I can't believe I didn't think of looking for this immediately after Sunday night's special teams debacle, but I noticed a reader (simply signed "M") mention this in the DVOA discussion thread. How bad were the Colts' special teams Sunday night, and was it one of the worst special teams games of the last dozen years?
The estimated value of Indianapolis' special teams on Sunday night was -17.7 points. You had two missed field goals, the two touchdown returns, and Adam Vinatieri could only reach the 10-yard line on one of his four kickoffs. Mike Scifres had five punts; the Chargers downed three of them and Craphonso Thorpe actually lost yardage on the two he tried to return.
Folks might remember the essay in the Giants chapter of PFP 2006 that went over the ten best and worst special teams games. The worst game was Cincinnati at Carolina, Week 14 of 2002. That was the week Steve Smith returned two punts for touchdowns, while Bengals punter Travis Dorsch (in his only NFL regular-season game) had a 40-yard free kick and a 10-yard punt. The estimated value of Cincinnati's special teams in that game: -18.6 points. That would make it the only game worse than the Colts this week... except that last year, while nobody was looking, there was actually a game that was even worse.
In their Week 14 Monday Night 42-27 loss to Chicago, St. Louis' special teams cost the Rams a mind-blowing -19.3 points. That's the game where Devin Hester returned two different kickoffs for touchdowns. Jeff Wilkins missed a 48-yard field goal, and the Rams fumbled an extra point attempt. Willie Ponder couldn't get past the 20 on three of his kick returns and fumbled another one (though the Rams recovered). The Rams had one punt return for a grand total of one yard. Punter Matt Turk was actually above average; if he had been just average, this game would have broken the -20-point barrier.
These are the only three games of the last dozen years where the special teams, when translated into DVOA, were below -50% for the game.