Packer Report Special Teams Rankings

Where do the Packers rank among the 12 playoff teams? Probably about where you'd imagine. However, bad special teams haven't been an impediment to three recent champions. (Benny Sieu/USA TODAY)

If the Green Bay Packers win the Super Bowl, it will be in spite of their special teams. Not because of them.

First, the bad news: Of the 12 playoff teams, the Packers’ special teams check in last in Packer Report’s rankings, which are based on the five key categories of special teams: average starting field position after kickoffs and kickoff returns, net punting average for and against, and field-goal accuracy.

Thanks to Micah Hyde’s two touchdowns on punt returns, Green Bay finished fifth in opponent net punting average. However, the Packers ranked 31st in net punting (due in part to two blocked punts), 30th in field position after a kickoff, 23rd in field-goal accuracy (due in part to three blocked field goals) and 23rd in field position after a kickoff return.

Now, the good news: Bad special teams generally don’t prevent a team from winning the Super Bowl. In the Dallas Morning News’ more extensive rankings, the Giants finished 22nd in 2011, the Packers finished 29th in 2010 and the Saints finished 29th in 2009.

The following chart shows Packer Report’s special teams rankings, through Week 17. Only playoff teams are shown in the chart.

Column 1 is net punting average. Column 2 is the opponents’ net punting average. Column 3 is the opponents’ average starting field position after a kickoff. Column 4 is average starting field position after a kickoff return. Column 5 is field-goal accuracy. Column 6 is the average ranking in the first five categories.

TeamNet PuntOpp NetKickoffKO ReturnFG PctAverage
New England1231917210.6
Green Bay31530232322.4

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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