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Grading Jets: Special teams gets an 'A'

New York Jets kicker Nick Folk, center, reacts

New York Jets kicker Nick Folk, center, reacts as he kicks a field goal during the second half of an NFL game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014, in Minneapolis. Photo Credit: AP / Alex Brandon



Many of the final numbers were certainly impressive: 410 total yards, 47-percent third-down efficiency, and Geno Smith threw for 254 yards and a touchdown. But Smith did have that pick-6 on the first play of the game, and the Jets were once again abysmal in the red zone. No matter how well you move it between the 20s, you have to make the most of your opportunities, and five Nick Folk field goals won't get it done. Percy Harvin had a terrific game with six catches for 124 yards and a touchdown before leaving late in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury.




Even without suspended running back Adrian Peterson, the Vikings were efficient enough to produce 114 rushing yards, but it was rookie Teddy Bridgewater who did the most damage with 309 passing yards and two touchdowns for a 117.7 rating. The Jets were caught on the final play of the game showing a blitz, and Bridgewater responded by changing the play at the line of scrimmage to a wide-receiver screen. It wound up going 87 yards for the winning score. The Jets got good pressure on Bridgewater -- Sheldon Richardson had a career-high three sacks, including a safety -- but Bridgewater solved the defense in the end.




Folk, who missed two field goals last Monday against the Dolphins and sustained a hip flexor, was perfect on all five attempts, including a 44-yarder late in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime. Punter Ryan Quigley had two punts inside the 20, and the Vikings were a non-factor on kickoff returns, particularly Cordarrelle Patterson, who averaged 21.5 yards on four returns.




Rex Ryan came into the game with a career record of 8-1 against rookie quarterbacks, but Bridgewater got the best of him this time. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg called a much more balanced game than Monday's loss to the Dolphins, but his inability to fix the team's red-zone problems has been an issue all season and continued against the Vikings.


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