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Inside the Numbers: Lachlan Lets It Fly

Jets Punter vs. Jags Connected on Long Fake-Punt Pass, Then on Long Game-Changing Punt in OT


Lachlan Edwards was modest when describing his final punt vs. the Jaguars, which started the ball rolling toward Chandler Catanzaro's game-winning 41-yard overtime field goal.

"I just hit a 40-yarder before that, so I don't think [returner Marqise Lee] was expecting that," he said. "I was just happy to go out there and do my part. I felt I hadn't punted amazingly that game, I was doing just enough, so it was good to help out the offense and defense like that."

And how. When Lee, who got fingertips on the punt at his 21, retrieved it at his 5, the official gross distance of the punt was 70 yards. That made it the longest overtime punt in NFL history.

And because the Jags were called for an illegal block on the play, negating Lee's 5-yard return, the net was also officially 70 yards. That's the second-longest net punt in franchise history, trailing only the NFL-record 98-yard gross and net launched by rookie Steve O'Neal in the rare air of Denver in 1969.

And Some Fake NewsEdwards also let it fly one other time, when he hit Marcus Williams with his wobbly fake-punt pass and Williams took it the final 26 yards for a 31-yard completion on fourth-and-21 at the end of the first half.

As Edwards told me, he can't throw, which is why he became a punter. ST coordinator Brant Boyer said Thursday, "I know how much experience he has and it's nothing. But it's practiced every day and we've practiced that play for a year and a half. He usually throws it a hell of a lot better in practice, but he did a nice job. He executed it just like it's done. It wasn't a pretty pass, but that's what it is supposed to look like."

What the play didn't produce was a score, when Chandler Catanzaro missed the ensuing 45-yard FG try. But as Williams said, there's nothing like a play like that to pump up the team for the second half.

In fact, that was the fourth-longest fourth-down conversion (fake or not) in franchise history and the longest ever in a Jets home game. The longest: Joe Namath to Jerome Barkum for 45 yards on fourth-and-30 at Oakland in 1972.

Flag DaysFor the season, the Jets' 30 penalties (tied for 10th-most) and 273 penalty yards (tied for sixth-most) aren't horrible, but their 10 penalties in each of the last two games vs. Miami and Jacksonville are not what head coach Todd Bowles wants to see.

"We don't want 10 penalties a week," Bowles said. "I know we got them the last two weeks and that's something we're working on now. That's kind of a pet peeve of mine so we have to get better there."

The only other time in the last two decades that the Jets had 10-plus penalties in back-to-back games was at Philadelphia and vs. the Giants in 2011, both losses. The last time they had 10-plus flags in back-to-back wins was vs. Denver and New Orleans in 1986.

Since 1963, the Jets have never had three consecutive games with 10-plus penalties.

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