Jets at Colts: Special Teams Review

We've been breaking down this week's game against Indianapolis. We wrap up today's analysis with a look at the special teams.

Let's review the key contributions...

Kicking game - Mann Down

Punter Braden Mann has been a disappointment so far. Although he's not made any bad mistakes, he's underwhelmed in his rookie year. On Sunday, none of his five punts (nor his one free kick) went further than 45 yards and two of them were returned for 12 and 14 yards, although a hold negated one of those.

This was particularly apparent given how Colts punter Rigobert Sanchez pinned the Jets inside the 10 three times.

The Colts missed one field goal, with Nate Hairston getting pressure off the edge and Frankie Luvu got close to blocking a punt on a good rush.

Don't look now but Sam Ficken remains perfect on the season, though. Who wants to bet that he'll miss one as soon as the Jets get into a close game, though? If they ever do, that is...

Return game - Better Off Malone?

The return game didn't contribute much this week, although Josh Malone had a 40-yard kick-off return behind excellent blocks from Trevon Wesco and Chris Herndon.

Somehow, though, even though he's had two 40-yard returns in three games, Malone is only averaging 20.0 yards per return. Two of his returns on Sunday went for less than 10 yards with poor blocking from Herndon, Daniel Brown and Chris Hogan.

One of the most confounding things about these first three games is that the Jets have zero punt return yards. Last year, Braxton Berrios was seventh in the NFL in punt return yards but now, he isn't even getting a chance to return them. Hogan - who has never been a productive punt returner - was back in that role again and just took four fair catches, including three inside the 10.

While Berrios is perhaps becoming more indispensable as an offensive player right now, Hogan is a starter too, so this doesn't make much sense. Not that even an elite return man could've done much so far because opposing gunners are routinely beating the Jets' vices, especially Nate Hairston down the field. Hairston also had a holding penalty.

On the whole, this just feels like yet another area where the Jets are not even trying right now.

Kick coverage - Nate the way you make me feel

The kick coverage units didn't get to do much in the return game as both of Ficken's kickoffs were touchbacks. Neville Hewitt, Ryan Griffin and Hairston were credited with special teams tackles on punts and Matthias Farley combined with Luvu to make a stop on a free kick.

One punt was returned for an easy 14 yards as each of the gunners were completely held up by a double-team and although Hairston did end up making the tackle on a good hit down the field, he and Kalen Ballage got nowhere near the return man. Fortunately, Luvu drew a hold on the play.

That was also the case on an earlier punt, although Tarell Basham did well to get downfield up the middle and force the return man wide so Griffin was able to trip him with Hewitt finishing him off.

They did a better job as a unit rallying to limit the return on the free kick, although Brown missed the initial tackle.

Luvu and Griffin are currently leading the Jets in special teams tackles with three each, but on the whole it feels like every unit is underperforming, much like the rest of the team.