Posts Tagged ‘Nick Folk’

Jets’ playoff hopes fade in loss to Panthers

Monday, December 16th, 2013

CHARLOTTE, NC – The Jets fell flat in all three phases against Carolina on Sunday, losing 30-20 to the Panthers and all but putting to bed any remaining playoff hopes.

The Jets remained competitive until the fourth quarter, but had major breakdowns on offense (Geno Smith pick-six), defense (Cam Newton-DeAngelo Williams 72-yard screen pass touchdown) and special teams (blocked punt), which inevitably couldn’t be overcome.

Santonio Holmes was forced to eat his "weakest link" comment as the Panthers held him to two catches for 14 yards in another ugly Jets loss.

“It snowballed on us and the game got out of hand at the end,” said head coach Rex Ryan, who will now go three straight seasons without a winning record and without making the playoffs.

Heading into the fourth quarter, the Jets were still very much alive, down 16-13, but a blocked punt led to great field position and an easy one-yard touchdown run by Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert.

Three minutes later, Smith was picked off, trying to force a pass to Santonio Holmes in double coverage and cornerback Captain Munnerlyn returned it 41 yards for the touchdown.

“Before the blocked punt happened I thought it was only a matter of time [until we would take the lead],” said Ryan.

Smith did rebound after throwing his 20th interception of the season, leading a 12-play, 72-yard drive that resulted in an eight-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jeff Cumberland. But, with just under four minutes remaining, it was just too little, too late.

Smith finished his day going 15-for-28 with 167 yards passing and a 68.6 passer rating. He now trails only Eli Manning (25) for most interceptions in the NFL.

Chris Ivory had another solid day on the ground against a top-flight Carolina run defense, tallying 66 yards on 11 carries, including a long 35 yarder that set up one of Nick Folk’s three field goals. Smith and running back Bilal Powell added 81 more rushing yards for a total of 157 at 5.6 yards per carry.

The pass catchers were no where to be found, however, as Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley combined for three catches and 39 yards.

Holmes, who earlier in the week called the Carolina secondary the Panther’s “weak link” on defense, was jawed at all game and dropped half as many balls as he caught despite being targeted eight times.

“I’m an eight-year veteran,” Holmes said after the game. “I wouldn’t regret anything.”

Despite clearly motivating the Panthers, Ryan stood behind his star wide receiver saying, “I think the weakness is the secondary, I’ll say it. I’m not saying they’re a bad secondary, but [their weakness] is not they’re front.”

Cumberland led all receivers with 50 yards and one touchdown while wide receiver David Nelson added 44 yards on three catches.

Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, a defensive rookie of the year candidate no less, had the only other Jets touchdown, taking two carries to punch it in at the goal line with three minutes left in the third quarter.

“We’ve been practicing it,” said Ryan about giving the 294-pound Richardson goal line touches. “[We were] thinking they shouldn’t be able to deny that guy down there.”

On the whole, the defense played well enough to win, save for loads of missed tackles and a 72-yard touchdown screen pass which DeAnglo Williams took for a touchdown.

After Miami’s unexpected win over the Patriots earlier today, the Jets, at 6-8, sit two games back of the final wildcard slot in the AFC. That means they would need a prayer and a miracle just to have the possibility of sneaking in.

But despite hanging tough against a playoff bound Carolina team, and despite being projected as one of the worst teams in the league heading into the season, Ryan was not in the mood for moral victories.

“No, no, no. Absolutely not,” said Ryan, half laughing, half shaking his head. “We came here to win, we thought we’d win.”

“Hell, obviously that’s not our intent going into a season or any other time. We want to win it all that’s been clear since I got here.”

So, as for the Jets in 2013, it’s like the saying goes: Wait ’til next year. Unfortunately for Ryan, there might not be a next year.

Folk-lore: Jets’ kicker having a magical season

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – Just before every kick, Nick Folk takes three paces back, two paces to the side, plants his feet and then twists to his right.

Three, two, plant, twist. It’s his routine and it’s working.

Nick Folk has been one of many pleasant surprises for the Jets this season, kicking a perfect 23-for-23 heading into the bye week.

“Some guys have their own special pre-kick routine, that’s mine,” Folk told Jets Insider before last Sunday’s game against New Orleans. “I want to make sure that’s consistent so I know I’m starting in the same spot to give myself that best chance to make the kick.”

Folk then went on to make four more field goals in a victory over the Saints four more field goals in a victory over the Saints, connecting from 39, 21, 47 and 45 yards out and accounting for 14 of the Jets 26 points. Anyone who does sports betting online knows that Nick Folk has been money this season.

“You’re talking about ‘Folk Hero?’” joked head coach Rex Ryan after the game. “Guys, how about that year? Geez.”

“It’s not that it’s a given, but it’s like ‘Go ahead Folk Hero. Knock it through. Let’s go, and then get that kick-off coverage ready.’ It almost feels like that. I’ve been around some really good kickers in my day, but the year he is having is absolutely phenomenal.”

‘Folk Hero’ is the name Ryan has adopted for his prized kicker, a name he has repeated over and over, big kick after big kick.

In total, Folk has had to “three, two, plant, twist” 23 times this season, and 23 times the Jets have gotten three points.

He’s been perfect, there’s no other way to spin it.

“Anytime you can be consistent playing this game it’s a big help for our team. I just want to do whatever I can,” said Folk. “These guys put so much effort, time, blood, sweat and tears into this that I want to do my part to make sure that they’re getting the satisfaction of winning as many times as we possibly can.”

Including the streak, which at 23 straight is one away from Jay Feely’s franchise record, Folk has kicked three game winning field goals this season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons and rival New England Patriots.

In the offseason, Folk actually modified his training regiment to kick less often during the week in an attempt to stay fresh during the year.

And by the looks of it, the change is paying dividends.

“We can keep going forward, keep progressing with [the training change] so that we can stay fresh throughout the course of the year and not go into Miami at the end of the year and be dead tired or go into a playoff run and be dead tired, we can keep that momentum going,” said Folk. “When you’re not tired, you’re not over-kicking, over-swinging and you can still make the long field goals, kick a kickoff deep, kick some touchbacks.”

In a season marked by inconsistency, especially on offense, Folk has been the Jets’ rock, twice winning AFC special teams player of the week. It’s funny to think that just this offseason the Jets brought in Dan Carpenter and Billy Cundiff to compete for Folk’s job.

In the midst of his best season as a professional, Folk hasn’t let the pressure get to him, falling back on his routine and letting it rip. Three, two, plant, twist. Nothing else.

“Nothing. I’m serious. I couldn’t tell you,” said Folk about what’s goes through his head before each big kick.

“I block everything out. I try to embrace the pressure part of it but not think about anything. I don’t want to have any swing thoughts where you’re complicating things. I want to keep it as simple as possible and kick the ball through the yellow poles, that’s the plan.”

Three, two, plant, twist.

Jets grab controversial win over Patriots in OT

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – A rule’s a rule.

Bill Belichick may not like it. The fans may not have known it existed. But for Rex Ryan and the New York Jets, a controversial call may have just saved their season.

Winless in their last five games against New England, the Jets managed to claw their way into a 30-27 overtime victory at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, thanks in part to a bounce-back game from rookie Geno Smith, a timely pick-6 and a new NFL rule regarding field goals.

Rule 9.1.3.2, to be exact.

Chris Ivory rushed for 104 yards and the Jets defeated the rival Patriots, 30-27, in overtime on Sunday.

It’s a rule, brand new to the NFL in 2013, that states: “Players cannot push teammates on the line of scrimmage into the offensive formation” and it came into effect on the game’s deciding play.

After failing to convert on a crucial overtime third down at the New England 38-yard line, the Jets elected to send Nick Folk out for a would-be game winning, 58-yard field goal.

“We had ‘Folk Hero’ and we thought maybe we could pop one on them,” said Ryan after the game.

Instead, it went wide left, setting up Tom Brady with a second chance and a short field, needing only a field goal to cap off the victory.

Then the flags flew.

The call on the field was unsportsmanlike conduct, a 15-yard penalty, on Patriot’s defensive tackle Chris Jones for pushing his teammate into the formation. The Jets retained possession, ran the ball three more times and Folk kicked a much more manageable 42-yarder for the win.

Belichick was irate on the sideline, fans in the stadium were on their feet and the press box was abuzz with people saying, “What in the world just happened?”

“We have probably talked about it before,” said Jones. “It slipped my mind at the time. Now I know it. I just have to keep that in mind during the up coming games so I don’t make that mistake again.”

The real kicker (pun intended) is that this was the first case ever of the rule actually being enforced.

“We’ll take it,” said Ryan, head coach of the now second place, 4-3, New York Jets, a team that many people wrote off as one of the worst in the league before the season started.

“We don’t care how people look at us as long as the fans know that this team right here is going to compete every single day,” said Ryan. “We’re certainly much better than what people thought. I guess that’s not hard to be, we were picked 32nd, I think. But I think we’re better than that.”

Geno Smith went 17 for 33 for 233 passing yards, 32 rushing yards, a rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown.

The rookie’s only mistake came on a forced pass to David Nelson in the first quarter that resulted in a 79-yard pick-6 by Logan Ryan.

“I think this one means a little bit more to us,” said Smith. “You could just get that feeling in the locker room and around the community. Everyone knows about this rivalry.”

Running back Chris Ivory was a work horse grinding out 104 yards on the ground and Jeremy Kerley was money on third down, going for 97-yards and a touchdown pass. David Nelson added four catches for 80 yards.

Antonio Allen played great in coverage against star tight end Rob Gronkowski, deflecting two passes and returning an interception for a touchdown early in the second half.

“We knew we needed a turnover,” said Allen. “We were trying to get one … We knew we had to force a turnover in order to win the game.”

The Jets travel to Cincinnati next week to face the 5-2 Bengals, starting a stretch that also includes the New Orleans Saints and division rival Bills and could very well ignite or extinguish New York’s playoff hopes.

“It’s a big push. That is a division team,” said Kerley of the Patriots. “We definitely want to get up in the division but a win like that against an opponent like that is a big motivation and hopefully a drive for the next some odd games.”