Chiefs Special Teams Finish Poor

Over the years, NFL special teams coaches have come to wait each February the release of Rick Gosselin’s special teams rankings.

The pro football writer for the Dallas Morning News, Gosselin’s overall ratings on the kicking game have become the standard by which teams judge their special or not so special teams. The rankings are based on 22 statistical categories from the 2010 season. Teams gather points based on where they finished among the 32 teams. For instance, Atlanta was the best kickoff return team in the league with a 26.5-yard average. Thus they get one point in the rankings. The lowest total qualifies as the best kicking game in the league.

And in 2010, that would have been New England, as the Patriots posted 269 points or five less than the Tennessee Titans (274) and eight less than the Cleveland Browns (277).

The Chiefs finished at No. 24 in the rankings with 407.5 points. Other than being one of 24 teams that did not miss a PAT kick during the season, the Chiefs did not finish first in any of the other 21 categories.

In the AFC West, Oakland was tied for No. 4 with 280 points, thanks largely to the returning of rookie Jacoby Ford and the punting of Shane Lechler. Denver had 412.5 points and San Diego was the No. 32 and last team in the rankings at 480.5 thanks largely to allowing five touchdowns and have five blocked kicks.

As Gosselin’s ratings show, a team does not have to be on top of the special teams rankings to win a Super Bowl. Green Bay was No. 29 with 441 points, finishing ahead of only the New York Giants (445.5), Indianapolis (458.5) and San Diego.

In the coming weeks, we’ll break down the Chiefs kicking game even more.

Here’s the link to Goose’s story in Sunday’s Dallas Morning News. (Registration required).

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