We've been breaking down this week's game against the Bengals. We wrap up today's analysis with a look at the special teams.
Let's review the key contributions...
Kicking game - One small step for Mann
Kicker Greg Zuerlein and punter Braden Mann each continue to be lights out for the Jets since the opener.
Zuerlein made all six of his kicks - five of which were extra points - despite both Tyler Conklin and CJ Uzomah allowing some pressure off the edge.
On kickoffs, Zuerlein also impressed with touchbacks on all seven of his attempts. With 20 touchbacks in five games, he's currently on pace for 64, which would break Jason Myers' franchise record of 60.
Mann got the Jets started by landing two punts near the goal line. One was downed at the eight to set up the safety that gave the Jets the lead and the other was downed at the two.
He did have one short punt that was fair-caught near the 30, but his other punt forced Tyreek Hill to backpedal and he was blown up for a loss. That came shortly after Zach Wilson had taken a 17-yard sack that could have flipped the field in a two-point game.
Miami missed a field goal that would have given them the lead early in the fourth quarter, with Quinnen Williams leading a good surge up the middle. Brandin Echols continues to get close to a block coming off the edge.
Kick coverage - Just what the doctor ordered
Impressively, the Jets allowed minus-2 return yards in Sunday's game, as this group continues to be solid.
Justin Hardee and Brandin Echols continue to excel at the gunner position with Jeff Smith not playing any snaps in this role for the second game in a row. The pair combined to blow Hill up for a loss, Echols downed a punt inside the five and forced a fair catch and Hardee got downfield first on two other punts.
Ashtyn Davis also downed a punt inside the 10-yard line and Jamien Sherwood got downfield well and was in on the Hill stop.
With all the kickoffs booted through the end zone, Echols and Hardee were the only players to record a tackle this week. This approach has definitely cut back on the number of opportunities for the special teamers to make plays, but Hardee is in the top 10 in the league for tackles with five in five games (three ahead of Echols) and is currently tied for second in PFF's special teams rankings for anyone with a 50 percent snap count.
Return game - Brax Attacks
Braxton Berrios finally got a chance for a decent runback following a few weeks of inaction in the return game as teams seek to keep the ball away from him. He had to backpedal to field the free kick after the first quarter safety, but returned it 42 yards to near midfield. For statisitcal purposes, that counts as a kickoff return even though it was actually a free kick and the ball was punted to him.
Other than that, Berrios only returned one kickoff, on a short kick that bounced up. He broke a tackle at the 15 and got it back to the 24. On punts, he took two fair catches, once again coming up fast to fair catch a shorter kick on one, rather than letting it bounce. There was another that he had to leave that got downed inside the 10. Echols was beaten by the gunner on that play, while Sauce Gardner was beaten on one of the fair catches with the starting defense on the field on 4th-and-1.
Credit goes to Sherwood and Ty Johnson for good blocks on Berrios' long return. Johnson also fielded a squib kick but then took a knee just before half time.
That wraps up today's analysis from the game, but we'll be back with more over the next few days...