The New England Patriots dominated the New York Jets on offense and defense, but special teams did fly under the radar a bit. While the unit did have a muffed punt by Gunner Olszewski result in a touchdown and also missed an extra point, it saw a strong performance by one of its key members: punter Jake Bailey was magnificent, and a key factor in the field position battle being consistently won by the Patriots.
As a result of his marvelous outing, Bailey was now named the AFC’s Special Teams Player of the Week. It is the first time in his young career that the Stanford product — New England drafted him in the fifth round earlier this year — earned an individual honor in the NFL. Furthermore, the 22-year-old is now the first member of the 2019 Patriots to be named among the league’s Players of the Week.
His award-winning performance saw him get a lot of action despite the Patriots scoring 30 points: Bailey was brought on for seven kicks, and he looked good by averaging 44.3 yards per punt with a net of 41.4. Five of his punts landed inside the Jets’ 12-yard line, with the other two going out of bounds and just falling into the end zone for a touchback. Not one of his punts was run back by Jets returnman Braxton Berrios.
Three weeks into the season, Bailey continues to show why the Patriots went with him at punter over incumbent Ryan Allen.