Jets’ Fake Punt Was Steve Weatherford’s Call, May Not Have Known Situation


The Jets woke up on Monday in second place, partly stemming from the fact that a trick play backfired.

Facing a 4th-and-18 from their own 18-yard line, the Jets called for a fake punt in Sunday's 9-0 loss to the Packers. The call was originally thought to be the working of special teams coach Mike Westhoff, and must have surely been approved by head coach Rex Ryan.

Think again.

In fact, the call was Jets punter Steve Weatherford's decision to risk it and try for the first down.

"I thought it would be a good opportunity for us to get a big swing in the game," Weatherford said after the game. "I came up a bit short."

A bit short, indeed. In fact, it was originally ruled a first down on the field, but a smart challenge by Packers head coach Mike McCarthy reversed the decision and gave the ball to Green Bay. A Mason Crosby field goal gave the Pack a 3-0 lead, one they would not surrender.

Weatherford got the yardage he needed on the fake punt, or so he thought.

"I don't think he realized we'd just been sacked," Ryan said after the game, referring to a 9-yard loss on a sack of Mark Sanchez a play before. "We told him before that it needed to be a manageable situation, not fourth-and-20 or whatever it was."

The New York loss, paired with a Patriots win over the Vikings, left the Jets in second place with New England gaining sole possession of first place atop the AFC East.

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