The Green Bay Packers finished 29th in the annual special teams rankings produced by Dallas Morning News columnist Rick Gosselin.
That makes four consecutive seasons in which Green Bay has failed to finish in the top half of the rankings.
Gosselin takes 22 categories of special teams. The first-place unit in each category gets one point, the second-place unit gets two points and so on. (Here's the link to the story posted by the Detroit Lions. Oddly, Gosselin's actual rankings aren't found anywhere as we post this story.)
Packer Report takes a more streamlined look at special teams in its rankings, which are weighted toward what matters most — changes of field position. Green Bay finished 17th in our five-category breakdown of net punting (for and against), starting field position on kickoffs (for and against) and field-goal accuracy. The Packers finished sixth in opponent net punting, 10th in field goals with Crosby and 15th in field position on kickoff returns, but 24th in net punting with Jacob Schum and last in field position following opponents’ kickoff returns.
The Packers improved down the stretch under second-year coordinator Ron Zook, having ranked 22nd through Week 12.
“I think we’re doing what we’re supposed to do,” Zook said before the playoff game against Dallas.
In Gosselin’s formula, Philadelphia finished first, followed by Detroit, Kansas City, Los Angeles and Baltimore. Super Bowl-champion New England was sixth. NFC-champion Atlanta checked in at 14th.
In the NFC North, Minnesota was 15th and Chicago 27th.
According to the Gosselin rankings, the Packers finished 17th in 2015, the first year under Zook. That was a big leap forward compared to 2014, when they finished last in Gosselin’s rankings in the final year with Shawn Slocum as coordinator. Green Bay finished 18th in 2013, 12th in 2012, tied for 13th in 2011, 29th in 2010 and 31st in 2009.
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.