|1998 New York Jets season|
|Head coach||Bill Parcells|
|Home field||Giants Stadium|
|Division place||1st AFC East|
|Playoff finish||Won Divisional Playoffs (Jaguars) 34–24|
Lost AFC Championship (Broncos) 23–10
|Pro Bowlers||QB Vinny Testaverde|
RB Curtis Martin
WR Keyshawn Johnson
LB Mo Lewis
P Tom Tupa
The 1998 New York Jets season was the 39th season for the team and the 29th in the National Football League. The team improved on its previous season by three games, finishing 12–4 in their second season under head coach Bill Parcells, winning their first division title since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970; the 12–4 record was also the best in Jets history. This success came just two years after the Jets’ 1–15 record in 1996.
The Jets earned a first-round bye, given to the two division winners with the best records, for the first time. They defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Divisional round of the playoffs. Their attempt to reach their first Super Bowl in thirty years was halted by losing in Denver when the 14–2 Broncos scored 23 unanswered points in the second half.
Vinny Testaverde threw for 3,256 yards, 29 touchdowns, and only 7 interceptions in 421 pass attempts (1.7%).
The title game was the Jets’ last title game appearance until 2009, although they returned to the playoffs in 2001, and qualified for the postseason four more times that decade.
In the offseason, the Jets signed New England Patriots running back Curtis Martin to an offer sheet. The Patriots had offered Martin, their star running back, a tender deal that would net them a first-round pick and a third-round pick if a team signed him. Jets coach and general manager Bill Parcells, who had left New England two years prior and still harbored some bad blood with the team, offered Martin a very large contract that the Patriots were unwilling to match, further fueling the rivalry between the teams.
In addition, the Jets parted ways with veteran quarterback Neil O'Donnell after two seasons and signed another veteran, Vinny Testaverde, to serve as backup to Glenn Foley. Testaverde eventually succeeded Foley as the starter and led the Jets to their division title. On defense, New York added former Miami Dolphins linebacker Bryan Cox.
The offseason also saw the first major overhaul of the Jets' uniforms and logos since 1978. The team changed its primary color from kelly green to hunter green, eliminated black which had been added in 1990 as a trim color, and abandoned the solid green helmets with the modern “JETS” wordmark in favor of white helmets with two green parallel stripes down the center, as worn from 1965-77, but with a green facemask. The new primary/helmet logo resembles the 1965-77 version but is oval rather than football-shaped and has a somewhat “cleaner” appearance, with starker lines defining the word “JETS” in thick sans-serif italics in front of the ���NY” in serif outline lettering, and the miniature football at bottom center. This logo was also added to the jersey front, by the player’s left shoulder. The jerseys and pants also resemble the 1963-77 uniforms, with alternating shoulder stripes, opposite-colored sleeves and TV numerals, and two green parallel stripes from hip to knee on each side.
|2||56||Dorian Boose||Defensive End||Washington State|
|3||67||Scott Frost||Defensive Back||Nebraska|
|3||87||Kevin Williams||Free Safety||Oklahoma State|
|4||111||Jason Fabini||Offensive Tackle||Cincinnati|
|5||146||Blake Spence||Tight End||Oregon|
|6||163||Eric Ogbogu||Defensive End||Maryland|
|6||174||Chris Brazzell||Wide Receiver||Angelo State|
|6||183||Dustin Johnson||Running Back||BYU|
|7||195||Lawrence Hart||Tight End||Southern|
|New York Jets 1998 final roster|
Rookies in italics
|1||September 6, 1998||at San Francisco 49ers||L 36–30 (OT)||3Com Park||Game decided in overtime on Garrison Hearst's 96-yard touchdown run|
|2||September 13, 1998||Baltimore Ravens||L 24–10||Giants Stadium||Glenn Foley threw three interceptions|
|3||September 20, 1998||Indianapolis Colts||W 44–6||Giants Stadium||Vinny Testaverde replaced Foley and threw four touchdowns|
|5||October 4, 1998||Miami Dolphins||W 20–9||Giants Stadium||Jets intercepted Dan Marino twice|
|6||October 11, 1998||at St. Louis Rams||L 30–10||Trans World Dome||Foley started but benched for Testaverde|
|7||October 19, 1998||at New England Patriots||W 24–14||Foxboro Stadium||Former Patriot Curtis Martin rushed for 107 yards|
|8||October 25, 1998||Atlanta Falcons||W 28–3||Giants Stadium||Falcons played backup quarterbacks Tony Graziani and Steve DeBerg; Jets intercepted passes from both|
|9||November 1, 1998||at Kansas City Chiefs||W 20–17||Arrowhead Stadium||Jets erased 17–10 gap in fourth quarter|
|10||November 8, 1998||Buffalo Bills||W 34–12||Giants Stadium||Bills quarterback Doug Flutie intercepted twice|
|11||November 15, 1998||at Indianapolis Colts||L 24–23||RCA Dome||Last loss of the regular season|
|12||November 22, 1998||at Tennessee Oilers||W 24–3||Vanderbilt Stadium||Steve McNair limited to 163 yards total offense|
|13||November 29, 1998||Carolina Panthers||W 48–21||Giants Stadium||Keyshawn Johnson ran in a 35-yard score|
|14||December 6, 1998||Seattle Seahawks||W 32–31||Giants Stadium||Phil Luckett criticized for a late Testaverde rushing touchdown where replays showed him down short of the goal. Announcers on CBS were Kevin Harlan and Sam Wyche.|
|15||December 13, 1998||at Miami Dolphins||W 21–16||Pro Player Stadium||Dan Marino sacked five times|
|16||December 19, 1998||at Buffalo Bills||W 17–10||Rich Stadium||Jets complete first season sweep of Bills since 1994|
|17||December 27, 1998||New England Patriots||W 31–10||Giants Stadium||Jets win AFC East for first time|
|(2) New York Jets||12||4||0||.750||416||266||W6|
|(4) Miami Dolphins||10||6||0||.625||321||265||L1|
|(5) Buffalo Bills||10||6||0||.625||400||333||W1|
|(6) New England Patriots||9||7||0||.563||337||329||L1|
Playoff Game Summaries
AFC Divisional Playoffs vs Jacksonville Jaguars
- Date: January 10, 1999
- Game time: 12:40 p.m. PDT
- Game weather: 28 °F (−2.2 °C) relative humidity 53%, wind 17 miles per hour (27 km/h; 15 kn), wind chill 16 °F (−8.9 °C)
AFC Championship Game vs Denver Broncos
The Jets turn the ball over six times and are shutout in the 2nd half. A valiant effort by the Jets, but the turnovers proved to be too much to overcome.
- The 1997 Packers are the other