We've been breaking down the season opener against the Bills. We wrap up today's analysis with a look at the special teams.
Let's review the key contributions...
Kicking game - Ved Man Walking
Kicker Kaare Vedvik made headlines this week by missing both his kicks, which obviously proved costly in a one-point loss. However, he was not entirely to blame because - as pointed out on the broadcast - the snap and hold wasn't clean on the missed field goal. In addition, there was a little pressure allowed by Bronson Kaufusi on the missed extra point which may have caused him to rush that kick too:
Perhaps more concerning than the missed kicks during the game are the reports that he missed over and over again in warm-ups. To do that and then miss your only two kicks does not bode well and he'll obviously be released tomorrow unless everyone they bring in for a workout stubs their toe on the way into the building or something.
To his credit, Vedvik did at least manage a touchback on each of his three kickoffs.
This probably should have been addressed early on in camp. Chandler Catanzaro was missing two or three field goals a day in practice. A few years ago, when Catanzaro beat out Ross Martin, the competition was much stronger with Martin outkicking the Catman most days and often making six out of six, or at least five. This year, they didn't even have a competition.
Martin wasn't signed because of concern over his leg on kickoffs, but the Jets have a decent coverage unit that might be able to make some plays before the ball gets to the 20 and will probably draw some penalties to back the ball up even further. Kickoffs are important, but your priorities are outta whack if your kicker can't score any points.
Aside from bobbling that one Thomas Hennessy snap, which was accurate enough but fluttered instead of being a spiral, Lachlan Edwards did a very good job as the punter, although the broadcast crew saying he deserved a gameball was a bit much.
Edwards put five of seven punts inside the 20, including two inside the five-yard line, but could have been a little more accurate on a few of them. He ended up with a 42 yards per punt net average.
Return game - Berrios me where I stand
Braxton Berrios made the first man miss on a 10-yard return on his only opportunity with Kaufusi making a good block but Daniel Brown failing to find anyone to put a hat on. That came on the free kick after the Jets safety.
On each of the Bills punts, Berrios looked a little uncertain in traffic and cleared out to let it bounce. Two of those turned out to be a shrewd play as the ball went into the end zone but another was downed at the five.
Trenton Cannon didn't get a chance on kickoffs, as every kick was a touchback. Hopefully both he and Berrios get more opportunities in the weeks to come. (Unless Cannon's lack of opportunities is a product of the other team not scoring much, of course).
Kick coverage - Dual Cannons
It's tough to draw too many positives from a game like yesterday's but the Jets' gunners were absolutely outstanding. Cannon and Josh Bellamy consistently beat the vices downfield and worked perfectly in tandem with the first guy going behind the return man to guard against the ball going into the end zone and the other coming up to force the fair catch.
They combined in this fashion four times with Cannon downing one punt at the two yard line and a series of fair catches being forced, including one at the five.
The Bills returned just one punt with Cannon again getting down there first and probably unlucky not to draw a block in the back penalty. Harvey Langi missed the initial tackle but Rontez Miles and Neville Hewitt combined to clean up behind him.
That's it for today's analysis. Don't forget to leave your suggestions for which players to look at in more detail in this week's 3-on-D and 3-on-O.