Special Teams Review: Jets-Chiefs

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

Let's review the key contributions...

Kicking game - Tom "Automaton" Morstead

The Jets had a costly letdown on special teams this week as Greg Zuerlein had a 53-yarder doink off the upright just before halftime. Zuerlein otherwise put all four of his kickoffs through the end zone and made a shorter field goal and an extra point.

On the made field goal, the Chiefs almost got a block as Max Mitchell was driven back and one lineman broke through.

The Jets only had to punt five times with the increasingly reliable Thomas Morstead able to put four of them inside the 20 due to better than usual field position. Only one was returned. The only nitpick is that he had two fair caught at the 11 that perhaps he'd like to have put inside the 10. One was downed at the six though, after bouncing back inside the five. Morstead gave the kickoff duties back to Zuerlein this week after handling them well against New England.

Kick coverage - J. Hardee with a vengeance

Once again, the Jets hardly allowed any returns this week as only one punt was returned. Brandin Echols and Ashtyn Davis got credit for the tackle as the return man went out of bounds after Justin Hardee overpursued.

Hardee made up for that though, forcing two fair catches and drawing an illegal block in the back penalty by beating his man one more time. Chazz Surratt also got downfield well to force a fair catch on a shorter punt from near midfield.

Davis also got downfield to down a punt inside the 10, although Hardee was down there first.

Return game - Searching for a Xavier

There wasn't much action in the return game either as five kickoffs and a free kick were touchbacks and Xavier Gipson fair caught all but one of the Chiefs punts. Bryce Hall was beaten by the gunner on one of the fair catches.

On his lone kickoff return, Gipson was blown up at the 20 as Nick Bawden failed to sustain his block. He picked up 11 on a punt return with a good block from Davis though. Hall may have got away with an block in the back on that one. Interestingly, the Jets dropped Jamien Sherwood deep on that return, which was a new wrinkle as they continue to change their return packages to try to get Gipson opportunities.

The biggest nitpick on returns this week was on the free kick after the safety. Mecole Hardman was extra deep but still misjudged the flight on the ball and let it go over his head and into the end zone for a touchback. He would have had a ton of room to run if he fielded this and surely would have got out past the 30 at least, if not further. For Hardman not to be getting as many reps as he'd like but then showing such a lack of focus when given a specific job to do speaks volumes.

That wraps up the post-game analysis but we'll be back with the 3-on-D and the 3-on-O over the next few days...