With nowhere to go but up, Packers special teams improve in 2019

Shawn Mennenga's crew got better as the season went on. 

After coming in dead last in 2018, the Packers made some progress in Rick Gosselin's 2019 Special Teams rankings, coming in 26th. 

From Gosselin: The league’s 32 teams are ranked in 22 kicking-game categories and assigned points according to their standing – one for best, 32 for worst. 

Of note is New Orleans coming in first under new special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi, who the Packers spoke with this past offseason

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Comments (11)

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 21, 2020 at 02:36 pm

Stymie the run

Again, easier said than done, but if you want Garoppolo to lose the game for the 49ers, you need to make him pass more than is ideal. You can’t get there without putting the brakes on the ground game.
The Falcons were sneakily brilliant against the 49ers in this regard, prioritizing playing their best run defenders up front and flocking to the ball carrier. There was nothing fancy about that effort, but aside from a 37 yard scamper from Tevin Coleman, they didn’t allow a single carry to go over 10 yards and came up with a bunch of quick stops. That forced the 49ers into 3rd and long situations, and again, those are not the situations San Francisco wants to find themselves in.
The Packers do not have one of the league’s best run defenses and Shanahan and Mike McDaniels’ reputations as run game geniuses are well-earned, but good fundamentals and a focus on stopping the run above all else will make a difference

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 21, 2020 at 02:37 pm

Well, the Packers didn't heed that advice.

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PackerAaron's picture

January 21, 2020 at 02:42 pm

Doug...the post was about special teams....

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jannes bjornson's picture

January 21, 2020 at 08:46 pm

Atlanta's defense is faster. Designed for the plastic turf.

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Lphill's picture

January 21, 2020 at 03:30 pm

Special teams was awful in the NFC championship.

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CAG123's picture

January 21, 2020 at 03:52 pm

Don’t know why the Packers decided to go cheap and get this bum

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

January 21, 2020 at 08:58 pm

Atlanta played in San Francisco

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Lare's picture

January 21, 2020 at 06:33 pm

The Packer's special teams moved up from last in the NFL to 26th. That's nothing really to be proud about. Neither is the defense's rankings in almost every category.

Hopefully, MLF makes some coaching changes to give the Packers a better chance of winning.

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Tundraboy's picture

January 21, 2020 at 11:30 pm

Soberingly true. Teams arrow is pointing up but this needs to be faced head on. And dealt with immediately.

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splitpea1's picture

January 21, 2020 at 08:28 pm

Well, I can't recall the opposing punter trying any passes on us; and the penalties were way down, so that is some progress. The addition of Ervin really helped. I can't think of any balls that were fielded well within the 10-yard line, either. The first step was to get these guys playing with their heads screwed on straight.

But we need to get to the point where the special teams can produce impact plays, like setting up good returns and blocking kicks at an opportune time like some teams seem to be able to do.

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flackcatcher's picture

January 22, 2020 at 08:49 am

Special Teams mostly is a team roster problem. Much of Packers issue lies in the weakness of the depth of position throughout the team. To put it bluntly, until the roster depth improves thru the draft and free agency, special teams will not improve. Who coaches that unit really does not matter until that happens. (Yeah, I know it sucks, but talent lifts all...)

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