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Sunday, September 23, 2012
Folk delivers in the clutch

By Walter Villa

MIAMI -- The “thud” he heard a split-second after his overtime kick didn’t faze Nick Folk at all.

Dolphins defensive tackle Randy Starks had blocked his field goal try, but Miami had called a timeout just before the ball was snapped. It was an attempt to “ice” Folk, but instead, it left Dolphins fans cold.

Seconds later, Folk kicked the game-winning 33-yard field goal, giving the Jets a 23-20 overtime win in Miami.

“I heard the whistle blow,” Folk said of his first kick. “The big guys up front take a beating (on field-goal tries), and once they heard the whistle, they stopped what they were doing.”

Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff said he preferred that Folk not kick the ball once a timeout is called. But Folk thought differently.

“I like to get one in as a warm-up,” Folk said. “I’d rather kick it than not kick it.”

When it mattered, Folk was true on his OT kick. Then again, he has made crucial kicks for the Jets before -- including a big one in the 2010-2011 playoffs. That’s when his field goal as time expired beat the Colts, 17-16.

Last year, in the Jets’ opener, Folk kicked a 50-yarder with 27 seconds left to help beat his former team, the Cowboys, 27-24.

On Sunday, his kick gave the Jets a 2-1 record, including 2-0 in the AFC East. It also showed the importance of special teams, as Miami’s Dan Carpenter missed wide-left on a 48-yard kick in overtime that would have won the game for the Dolphins.

Carpenter also missed from 47 yards away earlier in the game.

“I thought Dan was going to make it,” Folk said of Carpenter. “He’s a good kicker.”