Originally written on Turn On The Jets  |  Last updated 11/20/14
Since New York Jets General Manager John Idzik took over, one mantra that everyone around Florham Park has been preaching is “competition.” We have a Quarterback competition, a Left Guard competition, a Tight End competition, a Safety competition, and a Wide Receiver competition. All of these competitions have received their fair share of warranted attention. However, one competition that seems to have been overlooked is the competition at Kicker between the incumbent Nick Folk and former Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff, the latter best known for the following kick… Even though John Idzik is credited with bringing the competition mantra to the New York Jets at virtually every position, one position that wasn’t exempt from competition under his predecessor Mike Tannebaum was Kicker. This is a position on a Rex Ryan coached team that is incredibly important because he likes to play for field position and because the Jets defenses have been traditionally stingy in points per game allowed. A kicker that is virtually automatic and can dictate an opponent’s starting field position can be the difference between 2-3 wins. Ever since Nick Folk signed a one year deal after the 2009 season, he has competed with the likes of Nick Novak, Josh Brown, and now Cundiff. Let’s take a closer look at Folk and where he ranks amongst kickers over the last three seasons to see if his position is one that actually warrants competition. 2010 Competition: None Folk was 30/39 in 2010. His 30 field goals made were tied for 4th most in the league, but his 77% field goals made percentage ranked him tied for 32nd in the league. Folk’s kickoff average was ranked 31st overall, as well, and he ranked 21st overall in touchbacks with 7. There were concerns that he hadn’t fully recovered from the torn hip that had bothered him in Dallas. He did deliver this long lasting memory, right after Mark Sanchez flashed first round Quarterback potential. 2011 Competition: Nick Novak The Jets, clearly not thrilled with Folk’s kicking percentage from the previous year, brought in former UFL Kicker Nick Novak to compete with the incumbent. The San Diego Chargers actually tried signing Novak to replace the injured Nate Kaeding the previous year, but the UFL refused to accept the required release fee, and Novak remained in the UFL through their season. The competition lasted the entire preseason before Novak was waived and Folk was awarded the job. After winning the job from Novak, Folk’s makes and attempts both dropped, as his 19 field goals made (in 26 attempts) were tied for 28th in the NFL, and his 76% of field goals made was tied for 29th…lowest in the league. His kickoff average was again ranked 31st overall, but he increased his touchbacks to 17. 2012 Competition: Josh Brown Again wanting to push Folk, the Jets signed former Rams kicker Josh Brown, who had a kickoff average the previous year that ranked 14th in the league. Special Teams coach Mike Westhoff called it the “best kicking competition I’ve ever been a part of.” Folk, again, beat back the competition. Folk hit on 21 of 27 field goals attempted, and his 78% field goals made percentage placed him 30th in the league. The Verdict Nick Folk has hovered around the 77-79% kicking percentage, which is very low in comparison to the rest of the kickers in the league. 18 kickers last year hit on at least 85% of their field goals, including Lawrence Tynes who spends 8 games per year kicking in the same stadium as Folk. The Jets plan is to play good defense, run the ball, throw accurately, and win close games. The team isn’t built to win shootouts. They absolutely need Folk, if he wins the job, to make more than 77% of his kicks. Leaving 9 points on the field every 10 kicks (Folk’s average over the last 3 seasons) for a kicker expected to take 27-30 field goals is unacceptable. It makes sense the Jets would continue to bring in competition for him.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Undrafted QB Connor Shaw to sign with Browns, likely start

Report: Alex Smith out week 17 with lacerated spleen

Belichick: Garoppolo has better understanding of NFL

Lionel Hollins: 'Honored and blessed to coach Kevin Garnett'

Curt Schilling gives Johnny Manziel advice on Twitter

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

Andre Johnson willing to take pay cut with Texans?

Mets star David Wright reaches out to sons of slain NYPD officer

Panthers coach replaces break-in victims’ Christmas presents

Bruce Arians benches Logan Thomas on Christmas Day

Richard Sherman: Marshawn Lynch having MVP season

Mark Richt confirms Todd Gurley will leave UGA for NFL

Frank Gore: Colin Kaepernick is 'not broke'

The story of Morgan Bulkeley and birth of National League

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things the world learned about the NBA on Christmas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

The year’s 10 most notable sports media stories

'Roberto' Gronkowski wishes Pats fans Feliz Navidad

Are the Seahawks back on track?

WATCH: LeBron gets standing ovation from Heat fans in return

15 defunct bowls that leave the holidays feeling empty

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things learned about NBA on X-Mas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Year's most notable sports media stories

'Roberto Gronkowski wishes fans Feliz Navidad

Are the Seahawks back on track?

Wright reaches out to slain officer's sons

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Dan Le Batard sums up Miami's relationship with LeBron

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.