New York Jets: Sam Ficken has quietly solved kicking woes
By Paul A. Esden Jr.
The New York Jets no longer have a kicking problem. You can thank Sam Ficken for quietly solving the team’s kicking issues.
The New York Jets are 1-0 in the second quarter of the 2019 season. While things haven’t gone according to plan this season, things are actually looking up. Especially at kicker.
Back in March, the Jets had duffel bags of cash to hand out to any free agents they wanted including their own. Despite that, the green and white decided to inform their only Pro Bowl kicker in franchise history to hit the bricks in Jason Myers.
So the Jets decided to be frugal and went with a cheaper alternative in Chandler Catanzaro.
Well, that cat ran out of lives following the first preseason game. After struggling throughout training camp and in Week 1 vs the New York Giants, he opted to retire.
Which sent the Jets to Taylor Bertolet, an unproven kicker that had some past training camp experience with the team.
Once he struggled the Jets made another switch by bringing in Kaare Vedvik off of waivers. This Norwegian superstar the green and white almost traded for but lost in a bidding war to the Minnesota Vikings.
Two weeks after that trade was consummated Kaare was released and the Jets jumped on him. Vedvik would go on to cost the Jets four points in the regular-season opener vs the Buffalo Bills in a game they lost by one single point.
The team quickly moved on once again as the fanbase started to lose hope a knight in shining armor arose from the shadows his name is Sam Ficken.
Samuel James Ficken played collegiately at Penn State and played a couple of years with the LA Rams as a fill-in placekicker.
Since seizing the starting role with the Jets we’ve rarely heard his name called.
He’s made 2-of-3 field goals and has converted every extra point (5-for-5). While that’s not a large sample size, he’s delivered when it mattered most.
In Week 6 vs the Dallas Cowboys, the Jets were driving up five points looking for the kill shot. Sadly they had to settle for a field goal. With a conversion they’d extend their lead to eight, guaranteeing at worst an overtime appearance. Although with a miss the Jets would leave themselves vulnerable to a last-second one-point loss to the Cowboys if they punched in a touchdown.
Ficken unfazed delivered a crisp 38-yarder to essentially clinch the victory if the Jets defense held serve which they did.
Just because Sam’s name hasn’t been mentioned lately, doesn’t mean he’s not doing a serviceable job. Ficken has quietly solved the team’s kicking woes and with Sam Darnold back running the show, he’ll be called upon more often to deliver for the green and white down the stretch.