Special Teams: C+
John Fennelly, Lead WriterOnly one team had more gross punting yards than the Giants (4,271) and that was the Jacksonville Jaguars. And it’s not because Steve Weatherford has a strong leg, either.
The Giants gave up three punt returns for TDs, tying the 3-13 Washington Redskins for the league high. They also gave up a TD on botched snap.
Hard to believe there are six teams with a lower punt return average (7.2 YPA) than the Giants. Rueben Randle had a long of 32, but mostly he called for fair catches or got hit after a few yards.
The Giants’ 21.2 YPA on kickoff returns was 28th in the NFL and their longest return wasn’t until Michael Cox broke off a 56-yarder near the end of the season.
PK Josh Brown made 29 of 30 FGAs but did not attempt a 50-plus yarder until Week 16. His kickoffs were usually high and deep and the Giants held opponents to a modest 21.8 yards per return.
The skinny: The Giants’ specials are bland because they lack explosiveness. David Wilson’s injury erased any possibility of a KO being taken to the house. The roster was top heavy with lineman, so on gameday, ST coordinator Tom Quinn had little speed to work with. Throw in the fact that their best ST player in the preseason (Kyle Bosworth) was cut only worsened things. It wasn’t until the Giants brought in Jon Conner and got Will Hill back from suspension did things start to calm down this season.