Stat check: Special teams rock

October, 27, 2011
10/27/11
8:00
PM ET
Continuing our bye-week analysis, we move on to the special teams, a traditional strength for the Jets. A comparison of 2011 (seven games) vs. 2010 (16 games):

SPECIAL TEAMS

Jets: Major categories

Punt return avg -- 2011: 9.4 (17th) ... 2010: 9.4 (20th) ... Difference: Even

Kickoff return avg -- 2011: 30.3 (2nd) ... 2010: 25.2 (3rd) ... Difference: +20.2%

Gross punt avg -- 2011: 43.5 (23rd) ... 2010: 42.6 (23rd) ... Difference: +2.1%

Net punt avg -- 2011: 37.9 (21st) ... 2010: 38.1 (17th) ... Difference: -0.5%

FG pct -- 2011: 100.0 (T1st) ... 2010: 76.7 (T27th) ... Difference: +23.3%

Opponents: Major categories

Punt return avg -- 2011: 8.6 (14th) ... 2010: 11.1 (26th) ... Difference: +29.1%

Kickoff return avg -- 2011: 19.7 (3rd) ... 2010: 19.6 (3rd) ... Difference: -0.5%

Gross punt avg -- 2011: 46.1 (23rd) ... 2010: 45.7 (31st) ... Difference: -0.9%

Net punt avg -- 2011: 38.2 (9th) ... 2010: 40.2 (23rd) ... Difference: +5.2%

FG pct -- 2011: 91.7 (17th) ... 2010: 78.3 (T9th) ... Difference: -13.4%

Analysis: The Jets lost several key special-teams performers in the offseason, but they've improved (or remained virtually steady) in almost every major category. People fretted the loss of KR Brad Smith, but Joe McKnight leads the NFL with a 40.0 kickoff-return average. In fact, the Jets lead the league on kickoffs/average drive start (27.6), and they're second in opponents' drive start (19.5). PK Nick Folk, whose return caused many fans to groan, is 10-for-10 on FGs.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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