Let's just say that missing a crucial field goal is the "Same Old Jets". When the game is on the line, and the special teams unit takes the field for a field goal attempt, every Jets fan gets a ping in their stomachs that doesn't settle until the kick is well passed the uprights. We've had our fair share of misses throughout the years. But the 2009-10 season is something special to behold.
It almost makes you wonder if there really is a god and if he could have finally become a Jets fan sometime in mid December...
Earlier this year, Jay Feely set a team recored 24 consecutive field goals, only to immediately miss the 25th attempt, a 44 yarder against the Bills (after making 2 earlier in the game). The Jets lost that game in OT after a botched snap forced holder Weatherford to loft out a pass which was intercepted by the Bills, leaving the in decent field position for what became the winning field goal.
Against the Falcons, the Jets missed 3 field goals, which all but sealed the Jets fate of missing the playoffs. Feely missed two on his own (a shanked kick and a blocked kick, which was technically due to a high snap) after being nearly perfect all season, and a third kick never happened because of another bad snap. The Jets lost that game by.... a field goal 10-7.
In fact, the Jets lost games by 3 points or less three times this year (Jacksonville, Buffalo, Atlanta) in three games they should have won. Of course, you can't undo those missed opportunities but at least 2 of those losses were decided by a missed field goal... (not to mention a sh!tload of Sanchez interceptions)
Feely ended the season 30/36, with a 83% success rate, his worst season since 2004 with Atlanta. The other 3 misses came against the Raiders, Panthers and Buccaneers - all of which the Jets beat handily. . (Meanwhile, I am a HUGE Feely fan. He is athletic, and did a great job for us all season on kickoffs and kickoff coverage, and hit a lot of big FGs too...)
And the playoff gods were fortuitous...
Week 16: After playing the Colts starters tough for ~40 minutes, the Jets steamrolled passed many of the Colts' second team players, and a series of losses earlier in the day set up a unique situation for the Jets. Beat the Bengals, and you advance to the playoffs. And that they did, icing the Bengals 37-0 in the final week to set up a rematch in the Wild Card round.
Now, the Wild Card round wasn't without its own share of memorable Field Goal attempts... Just ATTEMPTS. That's right. The Bengals and former pro-bowl (and franchised kicker) Shayne Graham, regarded as one of the most accurate kickers in football, missed both field goal attempts (28, 35 yarders) against the Jets and eventually lost by 10 points. My thoughts were that those misses were karma after several blown calls went against the Jets on both would-be scoring drives. All those blown calls let to zero points.
The Jets advanced to the Divisional round to face off against the Chargers and their two time Pro-Bowl and All-Pro kicker Nate Kaeding. Kaeding has a long history of missed post-season field goals including:
- 2005 Wild card - Missed a 40 yard field goal against the Jets, who won it in OT on a Jets (Doug Brian) Field Goal.
- 2006 Divisionals - Missed a long 54 yard field goal against the Patriots with 0:03 seconds left in the game, losing 24-21
- 2007 Wild card and Divisional - Missed a field goal in each game (Titans and Colts) but won both games and ultimately lost to the Patriots in the Championship game.
Well, 2009-10 would not be any different. After going 92% during the regular season (3 missed field goals over 16 games), Nate missed 3 against the Jets which ultimately decided the game, 17-14. His misses were from 37, 57, and 40 yards.
In the post season, teams are 0-5 on field goals made against the Jets, missing from 28, 35, 37, 40, and 57 yards.
This season and most certainly the post season has had a lot of story lines, but missed field goals are so uncharacteristic of playoff teams that these stats have to stand out.. they have to mean something more than luck or fortune.
David Clowney tweeted this the other day:
O yeah, and just incase you guys didn't know or didn't see my tweet last week "God Is A JETS Fan"
Maybe he's right.....!