In-Depth Analysis: Special Teams (Week 8 - Atlanta)

Special teams were a disaster this week and arguably cost the Jets the game. Let's review the carnage:

Kicking game - Catman doo-doo

Having enjoyed some recent success, Chandler Catanzaro missed two field goals in a game the Jets lost by five points. The damage didn't end there though, as the Falcons exploited the field position after each miss to drive for a touchdown. Had he made the kicks, they'd have increased the Jets lead to 10-0 in the first and 20-16 in the fourth. Unsurprisingly, he blamed himself for the loss.

Lachlan Edwards had a much better day, although he did put one punt into the end zone from near midfield and he also had one returned for a negated touchdown on which he missed the tackle. Edwards' best punt was downed at the one and two others pinned the Falcons inside the 10.

When the Falcons were kicking, Bruce Carter and Chad Hansen each got close to applying pressure.

Return game - Wrong Jeremy

Jeremy Kerley lost a horrible muff at about his 10-yard line with the Jets about to take over down by two and with seven minutes left:


While the Jets managed to hold the Falcons to a field goal and therefore still could have won with a touchdown, this really hurt their chances of winning by knocking another two minutes off the clock in addition to forcing them to try and get a touchdown rather than just needing to get into field goal range.

Kerley struggled with the conditions all day. He misjudged another punt which bounced out at the three yard line and ran into his own man while tracking another. Darryl Roberts had a bad missed block too, which didn't help.

With ArDarius Stewart inactive, another rookie Elijah McGuire took over on kickoffs. He actually got past the 25 a couple of times and took a knee at the right moments. On a small sample size, this looks like an upgrade.

Kick coverage - Laud Nelson

Rontez Miles added another two special teams tackles to move into third place in the NFL with seven solo tackles despite the games he missed earlier in the year. However, he was one of several players to overpursue on the punt return touchdown which was called back.

Newcomer Robert Nelson drew a crucial block in the back penalty to overturn that score. He also downed a punt at the one-yard line.

Josh Martin, Eric Tomlinson and Juston Burris all also overpursued on that play, before Miles and Edwards missed tackles.

On a similar play earlier, Burris drew a flag, pinning the Falcons inside their own 10-yard line. He was lucky to get that call because both he and Terrence Brooks missed a tackle on the return. However, it was the most blatant hold you could ever wish to see.

Brooks blew up a punt return nicely at the six-yard line.