Timeout fiasco latest in Jets’ great gaffes
FLORHAM PARK, New Jersey (AP) — The trending topics on Twitter in New York were a clear sign that something went especially wrong for the Jets.
Moments after New York’s 31-24 loss to the Green Bay Packers in the NFL on Sunday, social media was buzzing about the Jets’ timeout call that wiped out a tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter. And thousands of frustrated fans vented through social media.
Coach Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg were trending topics. So was “Only The Jets,” a phrase that many have repeated through the decades when referring to their favorite team.
Here’s a look at some of the more infamous on-field gaffes in Jets history:
THE TIMEOUT (Sept. 14, 2014): With the Jets trailing by a touchdown, they faced a fourth-and-4 from the Packers 36. Mornhinweg sensed something wrong in the offense’s alignment, so he tried to get Ryan’s attention for a timeout. But quarterback Geno Smith got things right, so Mornhinweg called off the timeout — yet defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson leaned over to the official and called for a stoppage.
A timeout was called and whistles blew before Smith completed a pass to a leaping Jeremy Kerley in the end zone. A dramatic tying touchdown? Not quite. The Jets actually converted on the next play, but the drive stalled from there and the Packers ran out the clock.
THE BUTTFUMBLE (Nov. 22, 2012): This one was played on blooper reels over and over for months. In front of a national TV audience against New England, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez collided with the backside of right guard Brandon Moore and fumbled the ball. It was recovered by the Patriots’ Steve Gregory and returned 32 yards for a touchdown. It set the tone for the Jets’ 49-19 loss, and defined Sanchez’s mostly disappointing tenure in New York.
BUBBY’S SHOVEL (Oct. 15, 1995): The Jets were struggling, off to a 1-5 start, but were up against the expansion Carolina Panthers, who were 0-5.
New York led 12-6 with less than a minute left in the second quarter when Bubby Brister turned left and shoveled a short pass at running back Adrian Murrell. Sam Mills stepped in front of the toss and rumbled down the field for a 36-yard touchdown on an interception return. It put the Panthers in front heading into halftime, and they ended up winning their first game in franchise history, 26-15, jump-starting a four-game winning streak. The Jets finished that season 3-13 under Rich Kotite.
THE FAKE SPIKE (Nov. 27, 1994): If Jets fans didn’t despise the Miami Dolphins and Dan Marino already, this sealed it.
With the Jets leading 24-21 and 30 seconds left, the Dolphins had the ball at the New York 8. Marino ran to the line of scrimmage and motioned he was going to spike the ball to stop the clock. Sensing the Jets’ defense had relaxed, Marino took the snap and instead threw to Mark Ingram in the end zone for a winning touchdown — stunning the defensive players who were caught off-guard and silencing the Giants Stadium crowd.
GASTINEAU’S PENALTY (Jan. 3, 1987): Some fans still haven’t forgiven sack dancer Mark Gastineau for short-circuiting the Jets’ playoff run in the 1986 season.
With the Jets leading the Cleveland Browns 20-10 late in the fourth quarter and minutes away from the AFC Championship game, Cleveland faced a second-and 24 at its 18. But Gastineau popped Bernie Kosar, who threw an incomplete pass, in the back and was called for roughing the passer. The questionable penalty gave the Browns a first down on their 33, and Cleveland drove for a touchdown. Mark Moseley kicked a field goal to tie it with 7 seconds remaining, then made the winner in the second overtime.
MUD BOWL (Jan. 2, 1983): The Jets were a win away from their second Super Bowl appearance, but the Dolphins’ A.J. Duhe got in the way. Three times.
With the Orange Bowl a muddy mess after heavy rainstorms drenched Miami, Duhe intercepted three of Richard Todd’s passes. He set up the Dolphins’ first score with an interception in the third quarter. Duhe then sealed Miami’s 14-0 win when he picked off Todd’s screen pass and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown. Todd finished with five interceptions and the Jets didn’t make it back to the AFC title game until the 1998 season.