Remember how the Seattle Seahawks’ special teams group looked to start the season? Not the best! Here’s a brief rundown:
Week 2: A punt hits Xavier Crawford in the back as Tyler Lockett comes up to receive the ball. 49ers recover and eventually score a touchdown. On the plus side, Michael Jackson scored a touchdown off a field goal blocked by Tariq Woolen.
Week 4: Tyler Lockett loses fumble on punt return, Lions recover and score a touchdown on the next play. Jason Myers misses his only field goal of the season.
Week 5: Michael Dickson gets tackled on “rugby style” punt attempt, losing 8 yards. Saints eventually score a touchdown off a short field. Jason Myers misses his only extra point of the season.
Week 6: Michael Dickson gets swarmed and fumbles in the end zone, resulting in Cardinals touchdown.
Yet here we are in late December and the Seahawks rank #1 in special teams DVOA!
By far the best aspect of Seattle’s special teams has been kicker Jason Myers, who has been phenomenal in what is a contract year for him. Myers is 26/27 on his field goals and 37/38 on extra points. Most impressive for Myers is the fact that he’s 6/6 from beyond 50 yards, which is an area of the field he struggled with early in his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Myers leads the NFL (among qualified kickers) in field goal percentage, and only Cameron Dicker (on significantly fewer attempts) has fewer combined FG/PAT misses. No wonder he’s got himself a spot on the Pro Bowl roster, and honestly he should get a look for All-Pro.
Then you get to the punt team, which is headlined by Michael Dickson. While he’s not pinned teams inside their 20 at a high rate, his touchback rate is the lowest its been in his career. Seattle’s punt coverage team has only allowed 5.9 yards per punt return, which is third best in the NFL. Against the New York Giants, they forced two fumbles off of Richie James Jr that resulted in 10 Seahawks points. Seattle also ranks 9th best in yards allowed per kick return, so they’re getting it done on defensive special teams.
As for the offensive return game? Yeah... that’s some story. They’re surprisingly 6th in kick return yards per attempt, so even before the two games we’ve seen with Godwin Igwebuike as a kick returner it hasn’t been all that bad. Only the punt return group has performed below average, netting just 65 return yards on 10 returns for the entire season. I don’t think we need to add anything else there!
Larry Izzo has been the special teams coordinator since replacing Brian Schneider in 2020, and this is set to be the Seahawks’ third consecutive top-5 finish in special teams DVOA under his watch. He’s the assistant on this coaching staff who deserve a lot of praise for doing his job at a high level throughout his tenure in Seattle.