Credit to Darren Sproles, I guess, who made a spectacular play on the return, but he left a litany of tacklers strewn across the field on his 89-yard punt runback. The guilty parties: Kellen Davis, Bilal Powell and Tanner Purdum, who missed tackles, Devin Smith and Erin Henderson, who overpursued, and Ryan Quigley, who out-kicked his coverage.
I guess the Jets figure that special teams won't be a major factor most weeks, as indeed it was not in the first two games. However, a breakdown like this which puts added pressure on the offense does make you wonder if they perhaps should have made this unit a bigger priority.
For Quigley, it was the second straight week where his one bad punt undermined an otherwise pretty consistent performance. I know Jets fans are growing tired of these mistakes though, so I wonder if the coaches are.
Kick coverage was otherwise good, as Buster Skrine made an immediate tackle in punt coverage and Henderson upended the return man with a hit in kick coverage. Smith and Marcus Williams operated as primary gunners with Williams downing a punt at the one-yard line. He did have a bad missed block though on one return.
Perhaps galvanized by his increased offensive role, Jeremy Kerley showed some good elusiveness on a couple of punt runbacks. Ronald Martin showed some good instincts to avoid a block in the back penalty on one of those returns. The kick return unit was a disappointment though, as Zac Stacy looked slow and not particularly elusive and Jaiquawn Jarrett got blown up trying to make a block. Stacy did get out near the 30 on one runback, but he basically just ran in a straight line and was untouched.
One thing to watch is that the Jets seem to be extremely aggressive in terms of looking for a punt block. Once again, Muhammad Wilkerson was in on one and almost got home, together with Jarrett. Quincy Enunwa and Tommy Bohanon are also candidates to block one (or, perhaps, commit a costly roughing penalty). Enunwa was pretty close on one.
Finally, Nick Folk did well to nail a 53-yard field goal and had two successful point-after tries and a touchback, but the elaborate onside kick routine was a bit of a bust.
Next up...our final update as we wrap up with some final thoughts and share links to all today's articles along with the option to read the entire BGA in one click...