In 2002 the New York Jets were in Herm Edwards' second season as head coach and coming off a 10-6 2001 campaign that certainly had Jets fans believing that better things were going to continue to happen. The Jets finished at 9-7 in 2002, tied for first place with both the Patriots and Dolphins but the Jets were declared Division Champions due to tie-breakers.
After starting the season with a win against Buffalo the Jets dropped four straight games. They recovered slightly with a win against Minnesota but then lost to the Browns and it led to one of the most memorable coaching rants ever.
After that the Jets reeled off four straight wins to improve to 6-5, lost two of the next three games, then closed out the season with blowout wins at New England and home versus Green Bay. By virtue of winning the division they hosted the Indianapolis Colts in a Wild Card playoff game and they continued their roll with a 41-0 shutout of the Peyton Manning-led Colts. The following week the Jets season ended with a 30-10 loss to the Raiders in Oakland, whom they lost to as well during the season. In Week 13 they played the Raiders to a 26-20 loss in Oakland, as the Raiders were also the team that ended the Jets 2001 season in the playoffs. The Jets would finally beat the Raiders a few seasons later.
The Jets were led on offense by Curtis Martin's 1,094 rushing yards and Chad Pennington's 68.9% completion percentage throwing mostly to Santana Moss who finished with 1,264 receiving yards. On defense, John Abraham led the team with 10 quarterback sacks, and Donnie Abraham (no relation) with four interceptions.
In the last part of our Look Back series we will delve into the New York Jets 2007 season before we conclude with an addendum look back at the 2012 season.
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