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View Full Version : Is Special Teams really 1/3 of the game?


Ness
09-06-2010, 02:00 PM
A good debate perhaps. A lot of people think special teams is 1/3 of the game and just as important as offense and defense. But there are a good amount of people who believe that that isn't the case. That perhaps if special teams really was 1/3 of the game than you'd see people in the draft taken in the early rounds for that very purpose. But they aren't. And the Hall of Fame I don't think has one player that only played on special teams. Maybe they have a good reason for not admitting so many. I'd probably vote for someone that was on the field a majority of the time compared to someone that isn't. And I'm guessing that is why a lot of special teams players keep getting omitted. So what do you think? Is special teams legit? Or not that big of a deal when it comes to having a good offense and defense?

keylime_5
09-06-2010, 02:04 PM
the browns had the best special teams in the league last year, so it's not as important as O or D when it comes to having a good team....but it's still an important part of the game and if you have bad special teams it can easily cost you a game.

Ness
09-06-2010, 02:05 PM
the browns had the best special teams in the league last year, so it's not as important as O or D when it comes to having a good team....but it's still an important part of the game and if you have bad special teams it can easily cost you a game.

That's how I feel.

wonderbredd24
09-06-2010, 02:11 PM
the browns had the best special teams in the league last year, so it's not as important as O or D when it comes to having a good team....but it's still an important part of the game and if you have bad special teams it can easily cost you a game.

Our special teams are pretty legendary.

Cribbs, Dawson, Costanzo

Nalej
09-06-2010, 02:13 PM
the browns had the best special teams in the league last year, so it's not as important as O or D when it comes to having a good team....but it's still an important part of the game and if you have bad special teams it can easily cost you a game.


That's because it was the only 3rd of the game that was good. Their O and D is terrible.

I think ST really is 1/3 bc field position is soooooo effin important.
There's a big difference between starting at your own 20 or your own 40.
And the same goes for the D. Punting and punt coverage. So underrated, IMO

M.O.T.H.
09-06-2010, 02:13 PM
Blake Costanzo...the only Lafayette Leopard in the league. haha.

asdf1223
09-06-2010, 02:13 PM
I would say they are a huge complimentary part to success. Pittsburgh's special teams were terrible last year. Jeff Reed's gaffes versus Chicago, horrible kickoff coverage issues come to mind.
Football Outsiders tell me they allowed a special teams touchdown 4 times in 5 games during a stretch including a 18-12 loss to Cincy where the only touchdown was Bernard Scott's 97 yard kickoff touchdown. Consider they got bumped out of the playoffs in the last week of the season, I would say special teams cost them the playoffs basically.

703SKINS202
09-06-2010, 02:14 PM
The answer is **** yes.

vidae
09-06-2010, 02:16 PM
Every special teams snap in the NFL is either field position or points, so yes, it is important.

wonderbredd24
09-06-2010, 02:17 PM
Blake Costanzo...the only Lafayette Leopard in the league. haha.
That gritty son of a ***** has a knack for coming up with fumbles.

Pittsburgh's special teams coverages are a yearly abortion and they won a Superbowl and were handed another in the last decade.

Josh Cribbs is going to set the record for return TDs against one team with his next TD against them. Eric Metcalf routinely beat them as well.

Do special teams matter? Of course. 1/3? Hell no.

Ness
09-06-2010, 02:20 PM
That's because it was the only 3rd of the game that was good. Their O and D is terrible.

I think ST really is 1/3 bc field position is soooooo effin important.
There's a big difference between starting at your own 20 or your own 40.
And the same goes for the D. Punting and punt coverage. So underrated, IMO

But would you rather have a team whose only third of the game is having a good offense? Or would you rather have a team whose only third of the game that is good is special teams?

Nalej
09-06-2010, 02:20 PM
Doesn't matter. It's still a shytty team

Jvig43
09-06-2010, 02:28 PM
But would you rather have a team whose only third of the game is having a good offense? Or would you rather have a team whose only third of the game that is good is special teams?

Offense and defense are going to be on the field longer so I mean its hard to look at ST as being so important, but I'd say it is certainly important enough to call it a 1/3 of the game.

NY+Giants=NYG
09-06-2010, 02:31 PM
That's how coaches see it for the most part. 3 phases of the game, off. def. and ST. I know I see it as one of the 3 phases.

Ness
09-06-2010, 02:39 PM
Doesn't matter. It's still a shytty team

But which shitter team gives you the better chance at winning? That's the point.

hoekd0250
09-06-2010, 02:39 PM
i feel like sp teams is so important its more then 1/3. Im field position is so important in this game and if the other team is starting at the 35 40 everydrive and you are going from the 20 25 its a great disadvantage, and look how much of a swing a kick return can be for momentum after giving up a td. Its so big that as a football coach we make it our first priority during the week to work on everyday.

wonderbredd24
09-06-2010, 02:42 PM
So much depends on which team you're talking about.

The Bears have all but stopped using Hester returning kicks while the Browns had Haden returning some kicks this preseason.

The LSU Tigers have Patrick Peterson returning some kicks.

There are some teams that use starters for special teams and others that won't out of fear of injury, saving them for offense/defense, etc.

Giantsfan1080
09-06-2010, 02:44 PM
Of course it is. I've seen both games won and lost due to ST play.

AHungryWalrus
09-06-2010, 02:48 PM
It's important, but not equal to defense or offense. There is a reason that your special teams team is filled with the guys not good enough to make the other parts of the squad, and why you don't see big special team contracts.

Smooth Criminal
09-06-2010, 03:07 PM
Not 1/3, but it is certainly significant. Good special teams is underrated and definitely helps teams win alot of football games.

GB12
09-06-2010, 03:14 PM
The Packers had one of the worst special teams units in the league last year and we went 11-5. It's important, but certainly not equal to offense and defense. A good offense doesn't need great field position to score. Defense it's a little harder, but they can still hold to three points. It certainly helps to start off with an advantage in field position, but it's not necessary. It's much easier to win with bad special teams than with bad offense or defense.

Shiver
09-06-2010, 03:44 PM
Colts always have awful special teams and they won more games in the last decade than any other.

Jvig43
09-06-2010, 04:34 PM
Colts always have awful special teams and they won more games in the last decade than any other.

And they can blame a big part of that super bowl loss on that onside kick that got the Saints back into the game.

UKfan
09-06-2010, 04:37 PM
******* Hank Baskett...

SuperMcGee
09-06-2010, 04:41 PM
If the same crap Bills team that hasn't won less than 6 games in the last four years ends up winning 1-2 games like everybody seems to think they will, then I'd say a huge part of that will be because of special teams.

Seamus2602
09-06-2010, 06:22 PM
Colts always have awful special teams and they won more games in the last decade than any other.

Over the last two years the Colts have had the worst Rush Offense in the NFL. There 26-6 in that period. Any one want to argue that the Run game isn't important just because a good team can't do it?

Special Teams is important but you can win without it, as the Colts have shown. The run game is important, but you can win without it, as the Colts have shown. Teams have won without being able to successfully pass the ball (Jets were 31st passing the ball last year and got to the AFC Championship game). Teams have won without the ability to defend the run (Colts were 24th against the run last year). Teams have won without the ability to defend the pass (New Orleans were 26th against the pass last year).

All areas of the game are important. The leading point scorer on a team is normally the Kicker. The leader in yards is reguarly the return man. Last years yardage leader wasn't Chris Johnson, it was Fred Jackson. Second on that list was Joshua Cribbs. They advanced the ball for their team more than Johnson did.

Sportsfan486
09-06-2010, 06:38 PM
I would say special teams is more of a wild-card than anything else. Most games the impact isn't near that of the offense or defense but sometimes a big positive, or negative, play changes the course of the game.

keylime_5
09-06-2010, 06:42 PM
That's because it was the only 3rd of the game that was good. Their O and D is terrible.

I think ST really is 1/3 bc field position is soooooo effin important.
There's a big difference between starting at your own 20 or your own 40.
And the same goes for the D. Punting and punt coverage. So underrated, IMO

yes, but I've seen teams with just a good offense and a terrible defense/special teams do a lot better than a team with just good STs and bad O/D. I think if you are amazing in offense or defense but bad on STs you have a chance to win every game. If you are amazing in special teams and bad on O and D then not so much. There have been teams to win titles without great special teams play but great O and D instead. That's not usually the case if a team has great special teams but bad O or bad D.

I think they are very important and a huge huge plus, but not nearly as important as the other 2/3rds of the game.

MichaelJordanEberle (sabf)
09-06-2010, 08:04 PM
As long as your special teams isn't awful(and by that I mean Denver Broncos level inept), it's good enough. Not nearly as important as offense or defense. Sure, some game are won or lost based on special teams. But literally every game is won or lost based on offense/defense.

scottyboy
09-06-2010, 08:09 PM
absolutely. it's all of them working together though. Great special teams like a returner will lead to teams kicking away from you, which could lead to shorter kicks or kicks out of bounds equaling good field position, and if you have a decent-good offense, they'll capatilize. A good punt pinning a team down, followed by a good defensive stand will lead to good field position for you, which an O can capitalize on. they all work off each other.

Hurricanes25
09-06-2010, 08:11 PM
Football is a battle of field position so my answer is yes.

fenikz
09-06-2010, 08:15 PM
Cardinals went from 4-12 to 8-8 in 1 year without making many rosters moves besides improving special teams(also Whis was coaching)

Cardinals nearly beat the Titans last year with Leinart starting with only special teams, Graham put 5 punts inside the 20(5, 11, 15, 2, 1) and LSH returned 4 kicks for 167 yards and a TD

Saints-Tigers
09-06-2010, 08:32 PM
Hugely important. Devin Hester made the bears a contender almost on his own, because they usually needed like 1-2 decent offensive plays to get in FG position, or he'd take it to the house himself.

Sportsfan486
09-06-2010, 08:33 PM
Cardinals went from 4-12 to 8-8 in 1 year without making many rosters moves besides improving special teams(also Whis was coaching)

Cardinals nearly beat the Titans last year with Leinart starting with only special teams, Graham put 5 punts inside the 20(5, 11, 15, 2, 1) and LSH returned 4 kicks for 167 yards and a TD

Teams improve by 4 games every year with the same(ish) roster.

And you're saying they played a perfect special teams game and lost?

Shiver
09-06-2010, 08:39 PM
I wouldn't say 1/3, I would say 1/5 important. If you play outrageously good/bad you can swing an outcome, but it pales in comparison to the other 80% of the game.

critesy
09-06-2010, 09:26 PM
go watch boise state/virgina tech right now. pretty huge.

Zycho32
09-07-2010, 04:42 AM
It's easier if you think of the Non-FG portion of Special Teams as an Augment Booster.

An offense is going to have a much easier time when their return squads are consistantly raking out good yardage fielding kickoffs and punts than they would if said return game was constantly getting squashed deep in their own territory.

And a defense will have a better margin of error should the coverage units effectively limit the yardage gained on returns- even more so should those returns be downed well inside the 20.

In essence; no, it's not as 'Equal' as Offense or Defense, but you ignore it at your own peril.

stephenson86
09-07-2010, 06:26 AM
I say its about 20%

Addict
09-07-2010, 07:22 AM
I say its about 20%

I agree, 1/3 is a bit much maybe, but O 40%, D 40%, ST 20% makes sense.

OzTitan
09-07-2010, 08:29 AM
I'd say it's close to 1/3. The thing holding it back is, realistically a good ST still needs a good O or D to emphasize its effectiveness.

A good O is ultimately one that scores points, and it does that independently. A good D is ultimately one that prevents points, and it too does that independently. Either one can win games more or less on their own, to an extent (of which the Superbowl isn't usually included). With ST, it can do great things for your team, but without the O or D capitalizing on the field position, its 1/3rd isn't realized.

So maybe the better way to look at it is 50% for O and D, with 16.5% of both O and D success being attibuted to ST, and namely the field position it can bring.

XxXdragonXxX
09-07-2010, 09:12 AM
I would say it's very important...however....

Great special teams can't overcome a terrible offense or terrible defense. Field position doesn't matter when you can't get a first down or can't stop the other team from driving 90 yards for a score every possession.

On the other hand, if you have a great offense or great defense with terrible special teams, bad field position makes it harder, but you can still score from 90 yards away and you can stop teams from scoring from 50 yards away.