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NY Jets: Winners and losers from the 2021 preseason

NY Jets, Zach Wilson
NY Jets, Zach Wilson / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
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NY Jets
NY Jets, Matt Ammendola / Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Winner: Matt Ammendola, K, NY Jets

Remember how Bryce Huff is the Jets' biggest preseason winner? Well, kicker Matt Ammendola may go down as the team’s biggest preseason pick-up, even after whatever moves general manager Joe Douglas makes before Week 1. 

To understand how Ammendola got here, one must go back to 2019, when the Jets had to replace Pro Bowl kicker Jason Myers, who was allowed to walk in free agency.

Between 2019 and 2020, the Jets turned to four different kickers (more if including those in training camp/preseason). To summarize their stints with the Jets — none of them could replicate Myers’ leg. 

Entering training camp this year, the competition was Sam Ficken vs. undrafted free agent Chris Naggar. Shortly into camp, Ficken was waived as the Jets added undrafted free agent Matt Ammendola out of Oklahoma State.

In college, Ammendola made 60-of-78 field goals and 97.8 percent of extra points in 42 games. In the NFL though, Ammendola has looked like the next great leg. 

By the Packers game, Ammendola was the lone kicker left on the team, as Naggar was waived. He had won the competition and went on to finish the preseason having made every kick attempted (four field goals and five extra points).

Not to mention, Ammendola has plenty of power in his kick too, even drilling a 54-yard field goal in Green Bay.

The reason why a kicker is so important to a team is that an entire game can be altered by a missed extra point or field goal. With Ammendola on the team, though, head coach Robert Saleh hopes he has a guy who can be relied on to put it through the uprights every time. 

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