Sunday, October 28, 2012

Jets' special teams has historically awful afternoon


The New York Jets' special teams squad has been a major strong point for the team since Mike Westhoff took over the group in 2001. Sunday, it was the team's weakest link.

Gang Green had a punt blocked for a touchdown, fell asleep on an onside kick, had a field goal blocked and saw a would-be return for a touchdown stopped because of a teammate essentially tackling his own returner.

All of that added up to an embarrassing 30-9 loss to the division-rival Miami Dolphins. That, and an awful performance from the offense and defense. Miami played pretty well, too.

"You have to give Miami a lot of credit. I know they were obviously confident coming in here," Jets coach Rex Ryan said after the game, according to the team's website. "They played much better than we did, especially earlier in the game."

According to, the Jets hadn't had more than one kick blocked of any kind in the same contest since 1982.

"That's just not us," receiver/punt returner Jeremy Kerley said. "One thing went wrong followed by another. It just wasn't our day today."

After Dolphins kicker Dan Carpenter gave Miami a 3-0 lead on the game's opening drive, he booted an onside kick that caught the Jets off-guard and gave the Dolphins possession. Miami didn't score there, but it did on the Jets' ensuing possession when "personal protector" Tim Tebow missed a protection block on safety Jimmy Wilson, who got his hand on the ball, which landed in Olivier Vernon's hands and was returned for a touchdown.

Down 20-0 near the end of the first half, the Jets drove into scoring territory but were forced to settle for a field goal. Vernon blocked it.

Gang Green then gave up a 57-yard kick return to Marcus Thigpen in the third quarter that set up a scoring drive to basically put the game out of reach.

Follow Nick @NickStDenis
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily