Personnel Analysis: Week #11 (Special Teams)

The Vikings upset the New York Giants 41-17 in a rare game in which they never trailed. Check out the player-by-player personnel analysis. First, the special teams…

Special teams were not a significant factor in the Vikings blowout win this week.  There were no big plays, but more importantly, there were no really bad plays.

Placekicker Ryan Longwell continued his strong performance this season, converting both his field goal attempts (46 yards and 26 yards) without incident.  He did doink one of five extra point attempts off the right upright and just barely over the crossbar on a low kick that appeared to be partially blocked.  His kickoffs (and there were 8 in all) averaged the 3 ½-yard line.

Punter Chris Kluwe averaged a modest 40.6 on five punts, with one touchback and one dropped inside the 20.  His shortest punt of just 26 yards went out of bounds at the Giants’ 10-yard line.  His other four boots went for 47, 41, 41 and 48 yards.

Deep snapper Cullen Loeffler quietly contributed a dozen uneventful deep snaps for the kicking game.  Loeffler also hustled down on punt coverage for tackles twice, once dropping return man R.W. McQuarters for no gain.

Kickoff coverage was so-so as Ahmad Bradshaw averaged 22.0 yards, with a long of 28, on 8 returns.  McQuarters picked up 12 yards on his other return.

Heath Farwell was extremely active as he led the way on the coverage units with 5 tackles.  Vinny Ciurciu (2), Eric Frampton (2), Loeffler (2) and Dontarrious Thomas (1) also collected stops on special teams.

Troy Williamson showed good judgment on kickoff returns, wisely letting the opening kickoff drift out of bounds.  He picked up 23 and 22 yards on his other two returns, the first of which was close to becoming a big gainer.  He took a big hit on the second and was shut down for the rest of the afternoon as a result of the stop.  Charles Gordon had the other kickoff return for 21 yards.

Mewelde Moore struggled fielding punts all afternoon and allowed at least two punts to land and roll, costing the team significant field position yardage.  His only official touch was for a fair catch.

Coming soon:  Defense

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