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A Look at Special Teams

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by borg, Oct 19, 2010.

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  1. borg

    borg Rookie

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    Special teams play is very difficult to quantify, but my eyes don't lie....The Patriots are kicking ass on several units. They are winning field position battles, providing turning points in games, and contributing points on the board.

    FG Unit:
    FGs 7-10... longest 43 yds
    XPs 19-19
    Total Points = 40.... Rank 18th in points
    Note: 16 kickers have made FGs over 50 yds. Ghosts' longest of 43 yds ranks 28th. Game winner vs Balt.

    Kickoffs:
    69.9 yd ave....rank 2nd
    TBs 2.6/game...rank 1st
    Return yds 24.9 ... rank 20th
    Note: Could not find info on average starting field position which is most relevent.

    Kick Returns:
    Tate 32.6 yd ave...rank 2nd
    2 TDs....rank 1st (tie)
    Note: Again no info of starting field position

    Punting:
    Gross ave 44.2 yds...rank 13th
    Net ave 41.6...rank 3rd
    3.2 punts per game

    Punt returns:
    9 returns including 2 FCs (net of 7)
    Edelman 10.5 ave
    Welker 6.7 ave with 2 FCs (13.5 yds on returnable punts)
    0 TDs

    Miscellaneous:
    1 blocked punt/ 1 blocked FG........ resulting in one direct TD
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
  2. xmarkd400x

    xmarkd400x Rookie

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    I'd be more interested in Touchbacks as a percentage of kickoffs, rather than an average number per game.
  3. borg

    borg Rookie

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    Feel free to look it up
  4. CheeseMonkeys

    CheeseMonkeys Rookie

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    There was one blocked punt and the other was a blocked field goal. CHUNG BABY!
  5. borg

    borg Rookie

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    Thanks...fixed it
  6. WelshPat

    WelshPat Rookie

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    How good is Tracy White on kick coverage? He always seems to be making tackles
  7. BlueThunder

    BlueThunder PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    White = Izzo :eek:
  8. TheComeback

    TheComeback Rookie

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    I thought the Pats made a strong effort to improve special teams in the offseason. So far it's really paying off. It might be the strongest area of the team at this point. This season has been a perfect demonstration of how an elite special teams unit can help your team win.
  9. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    You can derive a useful indicator though by combining the average kickoff distance and average return yardage. Pats are 7th with a pseudo opponent starting LOS at the 25 yard line. Chargers are 29th with POSLOS at the 33.

    The average distance for kickers is in a pretty tight range (5 yard line, +/- 3 yards) so the return distance is a pretty good indicator of relative starting field position. Chargers are tied for 16th at 22.8.

    Chargers are DFL in net with 26 and have 3 punts blocked (of the 8 total in the NFL this year). As I've mentioned in another thread, with the Bolts having a 6.5 yard-per-play average, they have a net field position gain of under 20 yards when they punt (for comparison, the Pats have a NFPG of about 36).

    Also, Pats and Skins are the only teams not to have a touchback this year.
  10. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Good stuff, quantifies what my eyes tell me about this much improved "phase" of the game...

    The missed FG's may have been as much a function of a new holder(Mesko) rather than Gostkowski....
  11. Dufflebagz

    Dufflebagz Rookie

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  12. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Gostkowski's leg strength is just phenomenal. He's increased his average kick by 3 yards over each of the last 2 years. In 2009, it was just over 63. Then last year it was like 66.5 and now this year it's nearly 70. Now, I do realize it will go down as the ball get's harder due to the cold weather sets in.

    At nearly 70 YPK, that means opponents at the goal line on kick returns and taking it to the 25 to start..

    One of the problems with the formula for average starting field position is that it takes into consideration the starting point of every drive. Including turnovers. So it's not really an accurate gauge for just Gost.

    For him, I'd say as long as the average kick return allowed puts the ball inside the opponents 25 yard line, he's doing a helluva job. And since, at 69.9 YPK with a 24.9 YPR, that puts it at the 25 yard line, You can't really ask for much more.

    Edited to correct location:
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  13. Ron Sellers

    Ron Sellers Rookie

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    Pats Kickoffs - opponent starting position of drives after kickoff:
    ======
    Week 1: Pats 38, Bengals 24: 18, 20, 20(tb), 20(tb), 28; 20(tb), 24 [avg 22]
    Week 2: Jets 28, Pats 14: 23, 20(tb); 28 [avg 24]
    Week 3: Pats 38, Bills 30: 24, 28, 28; 100(TD), 31, 20(tb) [avg 38]
    Week 4: Pats 41, Fins 14: 20(tb), 21; 20(tb), 20(tb), 20(tb), 20(tb), 33 [avg 22]
    Week 6: Pats 23, Ravens 20: 15, 27; 9, 20(tb), 20(tb); 20(tb) [avg 19]


    29 Kickoffs
    Other than the one touchdown:
    (2) returns beyond the 30 (31, 33)
    (5) between the 25-30
    (21) inside the 25
    (17) at the 20 or further back
    (13) touchbacks out of 29 kickoffs
    Median starting position after kickoff: 20 yard line
    Average starting position after kickoff: 24.7 yard line - even when counting the touchdown return as 100 yards.
  14. sbpatfan

    sbpatfan Banned

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    Wasn't there a block in the back that the referees missed during the Bills game on Spiller's return for a TD? Other than that play, they've been phenomenal.
  15. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    Unless my math is off, a 70 yard kick would reach the goal line...meaning a 25 yard return average would put the ball at the 25. Really doesn't distract from your point though. Gostkowski gets enough depth and height on his kicks that the coverage team has the chance to get penetration to prevent returners from hitting a seam at full speed. White, Slater, Arrington and McCourty (despite playing every defensive snap) have been outstanding at putting returners on the ground and not just slowing them down.
  16. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    He just stuck guys on kickoffs well short of the 20 at least twice, solo. That doesn't happen too often
  17. Ron Sellers

    Ron Sellers Rookie

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    Pats Kickoff returns - starting position after receiving kickoff:
    ======
    Week 1: Pats 38, Bengals 24: _ 32; 100(TD), 28, 19, 63(osk) - [avg 48]
    Week 2: Jets 28, Pats 14: _ 28, 34; 20, 31, 26 - [avg 28]
    Week 3: Pats 38, Bills 30: _ 25, 25, 24, 33; 26, 24, 51 - [avg 30]
    Week 4: Pats 41, Fins 14: _ 24; 100(TD), 22 - [avg 49]
    Week 6: Pats 23, Ravens 20: _ 22, 20(tb); 20(tb), 20(tb), 40(oob); - [avg 24]

    25 Kickoffs received by the Pats:
    (2) touchdowns (8%)
    (5) times starting on the 40 or better (20%)
    (9) times starting on the 30 or better (36%)
    (14) times starting on the 25 or better (56%)
    (17) times starting on the 24 or better (68%)
    (5) times starting at the 20 or 19 (20%)
    One starting drive inside the twenty (4%)
    Worst starting drive: 19 yard line
    Median starting position: 25.5 yard line
    Average starting position: 33.3 yard line
  18. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

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    An interesting look league-wide would be how kick returns compare with prior years, given the rules change that changed the blocking schemes. (Wedges were outlawed or at least hampered.) TDs are way up; I know that. But I wonder if it's boom-or-bust, or if yards are just up too.

    And if they are, does that mean the old blocking schemes were ill-conceived, or just that the return schemes are ahead of the defensive schemes the first year?
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2010
  19. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That they are; all of last season, there were 18 KRs for TDs; already this season there are 10.

    Interestingly enough, though, overall scoring is actually down by a bit more than 1 PPG (IIRC last year or the year before, I forget which, there were exactly 11,000 points scored in regular-season games).
  20. Ron Sellers

    Ron Sellers Rookie

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    White's special teams impact shows - New England Patriots Blog - ESPN Boston


    Perhaps the team doesn't miss Aiken, Woods and Alexander on special times quite as badly as some had predicted they would if they were cut.
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