Menu - The Hub For New England Patriots Fans

Gosselin: Patriots Tops in Special Teams Rankings

Not open for further replies.

DarrylS Supporter Supporter
2019 Weekly Picks Winner
Somewhat suprised that we are ranked #1 in this phase of the game, but Gosselin is respected more than most...

Pats top special teams rankings - New England Patriots Blog - ESPN Boston

Gosselin explains his ranking system in the piece: "The league’s 32 teams are ranked in 22 categories and assigned points according to their standing — one for best, 32 for worst. The Patriots finished first with a composite score of 269 — five points better than the runner-up Tennessee Titans."

Gosselin praises Patriots special teams coach Scott O'Brien in the process, as well as Bill Belichick.

"Belichick has been building a younger roster in recent years, and the Patriots finished the 2010 season with 23 players with two years or less experience," Gosselin writes.
Last edited by a moderator:

PatsFanInVa Supporter Supporter
2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
Re: Gosselin... Patriots Tops in Special Teams Rankings..

But we lost a playoff game, so they have to be the worst special teams in the league, and we have to fire them all.


Staff member
Re: Gosselin... Patriots Tops in Special Teams Rankings..

As a comparison, here are the special team rankings of Football Outsiders; they rank the Patriots 8th.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | 2010 SPECIAL TEAMS RATINGS

This page lists an estimate of how many points, compared to league average, each team receives from the five elements of special teams: field goals/extra points, kickoffs, kick returns, punts, punt returns. The total is then converted into a DVOA percentage so that it can be added in to offense and defense to create total team DVOA.

Field goal rating compares each field goal to the league-average percentage of field goals from that distance. Yards of field position from the other four elements of special teams are translated into points using a method that gives each yard line a point value based on the average next score an NFL offense is worth from that point on the field. Kickoffs and punts are based on net yardage. Kickoff returns and punt returns are judged on return yardage only. These numbers are then adjusted for weather and altitude based on stadium type (cold, warm, dome, Denver) and week. The system is explained here. Two-point conversions and onside kicks are not included.

I like that FO uses net yards when kicking off and punting, but would like to see them go one step further and do the same on returns. I would prefer to see in these rankings a consideration for teams kicking away from a returner.

For example if Team A fields a kickoff at the goal line and the kick is returned to the 25, they are credited with a 25-yard return. But if Team B has a dangerous return man their opponent may have a squib kick which is picked up at the 25 and returned to the 35. Team B is credited with only a 10-yard return so on paper their special teams look much worse, when in fact because of their special team prowess their starting position is ten yards further upfield. To me net yards on a kickoff or punt return might be a better metric than return yardage only. I realize that number could be swayed by a very good (or poor) opposing kicker or punter, but over the course of a full season it should balance out.
Not open for further replies.

An Open Competition?  Belichick’s Comments Extend Beyond QB
Bill Belichick’s Press Conference Transcript From 3/27 NFL Coaches Breakfast
MORSE: Patriots Team Priorities as We Head into the Draft; Stanley Morgan for Hall of Fame
Patriots News 03-26, Two Greats From The 2nd Dynasty Retire
VIDEO: S**t Pats Fans Say – The 2023 Offseason
Patriots Reveal Schedule For 2023 OTA and Minicamp Sessions
ICYMI PHOTOS: Damien Harris Bids Farewell To New England
WATCH: Devin McCourty Retirement Ceremony
Social Media Reacts To Dont’a Hightower’s Retirement
Patriots Jeudy Rumors Continue, Broncos WR Would Help Team Keep Pace with Other QB/WR Trends