Nick Folk: Why He Could be the Best New York Jets’ Kicker Yet
By Charlie DiSturco
Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale – USA Today Sports
Going from almost losing his job to becoming one of the best kickers in the NFL, Nick Folk has been a reliable option for the New York Jets.
In the preseason, the Jets signed two kickers to give Folk some competition, bring Dan Carpenter and Billy Cundiff onto the roster. However, these kickers did not fair well with the team, as they were both cut before the regular season.
After just nine weeks, Folk has made all 23 field goals attempted along with all 14 extra points. He is on-pace to shatter his previous high of 30 field goals by 11. He is also projected to fall just 18 points short of David Akers’ record of most points by a kicker in a single season – 166.
Folk is giving Jim Turner, two-time Pro Bowl kicker for the Jets, a run for his money, putting together arguably the best season yet for any Jets kicker.
In Turner’s two Pro-Bowl years, he went 66-93 in 28 games, or about 71% when attempting field goals. In one of those two years he scored 145 total points, good for 21st among all players and first among Jet players (who set the record while on NY). If Folk keeps his production steady, he will beat Turner’s previous record by three points, or one field goal.
Folk has been a dependable kicker for his two teams – the Cowboys and the Jets – averaging a career 80.5 field goal percentage (through the nine games in 2013), only going under 76% on the year once, in his last year as a Dallas Cowboy.
It’s not like Folk’s field goals were all from inside the 40, as he has made 11 field goals from inside the forty and 12 over forty yards. Folk has also been a very clutch kicker for the Jets, as he has won multiple games because of his foot.
In the first game of the season, Folk nailed a 48-yard field goal with two seconds left to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Then, on Monday Night football, Geno Smith drove the Jets down the field and as time expired, Folk put a 43-yarder through the uprights. The last game winner came against the New England Patriots, as after a controversial penalty against the Patriots, Folk got another chance and hit a 42-yard field goal to win the game in overtime.
Folk is the third ranked kicker in ESPN’s Fantasy football standard rankings, behind Steven Hauschka and Stephen Gostkowski.
There are seven games left for Folk, as the seven-year vet will look to stay perfect in Week 11, as the Jets take on the Buffalo Bills. Folk’s reliability has been huge for the Jets and by the end of the season, he could have the best season a Jets’ kicker has ever had.