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Jets K Greg Zuerlein Named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week

His Perfect Day in Denver Was Quietly Instrumental in Propelling the Jets Past the Broncos


Nobody on the Jets talks much about kicker Greg Zuerlein. The most discussion regarding Greg the Leg this season came before the game at Dallas, which he missed with a groin injury sustained at practice.

Zuerlein's weekly game plan is just to go out and do his job. His job Sunday at Denver was to be perfect. And he was.

Zuerlein converted all five of his field goal attempts and both of his extra points, and he went 8-for-8 on kickoff touchbacks. His 17 points and consistent field position were quietly instrumental in lifting the Jets past the Broncos, 31-21.

His perfect Sunday has also earned him to the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week award.

POW awards are a regular occurrence for Zuerlein. This is his first weekly award in five seasons but his seventh overall, the first six coming from 2012-18 with the Rams as NFC ST Player of the Week.

And the honors are becoming old hat for coordinator Brant Boyer's special teamers, who have collected five POW honors, all since 2018. After the opening-night triumph over the Bills, rookie punt returner Xavier Gipson and S Jordan Whitehead won awards, with Gipson and Zuerlein as specialists marking the first time the Jets have received two of the NFL's weekly AFC special teams awards in the same season since K Nick Folk was recognized twice in 2013.

Zuerlein's approach, whether during his eight seasons with the Rams, two with the Cowboys or the last two with the Jets, remains the same. As the laconic Legatron once said:

"I don't think anything's ever certain in the kicking business," he said. "For right now, today was a good day. That's all you can ever ask for, really, is one day at a time, and that's kicking."

The Z-man's good day Sunday was actually a Rocky Mountain high for Jets kickers. Among his distinctions:

■ He went 5-for-5 on field goals for the fourth time in his career and the second time as a Jet. He drilled all five of his FG tries at Minnesota last year, including his franchise-long 60-yarder. Zuerlein, Jason Myers and Folk are the only kickers who have gone 5-for-5 twice in their Jets careers.

■ His point total is tied for the fifth-most points in a game by a Jets kicker and is tied for most in a road game in franchise history. The only other Jets kickers to put 17 points on the board away from home were Jim Turner at Boston in 1969 and John Hall at Indianapolis in 2001.

■ All eight of his kickoffs through Denver's thin air went unreturned. It's only the third time since 1970 that a Jets kickoff man has had eight TBs in a game and only the second time a Jets K has gone 8-for-8 or better. Myers was 9-for-9 in the 2018 opener at Detroit. Although many big-legged kickers are preventing most kickoff returns these days, only three of them this season have a perfect touchback rate. Zuerlein, at 18-for-18, is one of them.

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