GREEN BAY, Wis. – Six playoff teams finished in the top nine in Rick Gosselin’s annual special-teams rankings. The Green Bay Packers, on the other hand, finished ahead of only one of the 14 clubs in the postseason.
Fortunately for the Packers, that team is the Los Angeles Rams. Green Bay, which finished 29th, will host the Rams, who finished 30th, in Saturday’s NFC divisional playoff game.
For the last 42 years, Gosselin has taken the NFL’s 32 teams and ranked them in 22 kicking-game categories and assigned points according to their standing – one for best, 32 for worst. The New England Patriots, with Cameron Achord replacing Joe Judge, compiled 214 points to finish 8.5 points better than the runner-up Seattle Seahawks.
Five other playoff teams joined Seattle in the Top 9. Indianapolis came in fourth, New Orleans fifth, Baltimore sixth, Buffalo eighth and Chicago ninth. Miami, which missed the playoffs despite winning 10 games, finished seventh.
Tampa Bay, the other team remaining in the NFC field, tied for 22nd.
The Packers have been consistently bad on special teams, finishing 20th or worse in six of the past eight seasons. That includes ranking 26th in 2019, 32nd in 2018, 29th in 2016 and 32nd in 2014. They have not fielded a top-10 unit since 2007.
The Packers tied for 19th in Packer Central’s eighth-annual rankings. Our rankings take only five categories into account – four based on the field position following punts and kickoffs and the other being field-goal percentage.
Green Bay finished at the bottom of the league in kickoff-return average and punt coverage but was first in field-goal percentage and third in penalties.
“It has been different things popping up and I think that’s been the most frustrating part for us as coaches,” special teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga said. “There hasn’t been a consistent pattern of anything that’s popped up. It’s frustrating. I don’t have a great answer for you. … It’s very frustrating.”