clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

This Week in NY Jets History: The Best Road Comeback You've Never Heard Of

Comebacks have been the theme of the Jets most recent winning streak, so we'll take a look at the biggest road comeback in team history.

Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Lost in the decade of Jets irrelevance that was the 1970s was one of the best seasons by any Jets receivers not named Don Maynard or Brandon Marshall: Wesley Walker in 1978.

In 1978 the 2nd year WR out of Cal set a career-high with 1,169 receiving yards on just 48 catches for an other-worldly 24.4 yards/catch - with legendary Jets QB Matt Robinson throwing him the ball. His mark beat out Steve Largent by one yard to claim the NFL receiving yardage title - making him one of only two players in Jets history to lead the AFL or NFL in yards.

One such game that showcased Walker's big play ability was on November 5, 1978 for the 10th game of the season on the road against the Denver Broncos - and the biggest road comeback in Jets history.

As was common with the Jets in the 1970s, the team was plagued by turnovers. A 4-yard fumble recovery by Broncos defender Bill Thompson and a 28-yard INT-TD by future ESPN commentator Tom Jackson allowed the Broncos to charge to a 28-7 lead early in the second quarter.

But with a little help from the Jets defense and three INTs off Broncos QB Craig Penrose, the dam somehow never broke.

Robinson, along with Jets RBs Scott Dierking and Kevin Long managed to put together enough drives to trim that deficit by 10 points before the end of the first half to cut the deficit to 28-17. With a TD pass from Robinson to Derrick Gaffney and a 38-yard Pat Leahy FG, the Jets were for all intents and purposes back in the game.

In the third quarter, Dierking trimmed the deficit to a mere touchdown with his 3-yard rumble into the endzone - part of an 89-yard performance that led the team - to make the score 28-24 Broncos going into the fourth quarter.

Looking back, Matt Robinson had a fairly terrible game and a stat line to match: 12 of 27 for 216 yards and 2 TDs with two INTs and several fumbles. But the star performer of the day was the aforementioned Wesley Walker.

The young superstar hauled in an incredible 75-yard TD pass from Robinson to give the Jets the 31-28 lead and complete the comeback. The play completed a 4 catch, 133 yard performance for Walker - good for 33.25 yards per catch on the day. Ironically, the game would only be Walker's 5th best yards/catch mark for a game during his All-Pro season.

The 21-point comeback for the Jets is one of only two in team history where the team overcame a deficit greater than 17 points - the other being the 23-point Monday Night Miracle - and is obviously the biggest road comeback in team history.