Now it's time to move into the 1990's when the New York Jets tweaked their uniforms for the first time since 1978, when they went with the current trend at the time, black trim around the helmet logo and black face-masks, plus black trim on uniform tops and pants starting in 1990. Unfortunately, 1992 was not a winning season as the Jets would finish with only six wins and out of the playoffs. Be sure to check out the previous installments of our Look Back Series, featuring the 1982 Jets Season and 1987 Jets season.
The 1992 season was marked by a tragedy that albeit briefly raised the New York Jets and star defensive end Dennis Byrd into the national consciousness. Dennis Byrd's career was on the rise as he was becoming an elite level pass rusher. In the second half of the November 29th game at home versus Kansas City, Byrd would accidentally collide with team mate Scott Mersereau and end up laid out on the field. I recall how I felt so upset for such a budding talent to have his career end like that, but his loss of feeling, after breaking the C-5 vertebra in his neck, was not a bad as many who suffered a similar injury. He would walk to midfield before the 1993 season opener to receive The Most Inspirational Player award, which would be named after him thereafter.
The Jets play on the field never rose to the challenge of trying to honor their fallen comrade until they won the final two games of the season just to finish at 6-10. Browning Nagle was the Jets quarterback at the time and while he led the team to a 5-0 preseason it didn't translate to many more wins during the actual season. Also during the 1992 season the Jets would lose their best offensive weapon at the time, when Al Toon announced his retirement just days before the Dennis Byrd injury, so once that occurred it felt like a double blow to the gut. Toon had suffered a severe concussion in a week nine game versus Denver that was the final blow that would lead to him calling it a career.
So suffice it to say that 1992 was another one of those years being a Jets fan, now for a little over a decade at the time, that had me wondering if I was ever going to see this team win, and win consistently. Well when next we look back by looking ahead at 1997 we will visit an over .500 season and the one just prior to 1998 which would conclude with a visit to Denver for the AFC Championship.
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