Dolphins at Packers: The Kicking Game

Dolphins Special-Teams
Kicking
Dan Carpenter: 5-7 FG’s, Long 50
Punting
Brandon Fields: 40.9 average, 10 IN20, Long 68, 2 punts blocked 
Kickoff Return
Patrick Cobbs: 7 attempts, 21.9 yard average
Nolan Carroll: 2 attempts, 27.0 yard average
Punt Return
Davone Bess: 3 returns, 13.7 yard average

Dolphins Opponents
Kicking: 5-7 FG’s, Long 51
Punting: 42.3 average, 4 IN20, Long 68, 0 punts blocked
Kickoff Return: 10 returns, 35.8 yard average, 1 touchdown
Punt Return: 8 returns, 6.5 yard average

Packers Special-Teams
Kicking
Mason Crosby: 7-10 FG’s, Long 56
Punting
Tim Masthay: 44.4 yard average, 2 IN20, Long 58, 0 punts blocked
Kickoff Return
Jordy Nelson: 20 returns, 23.7 yard average
Pat Lee: 2 returns, 16.5 yard average
Punt Return
Tramon Williams: 11 returns, 11.6 yard average

Packers Opponents
Kicking:11-14 FG’s, Long 52
Punting: 45.5 yard average, 2 IN20, Long 58, 0 punts blocked
Kickoff Return: 22 returns, 24.5 yard average
Punt Return: 10 returns, 16.9 yard average

As you can see, after watching mediocre special-teams play for three weeks and a special-teams meltdown of epic proportions in Week 4 against the Patriots, it was time to stop overlooking the kicking game. We’ve previewed the passing game and running game before each week, but when you make the kinds of mistakes the Dolphins have made on special-teams you can still clearly lose games regardless of how you play on offense and defense. Darren Rizzi has obviously inherited quite a mess. But avoiding the kind of costly mistakes we saw against the Pats shouldn’t be too much to ask. If you play well enough to win offensively and defensively, all you need is the special-teams to go out and not screw it up.

There are some nice building blocks on special-teams for the Dolphins to work with too. Dan Carpenter is a Pro Bowl kicker, Brandon Fields has punted the ball very well this season when he’s had time to get it off, and Nolan Carroll has flashed some potential as kick returner.They just can’t afford to have any more missed blocking assignments, their kickoff and punt teams need to stay disciplined by filling their lanes properly, and the unit can right the ship in time for the most important stretch of the season.
Edge: Packers

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