Special Teams Review: Jets at Dolphins

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

Let's review the key contributions...

Kicking game - Fate is a Ficken Misstress

Sam Ficken perhaps won't thank Adam Gase for sending him out to attempt a 55-yard field goal late in the third quarter, even though his only other action was the kickoff at the start of the second half.

This was Ficken's first miss all season, potentially sabotaging his admittedly slim chances at a pro bowl berth. The kick did actually have the distance but was wide left and a bit of a knuckleball.

Perhaps Gase just wanted to give punter Braden Mann a break from kicking. Mann had to punt 10 times and didn't have a great day as his net average was just 35.9 yards per punt.

Only one of his punts had a net of over 45 yards as he had four punts of over 50 yards but three of them were returned at least 15 yards. He also had a punt bounce into the end zone and one that bounced out of bounds.

Harvey Langi had a couple of penalties in the kicking game, as he lined up in the neutral zone on a punt rush and was called for a face mask penalty in punt protection.

Daniel Brown and Tarell Basham got some pressure on punt rushes while Neville Hewitt was blown up in punt protection, leading to pressure on a Mann punt.

Kick coverage - Javelin at the speed of light

With so many punts, there was plenty to evaluate from the punt coverage unit. Gunners Ashtyn Davis and Javelin Guidry did a good job of getting downfield but kept overpursuing and each had a missed tackle. Davis did just about manage to force the punt returner to step out of bounds on one return but wasn't credited with the tackle.

For the second time this season, Mann had the most impressive special teams stop with a nice hit in the open field following Jakeem Grant's 30-yard return. On that return, both gunners overran the play, Hewitt got beaten to the outside and Blake Cashman got sealed off. There was an obvious missed call on an illegal block in the back penalty though.

Cashman and Brown each had a good open-field tackle and Matthias Farley again came down with the second wave to trip the return man as he did twice last week, although Thomas Hennessy was actually credited with that tackle cleaning up.

Langi was the only player credited with two special teams tackles, while Brown, Langi and Vyncint Smith all had missed tackles and Farley was blocked to the ground on one return.

Finally, the only Miami kickoff return saw Guidry and Basham combine for the stop at the 23.

Return game - Vynce makes you wince

Smith's return to the line-up was supposed to provide a boost on special teams but in addition to his missed tackle and failure to down a punt near the goal line in kick coverage, he had a holding penalty in the vice role.

His worst mistake though saw him attempt to catch a ball in the end zone on a kickoff, which he was indicating to his teammates he would not attempt to return. However, he dropped the catch, spilling the ball into the field of play so he could no longer take the touchback. Since he had indicated he wouldn't return it, everyone stopped blocking, including Ty Johnson, and Smith was blown up inside his own 10.

Last week, we wrote how the Jets were unable to get a run of 20 yards, but right now they're struggling to get a kickoff return of 20 yards. Every other kickoff was a touchback, though.

The punt return unit provided nothing as well. One punt was downed and Braxton Berrios, who also replaced Smith on the kickoff return unit after his gaffe, otherwise took six fair catches.

Pierre Desir, playing the vice role, got beaten downfield three times by the gunner and Guidry got beaten once.

The special teams units have been poor this year, but the return units have been the worst of the worst. They are producing almost nothing on a week-to-week basis.

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