1979 New York Jets season

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1979 New York Jets season
Head coachWalt Michaels
OwnerLeon Hess
Home fieldShea Stadium
Division place3rd AFC East
Playoff finishdid not qualify
Pro BowlersT Marvin Powell

The 1979 New York Jets season was the 20th season for the franchise and its tenth in the National Football League. It began with the team trying to improve upon its 8–8 record from 1978 under head coach Walt Michaels. The Jets again finished the season with a record of 8–8.

Matt Robinson started the season at quarterback, but got hurt and Richard Todd took the bulk of the duties at Quarterback as the Jets played .500 football posting an 8–8 record for the second straight season, finishing in third place. With the 1979 season, the Jets became one of only three non-expansion teams[1] to not make the playoffs in the 1970s (the others being the New York Giants and New Orleans Saints).



1979 New York Jets draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 14 Marty Lyons  DT Alabama
2 41 Mark Gastineau *  DE East Central Oklahoma State
3 68 Donald Dykes  CB Southeastern Louisiana
4 96 Eric Cunningham  T Penn State
4 98 Johnnie Lynn  CB UCLA
      Made roster    †   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career


1979 New York Jets final roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists
  • Currently vacant

Practice squad

  • Currently vacant

Rookies in italics
45 Active, 0 Inactive, 0 Practice squad

Regular season[edit]


Week Date Opponent Result Game site Attendance
1 1979-09-02 Cleveland Browns L 25–22 (OT) Shea Stadium
2 1979-09-09 at New England Patriots L 56–3 Schaefer Stadium
3 1979-09-16 Detroit Lions W 31–10 Shea Stadium
4 1979-09-23 at Buffalo Bills L 46–31 Rich Stadium
5 1979-09-30 Miami Dolphins W 33–27 Shea Stadium
6 1979-10-07 at Baltimore Colts L 10–8 Memorial Stadium
7 1979-10-15 Minnesota Vikings W 14–7 Shea Stadium
8 1979-10-21 Oakland Raiders W 28–19 Shea Stadium
9 1979-10-28 at Houston Oilers L 27–24 (OT) Astrodome
10 1979-11-04 at Green Bay Packers W 27–22 Lambeau Field
11 1979-11-11 Buffalo Bills L 14–12 Shea Stadium
12 1979-11-18 at Chicago Bears L 23–13 Soldier Field
13 1979-11-26 at Seattle Seahawks L 30–7 Kingdome
14 1979-12-02 Baltimore Colts W 30–17 Shea Stadium
15 1979-12-09 New England Patriots W 27–26 Shea Stadium
16 1979-12-15 at Miami Dolphins W 27–24 Miami Orange Bowl


AFC East
Miami Dolphins(3) 10 6 0 .625 5–3 6–6 341 257 L1
New England Patriots 9 7 0 .563 4–4 6–6 411 326 W1
New York Jets 8 8 0 .500 4–4 5–7 337 383 W3
Buffalo Bills 7 9 0 .438 4–4 5–7 268 279 L3
Baltimore Colts 5 11 0 .313 3–5 4–10 271 351 W1

Week 1: vs. Cleveland Browns[edit]

Matt Robinson was named starting quarterback for the Jets against the Cleveland Browns but hid a thumb injury on his throwing hand from three days before the game, until swelling forced him to acknowledge the injury to an angered Walt Michaels and team president Jim Kensil. The injury was treated and Robinson had the tape taken off late in the game with the Jets leading, but a Brian Sipe drive aided by a roughing the passer call against Mark Gastineau led to a game-tying Don Cockroft field goal; forced to play in overtime, Robinson's thumb swelled again and the result was a sloppy pass that was intercepted and led to the game-winning Cockroft field goal. Michaels seethed, "You work, you plan all week, and then the kid hides an injury from you." He refused to play Robinson the rest of the season.[2]

Week 2: at New England Patriots[edit]

The Jets were crushed 56–3 in a game where Steve Grogan of the Patriots set a club touchdown record that would stand until Tom Brady broke it in 2007.

Week 7: vs. Minnesota Vikings[edit]

The Jets beat the Minnesota Vikings 14-7 in the first Monday Night Football game broadcast from the New York City area.

Week 13: at Seattle Seahawks[edit]

Seahawks cornerback Cornell Webster blocked a punt by the Jets' Chuck Ramsey, leading to a Seattle score in a 30–7 Seahawks win. Following the game Michaels called out Ramsey in front of Jets players by snarling, "I can fart farther than you can kick!" [3]


  1. ^ The Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers started play in 1976.
  2. ^ Eskenazi, Gerald (1998). GANG GREEN: An Irreverent Look Behind The Scenes At Thirty-Eight (Well, Thirty-Seven) Seasons Of New York Jets Football Futility (New York: Simon & Schuster), pp. 146–50 ISBN 0-684-84115-0
  3. ^ Eskenazi, GANG GREEN, pp. 155–6

External links[edit]