Are the Jets a better team with Brett Favre at quarterback? Of course. But let’s not start printing Super Bowl tickets just yet.
In Green Bay, Favre had history on his side. Winning history. Not so with the Jets.
The Jets have gone this route before, with mixed results. They’ve had a history of picking up veteran QBs, admittedly none as good as Broadway Brett.
But Boomer Esiason, Vinny Testaverde, and Neil O’Donnell weren’t exactly slouches.
Esiason, who finished he career with 247 touchdown passes, arrived in New York in 1993, five years after he was NFL MVP in leading the Broncos to the Super Bowl. Boomer played three years with the Jets, and the team was 15-27 in games he started. They failed to make the playoffs in any of those three seasons.
Fresh off a Super Bowl loss to the Cowboys, O’Donnell left the Steelers to sign as a free agent with the Jets in 1996. He played two seasons in New York, and the Jets failed to make the playoffs either time
Testaverde, the number one overall pick by Tampa Bay in 1987, arrived in New York in 1998. The free agent pickup was an instant success.
Testaverde, who threw 275 touchdowns during the course of his 21-year career and ranks sixth all time in pass attempts, completions and yardage, led the Jets to the AFC championship game in 1998, where they lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos. Vinny and the Jets. That’s the furthest the Jets have advanced in the playoffs since the 1968 team, led by Joe Namath, won Super Bowl III.
Testaverde guided the Jets to another playoff berth in 2001 only to get knocked out in the first round by the Oakland Raiders.
Even the franchise’s quarterbacking standard-bearer, the Hall of Famer Namath, made the playoffs just twice in 12 seasons in New York (1965-76).
It’s been 40 years since the Jets first, last and only visit to the Super Bowl. That’s a long time.