NFL Insider: Things are perfect for ex-Cowboys kicker Nick Folk

Posted Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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It isn’t like a no-hitter in baseball. Nick Folk will talk about his streak. He’d just rather not.

The Jets kicker isn’t superstitious. It just serves no purpose to relive the past.

“The way I look at the whole thing is the only important kick is the next one,” Folk said in a phone interview. “We can talk about the past, but the only important one is the opening kickoff of the next game if that’s what it is or the first field goal or the first extra point, whatever we kick next. That’s kind of the way I’ve been approaching this season is just trying to worry about the next one, and put all the rest behind me.

“It’s good to build off that stuff. At the same time, you’ve got to keep moving forward, and that’s what I’ve been doing.”

Folk has made all 23 of his attempts this season, one short of Jay Feely’s team record for consecutive field goals. He still is a long way from Mike Vanderjagt’s NFL record of 42 straight.

Folk, a sixth-round pick of the Cowboys in 2007, leads the NFL in field goals. Only two other kickers are perfect this season, and Jacksonville’s Josh Scobee and Denver’s Matt Prater each have only 12 attempts.

“If we win the Super Bowl, yeah, it’d be great,” Folk said of the record. “If we don’t, then it’s meaningless. I’ve said this since Day 1 when I got in the league: I’d rather kick a bunch of extra points and us win every game rather than me kick a ton of field goals and us losing games. I’d rather win than worry about what stats are at the end of the year.”

Folk has kicked three game-winners this season, beating Tampa Bay with a 48-yarder, Atlanta with a 43-yarder and New England with 42-yarder in overtime. He keeps the footballs from his game-winners, which he will display in his new off-season house in Dallas.

Folk spent the Jets’ off week two weeks ago with his wife Julianne and the couple’s 3-month-old twin boys, Gage and Davis, in Texas getting the house situated.

Life, he said, is perfect.

Jenkins doing well

Mike Jenkins smiled when he heard Cowboys fans might have a different appreciation for him now that he is gone, and their team’s secondary struggling.

It became obvious during the 2012 off-season that the cornerback, in the last year of his contract, was in his final season in Dallas. The Cowboys signed Brandon Carr to a $50.1 million deal and traded up to draft Morris Claiborne sixth overall. Jenkins, who was coming off reconstructive shoulder surgery, would have preferred to have gone elsewhere for a chance to start. He ended up playing 13 games for the Cowboys last season, starting two, before signing with the Raiders in the off-season.

“It was very frustrating for me,” Jenkins said during an interview at the Raiders’ facility. “I think the most frustrating part was coming back from my injury, I knew I would be back and ready to go on time. Those guys didn’t. I felt a certain type of way about how they treated the situation. At the end of the day, it was probably better for me. I got a chance to get back 100 percent [before free agency].”

Jenkins and Tracy Porter have been upgrades to the Raiders secondary. Jenkins has allowed 29 catches on 44 targets for 370 yards and three touchdowns, according to Pro Football Focus.

“It took me a while to get in and get acquainted with the place,” Jenkins said. “I had to do a little extra studying because it was a little different than Rob Ryan’s defense and Wade Phillips’ defense. But I actually like it out here. It was a great fit for me, coming in and trying to get back on track.”

Jenkins credits the Cowboys for getting him where he is today, grateful to Jason Witten and Terence Newman, among others, for teaching him how to be a pro.

Kubiak returns

Gary Kubiak remembers very little from his warning stroke.

“The only thing I really remember was getting a really bad headache right after Andre [Johnson] scored that touchdown,” the Texans coach said in a conference call. “I think there were like 20 seconds left in the half. … Really from there, it’s a blur for me. I don’t remember much. I remember being in the hospital and obviously talking to a lot of people once I got there, but I don’t really remember a whole lot. Maybe that’s a good thing.”

Kubiak, 52, spent two nights in a Houston hospital after collapsing on the field from a transient ischemic attack, a condition that temporarily stops blood flow to the brain and causes stroke-like symptoms.

After missing the game against the Cardinals on Sunday, he returned last week to a reduced schedule.

“I don’t know if you want to say it’s a wake up call or whatever it is, but it makes you really appreciate the opportunity you have,” the former A&M quarterback said. “It reassures you how much you love what you do.”

My five cents

1. Ed Reed got a lot of money for nothing. He made $5.44 million from the Texans for seven games, five starts and 14 solo tackles. He counts $2.77 million against Houston’s salary cap this year and $2.67 million in dead money in 2015.

2. The Dolphins traded up to No. 3 overall to take Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan. They likely thought they were getting more than a situational pass-rusher, but that is what he is his rookie season. He played only nine defensive snaps last week, and his role isn’t changing anytime soon.

3. Colin Kaepernick got defensive this week about criticism from ESPN analyst and former 49ers quarterback Trent Dilfer. He better get offensive on the field. The 49ers already ranked last in passing offense before last week when Kaepernick had a career-low 91 passing yards. He has only two games with more than 200 yards passing this season.

4. Greg Schiano has the worst odds of returning to his team in 2014, according to Las Vegas bookies. Tampa Bay’s second-year coach is 8-17 in his two seasons, but he has three years and $9 million left on his contract, so the Bucs might be inclined to give him one more season.

5. Saints kicker Garrett Hartley has missed four of his past six field-goal attempts, and the team worked out five kickers last week. But Sean Payton threw his support behind Hartley despite the Southlake Carroll product hitting only 72.7 percent of his attempts this season.

Who’s hot

The Eagles defense allowed 34.5 points per game in the first four games, which included nine touchdown passes. In the past six games, Philadelphia is allowing only 17.7 points per game and has given up six passing touchdowns. The Eagles defense also has improved its third-down efficiency and its red-zone percentage, too.

Who’s not

Falcons running Steven Jackson has played in only five games. He has 47 carries for 151 yards and no touchdowns. The Seahawks held him to 11 yards on nine attempts last week.

Numbers game

67 Number of quarterbacks who have started against the Giants during Eli Manning’s consecutive starts streak of 144. Green Bay’s Scott Tolzien becomes the 68th today.

2014 NFL Draft

Dane Brugler of CBS Sports and NFLDraftScout.com gives his top-10 senior defensive tackles and top-five draft-eligible underclassmen at the position:

Seniors

1. Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota

2. Dominique Easley, Florida

3. DaQuan Jones, Penn State

4. Will Sutton, Arizona State

5. Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh

6. Daniel McCullers, Tennessee

7. Deandre Coleman, California

8. Calvin Barnett, Oklahoma State

9. Justin Ellis, Louisiana Tech

10. Bruce Gaston, Purdue

Draft-eligible underclassmen

1. Louis Nix, Notre Dame

2. Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame

3. Anthony Johnson, LSU

4. Danny Shelton, Washington

5. Ego Ferguson, LSU

Blitz

Ravens kicker Justin Tucker has hit five game-winning field goals in his two-year career. The UT product is 18-for-20 this season, making his past 16 kicks.

Broncos pass-rusher Von Miller has two sacks over the past three games. During his suspension, the Broncos averaged a sack every 15.8 pass plays. Since his return, they are averaging a sack every 12.8 pass plays. The league average is one sack every 14.5 pass plays. The Texas A&M product has 32 sacks in 34 career regular-season games.

Eagles outside linebacker Trent Cole has 2.5 sacks in his past 23 games, including only one this season.

The Giants have held each of their past three opponents to less than 215 yards of total offense.

Bills running back Fred Jackson, an Arlington Lamar product, has 47 first downs this season, which ranks fifth in the NFL.

Arizona receiver Teddy Williams, whom the Cowboys discovered and kept him on their practice squad for two seasons, finally caught his first pass. It went for 51 yards on Week 8, five days after the Cardinals signed him.

The Chargers have used five left tackles this season.

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has been sacked a league-low 10 times, though he is averaging a league-high 41.1 passes per game.

Chargers receiver Keenan Allen leads NFL rookies in receiving yards (568) and is tied in receptions (38).

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is 9-1 in his career against the Chiefs.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid was 13-1 the week following a bye during his career in Philadelphia. His lone loss was to the Falcons last season.

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill has 13 touchdowns and 15 turnovers (10 interceptions and five lost fumbles).

The Packers have the NFC’s best home-field advantage since 2002, going 65-28 (.699) at Lambeau Field. Next toughest is Seattle, which is 63-29 (.685) at home in that span.

The Jaguars have scored only 11 points at EverBank Field. They have yet to score a touchdown at home.

The Bears had 17 takeaways the first six games. They have one in each of the past three.

The Broncos have four players — Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Julius Thomas and Knowshon Moreno — who have each scored nine touchdowns this season. They are in a four-way tie for the AFC touchdown lead.

Texans punter Shane Lechler, who played his first 13 seasons in Oakland, needs 26 yards to give him 50,337 and move past Chris Gardocki into fifth place on the NFL’s career list.

The Patriots are 36-13 (.735) in the month of November dating to 2001. That is the best mark in the NFL over that span, ahead of the Colts (36-17) and the Ravens (34-20).

Bengals receiver A.J. Green has five consecutive 100-yard games, with an average of 130.4 yards per game in the past five.

Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has seven interceptions in his past eight home games, with a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a touchdown.

The Browns have one rushing touchdown in their nine games this season.

The Bucs have only one offensive play of 40 yards or more, the fewest in the NFL.

The Sports Xchange contributed to this report.

 

Charean Williams, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @NFLCharean

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