The Winless Jets Are Among the NFL's Best at This Position

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There's no question that the winless Jets have struggled on both sides of the ball this year. When you start a season 0-9, it's not hard to tell.

If it wasn't for New York's performance at this one position, however, this team would be even worse.

Between starting kicker Sam Ficken and his replacement Sergio Castillo, filling in the last three weeks due to Ficken's groin injury, the Jets are 15-for-17 on field goal attempts in 2020. 

There's plenty of season left, but New York is on pace to blow past the production at the kicker position this team had last year. With three more makes over the final seven games of the year, they'll exceed last season's total (19-for-28).

To take that one step further, one of those two misses so far this season came on an attempt from Castillo that was blocked by a Chiefs defender in Week 8. For all we know, had Kansas City's Armani Watts not gotten a hand on the kick, New York could be 16-for-17 on the season.

Ficken accounted for the Jets only other missed field goal, a 55-yard attempt against the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 18.

If you consider the Ficken-Castillo duo as one kicker, they would be tied for 10th (with an 88.2 field goal percentage) among kickers with 17-plus attempts this season. Give Castillo a make on the blocked field goal two weekends ago—for argument's sake—and this duo would rank even higher among the league's top kickers.

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Considering how New York's offense has routinely been unable to finish off drives, especially in the second half where the offense has struggled across the board, having kickers to rely on has been a crutch for head coach Adam Gase. As you'll see across the National Football League, kicking is by no means a guarantee for every team. The Jets, averaging a league-worst 13.4 points per game, have at least had consistency at that position.

Ficken kicked for the Jets in 15 games last season. He's been sidelined with a groin injury for each of New York's last three games, but could return for Week 11 against the Chargers if he can continue to recuperate and take advantage of a bye week.

Castillo is in his first season in the NFL. He's made appearances in the XFL and Canadian Football League over the years, slowly working his way to his NFL debut this year after kicking at West Texas A&M.

New York has been in only one game decided by three points or less (Monday night's gut-wrenching loss to New England) so kicking hasn't necessarily played a factor for this team in terms of wins and losses. Just imagine, however, how much more the Jets would be losing by each week if their kickers have been off their game as well. 

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