I think we can all agree that this past week was probably the most acceptable performance our special teams have given so far this year. Dodge managed to accrue a pretty respectable yardage average on his punts, Tynes made his field goals, Rosenfels is certainly an upgrade at holder, and the coverage teams pretty much kept the Texans return men in check. In fact, the special teams unit was so un-awful this week that they even managed to stay out of the "Wet Willies" department for once. But in the spirit of being a jaded New Jerseyan who spends most of every Giants game yelling and complaining, let me just throw some reality on the situation. Our special teams unit is still, in the words of Charles Barkley, TURRIBLE. And even though they didn't really pay for it this past week, it was still that bad on Sunday as well.
The Giants committed 5 penalties on kicks and punts on Sunday. That is beyond ridiculous. I don't remember what the breakdown of 10 yard and 15 yard penalties was, but they basically cost the team like 60 yards of field position in penalties alone. Darius Reynaud, who by the way has been just lighting it up in the return game since he came aboard, muffed a punt in what could have been a HUGE turning point in the game. Luckily Blackburn recovered, but if you're gonna be a nonexistent punt returner, at least catch the ball dude.
As for Matt Dodge, the only difference in the this week's performance was that he finally got a couple favorable bounces. He still kicked at least 2 line drives, and even his longer punts are lacking the hang time you need for the coverage team to get down the field. At least he didn't drop any snaps, so I guess that's a plus.
Is Lawrence Tynes the single solitary kicker left in professional football who cannot kick the ball into the endzone on a kickoff? Seriously, not one touchback? Not even in a dome? I saw the Pats kicker boom one through the left corner of the endzone and into the stands two weeks ago. We can't even get one past the 5 yard line?
Sage Rosenfels is a legitimate bright spot for special teams. He handled a couple of really bad snaps (another staple of our ST squad) and got the holds down very nicely. Plus I always like having a QB as the holder in the unlikely event that you need to throw the ball on a botched play or a fake. So I'm willing to tip my cap to Sage, but that's it. This unit is honestly one of the worst I've ever seen, and unless it improves there is no doubt it will cost the Giants a game at some point this season. In closing, I'll echo our friend Ed's often repeated question: How the hell does Tom Quinn still have a job?