All-Time Lists

NY Jets: Top 5 kickers of all-time

By Mark Kelly
Feb 26, 2016, 4:17 AM EST
November 1, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets kicker Nick Folk (2) kicks a field goal out of the hold by punter Ryan Quigley (4) against the Oakland Raiders during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
November 1, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets kicker Nick Folk (2) kicks a field goal out of the hold by punter Ryan Quigley (4) against the Oakland Raiders during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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November 1, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets kicker Nick Folk (2) kicks a field goal out of the hold by punter Ryan Quigley (4) against the Oakland Raiders during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets have had a good amount of good kickers on their team but to make the all-time list at the position, these top five players had to come through consistently in the clutch.

As we move past the Super Bowl, near the free agency period and of course the 2016 NFL Draft, now is the time to trigger discussions about some of the best memories fans have of players that wore the green and white.

In keeping with our “best of” series, TheJetPress.com proudly presents the top five FG kickers in franchise history. One side note before we begin, in order to qualify as a kicker on this list, you had to have played at least three seasons with the Jets.

Without further adieu, enjoy!

Next: 5. A Super Bowl winning kicker

Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

5. Jim Turner – Years with Jets: 7 (1964-70)

Looking at Turner’s overall numbers and accuracy, one would wonder why on earth he would be part of this list. Turner joined the Jets in 1964 and for his career that lasted 7 seasons in green and white, he connected on a woeful 59.8 percent of his attempts (153-256), and is one of 2 kickers in team history to miss over 100 field goals.

However, attempting field goals and accuracy was a little different back in the mid 60s to late 70s when Turner played. Keep in mind that from 1964 to 70 (Turner’s years with the Jets), the league leader in both the AFL and NFL only made over 75 percent of his FGA in three of those seasons, and no one made more than 78 percent of kicks those years, so it is hard to hold a kicker to today’s standards when making comparisons.

Despite his low percentage, Turner made the Pro Bowl in 1968 and 1969, and was magnificent for the Jets in the postseason those years, connecting on 7 of 10 FGA, including going 3-5 in Super Bowl III. His 35 FGM in the 1968 season still ranks as a single season record, and his 697 points rank second in team history.

Next: 4. An extremely accurate kicker

Nov 23, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Cincinnati Bengals kicker Mike Nugent (2) kicks a field goal late in the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. The Bengals beat the Texans 22-19. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

4. Mike Nugent – Years with Jets: 4 (2005-08)

After finishing a sensational career at Ohio State, the Jets selected Nugent with the 47th overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, making him one of 3 kickers to be drafted by the Jets and the only one to be drafted in the first 11 rounds. In the history of the draft, only 8 kickers were selected higher than Nugent, which gives you an idea how valuable he was coming out of college.

One of the most accurate kickers in team history, Nugent made 81.5 percent of his FGA, ranking the highest in team history for players with at least 75 attempts. He also was automatic from 30 yards or closer, making 28 of his 29 attempts.

Sadly for Nugent, his career ended way too soon, as he was injured kicking an extra point in Week 1 of the 2008 season, and his replacement Jay Feeley did so well, the Jets never went back to him even after he healed. He was then allowed to leave via free agency after the season.

Some view his career with the Jets a bust since they used a 2nd round pick on him, and others point to his less-than-stellar 3-9 from 50 yards and beyond, but the fact remains when the Jets needed Nugent to connect, he did so more accurately than any other kicker in team history.

Next: 3. Bill Parcells believed in this kicker

Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

3. John Hall – Years with Jets: 6 (1997-2002)

An undrafted free agent from the University of Wisconsin, Hall came to the Jets as a rookie during Bill Parcells first season in 1997. Those who know how much Parcells dislikes rookies for kickers knew that Hall had to be something special for Parcells to take a risk on him.

Parcells confidence in Hall suffered a bit when he missed a potential game-winning kick at New England in a Week 3 overtime loss, but he kept with him and he was rewarded later in the year when Hall learned from his early failure and beat the Ravens with an overtime field goal in Week 10.

Hall had many up and down moments in his career, and some would say he wasn’t that clutch. His shank at the end of a gut-wrenching loss to Detroit in Week 16 of the 2000 season at home cost the Jets a playoff spot. However, his 53-yd field goal in Week 17 at Oakland in 2001 was one of the most clutch kicks in team history, helping the team secure a playoff spot.

Overall, Hall connected on 73.4 percent of his attempts with the Jets (149-203). He ranks third on the team with 652 points and 149 FGM, while his 9 FGM from 50 yards or more are the 2nd most in team history.

Next: 2. The longest tenured kicker in team history

Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; A general view of a New York Jets helmet and an NFL football during the game between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

2. Pat Leahy – Years with Jets: 18 (1974-91)

The longest tenured Jet and the leading scorer in team history, Leahy equally had as many good and bad moments with the green and white.

His career with the Jets breaks into 2 parts. He was a disaster when the Jets played at Shea Stadium, as the winds from LaGuardia Airport saw him connect on just 66.9 percent of his 112 attempts at the Jets former home.

However, when the Jets moved to the Meadowlands in New Jersey, Leahy had a career revival. During the years Leahy played at the Meadowlands, Leahy connected on just under 80 percent of his attempts there (79.8 percent – 87-109).

Despite being 770 points ahead of Jim Turner for 2nd on the team in scoring, Leahy never made more than 26 FG in a season, which he only did twice in his 19-year career. He also got better with age, as his best season was in 1990 when he connected on 88.5 percent of his attempts (23-26). Leahy retired after the 1991 season at age 40.

Next: 1. The best of the best

Sep 22, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets kicker Nick Folk (2) kicks during the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

1. Nick Folk – Years with Jets: 6 (2010-Current)

After starting his career with three seasons playing for the Dallas Cowboys, Folk came to the Jets at the start of the 2010 season and promptly registered the third highest point total (127) in team history.

During his six seasons with the Jets, Folk has captured the heart of many Jets fans by becoming the most clutch kicker in team history. Among his clutch kicks was his field goal as time expired to lead the Jets to a 17-16 win over the defending AFC Champion Indianapolis Colts in the 2010 AFC Wild Card Game.

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In 2013, Folk recorded the greatest individual season for a kicker in team history. Folk connected on 91.7 of his attempts (33-36) becoming the only kicker in team history to make over 90 percent of his attempts in a single-season. In addition to that, three times Folk kicked a game-winning field goal in overtime or the 4th quarter.

Folk currently sits 4th all-time on the Jets scoring list with 624 points and his 16 FGM from 50 yards or more rank as the most in team history. He also holds three of the top five scoring seasons in team history.

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