For 12 seasons, Mike Westhoff had the Jets among the league’s best special teams unit.
Westhoff and the Jets parted ways after the 2012 season, and he became a sensation with the SNY team.
Last season, Westhoff was lured out of retirement by New Orleans, and he has done his part of the team’s magical run this season.
It has taken a few years in the Todd Bowles era to get the Jets’ special teams back in the spotlight.
Jason Myers and Andre Roberts have placed an immense part in it.
Ironically, they both arguably the low profile signings of GM Mike Maccagnan’s free-agent spree last year.
Myers was a late August signing after being released by Seattle. At the time, the Jets’ kicking situation was shaky at best with Cairo Santos or Taylor Bertolet unable to secure the spot.
The former Marist kicker should be a Pro Bowl selection, as he has been nearly infallible with 30 of 32 field attempts and 24 of 35 extra-point tries. He has six field goals of 50-yards plus. Coming into this season, Myers has 64 field goals, his best being a 26-for-30 season in his first of three seasons at Jacksonville beginning in 2015.
Roberts, 30, was signed for his return prowess from Atlanta, and he has lived up to his billing. The nine-year veteran has an impressive four-year stay in Arizona from 2010-13 and had stops at Washington and Detroit before Atlanta.
He leads the league in punt returns (15.3 yards), sixth in kickoff returns (27.1), and has accumulated a league-high league with 841 return yardage. Roberts also has eight returns of 40 or more yards, including a 51-yard kickoff return last week against Buffalo that set up a much-needed touchdown.
However, both could have trouble against Houston in a Saturday afternoon matinee at Met Life, as the Texans are looking to tighten their grip on securing the AFC South title.
The duo also could have trouble finding their footing as a steady rain is predicted throughout the majority of the game.
If the Jets can keep Myers in motion and allow Roberts to run free, they can stay within striking range for a late-game shot to perform the same kind of offense burst they had against Buffalo.
The Jets also need to give quarterback Sam Darnold time, and certainly will be a challenge against Houston’s 11th-ranked defense that has registered 36 sacks with defensives end J. J. Watt and Jadevean Clowney leading the charge. Watt is tied for third in the league with 12.5 sacks.,
New York will be able to take a further long look at running back Eli McGuire in a lead role with Isaiah Crowell recently being placed on injured reserve. Robbie Anderson also will be in the spotlight with often-injured Quincy Enunwa again sidelined.
Whatever the outcome, the Jets can count on Myers and Roberts through the final stretch.
They will be there, and they should also be at least two Jets playing football in late January.
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