We've been breaking down this week's game against the Browns. We wrap up today's analysis with a look at the special teams.
Let's review the key contributions...
Kicking game - Zuerly you can't be serious
After a rough first game, Greg Zuerlein bounced back bigtime. His extra point with 22 seconds to go won the game and he tied the Jets' franchise record by knuckling a 57-yard field goal over the crossbar in the fourth quarter.
Zuerlein made his three other extra point attempts as well, and put all five of his kickoffs into the end zone, although the Browns still returned two from deep, with one a decent runback on a line drive.
Punter Braden Mann also had a bounceback game, even before his dramatic successful onside kick. His first punt was a 50-yarder that forced a fair catch, then he landed a 48-yarder inside the five yard line. His next punt was only a 31-yard net, but that wasn't really his fault as it had good hangtime. Finally, his last punt was a 47-yarder and the return was blown up.
Mann also threw a pretty good pass on the fake punt that set up the Jets' first touchdown and Jeff Smith ran a good route to give him an easy target.
Another key play in the kicking game came from Brandin Echols who created pressure off the edge on the missed extra point near the end of the game.
Kick coverage - Hardly Adjustin' to Justin Hardee
The Jets continue to get good production from their special teams captain Justin Hardee. Other teams have tried to slow him down and the Browns had success by doubling him on one punt return, but even then he fought off the double team, although he and Jacob Martin both overpursued, leading to a 13-yard return. Kenny Yeboah and Ashtyn Davis combined for the tackle to prevent a longer runback.
Hardee was visibly frustrated at not making that play himself, but he made up for it on the next play by blowing up the return with a good tackle that almost led to a turnover. He also recovered the onside kick, with an assist from Will Parks.
Interestingly, it seems the Jets are often still using Echols rather than Smith as the other gunner to pair with Hardee, although they obviously lined Smith up there for the fake punt.
On kickoffs, the Browns ran two back from deep. One was a big return out to the 40 with Zuerlein forced to make the tackle, although Tony Adams may have been held as he lost contain on the outside. The other was stopped at the 25 with Ty Johnson in on the tackle.
Return game - Meet the Brax
Braxton Berrios had a consistent game as a return man. He ran all three of his kickoff returns out past the 30 and made a couple of good cuts on his only punt return to pick up 16 yards.
Martin and Jeremy Ruckert were among players who made good blocks on those returns.
The Browns' punter prevented him from doing any more damage with one punt that went out of bounds at the 10 and another that was downed inside the 10. There were also three touchbacks on Browns kickoffs.
That wraps up today's analysis from the game, but we'll be back with more over the next few days...