The New York Jets and Houston Texans were the last teams to play a preseason game this year appearing on Monday Night Football this week which means they're also the last to test out the NFL's new kickoff rules, mainly that the kickoff now comes from the 35-yard line. This has resulted in more-than-usual touchbacks, which is part of the reasoning behind the rule in order to make the game safer.
It's an adjustment for NFL teams because touchbacks are now more common than returns, if Week 1 has shown us anything. The Jets took a different strategy with that on Monday night when they played the Texans.
As PFT noticed, special teams coach Mike Westhoff had his return man lined up seven yards deep in the end zone and if the runner can catch the ball with forward momentum then he can take it out. The Jets, of all teams, know how important special teams is, as SB Nation's Gang Green Nation points out.
This is important because we know how big of an asset Westhoff's unit has been for the Jets the last couple of seasons. Two years ago, the Jets used it to springboard into the postseason by shocking the Colts, and last season, to keep teams on their toes throughout the year. And the new kickoff rule could curtail some of the unit's explosiveness.
Having a solid kick returner, like the Jets previously did with Brad Smith, can be a major asset -- if you can get the ball out of the end zone.
Check out Gang Green Nation to see all the details.