Stat check: No sizzle on special teams

January, 9, 2014
Jan 9
For the first time since 2001, the New York Jets didn't return a punt or kickoff for a touchdown. The special teams lacked explosiveness under first-year coordinator Ben Kotwica, who replaced the venerable Mike Westhoff.

There was a decline in production for the punt- and kickoff-return units, perhaps because they cut top kickoff returner Joe McKnight in the preseason. Things started to perk up with Josh Cribbs around midseason, but they fell off again when he suffered a season-ending pectoral injury. Because of the growing pains on offense, the Jets needed a better return unit to shorten the field, but that didn't happen.

The bright spot was Nick Folk, who improved by 13 percentage points in field goal accuracy. Here's the breakdown of 2013:

Punt-return average

Final '13 ranking: 16th (9.0 yards)

Final '12 ranking: 12th (10.3 yards)

Kickoff-return average

Final '13 ranking: 18th (22.7 yards)

Final '12 ranking: 6th (26.2 yards)

Field goals made

Final '13 ranking: 10th, tie (91.2 percent)

Final '12 ranking: 27th (77.8 percent)

Net punting average

Final '13 ranking: 27th (38.1 yards)

Final '12 ranking: 20th (37.6 yards)

Punt-return average allowed

Final '13 ranking: 27th (11.3 yards)

Final '12 ranking: 27th (12.1 yards)

Kickoff-return average allowed

Final '13 ranking: 11th (22.3 yards)

Final '12 ranking: 5th (21.9 yards)

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter



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