The Green Bay Packers’ special teams have been a middle-of-the-pack unit throughout the 2017 season, at least up until their week 10 game at Soldier Field. Coming into week ten, the team was ranked 16th in overall special teams DVOA, thanks in large part to a highly positive ranking in punting.
However, Sunday’s game against the Bears saw a different story, with the special teams seemingly trying their hardest to give the game away.
There were mistakes on several units, most prominently on one place-kick and on punt returns, which led the Packers to have an expected points value of -6.09 from their special teams. In other words, they gave away almost a touchdown’s worth of points on special teams, putting the rest of the onus on the offense and defense.
Thankfully, those units were up to the challenge, but that was the worst performance by the special teams in over a year and the third time that they have given away more than six points on those units in the past three years. The other two games were losses that featured huge kickoff returns: the Lions game at Lambeau in 2015 (in which Ameer Abdullah returned a kick 104 yards to the one-yard line) and the Colts game last season (when Jordan Todman returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown).
Here’s hoping Ron Zook gets some things figured out in the next week, since the Ravens entered week 10 as the third-ranked special teams group in the league.
Packers 'captured the line of scrimmage' vs. Bears | Packers.com
Dom Capers praised his defense for their play on first down, which we discussed on Monday. Meanwhile, Mike McCarthy said that Ty Montgomery still has a chance to play against Baltimore on Sunday, which would alleviate the potential need to bring in another running back.
Packers' special-teams miscues, penalties continue to pile up - ESPN
If the Packers had lost on Sunday, they could almost certainly blame their special teams. From Trevor Davis fielding and returning a punt in the end zone to multiple penalties to a blown hold on a late field goal, it was a brutal day for those units.
Packers notes: Cobb says wildcat formation needs work | Packersnews.com
Cobb carried the football three times out of a wildcat alignment, gaining just eight yards. on four carries overall. Personally, I hope they're setting up for the former quarterback to actually throw the ball at some point.
Boomer Esiason: Martellus Bennett is living a lie | Packers Wire
Forgive Boomer for saying "hashtag fake news." His point is that given the testimonials from the Packers' other players regarding the training staff (Dr. Pat McKenzie in particular), it's "reprehensible that he acted this way towards the Green Bay Packers."
Ravens' offense can gain big spark from 'little ball of muscle' - ESPN
Grit. Gritty grit gritness. Danny Woodhead is likely to return to the Ravens' lineup in time for Sunday's game at Lambeau.
2018 NFL mock draft: Baker Mayfield lands in the top 10 - SBNation.com
The Packers are currently slotted in the 19th spot. Dan Kadar projects Boston College edge rusher Harold Landry as the pick - Landry had 16.5 sacks a year ago and has five this year.