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The New York Jets have always suffered in the kicking department, and this season will be no different.
Special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff is currently trying to decide who the better kicker is: Nick Folk or Nick Novak. Folk was signed last season and went 30-39 for the Jets in his first year, including a game winning field goal against the Colts in the playoffs. Novak was signed this offseason to a one-year deal, but hasn't played in the NFL since 2008.
Folk has been known to implode in the past, more specifically in 2009, when he went 18-28 (64.3%) for the Dallas Cowboys and was later cut by the team. His inconsistency has drawn some groans from Jets fans, and Rex Ryan considered benching him last season when he struggled again.
But is Nick Novak the answer? Novak last played for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008, going 6-10 (60%) in nine appearances. He is a career 63.3% kicker since coming into the NFL in 2005, but has never emerged as a starting kicker in the league.
The Star-Ledger released a story this week on Folk, who said he is focusing on the regular season and not his battle with Novak. Novak is a perfect 2-2 this preseason, while Folk is 3-4 after missing a 43 yard field goal against Cincinnati. Folk said that he is "kicking the ball well, and that's all I can feel".
Folk is currently the man to beat, considering he was the team's starter last season, but Novak is clearly right on his heels. But both men have struggled in their careers, and both could be a huge Achilles heel as the 2011 season starts.
The Jets have been known to rely on their kickers to win games (Doug Brien anyone?), and if the Jets can't find a steady kicker in 2011, expect it to hurt the team in big situations.