Nick Folk justifies roster spot

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Nick Folk, who has spent the offseason fending off competition New York Jets management brought in to test him, validated his presence on the roster Sunday by making two fourth-quarter field goals in an 18-17 win for the Jets against the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"That was John (General Manager John Idzik’s) mantra all year -- competition at every position. Some guys were fighting for jobs into the third, even fourth preseason game. It was a learning experience for me in the preseason. I didn't make the game winner against the Giants. Today I happen to hit it pretty good and it went through for me."

Folk hit a 30-yard field goal with 5:05 remaining for a 15-14 lead, and then a 48-yard field goal with two seconds left for the win. The placement of the second was aided by a personal foul on Lavonte David, who pushed quarterback Geno Smith as he ran out of bounds.

"When you go from 63 to 48, you can ... I don't want to say change your mechanics, but I can slow myself down,” Folk said. “I can make it nice and smooth, as opposed to getting after a long one. When you're that far, you have tendency to let it fly. From 48, you can hit it like an extra point. That's when I told myself when I went out there: It's like an extra point."

Folk said he tried to hit the ball as cleanly though the middle of the uprights as he could, to keep everyone from stressing out. After a split second, the officials signaled that it was good.