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Al Toon, Joe Namath, and Darrelle Revis (Getty)

NFL

Gang Green: The top 25 greatest New York Jets in history

The Jets are no second fiddle, they have a strong fanbase in New York and have had some great players in their history. Here are the 25 greatest Jets!

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Al Toon, Joe Namath, and Darrelle Revis (Getty)

Al Toon, Joe Namath, and Darrelle Revis (Getty)

The New York Jets were founded in 1959 and began playing as the Titans, they changed their name in 1963 and the rest is history. The team won one AFL championship before the AFL-NFL merger and won one Super Bowl in 1968. The Jets have won four division titles and have made the playoffs on 14 occasions.

Despite the ups and downs of the franchise over the years, the Jets have had some great individual performers, but it’s been a while that as a whole they made the playoffs.  Their last appearance came in 2010, so the Jets have seen better days. Here are the top 25 greatest New York Jets!

Honorable mentions: Chad Pennington, Freeman McNeil, Kyle Clifton, Santana Moss

25. Vinny Testaverde - QB

Vinny Testaverde
Vinny Testaverde (Getty)

Stats: 46, 233 Yards, 75 Passing Rating 
Accolades: 2-Time Pro Bowl

It’s not often that a QB is so down on the list, but Vinny Testaverde played very well for the Jets despite coming up short of winning championships. It was during his time with the Jets that he played in his second Pro Bowl. In 1998, he played his best season in a Jets uniform, but in 1999 an injury sideline his momentum. Testaverde was the quarterback of the “Monday Night Miracle” , the game selected as the greatest game in Monday Night Football history.

24. Laveranues Coles - WR

Laveranues Coles
Laveranues Coles (Getty)

Stats: 674 Receptions, 8,609 Receiving Yards, 49 Receiving Touchdowns
Accolades: Pro Bowl 2003

Laveranues Coles had two stints with the Jets, in total he played 105 games and had over 5,900 receiving yards that puts him in the top 5 on that list. He scored 37 touchdowns for the Jets and was known for being quick.

23. Bill Baird - S

Bill Baird
Bill Baird

Stats: 98 Games Played, 34 Interceptions, 3 Touchdowns
Championships: 1

Bill Baird played his whole career with the Jets and was a part of the teams only Super Bowl title. He set the franchise record for interceptions and was a hard nose safety. It may not have been fancy, but it was effective and Baird was a main cog in the defensive end.

22. Pat Leahy - PK

Pat Leahy
Pat Leahy (Getty)

Stats: 250 Games Played, 1,470 Points Scored
Accolades: 1978 All-Pro

Pat Leahy was a points machine, at the time of his retirement in 1991, after 18 seasons, he ranked third in scoring in NFL history. He was the Jets all-time leading scorer and completed 71.4% of his field goal attempts. In 1985 he set the franchise record for the longest field goal at 55 yards.

21. Randy Rasmussen - G

Randy Rasmussen
Randy Rasmussen (Getty)

Stats: 207 Games Played, 9 Fumble Recoveries
Championships: 1

Randy Rasmussen played 15 seasons with the Jets and was a symbol of durability in the Guard position. He was a part of the teams only Super Bowl title and was the last player of that team to retire. A hardman, through the highs of highs and the 11 season lows, Randy Rasmussen was there.

20. Keyshawn Johnson - WR

Keyshawn Johnson
Keyshawn Johnson (Getty)

Stats: 814 Receptions, 10,571 Receiving Yards, 64 Receiving Touchdowns
Accolades: 3-Time Pro Bowl
Championships
: 1

The Jets were a stepping stone for Keyshawn Johnson, in his three seasons with Gang Green he did win a AFC East title and had an amazing playoff performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1998. The Jets fell short of winning a title with Johnson and he would go on to win a Super Bowl, but his time with the Jets was promising.

19. Mickey Shuler - TE

Mickey Shuler
Mickey Shuler (Getty)

Stats: 180 Games Played, 462 Receptions, 5,100 Yards
Accolades: 2-Time Pro Bowl, New York Jets All-Four-Decades team

In his 162 games for the Jets, Mickey Shuler was consistent, he went 86 straight games where he made at least one catch! He also scored 37 touchdowns for Gang Green and while he was a Tight End, he did play in various positions. He was cut from the team in 1990, one of the few players that made it to the all decades team.

18. Marty Lyons - DT

Marty Lyons
Marty Lyons (Getty)

Stats: 29 Sacks, 147 Games Played
Accolades: New York Jets Ring of Honor

Marty Lyons was a Jets lifer, he played his whole career with Gang Green, and was the main piece of the pass-rush group and his 29 sacks was a key part of the “Sack Exchange”. Lyons was named a member of the Ring of Honor for the team for his 11 seasons of service.

17. Joe Klecko - DE

Joe Klecko
Joe Klecko (Getty)

Stats: 24 Sacks, 9 Fumble Recoveries, 155 Game Played
Accolades: New York Jets retired his 73 jersey, New York Jets Ring of Honor, 4-Time Pro Bowl

Joe Klecko was another member of the “Sack Exchange”, during his time the defensive line combined for 66 sacks in 1981. A defensive hardman that played in a variety of positions, Klecko played 11 seasons with the Jets and played in three different positions in his four Pro Bowl appearances.

16. Mo Lewis - LB

Mo Lewis
Mo Lewis (Getty)

Stats: 1,231 Tackles, 52.5 Sacks, 14 Interceptions
Accolades: 3-Time Pro Bowl, New York Jets All-Time Four Decades team

Mo Lewis played his whole career with Gang Green and amassed over 1,000 tackles for the team. Lewis was a fan favorite for his commitment to the team and is remembered for injuring Drew Bledsoe in a game which led to the arrival of Tom Brady. He was a tough defensive player and a team captain.

15. Emerson Boozer - RB

Emerson Boozer
Emerson Boozer (Getty)

Stats: 5,135 Rushing Yards, 52 Touchdowns
Accolades: New York Jets Ring of Honor
Championships: 1

When Emerson Boozer moved from the AFL to the NFL he had to change the way he played. He was known for his hard work ethic and became an outstanding blocker and goal-line touchdown scorer. He was one of the main pieces of the Jets Super Bowl win and an example of never giving up.

14. Matt Snell - RB

Matt Snell
Matt Snell

Stats: 4,287 Rushing Yards, 1,057 Rush Attempts, 193 Receptions, 86 Games Played
Accolades: New York Jets Ring of Honor
Championships: 1

Matt Snell will forever live in Jets fans memories for his Super Bowl III game! Snell carried the ball 30 times in the game and scored the Jets touchdown. He was known for his rushing ability and the team's pass-blocking set up. Snell suffered multiple injuries during his career that is why he is not higher on the list.

13. Shaun Ellis - DE

Shaun Ellis
Shaun Ellis (Getty)


Stats: 566 Tackles, 73.5 Sacks, 16 Passes Defended, 13 Forced Fumbles
Accolades: 2-Time Pro Bowl

Shaun Ellis ranks second as the Jets all-time sack leader with 73.5 sacks. He was a team leader and helped organize the Jets defensive line during his 10 seasons. Ellis was as big and tough as they come. The big man was also playful as he was fined $10,000 for tossing snowballs at fans.

12. Wayne Chrebet - WR

Wayne Chrebet
Wayne Chrebet (Getty)

Stats: 7,365 Receiving Yards, 41 Touchdowns, 580 Receptions
Accolades: New York Jets Ring of Honor

Wayne Chrebet was also a Jets lifer, known for his intensity and toughness, while short for a receiver, he caught 580 passes and was the heart of the Jets teams in the 2000s. 152 games in Gang Green he was a symbol of the franchise.

11. Winston Hill - OT

Winston Hill
Winston Hill (Getty)

Stats: 198 Games Played
Accolades: New York Jets Ring of Honor. 4-time Pro Bowl, 
Championships: 1

Winston Hill was an iron man, he would record the tenth-longest string of starts in NFL history. Known for his protection of QB Joe Namath and opening spaces for his teammates, Hill was as tough as they came. He won one Super Bowl with the Jets.

10. Wesley Walker - WR

Wesley Walker
Wesley Walker (Getty)

Stats: 438 Receptions, 8,306 Receiving Yards, 71 Touchdowns
Accolades: 2-Time Pro Bowl, New York Jets Ring of Honor, 1978 NFL receiving yards leader

Wesley Walker had an incredible career with the Jets, he is number 2 in receiving yards and number 2 in receiving touchdowns. He was known for his great speed and footwork, an extra note, Walker was blind from his left eye! Simply amazing.

9. Nick Mangold - C

Nick Mangold
Nick Mangold (Getty)

Stats: 164 Games Played
Accolades: 7-Time Pro- Bowl 

Nick Mangold was one of the Jets better players in the mid 2000’s, he played his whole career with Gang Green and is considered one of the best players during a few down seasons. Mangold was forced to leave the team due to his high salary demands. For a Center he was exceptionally good. 

8. D'Brickashaw Ferguson - OT

D'Brickashaw Ferguson
D'Brickashaw Ferguson (Getty)

Stats: 160 Games Played, 4 Fumble Recoveries
Accolades: 3-Time Pro Bowl

D'Brickashaw Ferguson was known for his durability in his 10 seasons with the Jets; he never missed a game. Ferguson was tough using his strength to power through opposing lines, in total he played 10,707 out of 10,708 regular season offensive snaps in his career. 

7. Darrelle Revis - CB

Darrelle Revis
Darrelle Revis (Getty)

Stats: 497 Total Tackles, 29 Interceptions, 140 Pass Deflections
Accolades: 7-Time Pro Bowl, NFLs 2010’s All-Decade Team
Championships: 1

Another player who used the Jets as a stepping stone, Darrelle Revis is considered by many the best cornerback of all time. In his prime he was one of the most feared defensive players in the NFL. Revis went to four Pro Bowls as a Jet and went on to win one Super Bowl with the Patriots.

6. Curtis Martin - RB

 Curtis Martin
Curtis Martin (Getty)

Stats: 14,101 Rushing Yards, 90 Rushing Touchdowns, 3,329 Receiving Yards
Accolades: 5-Time Pro Bowl, NFL Rushing Yards leader 2004, New York Jets retired his number 28. 

Curtis Martin had a hall of fame career with the Jets, he set franchise records for rushing yards and missed only one game in his first seven seasons with Gang Green. Injuries would derail his career near the end but no one could question the talent, the Jets with Martin went to 5 playoffs.

5. Don Maynard - WR

Don Maynard
Don Maynard (Getty)

Stats: 633 Receptions, 11,834 Receiving Yards, 88 Touchdowns
Accolades: Jets retired his number 13
Championships: 1

Don Maynard’s numbers are extremely impressive considering the time he played in the NFL. Maynard’s 18.7 yards per catch ratio is the highest for anyone who had 600 receptions. He was one of the main pieces of the Jets only Super Bowl win.

4. Al Toon - WR

Al Toon
Al Toon (Getty)

Stats: 517 Receptions, 31 Touchdowns, Receiving Yards 6,605, 31 Touchdowns
Accolades: New York Jets Ring of Honor, New York Jets All-Time Four Decades Team

Al Toon was a great wide receiver for the Jets, he was the 1988 NFL receptions leader and a three time Pro Bowler. Despite playing less than 110 games Toon still managed to have over 500 receptions. That is impressive! He was a fan favorite and played for the Jets his whole career.

3. Kevin Mawae - C

Kevin Mawae
Kevin Mawae (Getty)

Stats: 241 Games Played
Accolades: 8-Time Pro Bowl, NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, New York Jets Ring of Honor

Kevin Mawae can be described in one word… dominant. He played at an extremely high level and helped many teammates obtain high stats. He went to six Pro Bowls as a Jet and was one of the league's best centers.

2. Mark Gastineau - DE

Mark Gastineau
Mark Gastineau (Getty)

Stats: 74 Sacks, 137 Games Played
Accolades: 5-Time Pro Bowl, 2-time NFL Sacks Leader, New York Jets Ring of Honor, New York Jets All-Time Four Decades Team

Mark Gastineau should be number 2 and in another world he would be number 1. He set NFL records for 4 sacks in a Pro Bowl and winning the league sack leader 2 seasons in a row! He was a sack machine and his stats prove it! One of the Jets and NFL all-time best!

1. Joe Namath - QB

Joe Namath
Joe Namath (Getty)

Stats: 3,762 Pass Attempts, 1,886 Pass completions, 27,663 Passing Yards
Accolades: Super Bowl MVP, NFL Comeback Player of the Year 1974, New York Jets retired his number 12, 3-Time NFL Passing yards leader
Championships: 1

Who else? It had to be Broadway Joe. New York was made for Joe Namath and Joe Namath was made for New York. He had movie star looks and a carisma that few players in Jets history ever had. Namath led the Jets to their only Super Bowl, he is still a New York sports scene figure, he did movies, TV shows, and advertisements. When you think of the total package… it’s Joe Namath.

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