Special Teams Review: Jets-Seahawks
We've been breaking down this week's game against the Seahawks. We wrap up today's analysis with a look at the special teams.
Let's review the key contributions...
Kicking game - Bryce to see you
Kicker Greg Zuerlein made two 44-yard field goals but missed on a 57-yarder. Seattle scored a field goal largely thanks to the good field position after this miss. Sometimes, perhaps having a kicker who can make those can be detrimental.
Zuerlein also had two touchbacks on kick-offs and one returned to about the 25-yard line.
Punter Braden Mann continued his recent struggles as he had to angle a 24-yard punt out of bounds to avoid a block. The Seahawks set up to double-team the gunner but then one of their vices crept up to the edge. CJ Uzomah and Ashtyn Davis communicated this to one another but obviously each believed the other would pick it up as the rusher came completely unblocked.
His other two punts were good - a 59-yarder with a short return and a 47-yarder with no return - but fans have become frustrated with Mann and his numbers were again poor due to that other play. The decision to punt on 4th-and-2 from near midfield with less than 12 minutes to go in a two-possession game was also controversial.
There was a bit of a cameo from Bryce Hall who got pressure off the edge on a couple of field goals, including one that was missed.
Kick coverage - Justin is served
The Jets only got to cover one kick-off and three punts (one of which went straight out of bounds) but they did a good job.
As usual, Justin Hardee was in the thick of things as he was in on two tackles on punts. Both saw him initially slow up the returner and then rally to the ball to complete the play. Thomas Hennessy and Davis were also in on those tackles.
Hardee is third in the league with 15 special teams tackles this season. No other Jet is in the top-80.
Tony Adams and Hamsah Nasirildeen combined to make the stop near the 25 on the opening kick-off.
Return game - Brax Law
Braxton Berrios returned two kick-offs to the 25 and 28-yard line and had two punt returns for eight yards in another of those games where the announcers referred to him as one of the league's most dangerous return men but he didn't actually do anything. For all his consistency, Berrios has no 25-yard punt returns and no 45-yard kickoff returns this year.
He also left a punt to bounce inside the 15 which ended up rolling down inside the run, although this was angled away from him so to catch it he would have had to make a risky catch in traffic on the run. To his credit, on a similar play later on, he fielded the ball off the bounce at the 13 to prevent the same thing happening again.
He will need three punt returns against Miami to qualify for the end of season rankings. His current average would put him in fifth place among current qualifiers.
Hall was beaten by the gunner on one return.
That wraps up today's analysis but we'll be back with the 3-on-D and the 3-on-O over the weekend...