Monday, August 11, 2014

New York Jets

Here are the 1972 Jets, four years removed from their guaranteed victory in Super Bowl III.

A lot had changed since then: The Jets returned to the playoffs in 1969, but lost in the first round to the Chiefs. That was followed by a 4-10 record in 1970 and 6-8 in 1971.

Only 6 of these players (Joe Namath, Emerson Boozer, Winston Hill, Dave Herman, Gerry Philbin, and Al Atkinson) remained from the Super Bowl team.

After leading the Jets to victory in Super Bowl III and returning to the playoffs in 1969, Joe Namath missed 9 games in 1970 and 11 games in 1971. He bounced back in 1972, starting 13 of the 14 games, and led the NFL in passing yardage (2816) and TDs (19), but the Jets finished at 7-7.

Namath was the Jets' #1 QB from 1965 to 1976 (except for missed time in '70, '71, and '73), and finished his career with the Rams in 1977. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.

Emerson Boozer was drafted by the Jets in 1966, and had a 10-year career (1966-75) all with the Jets.  He was a starting back in all but his final season. Normally the halfback, he played fullback in 1970, between the Matt Snell and John Riggins eras. Boozer led the AFL with 10 rushing TDs in 1967.

John Riggins was the Jets' 1st-round pick (#6 overall) in 1971. He was their starting fullback for his 5 seasons in New York, and rushed for over 1000 yards (and made his only Pro Bowl) in 1975, his final season with the Jets. He was also the Redskins' fullback for 8 seasons from 1976 to 1985.

John missed the 1977 season with a knee injury, and sat out the 1980 season over a contract dispute. Riggins was named the MVP of Super Bowl XVII, and also played in the Supe the next year. He was the 2nd player (after Jim Brown) to rush for 100 career touchdowns. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992.

George Nock was a 16th-round pick for the Jets in 1969. After rarely playing that season, Nock was the starting halfback in 1970, replacing Matt Shell in the lineup (with Emerson Boozer moving to fullback). In 1971 the Jets drafted John Riggins, so Nock found a spot on the bench, playing sparingly behind Riggins and Boozer. The back of this card says George joined the Redskins on 6-18-72. It was his final season.

Richard Caster was drafted by the Jets in 1970, and was a starting receiver from 1970 to 1977, including playing tight end from 1972-76. He later played for the Oilers (1978-80), Saints (1981), and Redskins (1981-82).

Winston Hill was drafted by the Colts in 1963, but began his career with the Jets that same year.  He was a starting offensive tackle for the Jets for 13 seasons (1963-75), 8 seasons on the left side before moving over to the right side.  Hill made the Pro Bowl 8 times during that 13-year span.  After riding the Jets' bench in 1976, he finished his career with the Rams in 1977.

Dave Herman joined the Jets in 1964, and was their starting right guard every season from 1965 to 1973, leading the protection for Namath. Dave made the Pro Bowl in '68 and '69.

Gerry Philbin was drafted by the Jets in 1964, and was their starting left defensive end every season from 1965 to 1972, making the Pro Bowl in 1968 and 1969. He finished his career with the Eagles in 1973.

Al Atkinson was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 1965, but played for the Jets that season. He was the Jets' starting middle linebacker every season from 1966 to 1972, and also played parts of  '73 and '74 with the Jets before retiring.

W.K. Hicks was a starting cornerback and safety for the Houston Oilers from 1964 to 1969. He was the Jets' starting free safety for 2 seasons (1970-71), then a backup in his final season of 1972.

Chris Farasopoulos was the Jets' 3rd-round pick in 1971, and returned kicks and punts as a rookie. He replaced Hicks as the starting free safety in 1972 (and '73), and continued to return punts and kicks. He played his final season (1974) with the Saints.

Also check out the 1968 Jets.