Personnel Analysis: Week #3 (Special Teams)

Punter Chris Kluwe (photo:  Dale Schneider)

Here's a personnel analysis from the Vikings 13-10 loss at Kansas City in Week #3. See the breakdown of the team's special teams performance.

Overview:

Other than a breakdown on kickoff coverage the special teams were somewhere between average and excellent this week.

Punter Chris Kluwe had yet another very strong showing.  He averaged 48.0 yards on 6 punts with a net average of 41.7, with a long of 70 yards, 3 inside the 20 and one (the 70-yarder) that went for a touchback.  His 6 punts:  1) 70-yard boomer; 2) 42-yarder inside 20, fair catch; 3) 26 yards downed at 8-yard-line; 4) 53 yards for fair catch inside 20; 5) 50-yard punt with long return (44 yards) nullified by holding penalty on Chiefs; 6) 47-yard punt with 12-yard return.  Kluwe was perfect on two holds.

Ryan Longwell was perfect on his extra point try and his 22-yard chip shot field goal attempt.  But in the heat at Arrowhead he was also stronger-than-average on kickoffs, putting two into the endzone (one for a touchback, one for a 19-yard return from 5 yards deep.  His other kickoff was a bit shorter, coming down at the 7-yard-line.

On coverage, cornerback Antoine Winfield made a touchdown-saving tackle on a 36-yard Eddie Drummond kickoff return.  Safety Tank Williams dropped Drummond at the 14-yard-line on the opening kickoff.  Linebacker Vinny Ciurciu made the team’s only tackle on punt coverage.

Snapper Cullen Loeffler was strong and perfect on all his snaps, but he picked up a foolish unnecessary roughness penalty on punt coverage that cost the team 15 yards in field position late in the game.

Nothing spectacular on the return units as the blocking just wasn’t there for the most part.  However, Bobby Wade did have one nifty 13-yard punt return as he averaged 9.0 on 3 returns with one fair catch.

After lobbying for rookie Aundrae Allison to return kickoffs in this space last week, he looked tentative and indecisive given the chance this week.  He had 3 returns for 60 yards (20.0 avg.) with a long of 23 yards and settled for a touchback on his other opportunity.  All three of his returns came out of the endzone, but head coach Brad Childress wasn’t happy that Allison did not take them upfield with more decisiveness and conviction.

Summary:

From a correction standpoint, special teams coordinator Paul Ferraro won’t have an extensive film session this week.  They need to clean up a couple breakdowns on kickoff coverage and the aforementioned conviction by Allison on kickoff returns.  Otherwise, Ferraro has to be happy with his kicking game at this stage of the season.

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