Some milestones are lit up big as billboards on the interstate. Others whiz by with hardly any notice. But that doesn't make that latter class of milestones any less significant.
The Jets hit one of those feelgood franchise markers on Sunday in their 28-24 success over the Bills. The win was the 200th home triumph in franchise history.
"It's a cool fact," said defensive tackle Sione Pouha. "It's kind of cool to know I was there for 199, 198, 197 ... It's nice to know you can put a couple of more scratch marks next to those."
"Two hundred wins," tight end Dustin Keller savored the distinction. "Obviously there are a lot of teams that have passed that milestone, but just to be here and to get to say you were here and you were a part of that, it's huge."
It's also huge for Rex Ryan, who not only has been the head coach for the last 14 of those home "W's" but also was around for some of the victories in the 30s back in the late Sixties and early Seventies when he and twin brother Rob were around the team as kids and their father, Buddy, was an assistant coach under Weeb Ewbank.
"I wasn't aware of it. That's impressive," Ryan told newyorkjets.com today. "I'm proud I was a coach here for that. Hopefully, we'll be around to provide a lot more wins at home, but it really is an honor to have coached in such a significant game, and against a division foe as well."
As Keller said, it's not something other teams haven't previously achieved, even a few teams that began life after the New York Titans' birth in 1960. Other teams have had much more celebrated homefield advantages than the Titans/Jets, who, after all, are averaging just 3.8 home wins a season in their 52 years of existence and are slightly above .500 all-time in regular-season and postseason games at home at 200-193-5.
Yet it's important from a historical perspective, and it's important as an indicator of the improvement of the Jets at home in particular since they moved a few hundred yards from their previous living room in the old Meadowlands Stadium venue to their shiny new place, MetLife Stadium.
"We're playing in our stadium and the fans are a huge part of it," Ryan said. "Look at it — we're 5-1 at home. That was something we had talked about going into the season was really improving at home, and we have.
"Now we have to obviously improve on the road but still play great at home. Realistically, we've got two more tough games at home but we expect to win both of them. We're so comfortable at home, we get the fans behind us, and I think that's a big reason we've had the success at home that we've had."
Indeed, "Bring It Home" was an offseason and preseason slogan of the Jets as they attempted to parlay a glittering home record into an AFC East title and a home playoff game. The two losses to the Patriots have made it unlikely the Jets can snag some January home games this season, but on the other hand the Jets are 5-1 at home, striving to beat the Chiefs and Giants for only the third 7-1 home record in their history. And two more home wins would be pivotal in determining if the Jets make this year's playoff grid and where they would end up going.
Below are the Jets' records in all four of their home venues over the years. The records include all home playoff games. The Polo Grounds years include the Titans' three seasons and the franchise's first season as the Jets in 1963. The Meadowlands Stadium mark includes the 1977 opener. PF and PA are the average points per game for the Jets and by their opponents.