There’s no denying that the New England Patriots have the best kickers in the NFL.
They’re just a long way behind the Los Angeles Chargers and the Arizona Cardinals, who have two and two, respectively, of the best kicking records in the league.
But it’s not just the quality of the kicks that makes the Patriots so dangerous.
Their kicker is also one of the most prolific punters in the game.
According to PFF, they average just over 40 punts a game.
That’s a far cry from the 32-yarder the Chargers have and the 34-yarders that the Cardinals have, but it’s still a lot.
For instance, last season the Patriots averaged 39.5 yards per punt.
That number would be slightly better if not for the fact that the Patriots have averaged a paltry 14.7 yards per pun.
That was the best mark in the AFC, but when you factor in the Patriots’ other special teams prowess, it’s even more impressive.
They’ve been responsible for nearly all of the special teams touchdowns on the Patriots team, and they’ve been even better than that when it comes to converting punts.
Last year the Patriots ranked seventh in the nation in punt return average (12.2 yards per return).
They were second in kickoff return average, sixth in punt coverage average and 10th in punt efficiency.
When the Patriots are on the field, they’re averaging more than 10.0 yards per kick return, a mark that would be second only to the Denver Broncos.
The Patriots’ special teams are a massive part of their success.
They have been tied for first in punt yards per game (8.8), second in punt average (9.0) and first in kickoff coverage (9,742).
Those numbers are insane.
The special teams unit has been on the ground every game for the past two seasons, and their kickers have averaged nearly four yards per kickoff return.
The Broncos’ special team has been a huge reason why they’ve won nine games in a row, and it’s why their kicker has been the MVP in every single game he’s played.
If you’re not a Patriots fan, you probably aren’t going to care much about what we’re about to say.
However, we do know what makes the Pats so dangerous: their kicker.
The San Diego Chargers, who haven’t been able to score on the kickoff returns they’ve averaged since 2007, have a kicker who has averaged an absurd 9.7 points per game.
The kicker is the reason the Patriots make such good field position plays.
He is, in a word, terrifying.
And he does so without a doubt.
The fact that he’s one of just four kickers who have averaged more than 90 yards per reception is remarkable.
He’s also one who can create a lot of pressure on defenders, as his 70.6 yards per attempt on kickoffs this year is tied for third in the League.
His 79.4 yard average per kick is second in the entire NFL.
His 73.5 kickoff return yards per contest is second-most in the NHL and the fourth-highest in the NBA.
He has also converted his fair share of kickoffs in the last two seasons.
He converted 37.1 percent of his field goal attempts from 40 yards or further out, which ranks eighth in the country.
He also converted 35.4 percent of those kickoffs from 30 yards or farther out, and he converted 35 percent of all kickoffs at least 40 yards out.
His 61.5 kick return yards a game is second only in the National Football League.
That is, of course, a stat that is rarely, if ever, mentioned.
His average kick of 55.9 yards a touch is tied with the New York Giants’ Eli Manning for the fourth highest in the NCAA.
He even converted a pair of 40-yard field goals on his kickoffs, which is a pretty damn impressive feat.
The biggest reason why the Patriots can be so dangerous on offense is because they don’t let anyone get close to them.
Their kickoff coverage unit has allowed just 13 points per contest, the lowest total in the Football Bowl Subdivision (the same conference as the NFL), but the Patriots allow just three touchdowns on kick returns this year.
That compares to the NFL average of 17.6 points per kickoff, the fifth-highest mark in Division I. They allow just two field goals from 40-plus yards out and just three from 40 meters out.
And of the punts that they’ve allowed, they’ve converted just four.
It’s no wonder that they’re ranked fifth in the USA Today Sports/PFF rankings in kickoff returns, and that’s with the punt unit being the best in the American Athletic Conference.
Their kickers also do an incredible job of avoiding turnovers.
The Chargers have surrendered two turnovers on kickoff returns and three of their 14 turnovers have come on kick coverage. On