Blocked kicks in the NFL this season are on pace for a 20-year low, with only 22 blocks through 13 weeks. And the Jets lately hadn’t been putting the kibosh on many kicks anyway — no punt blocks since 2013, no deflected field goals since ’12, no snuffed PATs since ’09.
But all droughts end, and two dams burst for the Green & White at Tennessee last Sunday with Kevin Pierre-Louis’ smothering of Brett Kern’s punt and Henry Anderson’s swatdown of Ryan Succop’s extra point, both in the second quarter.
For KPL, it was an official underscoring of one of his skills since he signed with the Jets as an unrestricted free agent in March. You’ll recall his deflection of a Browns punt in Week 3 that wasn’t scored as a block because the ball pinwheeled across the line of scrimmage.
“I’ve been fortunate enough in my career to get close on a lot of things,” Pierre-Louis told me. “I’ve got a bunch of tips and deflections. I got a block when I was in Kansas City last year, but that was in the preseason. But everything that’s happened in the regular season has been tips and they just crossed the line.”
He also said the block was rewarding because a foot injury cost him four midseason games and of his 157 plays this season, only 11 have come on defense.
“For me personally it was good because I missed a bunch of time and I didn’t have too many snaps on defense, so you’ve kind of got to do something,” he said. “Feeling like you’re contributing is always a good thing.”
Pierre-Louis and Anderson, who got the second blocked kick of his career (he spiked a field goal for the Colts last year), provided two blocks in the same game for only the seventh time in franchise history and two in the same quarter for the first time since 1965. Here are the previous six two-block games:
The final blocked-kick frontier for the Jets is field goals. Muhammad Wilkerson was the last to redirect one, at Tennessee, as it turns out, on MNF back in 2012. In the last six years, the Jets are the only NFL team without a field goal block.