Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

21 Nov 2011

2011 Special Teams Tackles

Time for "more stats I don't have somewhere to put." Today, let's look at special teams tackles through Week 11 (not including the Monday Night KC-NE game).

11: E.Frampton (MIN), T.Sash (NYG), J.Wendling (DET), J.Williams (NYG)
10: N.Bellore (NYJ), R.Cartwright (OAK), D.DeCicco (CHI), A.Jordan (PHI), A.McClellan (BAL), C.McIntyre (BUF), C.Peerman (CIN), M.Slater (NE), C.Steltz (CHI)


These are special teams plays that stop a return before it reaches the point that our baselines consider "average."

10: A.Jordan (PHI)
9: L.Alexander (WAS)
8: C.Anderson (PHI), T.Campbell (TEN), C.Peerman (CIN), S.Schillinger (ATL), C.Steltz (CHI)
7: N.Bellore (NYJ), R.Cartwright (OAK), A.Dent (ATL), B.Hughes (PHI), R.Martin (BUF), C.McIntyre (BUF), T.Sash (NYG), E.Sims (STL)


These are plays that stop a very long return before it scores a touchdown.

3: J.King (ARI), P.McAfee (IND), S.Weatherford (NYG), J.Wendling (DET)

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 21 Nov 2011

10 comments, Last at 26 Nov 2011, 1:53am by buzzorhowl


by Jonathan (not verified) :: Mon, 11/21/2011 - 3:39pm

How do you define long run.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Mon, 11/21/2011 - 3:58pm

Yeah, I had the same thought. McAfee and Weatherford are the kind of players I'd expect to see listed for that stat -- kickers and punters usually hang back and act as a last line of defense. King and Wendling are not, which makes me wonder if "long" means what I'm visualizing it to mean.

by Marko :: Mon, 11/21/2011 - 4:57pm

Without more context, these numbers are kind of meaningless. Some teams may have less opportunities for special teams tackles because their kickers have lots of touchbacks (or maybe they don't score a lot and therefore don't kick off a lot) or their punters have lots of kicks that are not returned for whatever reason (fair catch, touchback, out of bounds, not fielded and downed inside 20, etc.). Other teams may have many more opportunities because some of the above factors go the other way (e.g., lots of kickoffs, not a lot of touchbacks, etc.).

by justme_cd :: Tue, 11/22/2011 - 12:06pm

Nah, not meaningless. Maybe these stats are useless for comparing the players on different teams, but these are no less meaningless than other production statistics, and they are useful for insight into how a team is using each of these players.

by bubqr :: Mon, 11/21/2011 - 6:22pm

Clicked to see where Akeem Jordan and Colt Anderson were on the list. Well, it confirms what I'm thinking, they are good. Them + Riley Cooper , Brandon Hugues, Jason Avant (for the ones I notice) makes a hell of a cover team in Philly

by andrew :: Mon, 11/21/2011 - 9:07pm

So "saves" is really not a good stat to have a lot of on your team. I mean its good that you stopped them, but bad that you had to...

by markslack (not verified) :: Tue, 11/22/2011 - 2:01pm

As a Colts fan I'm not surprised to see McAfee on the list. It's kinda nice to have a kicker who actually seems to enjoy tackling people.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 11/22/2011 - 3:41pm

Agreed, but I'd rather have a kicker who doesn't have to tackle people quite so often.

by markslackslack (not verified) :: Tue, 11/22/2011 - 6:31pm

Well, yes, me too, but we play the hand that Bill Polian drafted.

by buzzorhowl (not verified) :: Sat, 11/26/2011 - 1:53am

Lorenzo Alexander, representing. Damn right.