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Nick Folk Wins the Kicking Job

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The Jets have released Nick Novak, meaning incumbent kicker Nick Folk will be the man for the Jets against Dallas Week 1 barring injuries.

This move makes it pretty clear Novak was around in case Folk got hurt and that he never really had a chance to win the job. Their preseason stats are virtually identical. Novak just kicked off a bit further, and Folk missed a field goal he should have made against the Bengals. Based on merit, Novak might have had the edge.

I do not have a problem with this move, though. We know how unreliable Folk can be, but Novak has been even shakier his entire career. He is only a 63% kicker and has missed some important tries. More telling, he is only 66.7% from inside 40 yards, which should be automatic.

Additionally, Folk has done a pretty good job putting the ball where Mike Westhoff wants him to put it on kickoffs. Westhoff is capable of hiding guys with shaky kickoff legs by designing good coverage schemes. He did it with Mike Nugent. The kicker's job is to put the ball where defenders are going to have an easy path to the tackle on plays Westhoff draws up. The Jets are allowing just 13.8 yards per return on Folk kickoffs opposed to 21.3 on Novak kickoffs.