Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Kick That Shaped Two Franchises

On the unseasonably warm penultimate day of 2007 in New York, two of the worst NFL teams would do battle - if you can call it that - as the 3-12 Jets took on the 4-11 Chiefs. 

The playoffs were obviously a distant thought for either franchise. One would only need to look at the starting quarterbacks that day to see neither team was trying to win this game: Kellen Clemens against Brodie Croyle, NEXT on CBS!

The only thing at stake was draft position.

With a win, the Chiefs would pick 6th. With a loss or tie, they would pick fifth.

With a win, the Jets would pick 6th. With a loss or tie, they would pick third.

It doesn't happen often, but the object of the game was to lose! There was absolutely nothing to be gained by winning.

Through four quarters, the teams remained tied at 10. To the dismay of everyone in attendance, that meant overtime.

The Jets would take the opening kickoff of the extra frame down the field to the Chiefs' 15. Out trotted kicker Mike Nugent to attempt a 33-yard field.

With all of Jets Nation rooting for a miss, Nugent drills a kick through the uprights... but wait.

Flag on the field! There is hope!

Wade Smith had committed a holding infraction, giving Nugent another opportunity to MISS. THIS. KICK.

Forty-five seconds later, Nugent lines up to attempt a 43-yarder and... of course he makes this one too, giving the Jets the 6th pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.

Nugent wears his enemy number on his chest
With the third pick of that draft - yes, the exact pick the Jets would have owned if this kick was missed - the Atlanta Falcons selected QB Matt Ryan who turned around the franchise after the Michael Vick debacle. He has established himself as a legitimate starting quarterback, MVP candidate, and face of the city.

Three picks later, the Jets selected five time Pro Bowler Vernon Gholston and haven't looked back since epic bust Vernon Gholston. They then traded for Brett Favre to patch a gaping hole at the quarterback position before selecting Mark Sanchez with their first round pick in 2009.

Long story short, Ryan - not Mark Sanchez - would be leading the Jets right now, and as Jets fans we would have some semblance of hope.

Not to be thanks to the kick that shaped two franchises.


  1. Nice story! Do you think we can assume the Jets would have been smart enough to pick Ryan?

  2. Great point. Gotta think if they traded up for Sanchez the very next season that they would have grabbed Ryan.

    Makes the story better...and me more bitter.