Pats' special teams finish 13th - New England Patriots Blog - ESPN Boston Field Yates, with a straight face, passes along a Gosselin stat saying that the Patriots gave up the highest gross punting yardage average in the league. Well, what can affect that number? Not in order, my theories are: 1. Luck/opponents. 2. Weather/stadiums. 3. Effectiveness rushing the punter. 4. Field position. 5. Opponents' strategies against the Patriots' return schemes. 6. Anything that affects the punt/FG/go-for-it choices. #4 jumped out at me. If the punts are coming from, say, the opponents' 40 and behind, then they can just boom the kicks without worrying about aim. However, I haven't checked any stats. Note that if you get a lot of TOs, it stands to reason that when the opponents do punt they'd start on average from further back.