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Jets-Bills: First-Half Tweets

Posted by Randy Lange on December 30, 2012 – 2:33 pm

Here are today’s first-half tweets for the Jets-Bills game at Ralph Wilson Stadium, in case you missed them on Twitter. Follow Bob Wischusen, Eric Allen and me for our tweets during each Jets game on https://twitter.com/nyjets.

#RL Jets gameday captains: G Brandon Moore, DT Mike DeVito, T D’Brickashaw Ferguson, WR Jordan White, CB Darrin Walls

#RL Shonn Greene has 17 yards on 3 carries, has reached 1,000 rushing yards for the second straight season.

#RL Nick Folk 47-yd FG is good. Folk now 19-for-24 on season, 11-for-13 career vs BUF. Jets lead 3-0…

#RL Jets have 2 TDs, 2 FGs on 16 opening drives this season.

#EA Entering Week 17, teams averaged 5.1 a carry on the Bills D. Jets ran 9 times on that 1st drive for 42 yards — a 4.7 average.

#RL Jets lead the NFL with 27 inside-the-20 kickoffs but ex-Jet Brad Smith doesn’t cooperate, going 27 yds on KO return to BUF 31.

#RL With BUF punt, Jets opponents have gone their last 6 opening drives w/o scoring a point. (4 TDs, 2 FGs on 16 opening drives overall.)

#RL LB Bryan Scott nabs Mark Sanchez pass, goes 20 yds for BUF TD. 2nd INT-return TD vs. Sanchez this season, 7th in his career.

#RL Lex Hilliard’s first catch in 6 games goes for 7 yds on 3rd-and-7 for 1st down at BUF 44 as 1st qtr comes to an end.

#EA Giveaways have been a problem the entire season. The Jets now have 36 and that was the 19th INT.

#RL Nick Folk 2-for-2 on FGs today, although his 23-yarder just got over the crossbar after tip by Alex Carrington. Folk on year: 20-for-25.

#EA Powell almost equaled a career-long with that 18-yard run. He had a 19-yarder vs. the Cards on Dec. 2.

#EA With 51 yards on the ground, Greene is up to 1,040. He needs only 15 yards to set a career-high (1,054 in 2011).

#RL Bilal Powell 33-yard reception wiped out by Austin Howard hold. So Jeremy Kerley goes 40 yds on third-and-16…

#RL Jets’ longest 3rd-down conversion on a pass play since Mark Sanchez-to-Braylon Edwards for 34 yds on 3rd-and-21 @ MIA in 2009.

#RL Nick Folk 28-yd FG gives Jets 9-7 lead. Folk’s first 3-FG first half since 2010 Game 5 vs. MIN.

#RL CJ Spiller 66-yd TD catch/run longest reception by opposing RB in road game since Fred Taylor 72 yds w/ Mark Brunell pass @ JAX ’02.

#RL Jets CB Donnie Fletcher has hamstring injury, his return to this game is questionable.

#RL Jets hold edges in yards (204-132), 1st downs (13-4), possession (23:04-6:46) but Bills have 14-9 halftime lead.

#RL Jets’ 23:14 first-half possession time is their most in 1st half since 2009 “Win and We’re In” Game 16 vs CIN (24:50).

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STS*: How Conley, Cole Combined for an ‘Ace’

Posted by Randy Lange on November 12, 2011 – 9:01 am

T.J. Conley was the iron and Marquice Cole was the pin. And the two were the main components last Sunday at Buffalo in the Green & White punt team’s equivalent of a hole-in-one.

“It all came together,” Conley said of his drop punt “fair-caught” by Cole at the Bills 1-yard line early in the third quarter. “It’s all feel, trying to get that perfect distance on it. It’s something that you practice over and over again.”

“That was more so T.J. than me, him knowing how much power to put into the ball, how much loft,” said Cole. “I’ve been running down on punts for a couple of years. Steve was real good at it last year. But T.J., I believe, in game situations he’s settling down and he’s been kicking a lot better.”

Especially with his inside-the-20 opportunities. Both Conley and Cole credit practice and repetition for Conley’s 14 I-20 punts this season, two more than Steve Weatherford has for the Giants in the same number of kicks.

“Coach Westhoff, you know how he is,” Cole said. “He’s going to drill that to death.”

No doubt that helped Weatherford enjoy one of the best inside-the-20 seasons in NFL punting history for the Jets in 2010, in fact equaling the league record of 42 I-20s. Nineteen of those were inside-the-10s, seven were inside-the-5s and two were downed at the opponents’ 1.

One thing T.J. hadn’t done yet as Weatherford’s successor was to pin an opponent inside the 5, let alone at the 1. Until Buffalo.

The Jets, not capitalizing on Joe McKnight’s 59-yard return with the second-half kickoff, brought Conley on to punt from the Bills 37. Using the pointy-end-down drop punt that Australian punters Darren Bennett to Ben Graham have specialized in and most NFL punters have adopted, Conley hung his punt high (not sky-high; it would eventually be timed at 4.55 seconds).

Meanwhile, Cole as the Jets’ right flyer was singled up against Drayton Florence. Cole took off down the outside, beat Florence downfield and slipped inside at the 5.

That was only half the battle.

“Every punt returner in the NFL is ridiculously talented,” Cole said. “One guy [Arizona rookie Patrick Peterson] last week had a 99-yard return. You can’t just ran down there looking to down the ball. You’ve got to respect that guy as a returner.”

Except in this case, Bills returner C.J. Spiller was correctly drifting forward from the 5 to the 10, faking his own fair catch and hoping that Cole didn’t know where the ball was and giving the pigskin a chance to bounce untouched in or into the end zone for the touchback.

No such luck. Cole saw the ball over his shoulder, knew he’d have a shot, sidled near the goal line, turned around and caught the ball for the “ace.” It was only the Jets’ third punt downed at the 1 since 2006. Before Weatherford’s two in ’10, we have to go back to Graham’s heyday. He had four such punts as a Jet, including three in a four-game span in his first NFL season (when he was a 32-year-old rookie fresh from the AFL) in 2005.

The next trick: some fancy pitch-and-punt at MetLife Stadium on Sunday night against the Patriots.

“I love to kick there,” Conley said. “It’s got to be the best stadium in the NFL. The fans are amazing, the whole atmosphere is just great. And it still has that new-car smell. It’s pretty awesome.”

If Conley, Cole, Kyle Wilson and the rest of the cover team can awesomely hem in Pats returners Julian Edelman and Wes Welker, that could go a long way toward making the Jets the leaders in the clubhouse around midnight.

*Special Teams Saturday.

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