We've been breaking down this week's game against the Commanders. We conclude today's postgame analysis with a look at the special teams.
Let's review the key contributions...
Kicking game - Gregging for Mercy
Having not seen the field after the opening kickoff last week, Greg Zuerlein was front and center this week as his 54-yard field goal crept through to give the Jets the dramatic two-point win.
Zuerlein also made three extra points and two other field goals and kicked six touchbacks. His only kickoff that wasn't a touchback was muffed and the return man swallowed up inside the 10.
Punter Thomas Morstead had an inconsistent day, as he landed a few punts shorter than was ideal, outkicked his coverage a couple of times and had one bounce into the end zone for a touchback. He did pin the Commanders inside the 10 once, thanks to good coverage and a penalty.
Speaking of penalties, Washington jumped offside on a punt, false started on another and had another penalty for downing a punt where the first player to touch it had been out of bounds. The Jets also had a penalty when Brandin Echols was offside on an extra point.
One of the biggest plays of the game was when Jermaine Johnson blocked a punt to set up the Jets' first touchdown. Johnson was barely touched on his way through as he rushed up the middle.
Kick coverage - Irv, Wind and Fire
Arguably Morstead's best moment saw him trying to tackle Jamison Crowder on his longest return of the day and led indirectly to Crowder cutting back inside and then inexplicably fumbling the ball which popped into the air and was recovered by Ashtyn Davis. Morstead was not given credit for a tackle or forced fumble despite making contact with Crowder before the fumble.
Davis, the Jets' leading tackler on special teams, didn't record one this week but Irv Charles racked up three. One was a clean-up after a muffed kickoff, one saw him chase Crowder out of bounds and the best of the bunch was a great open field tackle as he got downfield well.
The Jets also got a penalty on that return as Justin Hardee was tackled by Dyami Brown. Hardee also drew the encroachment penalty on 4th-and-3 in the first half and was in on Charles' first tackle, although they ultimately didn't give him credit for an assist. Hardee also forced one fair catch.
Kenny Yeboah was the only other Jets player credited with a special teams tackle, for the second week in a row. He made a good open field stop after Charles missed the tackle.
Crowder did have a few nice returns, including the one on which he ultimately fumbled. Marcelino McCrary-Ball missed a tackle on that one which saw Hardee, Charles, Chazz Surratt and Jeremy Ruckert blocked out of the play.
Return game - On this day, an Xavier is born
Xavier Gipson returned two kickoffs out past the 25, including one where he broke a few tackles, but he was stuffed at the 20 on another. He had another quiet game as a punt returner, as he didn't get to return a punt until late in the game where he forced the first man to miss to pick up nine yards.
Three of Tress Way's other seven punts were downed (including one which was initially marked at the one-yard line but then moved back to the six because it deflected off a Washington player there), one was blocked and three were fair caught.
On the punts, Sauce Gardner, Echols, Davis, Hardee and Jarrick Bernard-Converse each had plays where their man beat them down the field. Davis and McCrary-Ball also missed their blocks on the kickoff where Gipson got stuffed at the 20. Davis, Ruckert and Yeboah all blocked well on Gipson's best return though.
We'll be back with the 3-on-D and 3-on-O over the next few days...