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Cheese Curds, 10/26: Packers’ special teams haven’t been particularly special

Green Bay’s special teams rank in the middle of the pack overall, but they’re last in one important category.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Overall during Mike McCarthy’s tenure as the team’s head coach, the Green Bay Packers have not been known for exceptional special teams. The squad’s struggles came to a head at the end of the 2014 season, as coordinator Shawn Slocum got the axe and McCarthy brought in Ron Zook to lead the punting and kicking units.

This season, the Packers are right in the middle of the pack in terms of their special teams effectiveness, at least according to one metric. That is Football Outsiders’ DVOA, which ranks the Packers in 16th place overall. All told, four of the special teams units are extremely neutral for the team; the only one that is not has been the punting game, which actually ranks third in the entire NFL behind only the Colts and Raiders.

Justin Vogel’s consistency is still a work in progress, as he’s good for the occasional shank but he is averaging 45.9 gross yards per punt through seven games, which would eclipse Tim Masthay’s single-season team record (45.6), set in 2011. Furthermore, Vogel has averaged at least 43 yards per punt in every game but one, and has done a solid job of pinning teams inside the 20 as well.

However, one aspect that is not captured in DVOA is penalties, and the Packers’ special teams have been hammered with flags all year long.

Check out a few items related to the special teams in today’s Curds plus much more as we prepare for a weekend without Packers football.

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The Packers are still around the bottom ten teams in total yardage allowed, ranking in the same spot as last season. They're doing so differently, though; they've gone from abysmal against the pass and good against the run to an average pass defense and a bad run-stopping unit. And then there are the situational stats, which APC’s Shawn Wagner broke down on Wednesday. Yikes.

As backup RB, Ty Montgomery might play special teams again – ProFootballTalk
Ron Zook said that he plans to lobby Mike McCarthy to get Montgomery on special teams again. He could be useful as a kickoff returner, but you might also see him on punt block unit, among others.

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Green Bay has recorded at least one penalty on special teams in every game so far, and far too many of them are boneheaded mistakes before the snap or the kickoff.

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One area where Brett Hundley definitely lags far behind Aaron Rodgers is in the "memorable quote" department.