Special Teams Review: Bills-Jets

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

Let's review the key contributions...

Kicking game - Shanks for nothing!

We've already broken down Braden Mann's record-setting performance in this morning's nuggets article.

Mann had six punts of over 50 yards, including three of more than 55. He also put three inside the 20 and was also three-for-three on kickoff touchbacks. However, he did shank one punt and also had one blocked.

On that play where his punt was blocked, the Bills schemed up a good punt rush which forced Ty Johnson to make a decision in punt protection. As the Bills would have hoped, he blocked the first man through over to the left side, leaving the middle open for the next man through. A high snap by Thomas Hennessy didn't help much either.

Although he had one extra point blocked this year, Eddy Piniero ended his five-game Jets audition a perfect 8-for-8 on field goals, as he nailed an impressive 49-yarder in tough conditions (albeit with the wind behind him) after a third down sack. He is a free agent at the end of the season but the Jets might seek to bring him back, while simultaneously looking for a big-legged youngster they'll consider to have more upside.

For the Bills, their punter Matt Haack had a nightmare as Haack shanked punts of 28, 21, 22 and seven yards. The latter came as he fumbled a high snap and was tackled by Justin Hardee as he tried to get the kick off.

When it mattered though, with the Jets within three late in the third quarter, Haack landed a beauty inside their five yard line.

Kick coverage - Wildgoose Chase

The Bills operated an unusual strategy to dealing with Mann's punts as they opted to let most of them bounce, then fielded the bouncing ball and tried to gain some positive return yards that way.

The Jets used Hardee and Rachad Wildgoose as the gunners with Jeff Smith needed on offense due to all the receiver injuries. As always, they did a good job of getting downfield but the Bills strategy did mean that they overran the ball a few times.

On one punt that the Bills did try to catch, the return man muffed it and the two gunners combined to blow it up.

Hardee and Del'Shawn Phillips have each been engaged in a battle to end up as the leading special teams tackler all season and they both had two tackles on Sunday to end up sneaking into the top 10 in the NFL tied with 12 each.

Wildgoose and Kai Nacua each also had two tackles, with Nacua making a good open field tackle on the longest return of the day and cleaning up along with Phillips after a Wildgoose missed tackle. Hennessy overpursued on that long (17 yard) return.

The only other player credited with a special teams tackle was Tyler Kroft.

Return game - This Cole Car

With Braxton Berrios out, the Jets probably weren't expecting much from their return game and, in the windy conditions, Keelan Cole didn't take many chances. This backfired once when Haack's punt was downed at the two.

In the end, Cole only fielded one of Haack's seven punts and was hesitant on the return, gaining just three yards as he tried to elude two defenders.

Cole also fielded one short kickoff on the move but could only get to the 26 as Nick Bawden allowed his man to get off his block. Bawden then later got into a scrap with the Bills' long snapper and offsetting personal fouls were called.

Debutant Javin White was also credited with a two-yard return on the punt where Hardee blew it up.

That wraps up today's analysis from the game, but we'll be back with more over the next few days...