February 3, 2012

Broncos 2011 Review: Special Teams

This year the Broncos' Special Teams improved in almost every category and have some interesting numbers. First let's look at the returning numbers for the team and start with kickoffs. There were a total of 7 Broncos to return kicks and 5 to return punts. The Broncos had 39 kick returns on the year for a total of 956 yards at an average of 24.5 yards. The longest return went for 67 yards. The key stat we lacked here was a returned kick for a TD. Comparing this to our opposition we did very well. Our opponents only had 20 kick returns on the year, Prater your awesome, and their longest return was for only 40 yards. They also did not get a TD.

Our punt return numbers were also OK. For the year we had a total of 47 returned punts for an average 12.7 yards. The longest punt return we had went for 90 yards and we returned 2 punts for touchdowns, nice job Eddie and Decker. We also had 19 fair catches. Our opposition had very similar numbers to us. Their average was slightly less at 11.5 a return and they had 27 fair catches. This shows our guys were able to get down the field quickly and make plays. We also only gave up one punt return for a touchdown. This had been a problem in the past.

The kicking numbers were surprisingly low and I can't really figure out why? It might be because we couldn't sustain drives and/or get into the other teams half. Or maybe we were just scoring heaps of touchdowns. We attempted a total of 25 field goals and made 19 of them for a 76% success rate. Our longest kick went for 59 yards. Compared to our opponents who had 39 attempts and made 32 for 82.1% success rate our numbers seem rather quite bad. Prater was usually money but he again struggled in the 40-49 yard range, he had 7 attempts for only 3 successful. The other areas he only missed at most 1. To be honest I thought Prater was having a better year and in that range too, are the numbers lying? We were 100% successfully on our extra point attempts. Prater was the top point scorer on the team with 87 points, ahead of Decker (54) and Tebow (40).

The punting numbers I think were much better than in previous years and that can all be put down to Brandon Colquitt. The Broncos had 101 punts this year, 10 more than our opponents, for a total of 4783 yards. That was an average of 47.4 yards a punt and an Net average of 41.6 yards a punt. Colquitt had 33 punts inside the 20 and only 7 touch backs. He had a great year.

Individual Stats

Matt Prater
Needs to get that percentage up over 80 and practice on that 40-49 yard distance.

Matt Prater192576.0590-05-68-83-73-43030100.0

Brandon Colquitt
Keep doing what your doing, the pro bowl awaits.

Brandon Colquitt10147836647.440.20337275158511.5

Quan Cosby
Was our returner for most of the year before he had a bad game with multiple fumbles, he was soon cut. He had an average average and we can do better.

Quan Cosby1745726.96302726910.03009

Cassius Vaughn
I am looking forward to seeing Vaughn back and healthy. He only returned 7 kicks before he was injured but he had the highest average return and the longest kick return on the team.

Quan Cosby721030.0670000.0000

Matt Willis
Should not be returning kicks, does not have the explosion required for the position.

Matt Willis816320.4290100.0000

Eric Decker
Should not be a returner, same reason as Willis. His punt numbers are a little out of proportion, he had only 6 returns for 133 yards at an average of 22.2 yards. But if you remove the 90 yard return he had he was only averaging 8.6 yards a return. I don't mind a sprinkle of Decker every now and then but he needs to be more focused on his position....like catching the ball.

Eric Decker25025.0340613322.29011

Eddie Royal
Should be the full time returner and 4th string WR, so there I said it. We need an electrifying return and that is Royal but I don't think he wants the job.

Eddie Royal34715.72001219416.28519

There is room for improvement on the special teams but I think our kicker and punter are set. I hope we resign Prater but looking at the numbers there may be some second guessing in the FO, I really hope he stays. The one key ingredient that our special teams lacks is that electrifying returner. If Royal doesn't want the job full time then maybe target a top returner in the later rounds of the draft, say 5th round and beyond. ~ Aussie.

1 comment:

  1. In case anyone missed it. Broncos new strength and conditioning coach.