Jets at Patriots: Special Teams Review

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

Let's review the key contributions...

Kicking game - Ficken it with the homies

In a game where it's tough to find many silver linings, at least Sam Ficken made both his extra points, the first time the Jets had made an extra point all season. They also went 3-for-7 in the preseason.

Otherwise, the Jets got into field goal range just once, as they progressed to New England's 35 before a penalty and sack knocked them back out of range.

Ficken's only two kickoffs were both touchbacks.

Punter Lac Edwards punted 10 times for the first time in his career, also racking up the most yards he ever has in any game. His numbers were okay but once again he had one of his worst kicks when punting from deep inside Jets territory, giving New England great field position for their second touchdown drive.

Of course, one of his punts ended up in a Jets' touchdown as Arthur Maulet got down to fall on the muff. "Fun" fact: Prior to that touchdown over a period spanning almost exactly eight quarters, the Jets had been outscored 70-3.

Return game - Berrios where we lay

The Jets had just five return yards last week but, this week, they had zero. Every kickoff was a touchback and every punt was either a fair catch or downed.

At this stage you may be thinking "See - I told you they should have kept Andre Roberts" but actually he wouldn't have had much choice but to fair catch all of these too (and hasn't even played this year so far anyway).

On kickoffs, the only notable thing was that Trenton Cannon, who has been dealing with an ankle issue, was removed from the line-up early in the game and replaced by Braxton Berrios. The Jets also had Ty Montgomery back there, even when Cannon was in the game.

More of a concern was the blocking on the punt return unit. Perhaps the most overmatched player on the field was Nate Hairston. His man, usually Matthew Slater, blew by him five times, four to force Berrios to take a fair catch and one to down the ball at the goal line.

Furthermore, Hairston seemed disinterested, literally just walking off the field as soon as he was beaten on a few of those plays. Maybe he's just been coached to do that, but it seemed odd. What if Berrios had muffed one of them?

On the only punt where Hairston didn't get torched, Maulet did, although the punt bounced into the end zone before it could be downed.

Kick coverage - Albert's haul

The Jets' punt coverage unit got plenty of work, highlighted by Maulet's touchdown. On the play, Maulet was the first man down against single-coverage. He was filling in at gunner for Cannon.

The Patriots mixed up whether they doubled or single-covered the gunners and they were able to return eight of Edwards' 10 punts for 44 yards.

Albert McClellan was a standout cleaning up on the second wave as he made the tackle on four of those eight returns. Josh Bellamy blew up one return for no gain with a nice hit and Thomas Hennessy continues his good work in coverage as he had one credited tackle and was in on one other.

Frankie Luvu was credited with two special teams tackles, including one on a big hit that came as Maulet split a double team and got downfield first to get in on the stop. Ryan Griffin also had a tackle cleaning up a play where Maulet tripped the return man to slow him up.

Harvey Langi did a good job of getting downfield on a few plays, although he missed a tackle on one and overpursued on another. Bellamy, Hennessy and Daniel Brown all also missed tackles.

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.