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The Jets have not exactly been a powerhouse franchise in NFL history, and that’s true in recent years, too. But the Jets were legitimate Super Bowl contenders in 2009 and 2010, making the AFC Championship Game both years. Take a look at the Jets yearly SRS grades from 1990 to 2016, and ’09 and ’10 stand out as the last great Jets teams:

In 2009 and 2010, Darrelle Revis and Nick Mangold were both named first-team All-Pros by the Associated Press. This week, the Jets released both players. And with D’Brickashaw Ferguson retiring last season, and David Harris a potential cap cut, the 2016 season will close the chapter on the successful drafts of ’06 and ’07 — and highlight the ugly drafts since. With Nick Folk also being cut, if the Jets release Harris, that would make longsnapper Tanner Purdum (2010) the longest-tenured Jet, followed by Muhammad Wilkerson and Bilal Powell (2011).

In 2006, the Jets hit two home runs with Ferguson and Mangold in the first round, and found valuable contributors in later rounds with Brad Smith and Leon Washington. In 2007, the Jets had only four draft picks, but the first two were Revis and Harris. Since then? The drafts have been ugly.

In ’08, it was Vernon Gholston and Dustin Keller in the first round, with Dwight Lowery the only other notable name.

In ’09, the Jets had just three picks: Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene, and Matt Slauson.

In ’10, the four-man class was Kyle Wilson, Vlad Ducasse, Joe McKnight, and John Conner.

In 2011, the Jets grabbed Wilkerson and Powell, along with Jeremy Kerley. That was a great draft by recent Jets standards, especially sandwiched between 2010 and the disaster of 2012, with Quinton Coples, Stephen Hill, and Demario Davis being the team’s three high-profile picks.

2013 wasn’t much better: Dee Milliner with the 9th pick and Geno Smith with the 39th pick were busts; Sheldon Richardson at 13 worked out in part, but off-the-field issues have clouded his tenure with the team and he seems unlikely to make it to a second contract in New York.

In 2014, the Jets had a whopping 12 picks, and while it’s too early to fully grade that class, the early returns are not good. 2nd rounder Jace Amaro and 3rd rounder Dexter McDougle have been busts (Amaro is already gone), while 4th round pick Jalen Saunders was cut before ever playing a game. The 1st round pick was Calvin Pryor, who has failed to turn into an impact safety but is at least playable. The lone hero has been Quincy Enunwa, drafted in the 6th round.

The 2015 draft brought the Jets Leonard Williams, but so far, that’s it. Devin Smith, Lorenzo Mauldin, and Bryce Petty were the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks, and through two seasons, it’s hard to be any higher on their prospects.

And while it’s way too early to evaluate last year’s class, let’s just saying drafting Darron Lee and Christian Hackenberg in the first two rounds has not earned the organization praise from #DraftTwitter.

With Ferguson, Mangold, Revis, and Harris, the Jets drafted four of the top players in franchise history. The Jets have been around for 57 seasons, and those are just 4 of the 23 players to have 70+ points of AV with New York. They also formed the backbone of the Jets teams that made it to the final four in consecutive years in ’09 and ’10. Since then? It’s been ugly in April (and May) for the Jets, and consequential, for most of the falls that have followed, too.

  • sacramento gold miners

    Those 2009-2010 Jets also beat the Patriots twice, including at Foxboro in the playoffs. Back then, Mark Sanchez appeared to have a bright future at QB, but it just didn’t turn out that way.The Jets haven’t had many playoff games at home, and we remember the 1998 edition which led Denver at Mile High in the AFC TG, but was trampled in the second half.

    The 1982 Jets team also fell in the AFC TG that season at Miami, these was the era of the green helmets, They were talented, crushed top seeded Cincinnati in the playoffs that season. The Jets made the postseason again a few years later, but fell at Cleveland in a classic game.

    • The Sanchez-led Jets actually beat the Pats three times, and their victory in Foxboro in the playoffs was one of the most surprising results I can remember. I think it got overshadowed a bit because it happened the week after the 7-9 Seahawks beat the defending champion Saints. The Pats had beaten them by a combined score of 76-17 the last two times they played in New England. I watched that entire game knowing the Pats were going to come back in the end, and then… it just never happened.

      The Jets actually put together a pretty good comeback of their own in Pittsburgh the next week, but their vaunted D couldn’t get the Steelers off the field with three minutes left down five points.

      It’s quite remarkable the way it all imploded. Is there another example of a team that fell apart like this without going through major personnel changes (like the post-Harbaugh 49ers)? It seemed like Sanchez/Ryan was going to be a formidable force in the NFL for years to come, but look at them now.

      • sacramento gold miners

        Rex Ryan is kind of like Buddy Ryan 2.0 as a head coach. More postseason success, but the act grows thin, and his teams weren’t able to back up the bluster.

      • Tom

        Just looked at the box score for that Steelers/Jets game…yeah, Sanchez wasn’t lights out, but he did alright…the Ike Taylor sack/fumble/TD was a big negative, but he (somewhat) made up for it with two solid 4th quarter drives. And the fact that they beat the Pats three times during those years made it seem like they might be a team to contend with for the next 4 or 5 years, as you mentioned, and then…it just ended.

      • John

        One team that may be kind of similar to the 09-10 Jets is the 1974-75 Cardinals. After two straight post-season appearances, both teams missed out on three straight trips due to late-season losses. Then, the decline started, and the coaches were gone within the next few years. It took the Cardinals until 1982 to make the postseason again, and the Jets still haven’t made it back.

    • Richie

      “The Jets haven’t had many playoff games at home”

      That got me curious. Here are how many home playoff games each team has played:

      Steelers 31

      Cowboys 29

      49ers 28

      Patriots 24

      Raiders 23

      Broncos 22

      Dolphins 22

      Vikings 21

      Packers 19

      Eagles 18

      Colts 17

      Redskins 15

      Bears 14

      Seahawks 14

      Rams 13

      Giants 12

      Chargers 11

      Bills 11

      Browns 10

      Bengals 10

      Falcons 9

      Saints 8

      Chiefs 8

      Panthers 7

      Buccaneers 7

      Jets 7

      Ravens 5

      Oilers 5

      Texans 4

      Titans 4

      Cardinals 4

      Jaguars 3

      Lions 2

      • Richie

        It usually surprises me to see how high the Dolphins usually rank on these types of lists – considering they have been such a non-factor the past 15 years.

        But it cuts both ways, because the Patriots were rarely a factor before 2001, and they rank highly on these lists mainly because of their deeds in the past 15 years.

      • John

        For the Jaguars, two of those home playoff games were in 1999. That was their high water mark. They have only made the playoffs twice since.

        • Richie

          Don’t remind me!