1972 New York Jets season
|1972 New York Jets season|
|Head coach||Weeb Ewbank|
|Home field||Shea Stadium|
|Division place||2nd AFC East|
|Playoff finish||did not qualify|
The 1972 New York Jets season was the 13th season for the team and the third in the National Football League. It began with the team trying to improve upon its 6–8 record from 1971 under legendary head coach Weeb Ewbank. The Jets star quarterback Joe Namath was healthy for a full season for the first time in three years but the rest of the squad was decimated by injuries and, after a fast start, the Jets finished with a record of 7–7.
The Jets have the distinction of being the last NFL team to play a team from another league. During the 1972 preseason, a squad composed of the Jets' rookies defeated the Long Island Chiefs of the Seaboard Football League 29–3.
Namath threw for 496 yards and six touchdowns (on just 15 of 28 passes) in a 44–34 victory over the Baltimore Colts in Broadway Joe's first appearance at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium in week two, but the next week, the Jets were humbled 26–20 by the Houston Oilers, the Oilers' only victory of 1972 and their last before embarking on an 18-game losing streak.
They were eliminated from the play-offs in the season's thirteenth week, a Monday Night Game with the Raiders in which a battered and bruised Namath threw for 403 yards and nearly pulled off the upset. After the game Raiders coach John Madden went into the Jets locker room and shook Namath's hand out of respect; it was the only time in his coaching career Madden ever did that. Eliminated from post season play, the Jets coaches decided Namath would sit out the final game of the season to make sure no serious injuries were incurred prior to the 1973 season.
|1972 New York Jets final roster|
|1||1972-09-17||at Buffalo Bills||W 41–24||War Memorial Stadium||
|2||1972-09-24||at Baltimore Colts||W 44–34||Memorial Stadium||
|3||1972-10-01||at Houston Oilers||L 26–20||Astrodome||
|4||1972-10-08||Miami Dolphins||L 27–17||Shea Stadium||
|5||1972-10-15||at New England Patriots||W 41–13||Schaefer Stadium||
|6||1972-10-22||Baltimore Colts||W 24–20||Shea Stadium||
|7||1972-10-29||New England Patriots||W 34–10||Shea Stadium||
|8||1972-11-05||Washington Redskins||L 35–17||Shea Stadium||
|9||1972-11-12||Buffalo Bills||W 41–3||Shea Stadium||
|10||1972-11-19||at Miami Dolphins||L 28–24||Miami Orange Bowl||
|11||1972-11-23||at Detroit Lions||L 37–20||Tiger Stadium||
|12||1972-12-03||New Orleans Saints||W 18–17||Shea Stadium||
|13||1972-12-11||at Oakland Raiders||L 24–16||Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum||
|14||1972-12-17||Cleveland Browns||L 26–10||Shea Stadium||
Week 2: at Baltimore Colts
The rivalry between Joe Namath and Johnny Unitas had never resulted in both quarterbacks meeting for a full game until this meeting. Namath and Unitas exploded to a combined 872 passing yards. Namath threw for 496 yards and six touchdowns despite only 15 completions in 28 attempts. Unitas scored twice but was sacked six times. Don McCauley also scored twice for the Colts as the Jets won 44–34.
|New York Jets||7||7||0||.500||6–2||6–5||367||324||L2|
|New England Patriots||3||11||0||.214||0–8||0–11||192||446||L1|
- "Hartford Gets Grid Franchise", Reading Eagle – May 31, 1972, p58 The Chiefs played an exhibition game against the New York Jets rookies on July 29, 1972, losing 29-3, "Packer Excels at Quarterback As Jets Top L.I. Chiefs, 29-3", New York Times, July 30, 1972, pS-3; "Rookie QB Fires Jets", Pittsburgh Press, July 30, 1972, pD-8