The New York Jets lost a heartbreaker in their season opener to the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-22. The kicker had a bad game. Nevertheless, the blame is going in the wrong direction.
For many, this season-opening loss for the New York Jets will be unfairly pinned on kicker Nick Folk. He did miss an extra point and have a field goal blocked, but the latter wouldn’t have happened had the Jets moved the football the way they should have.
Folk didn’t do his job, and it’s fair to blame him partially for this loss. However, it’s not squarely on Folk’s shoulders. The bulk of the blame falls on the offense.
The offense played well. There were many individual stars that made contributions. Running back Matt Forte did as expected on the ground and in the air, wide receiver Quincy Enunwa is emerging, and Eric Decker caught a touchdown. With that said, the offense failed in the most crucial spot.
The Jets had 14 possessions off of takeaways that started in opponents’ territory in 2015. They scored only five touchdowns on those possessions. It’s starting to look like 2015 this year. Cornerback Marcus Williams intercepted a pass that led to a Jets drive starting at the Bengals 35-yard line. The Bengals ended up blocking a Folk field goal.
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Even a field goal in that spot is a wasted drive.
In addition to that missed opportunity, the Jets went 2-5 in the red zone.
They need to score touchdowns when they start so close, and at least come away with points in the red zone.
The Jets need to score a touchdown, regardless of whether or not that field goal is blocked. Otherwise, the complexion of the game completely changes. Even if it’s 10-0 instead of 14-0, the Bengals’ defense gets confidence and momentum from the huge stop.
Of course Folk deserves some blame for missing a point after touchdown and allowing the field goal to be blocked. However, to pin it on his performance is ludicrous.
In short, it’s not as much Folk’s fault as the traditional media, social media, and fans will portray it. He deserves some blame, just not what most people will call for.