American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, the team with possession of the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with the ball or passing it, while the defense, the team without possession of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs or plays; if they fail, they turn over the football to the defense, but if they succeed, they are given a new set of four downs to continue the drive. Points are scored primarily by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.
American football evolved in the United States, originating from the sports of soccer and rugby. The first American football match was played on November 6, 1869, between two college teams, Rutgers and Princeton, using rules based on the rules of soccer at the time. A set of rule changes drawn up from 1880 onward by Walter Camp, the "Father of American Football", established the snap, the line of scrimmage, eleven-player teams, and the concept of downs. Later rule changes legalized the forward pass, created the neutral zone and specified the size and shape of the football. The sport is closely related to Canadian football, which evolved in parallel with and at the same time as the American game (although their rules were developed independently from that of Camp's). Most of the features that distinguish American football from rugby and soccer are also present in Canadian football. The two sports are considered the primary variants of gridiron football.
In the following years, New York had limited success, enduring a string of disastrous seasons. In 1997, the Jets hired two-time Super Bowl winning coach Bill Parcells. The new coach guided the team to its most successful season since the merger: in 1998, the Jets finished with twelve wins and four losses, reaching the AFC Championship Game. The team made five playoff appearances in the 2000s, their most of any decade. In 2009 and 2010, under coach Rex Ryan, the Jets achieved back-to-back appearances in the AFC Championship Game, losing to the Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Johnson has a rare combination of size, hands, speed, strength, leaping ability, body control and hand-eye coordination. His nickname "Megatron" was given to him by former Lions wide receiver Roy Williams and the name caught on with fans.
On December 22, 2012, Johnson broke Jerry Rice's single-season record for receiving yards, which had previously been 1,848. In that same Saturday night game versus the Atlanta Falcons, Johnson also set the NFL records for consecutive 100-yard games (8) and consecutive games with 10 or more receptions (4). He also tied Hall of FamerMichael Irvin's record for most 100-yard games in a season with 11.