at the 200th overall pick in 2003. He played his college ball at the University of Wisconsin where he rushed for 1,767 yards and 26 touchdowns in his four years, both school records for a quarterback.
His Jet career lasted just two seasons, getting nine starts in 2005. The Jets must not have had much faith in Bollinger however, because after the starting quarterback and the second string QB went down in the same game early in the season the Jets signed then 41 year old Vinny Testaverde. The Jets were 1-3 with Testaverde before deciding they had nothing to lose and started Bollinger who would finish the season going 2-7 with seven touchdowns and six picks. His best game was a loss against Miami when he threw for 327 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions.
18. Al Woodall
Woodall was the second round pick of the Jets in the 1969 NFL draft and spent his whole five year career with the team. He played backup and in 1970 got his biggest opportunity when Joe Namath got hurt, going 3-6 with nine touchdowns and just as many interceptions. After that year he would go 2-8 throwing nine more touchdowns while getting picked off 10 times. While his 5-14 record is less than stellar, his TD-INT ratio wasn’t that bad at 18-23.
Woodall retired after 1975 in large part to torn knee ligaments. Woodall has had success in business after his playing career, venturing into marketing and sport development programs.
17. Bob Davis
Another backup quarterback the Jets had during the Namath era, Bob Davis got to start eight games for the Jets in his three seasons with the team. Seven of those starts came in 1971, when he went 3-4 and had a respectable 10TD-8INT ratio despite completing just 40.5% of his passes.
1973 would be his last season in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints but did not get any starts. The former second overall pick of the Houston Oilers in 1967 didn’t get much chance to justify the pick starting only six games over three years. For his seven year career he went 6-7-1 throwing 14 touchdowns and 23 interceptions.
16. Bryce Petty
The jury is still out on Bryce Petty since he only has been in the league since 2015 when the Jets drafted him out of Baylor in the draft. This past season he saw his first regular season action appearing in six games and starting four. He didn’t give a great showing, going 1-3 with three touchdowns while getting intercepted seven times. He showed some pretty good arm strength while completing 56% of his passes.
Bryce Petty will go into the upcoming season in three man competition with veteran quarterback Josh McCown, who the Jets signed this off season. and the Jets second round pick last year Christian Hackenberg. Whoever wins the job is not going to have a plethora of weapons since wide receiver Brandon Marshall signed with the Giants and there is talk of the team either trading or releasing Erik Decker.
The Jets are in rebuild mode so they should start Petty in the beginning of the season and see what he can do in a new offense coached by Jets new offensive coordinator John Morton. He ranks 16th because he is in the beginning of his career and his numbers to date are similar to many spot quarterbacks the Jets have played in their history.
15. Ray Lucas
Ray Lucas was a local product born and raised in Harrison New Jersey and played his college ball at Rutgers. As an undrafted free agent he signed with the Patriots in 1996 and then signed with the Jets the following season.
In 1999 the Jets had their starting quarterback go down and the backup Rick Mirer was not playing well either. Ray Lucas started the final nine games of the season and he mad the most of his opportunity. He would go on to win six of those nine games, going 4-0 against division rivals and throwing 14 touchdowns to just 6 interceptions. His best game came in the turf war against the Giants. Although the Jets lost 41-28, Lucas threw for 284 yards, passed for four scores and zero picks while completing 65% of his passes. 1999 would be the only season Lucas would start games in his career with the Jets.
14. Neil O’Donnell
Coming off a Super Bowl loss with the Steelers at the hands of the Cowboys, Neil O’Donnell and the Jets agreed on a five-year deal worth $25 million dollars. Back then that was a big contract for a player, and one the Jets would soon regret. His first season in New York he lost all six games he started before suffering a season ending injury. The following year he played better going 8-6 throwing 17 touchdowns and only getting intercepted seven times. The Jets didn’t make the playoffs in either of his two seasons.
After the 1997 season, the Jets wanted O’Donnell to restructure his deal. He refused to do so and the team cut ties with him. He would play six more seasons in the NFL finishing up a good career in Tennessee. His career numbers show a record of 55-45 with a great ratio of 120 touchdowns and 68 interceptions.
13. Geno Smith
Although Geno Smith has a career record of 12-18 with the Jets, he didn’t have much to work with and didn’t get to develop. After being taken in the second round of the 2013 draft, He was thrown into the starting job after Mark Sanchez got injured in a preseason game. The team went 8-8 in Geno’s rookie year, despite him throwing for just 12 touchdowns and 21 picks. While Geno went 3-10 the following year, he cut down on the interceptions throwing just 13 and 13 touchdowns, and improved his completion percentage.
In 2015, Smith got into an altercation with teammate IK Enempkali and suffered a broken jaw. He subsequently lost his job when Ryan Fitzpatrick got off to a good start. Geno’s main problem was taking care of the football and that was something he could improve upon, but he never got the chance. He got one start this past season, but tore his ACL early in the game and his season was done. He signed a one year deal with the Giants for the upcoming season.
12. Pat Ryan
Pat Ryan was taken by the Jets in the 11th round of the 1978 draft. 11 is a common number for Ryan, as his 11 career wins rank 11th in franchise history, as well as ranking 11th in touchdowns with 31. In fact Pat Ryan’s 12 seasons with Gang Green ties him with Joe Namath for most by a quarterback in franchise history and one of just seven Jet quarterbacks to have a winning record with the team at 11-8.
In 1984 he started 11 games and went 6-5, throwing 14 touchdowns as well 14 interceptions. In 1986 he started and won the wild card game against the Chiefs, lighting them up for 3 touchdowns and winning 35-13.
After his playing days Pat Ryan was a color analyst for the Tennessee Titans radio broadcast and would also become a home builder. He currently works as an analyst for the University of Tennessee radio network as well as being a part of the pre-game show for the the football games.
11. Dick Wood
Dick Wood has the distinction of being the first “Jet” quarterback to play when the team changed it’s name from the Titans after 1962. He is also the first quarterback to throw a touchdown at Shea Stadium which was home to the New York Mets 1964-2008.
In his two seasons with the Jets Wood had identical records of 5-6-1 each year while accumulating 35 touchdowns and 45 interceptions. He placed in the top five of the AFL in both seasons in completions, touchdowns and yards except in 1963 when he was sixth. His 35 touchdowns places tenth in franchise history and one of twelve Jet QB’s with at least 10 wins.
10. Boomer Esiason
Traded to the Jets in 1993 from Cincinatti, Boomer Esiason got a chance to play for his hometown team. He would have his best season with the team that year in which the Jets were a .500 team. Esiason would throw for 3421 yards which is ninth best for a season in Jets history, and 16 touchdowns. Although Esiason played pretty well the following two seasons, the team did not as Boomer would go 5-9 and then 2-10. Part of the problem is he had a new head coach each year He would throw more touchdowns then picks (33-28).
When it comes to Esiason’s franchise rankings its lucky seven for the fan favorite. He ranks seventh in Jets history for wins (15), completions (764), yards (8478) and touchdowns (49).
Boomer Esiason went straight into broadcasting post career and has done very well for himself. He has been part of Monday Night Football, The NFL Today and Inside The NFL. He also is the co-host of the popular radio show “Boomer and Carton” on WFAN in New York.
9. Brett Favre
In 2008 The Jets gave the packers a conditional 4th round pick in the draft to land Brett Favre in the big apple. Fans were excited to get the gunslinger who was one of the greatest quarterbacks of his era. Favre started the season much to the expectations of the fans, leading the Jets to an 8-3 record. Unfortunately Favre would win only two of the last five games throwing just two touchdowns and eight interceptions. With a 10-6 record the Jets failed to make the playoffs.
In his one season with the Jets, Favre set a franchise record completing 343 passes. In week 4 against the Cardinals Favre would throw for six touchdowns setting a career high. He also put himself in the top 10 for a season in yards (3442) and touchdowns (22).
8. Ryan Fitzpatrick
The direct beneficiary of Geno Smith getting knocked out, Ryan Fitzpatrick had quite the season in 2015. The Harvard Graduate played for played for five different teams in his first 10 seasons, playing for the Buffalo Bills from 2009-12. when Smith went down Fitzpatrick put a lock on the starting job winning four of the first five games. That year he set a franchise record throwing 31 touchdowns which was two more than the mark Vinny Testaverde had set. Fitz also threw for the second most yards in a season in team history with 3905 yards and completed the second most passes in team history with 335. While he had a career year, the Jets missed the playoffs by losing to the Bills in their last game of the season. Fitzpatrick didn’t play well, throwing three costly interceptions.
The following year, The Jets and Fitzpatrick had a long and awkward contract negotiation. Late into training camp the two sides came to an agreement, one year for $12 million guaranteed. The Jets expected to have a good season, but that did not come to fruition. Fitzpatrick was awful, going 3-8 and throwing 17 picks before getting benched for the year. He currently is on the Tamp Bay Buccaneers.
7. Al Dorow
Playing for the Titans for two seasons, Al Dorow put up some monster numbers. In 1960 he led the AFL with 26 touchdown passes, after throwing a combined 17 in four prior seasons in the NFL. In 1961 he was an AFL all star and led the league in completions and attempts, but also led the league in interceptions while completing just 45% of his passes. He had a combined record of 13-14.
With 45 touchdown passes, no other Jet QB has more than he does in a two year span. He is in the team’s top 10 for completions, yards and touchdowns.
6. Mark Sanchez
Mark Sanchez was the fifth overall selection in the 2009 draft. The Jets also hired Rex Ryan that year and it was the beginning of an exciting two year run. Sanchez would help lead the Jets to back to back AFC Championship games, beating Payton Manning and Tom Brady in consecutive weeks on the road in 2010. Although the Jets failed to make the Super Bowl both times, fans were excited about Sanchez.
In his first two seasons Sanchez was already the Franchise leader in playoff wins with four, all of which came on the road. Local media dubbed the young quarterback the “Sanchise” and he had a strong third season, throwing for a career high 3,474 yards with 26 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. Although the Jets missed the playoffs that year Sanchez looked like he could be the franchise quarterback the Jets have long been looking for.
In 2012 Sanchez regressed so much that the Jets finished 6-9 and Sanchez threw only 13 touchdowns and 18 picks. In 2014 he missed the whole season due to a shoulder surgery, and his Jet career was over. He ranks number six on the Jets all time list in completions (1028), yards (12,092) and touchdowns (68).
5. Chad Pennington
Coming out of Marshall, Pennington went to the Jets as the 18th pick in the 200 draft. In 2002 he was named the starter after the tram started 1-4, and Chad turned what looked like a lost season into a division title. He went 8-4 throwing 22 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He led the NFL in completion percentage and QB rating which was also a franchise record at 104.2 for a starter.
2002 would be his best season, as injuries would derail his Jet career. He showed a lot of grit in coming back and playing well, so much so he won comeback player of the year in 2006 AND 2009. While Pennington didn’t have a huge arm, his game was accuracy, completing 65% of his passes in eight seasons with the Jets.
4. Richard Todd
Richard Todd was drafted number six overall in 1976 by the Jets. The thinking behind the selection was that he would be the heir apparent to Joe Namath. He never did meet the expectations placed on him, but he played with the Jets for eight seasons compiling stats that place him near the top of categories in the history of the Jets.
Todd’s 42 career wins is third best in Jets history as well as his 51 losses. He also ranks third in completions (1,433), yards (20,610), touchdowns (110) and second in interceptions (138) on the Jets all time list. He also ties for most interceptions in a season among Jets quarterbacks.
3. Vinny Testaverde
Straight out of Brooklyn New York, playing at home must of energized the 35 year old QB upon his arrival in 1998. It may have been his best season as a pro, going a dazzling 12-1 leading the Jets to their first division title since the merger of the AFL and NFL. That year he threw for 29 TDs and just seven interceptions, a beautiful ratio of a tad over 4-1. The Jets would lose the AFC title game to the Broncos, and an aging Testaverde would begin to have injuries slow him down causing him to miss all of the 1999 season.
In 2000 he would return and pull off the “Monday Night Miracle.” The Jets were down 30-7 entering the fourth quarter, and Testaverde rallied back to win 40-37 throwing for five touchdowns in the quarter.
2. Ken O’Brien
Most Jet fans who remember Ken O’Brien remember him as the guy the Jet’s chose instead of Dan Marino in the 1983 draft. While O’Brien wasn’t the Quarterback Marino turned out to be, was still a very good quarterback for the Jets.
A two time Pro Bowl selection, O’Brien was the first quarterback to throw for 400+ in along with a perfect passer rating against the Seahawks in 1986. He also achieved a second perfect rating in 1990 against the Patriots, completing a ridiculous 91.7 percent of his passes.
Ken O’Brien is ranked second in franchise history in wins with 50, and is the all time leader in completions with 2039 hook-ups. He also ranks second in yards (24,386) and touchdowns with (124) and just 95 interceptions.
1. Joe Namath
Should be no surprise that Broadway Joe is number one. The only Jet quarterback to win Rookie of the Year and win a Super Bowl in the history of the franchise, Namath is the career leader in all the major statistical categories. He is also the only Jet to have been selected to the hall of fame.
The Jets number one overall pick in the 1965 draft, Namath was supposed to be a superstar. He was exactly that on the field, as well as off of it. Namath was one of the first athletes to get all types of endorsement deals and sign endorsement deals. In New York He was the toast of the town, and he knew everyone and anyone.
Towards the end of his Jet career Namath was hobbled by various injuries and missed many games. Even when he did play he was rarely 100%.
As for his franchise records, he won 60 games, threw for 4007 yards with 170 touchdowns, but an abysmal 215 interceptions which is the only blemish on an otherwise amazing career.
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