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2020 Opponent Scouting Report: Jets Special Teams, Final Thoughts and Predictions

Pittsburgh Steelers v New York Jets Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Overview

On September 27th, 2020 the Indianapolis Colts will host the New York Jets. In this Week 3 match-up, I sought to understand our opponent and get a better idea of how they may attack our Colts.

The Colts vs. Jets is a classic NFL matchup. The two teams have met 74 times since their most famous, initial meeting in Super Bowl 3. Our Colts currently lead the all time series 42-32, but long gone are the days of Joe Namath’s Super Bowl guarantee and Peyton’s excellence. In their past five contests the Jets are 4-1 against our Colts. The Colts one win came in a 41 to 10 shellacking in 2016. Outside of that win, recent history favors the opponent.

Let’s see what we can expect in week three.


Special Teams


Kicker:

NFL: Miami Dolphins at New York Jets Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The pride of Valparaiso, Indiana: Sam Ficken.

Ficken earned his first full time kicking job in 2019 with the New York Jets. Ficken’s first year wasn’t stellar going 19 for 27 on his field goal attempts and 23 for 26 on extra point attempts.

To be fair to Ficken 7 of his 8 misses came from beyond 40 yards and he plays his home games outdoors. Still 70% for a professional football kicker isn’t a great average.


Punter:

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Braden Mann is a rookie punter out of Texas A&M. The most interesting fact about Braden Mann is that he has exactly 500 yards punting in his short career. Not 499, not 501, but exactly 500.

After I wrote that I realized there is no interesting information easily available for Braden Mann. I didn’t try Googling him because he’s a rookie punter for the Jets and I don’t Google punters unless their name sounds familiar. If I’m lucky I get to see a highlight like this one:

Ah man, that clip never gets old.

It’s funny because the punter dies.


Returner:

NFL: New York Jets at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

That’s Ashtyn Davis, a third round rookie out of Cal. Rumor has it Davis is really fast. He’s only returned two kicks and he’s yet to find a lot of open space so for those of us who haven’t seen him in practice his speed is just a rumor at this point.

The other Returner who has seen action this season for the Jets is Josh Malone. Yes the same Josh Malone who is averaging 4 yards per catch as a receiver.

Anything is possible but I couldn’t be less intimated by Malone. Davis is largely unknown.


Final Thoughts for The Week:

Any time Gregg Williams is calling your defense you have a chance to win the game. But in order for that to happen your offense has to score some points while your defense plays a perfect game. If the Colts play defense like they did a week ago, even if Gregg Williams calls a perfect game, this one might end in a 0 to 0 tie.

Obviously I don’t actually think that’s going to happen but I am really impressed with what Williams gets out of the little talent he’s working with. This Jets offense is maybe the worst I’ve ever evaluated. The talent is poor, the play calling is absolutely the worst I’ve ever seen and Sam Darnold needs a new coach before he is irreparably damaged as a player.

Still, I’m not going to guarantee anything. After two weeks its still tough to know exactly who and what any team is. If the Jets come out like they’ve got something to prove and the Colts are too proud of their beat down of the Vikings last week, the improbable could happen. The evidence that we have (what both teams have put on film thus far) points to the Jets being a terrible team while the Colts are capable of playing very well. The evidence bodes well for our Colts.


Predictions

  • Jonathan Taylor will have a hard time finding room to run most of the day. If he racks up a lot of yards it will be largely due to one or two long runs, not consistent 4-8 yarders.
  • The Colts will sack Sam Darnold no less than 5 times.
  • A former Colts defender will create a turnover, Colts-Twitter will wonder why the team ever got rid of him.
  • Final Score:

Colts 31

Jets 12