Jets "at" Giants: In-depth analysis - Special Teams

We've been breaking down the first preseason game. Earlier, we broke down the offense and defense. Now we wrap up with a look at the special teams.

Let's review the key contributions...

Kicking game - A man of constant 'zaro

Kicker Chandler Catanzaro has been struggling throughout camp and that continued yesterday as he missed two extra points. In Catanzaro's defense, Lachlan Edwards botched the hold because he didn't get the laces turned towards the goalposts on the second of those:


On the first one, they got moved back five yards due to a delay of game, which didn't help. Catanzaro had three touchbacks on five kickoffs but that's not going to be enough to keep him in the job if he keeps missing field goals or extra points.

Edwards did a great job with his punting, landing two inside the 20 and getting the return man backpedaling on a 67-yarder that led to a muffed catch.

He needed to be good too, because the other punter Matt Darr also looked good, landing both of his punts inside the 15 with no return. Had Edwards struggled, this perhaps could have put him under some pressure.

Return game - Dortchland Uber Alles

Trenton Cannon seems to be the team's initial choice to take the kick returner role. His first return got stuffed at the 16 as Rontez Miles badly missed his block. Cannon showed some good burst to take the next one out past the 35, but Eric Tomlinson and Ryan Griffin were both penalized for illegal blocks, so the Cannon experiment means a work in progress.

Deonte Thompson was also back to return but the kicker put the ball into the end zone for a touchback each time.

On punt returns, Greg Dortch made an impact with three good returns, although one was called back for a hold on Brian Poole. The best of the three was a 32-yard return into Giants territory. Tim White didn't get a chance to return any.

Rookie Blake Cashman showed some potential as a blocker as you can see in the top left corner of the screen on this play:


Kick coverage - An un-Cann-y ability

Cannon continues to be the team's most impressive gunner in punt coverage, in addition to his kick return role and also contributing well as a vice on the punt return unit. Cannon is consistently the first player down the field, even when doubled. He got downfield to blow up one return and slowed up the runner even though he slipped on another, with Doug Middleton able to clean up.

Of the three gunners that are probably battling for two spots, Cannon has been the most impressive. Charone Peake got downfield well on one punt but missed the tackle, while Josh Bellamy did a good job of getting around behind the return man so he could down the punt near the goal line if he opted to let it bounce on another play. Bellamy surely has to have the edge here due to being higher up on the offensive depth chart.

The Jets had one negative play in kick coverage, as they allowed a 40-yard return. Neville Hewitt and Frankie Luvu got blocked off from making the play and Parry Nickerson just about got enough of the return man to trip him in space.

Luvu was also credited with a special teams tackle and Dee Delaney was in on two. He could be one to watch over the next few games with the Jets' cornerback depth being shaky enough that consistency on special teams could be sufficient to earn a roster spot.

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