Special Teams Review: Jets-Patriots

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

Let's review the key contributions...

Kicking game - You can't ask for any Mor

In recent weeks there hasn't been much to report on the special teams front, but there was a lot of action to cover this week. Thomas Morstead was perhaps the busiest he's ever been as he had eight punts, three kickoffs and one free kick.

On the punts, he averaged over 50 yards, although he did perhaps outkick his coverage a couple of times. His net average was poor though, because he had two touchbacks. His 410 total punt yards was the fourth biggest total of his career, and he has only punted more than eight times twice.

On the kickoffs, he had three touchbacks, although one of those was on a fair catch inside the 10. His best moment might have been his free kick after the Matt Judon safety. He boomed this 75 yards to pin New England deep. Even though he punted the ball, this goes down as a kickoff in terms of his statistics.

With Greg Zuerlein back from his groin injury, the team was cautious with him, letting Morstead handle the kickoff duties, which made sense. He made an extra point and a 52-yard field goal in his only action.

Chazz Surratt got some pressure on a punt and Brandin Echols came off the edge well on both of Chad Ryland's missed field goals. The second of these may also have been tipped by a lineman.

Nick Bawden was called for a false start on one punt.

Kick coverage - Ashtyn Thriller

With all these Morstead punts, there were plenty of opportunities for the Jets to get some work done in coverage. The Patriots' usual approach is to double-team Justin Hardee and force other players to get downfield to get plays but Hardee still blew up one return with a big hit, forced a fair catch and nearly downed a punt at the one.

Ashtyn Davis was one player who did a good job of getting downfield with the gunners doubled. He was credited with two tackles including a good open field tackle. CJ Uzomah also had a special teams tackle as he chased a return man out of bounds and it was Xavier Gipson who got downfield for the special teams stop on Morstead's booming free kick.

Bawden and Surratt overpursued on a couple of punt returns, the longest of which was an 18-yarder. Jermaine Johnson got downfield impressively on one fair catch though, as Pop Douglas bobbled the catch.

Return game - Gipson rips 'em

Gipson did a nice job in the return game as he had two kickoff returns for 55 yards and four punt returns for 39 yards. That punt return yardage number was only surpassed by Braxton Berrios three times in his three seasons (with a high of 48). Gipson has obviously done this twice already after his touchdown return in the opener.

On one short punt, Gipson came up fast to try and fair catch the ball but probably made the right decision to let it bounce as it would have been a tough catch in the wet conditions. He was unlucky there though as it bounced down to the six-yard line.

After this, he made two nice plays on bouncing balls that he was able to turn upfield for a little extra yardage.

The Jets were trying to set up a return by using Davis as a vice instead of Hardee, who instead dropped into the middle of the field. However, Davis was beaten once and Echols was beaten twice as they didn't maximise their opportunities. DJ Reed also got beaten on a punt from near midfield where the defensive starters stayed in.

Surratt and Uzomah had good blocks on Gipson's best kickoff return that went for 30. Hardee and Bryce Huff blocked well on his 18-yard punt return in the fourth quarter. Jamien Sherwood had a good block initially on one punt return where Gipson ended up running laterally to try and find a lane, but eventually lost his man who made the stop after a short return. Surratt also let his man trip Gipson on a return that could have gone for a much longer return.

In all, it was a solid display from Gipson, who made the first man miss a few times and seems increasingly confident under the ball since muffing his first punt in preseason.

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...