|1972 New York Jets season|
|Head coach||Weeb Ewbank|
|Home field||Shea Stadium|
|Division place||2nd AFC East|
|Playoff finish||did not qualify|
|Pro Bowlers||T Winston Hill|
WR Jerome Barkum
QB Joe Namath
The 1972 New York Jets season was the 13th season for the team and the third in the National Football League. It began with the team trying to improve upon its 6-8 record from 1971 under legendary head coach Weeb Ewbank. The Jets star quarterback Joe Namath was healthy for a full season for the first time in three years but the rest of the squad was decimated by injuries and, after a strong start, the Jets finished with a record of 7-7.
The 1972 Jets have the distinction of being the last NFL team to play a team from another league. During the 1972 preseason, a squad composed of the Jets' rookies defeated the Long Island Chiefs of the Seaboard Football League 29-3.
Namath threw for 496 yards and six touchdowns (on just 15 of 28 passes) in a 44-34 victory over the Baltimore Colts in Broadway Joe's first appearance at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium in week two, but the next week, the Jets were humbled 26-20 by the Houston Oilers, the Oilers' only victory of 1972 and their last before embarking on an 18-game losing streak.
They Jets were eliminated from playoff contention in the season's thirteenth week, a Monday Night Game with the Raiders in which a battered and bruised Namath threw for 403 yards and nearly pulled off the upset. After the game Raiders coach John Madden went into the Jets locker room and shook Namath's hand out of respect; it was the only time in his coaching career Madden ever did that. Eliminated from postseason play, the Jets' coaches decided Namath would sit out the final game of the season to make sure no serious injuries were incurred prior to the 1973 season.
|1||September 17, 1972||at Buffalo Bills||W 41-24||War Memorial Stadium|
|2||September 24, 1972||at Baltimore Colts||W 44-34||Memorial Stadium|
|3||October 1, 1972||at Houston Oilers||L 26-20||Astrodome|
|4||October 8, 1972||Miami Dolphins||L 27-17||Shea Stadium|
|5||October 15, 1972||at New England Patriots||W 41-13||Schaefer Stadium|
|6||October 22, 1972||Baltimore Colts||W 24-20||Shea Stadium|
|7||October 29, 1972||New England Patriots||W 34-10||Shea Stadium|
|8||November 5, 1972||Washington Redskins||L 35-17||Shea Stadium|
|9||November, 12 1972||Buffalo Bills||W 41-3||Shea Stadium|
|10||November 19, 1972||at Miami Dolphins||L 28-24||Miami Orange Bowl|
|11||November 23, 1972||at Detroit Lions||L 37-20||Tiger Stadium|
|12||December 3, 1972||New Orleans Saints||W 18-17||Shea Stadium|
|13||December 11, 1972||at Oakland Raiders||L 24-16||Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum|
|14||December 17, 1972||Cleveland Browns||L 26-10||Shea Stadium|
The rivalry between Joe Namath and Johnny Unitas had never resulted in both quarterbacks meeting for a full game until this meeting. Namath and Unitas exploded to a combined 872 passing yards. Namath threw for 496 yards and six touchdowns despite only 15 completions in 28 attempts. Unitas scored twice but was sacked six times. Don McCauley also scored twice for the Colts as the Jets won 44-34.
|New York Jets||7||7||0||.500||6-2||6-5||367||324||L2|
|New England Patriots||3||11||0||.214||0-8||0-11||192||446||L1|