The New York Jets started their time in professional football as a charter member of the American Football League in 1960. They were actually christened the New York Titans and didn’t change the team name to Jets until a couple of years later. They have had a fascinating history that has included big wins, great players, and awesome moments. Here is a look back at their first game ever.
It was September 11, 1960 and they were hosting the Buffalo Bills at the old Polo Grounds.
The Bills got on the board first with a 35 yard field goal by Darrell Harper and the first quarter ended with the Titans down by the score of 3-0. The second quarter started with the Titans answering back with a 15 yard field goal of their own by Bill Shockley and tying it up at three points apiece. Quarterback Al Dorow scored minutes later on a two yard run. Dorow added another touchdown, this time on a 15 yard run, before the quarter ended and the Titans went into the lockerroom with a 17-3 lead.
The second half started out slow and by the end of the third quarter the Titans had upped their lead to 20-3, thanks to a 39 yard field goal by Shockley. Backup quarterback Dick Jamieson threw a touchdown pass to Art Powell from 13 yards out in the fourth quarter and that would prove to be the last score of the game. It was all over and the New York Titans had won their first game ever by the score of 27-3.
From a statistical standpoint, the only impressive numbers on the day were put up by Titans’ receiver Don Maynard who caught four passes for 116 yards. Including Dorow, seven Titans players had carried the ball that day and the Bill equaled that by having seven different players of their own rush the ball. The Bills quarterbacks that day, Bob Brodhead and Tommy O’Connell, completed just 5 of 23 passes that day for a total of 52 yards. They still spread it around though as all five passes were caught by five different receivers. On the bad end of the spectrum for the Bills, Joe Kulbacki carried the ball four times for negative six yards and Wray Carlton caught one pass for negative eleven yards. It wasn’t a pretty day at all for the Buffalo Bills, but for the New York Titans they had their first win in franchise history under their belts.