In-depth analysis: Falcons at Jets (Special teams)

The special teams unit didn't ultimately make a major impact for either team, but two plays in particular could have turned the game around.

Let's review the key contributions...

Return game - Trenton Cannot

Rookie running back TRENTON CANNON didn't look comfortable at all fielding punts as he had two horrific muffs. Somehow he defied the odds to recover each of them himself but there's no way the team can afford to trust him in the role in a real game.

Even on the one punt he managed to return 10 yards, Cannon slipped after eluding the first tackler. He looked sharp on his burst out to the 27 on the opening kickoff behind an ERIC TOMLINSON block, but he got absolutely nailed at the end of the play and didn't get another chance due to the shutout.

ANDRE ROBERTS also had a chance to field a punt, which he returned 10 yards. The Jets could feel comfortable with Cannon as the kickoff returner, but they're probably going to have to keep Roberts on someone else to field punts, which could cause a roster squeeze elsewhere.

DERRICK JONES and TERRELL SINKFIELD opened up as the starting vices, although both got burned on a couple of occasions.

Kicking - Hey, Bert!

CAIRO SANTOS was rested, giving TAYLOR BERTOLET a chance to shine. His two extra point kicks and one field goal (a 45-yarder) were all boomed right down the middle and his kick-offs were either into the end zone or had good hang time as the Falcons averaged just 21 yards per return.

If Santos remains out for any extended amount of time (and he did have some injury issues last year), the Jets might look to add someone with experience over just handing the job to Bertolet. However, if he is going to convince the team they can trust him, yesterday was about as good of a start as he could have hoped for.

The Jets did have an illegal formation penalty on one kickoff which they may need to tighten up with the new rules placing specific restrictions on where players can line up at the kick.

Punting - A roster Lach

There's no such drama at the punter position where LACHLAN EDWARDS has no competition on the roster. He was pretty solid last night, averaging 42 yards per punt and only allowing 12 return yards on six punts.

Edwards landed three punts inside the 20, including a 39-yarder that was his shortest of the day. That's a sign of his consistency. THOMAS HENNESSY was flawless with his long snapping and the protection held up fine.

Kick coverage - Total Eclipse of the Mart

In kick coverage, JOSH MARTIN did an impressive job of consistently getting downfield, as usual. He was in on a couple of special teams tackles, combining with LAWRENCE THOMAS on one of them, and also forced a fair catch by beating his man downfield on a punt.

Others that were impressively active included NEVILLE HEWITT who blew up one return and JJ WILCOX, who got downfield well as a gunner although he overpursued a couple of times. Jones was the other gunner and had a missed tackle in that role.

Others recording special teams tackles included GEORGE ATKINSON II, TERRENCE BROOKS and BUSTER SKRINE, although Skrine injured himself on the play. DYLAN DONAHUE and RASHARD ROBINSON also combined well with OBUM GWACHAM to blow up this punt return:


Others contributing included ANTHONY WINT who got downfield well on one punt, DARRON LEE, who drew a penalty flag and BRANDON COPELAND who got down the field well but overpursued.

That's it for the first preseason game. If you'd like us to cover anything in more detail during the week, please let us know.