The Jets were the first team to play on ABC's Monday Night Football in 1970 and will be the last against the Patriots this week.
When Monday Night Football started on Sept. 21, 1970, the Jets lost to Cleveland, 31-21. The Jets will again be part of history as they play the last ever Monday Night Football game on ABC as they host the New England Patriots this Monday. After this season, Monday Night Football will switch to ESPN with NBC having Sunday Night Football.
“Obviously, it’s historic in the fact that ABC won’t carry it anymore, so I guess that’s part of the fun of it,” head coach Herman Edwards said. “Obviously, it’s been a tradition for a long time. Everyone knows about Monday Night Football. When it first got started it was really the thing to be on if you were a player. I can remember when I first came in; you were excited about Monday night. If you got on Monday night television and Howard Cosell was doing it and all those guys, I can remember watching it.”
The Jets were involved in one of the most famous MNF games on Oct. 23, 2000 when they came back from a 30-7 fourth quarter deficit against the Miami Dolphins and won 40-37 in overtime. The game was dubbed, the “Monday Night Miracle.”
The player who orchestrated that comeback was QB Vinny Testaverde. With the Jets at 3-11 and just playing for pride, the big question around Weeb Ewbank Hall is will Testaverde get in one of the two final games. Edwards addressed that today. “He will get to play between now and the end,” Edwards said. “I think it is important for a lot of reasons, in the fact that Vinny has been in this League almost 20 years and everything he has brought to the National Football League he has brought with class. He’s gone through a lot in his career…He’s been around. He’s never moaned and groaned about it. He’s thrown a lot of TDs in this league. He has a lot of yards in this League. His goal was always to try to win the Super Bowl…My first year here, he was the first guy at the door when I arrived to welcome me as the head coach.”
“I’d love to get on the field and play for however long…it would mean a lot to me,” Testaverde said today.
Testaverde was asked if he has talked with Edwards about playing. “I told Herm don’t feel like you owe me anything,” Testaverde said. “It’s been a bonus…I don’t want to take away from Brooks (Bollinger).”
“I owe him that, his career and what he did for us this year coming back,” Edwards said. “The guy was retired and came back to try to help us win. He won a game for us his first time out. That says a lot about him and what eh has done for this organization.”
When the schedule was released before the season, many thought the Jets-Patriots Monday night game might be to decide the AFC East. But the Jets have dealt with many injuries this season and are just 3-11 while the Patriots are 9-5 and have clinched the AFC East. Yesterday, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said he will play his normal starters Monday against the Jets.
“We earned our way there,” Edwards said. “Obviously, we wish we had a better record at this time, but it is still going to be an important game for us as a division game against New England and they are getting in the playoff grove now, so it is still a big game for us and it is always a big game for players on Monday night.”
-The Jets are 16-20 all-time on Monday Night Football and 2-3 under Edwards.
-Ty Law: Pro Bowl Player?
The Pro Bowl selections will be announced tomorrow at 4 p.m. on ESPN. While the Jets probably won’t have many players selected, CB Ty Law has an outside chance as he has fifth in the NFL with six interceptions this season. “He has done a good job,” Edwards said. “He’s picked off some balls and people have stayed away from him. They haven’t gone at him a whole lot. I think he will be considered by some guys.” Edwards said deciding on whether to bring Law back will be one of the big decisions during the off-season.
WR Harry Williams, Jr. (knee), DE Shaun Ellis (hamstring), DT Dewayne Robertson (thigh), LB Mark Brown (neck), and T Scott Gragg (lower back) all remain questionable. Ellis and Robertson did not practice today. RB Derrick Blaylock (foot) is probable and practiced today and should play Monday for the first time since breaking his foot against Tampa Bay on Oct. 9.
-RB Derrick Blaylock (foot)
-WR Harry Williams, Jr. (knee)
-DE Shaun Ellis (hamstring)
-DT Dewayne Robertson (thigh)
-T Scott Gragg (back)
-LB Mark Brown (neck)
The Jets have tomorrow off before returning to practice on Thursday to prepare for New England. Check back to Jets Insider.com for all the latest Jets news.