Nick Folk was a quick out from the visitors’ locker room at Bank of America Stadium after the Saturday night game but in advance of talking with reporters after Monday’s practice back at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center, he should get credit for his 3-for-3 night of kicking field goals, which supplied all the Jets’ points in their 9-3 win over the Panthers.
Long-snapper Tanner Purdum thinks it’s just a matter of his kicker, like the Young Rascals more than four decades earlier, groovin’.
“It’s more a rhythm, where we’re confident in each other,” Purdum said of the operation of his snapping to holder Steve Weatherford for Folk’s kick. “It’s more relaxed and we know what we’re going to get out of each other.
“To me, Nick looked confident, smooth and relaxed. He looked like himself. He’s getting into a pretty good groove.”
Of course, no grooves count until Sept. 13 and beyond, but just consider that Folk became the first Jets placekicker to hit a pair of 40-yard field goals in one preseason game since John Hall, who was unconscious in the 2001 preseason finale at Philly, hitting from 59, 47, 41 and 33 yards and missing only a 50-yard try that night.
One more trend of note is Folk’s kickoffs. He’s had nine in two preseason games, with seven reaching the end zone (kickoffs to the goal line are considered in the EZ) and two touchbacks. Opponents’ average drive start after his nine KOs is their 18.3-yard line. So Folk is averaging an inside-the-20 every time he kicks off.
A lot of things go into this kind of number, such as the Jets’ coverage team and opponents’ backup returners having some difficulty running east and west, such as the Panthers’ Mike Goodson, who ran every direction before being tackled by Bo Smith at the Carolina 4 in the fourth quarter.
But the trends have been positive for a while, which is why Rex Ryan said after the game, “No surprise. He’s been nailing the ball.”
Jets-Panthers Final Notes
Here are a few more not terribly important but nevertheless neat additional summer nuggets on Saturday night’s win at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. What do they mean? You make the call.
■ The Jets’ 112 yards of offense was their least in a preseason game since they gained 109 in their 15-14 road loss to the Giants in 2005. That’s the fewest yards from scrimmage in a preseason win in at least 20 years, and the Green & White have never won a regular-season or playoff game in their history with less than 145 yards.
■ The Panthers’ 175 yards of offense was the least allowed by the Jets in a preseason game since the 1990 summer opener, when the Eagles were held to 172 in the 17-6 Jets victory.
■ This was the Jets’ first preseason game in which the opponents never led since the ’05 preseason-opening 10-3 win over Detroit.
■ The Jets offense had eight three-and-out series at Carolina. That’s the most in a preseason game in at least the last 10 years, which is as far back as I’ve charted that stat. As for games that count, the Jets have never had more than seven three-and-outs in a game all the way back to the 1986 AFC Divisional Game at Cleveland, when they racked up nine such drives in the 23-20 overtime loss to the Browns.
Advisory to Fans Attending Monday’s Practice
It always seems to rain when the Jets open a practice up to the fans, and Monday’s training camp practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center is no exception. We’ve had a lot of heavy rain in the North Jersey area today.
Fans are still invited to attend the practice, with the gates opening at 10 a.m. as well as Jets Shop and Jets Fest, and practice beginning around 11:50 a.m. But be advised that due to recent work on the grass fields at the complex, the area could be muddy, so you should wear the appropriate shoes and pants.
Also, with some thunderstorms forecast for tonight and showers for tomorrow morning, please check with newyorkjets.com for any changes to the practice schedules for Monday and Tuesday.
Tags: Bank of America Stadium, Nick Folk, Rex Ryan, Steve Weatherford, Tanner Purdum
Posted in Randy Lange | 20 Comments »
The Jets are warming up at Bank of America Stadium about an hour before the start of tonight’s preseason game against the Panthers. And it would be a welcome turn in franchise history if the Green & White starters (about one quarter) and the twos and threes (about the last three quarters) can put together a complete game in Charlotte, N.C.
They’ve been hard to come by the few times the Jets visited here previously.
Remember the 2005 regular-season game at this stadium? Brooks Bollinger, pressed into duty due to multiple starting QB injuries, threw four second-half interceptions as the Panthers pulled away for a 30-3 victory.
Four years earlier, these teams played a game that so ugly that it got a nickname: “The Shrek Game.” The reason it wasn’t as ugly for the Jets as for the Panthers is that the Jets won it, 13-12, on John Hall’s field goal with 4:53 to play (at the same venue as tonight, although the name then was Ericsson Stadium).
Reporters sniffed about how ugly the victory was, but then-coach Herm Edwards, not one to pass up a great cultural tie-in, employed Shrek, the green, animated ogre who made his movie debut a short while before, to let his players and fans know that every win is beautiful.
We won’t even venture too far back to 1995, when the teams met for the first time (at Clemson Memorial Stadium, just over the NC/SC border) and Bubby Brister committed “the Shovel Pass” that Sam Mills took 36 yards for the INT-return TD that helped the Panthers to the first win in franchise history, 26-15.
And since the teams have never played a preseason game at Carolina, this is certainly a chance for the Green & White to make a small break with the past and send out the message, to their fans and their “Hard Knocks” audience among many, that the entire team is settling into “Play Like a Jet” mode.
As mentioned, the starters, after playing the first half vs. the Giants, have been ticketed for roughly one quarter of work tonight.
“Yes, I think that’s it, no more,” said head coach Rex Ryan on Thursday, his last news conference at training camp on the SUNY Cortland campus. ‘That’s the deal, that’s how we’re going into this game, so it’s really flipped, how you would play the game.”
So Mark Sanchez may get to work on some of the checkdown passes that were the talk of the past week or so, and Matt Slauson and Vlad Ducasse will continue their LG battle. On defense, NT Kris Jenkins, back in the town he called home for his first seven NFL seasons, will take the next step on his road back from his season-ending knee injury of a year ago, and first-rounder Kyle Wilson is expected to get the CB start as Darrelle Revis’ holdout continues.
But the starters will leave early on and Rex and the Jets will then take a look at their backups, such as QB Mark Brunell perhaps throwing to old/new Jets WR Laveranues Coles, a large cast of ILBs (Kenwin Cummings, Lance Laury and newcomer Boris Lee should play, but no word yet on the health status of Josh Mauga and Brashton Satele), and a secondary that could be tested by the Panthers WR corps, which should include some routes being run by former Jet Wallace Wright.
The weather in Charlotte is expected to be in the low 80s under mostly cloudy skies for this game. Because the Panthers are in their white uniforms with blue trim, the Jets will be wearing their green jerseys and white pants.
Tonight’s referee is Clete Blakeman. If you’re not familiar with that name, that’s because Clete is a new referee this season and thus is working his first Jets game.
Kickoff is about an hour away now. Eric Allen and Nick Gallo will be manning the CoveritLive chat on newyorkjets.com for all who want to check it out, while I will be doing my ingame tweeting, along with Jets radio voice Bob Wischusen, with our tweets appearing on both twitter.com/nyjets and the live chat. I’ll have a game story available on our site as soon as possible after the end of the game.
Then EA, Nick and I will do followups through Sunday leading into next week’s final training camp practices — open sessions Monday and Tuesday at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, N.J., and Wednesday evening at Hofstra Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y. The busy preseason continues.
Tags: Bank of America Stadium, Cliff Blakeman, Herm Edwards, Kris Jenkins, Kyle Wilson, Laveranues Coles, Mark Brunell, Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan, Shrek Game, Wallace Wright
Posted in Randy Lange | 4 Comments »