Steve Weatherford of the New York Giants celebrates after the Giants defeated the New England Patriots 21-17 to win Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Our final comparison as we go position-by-position through the rosters of the 2007 and 2011 Super Bowl-winning New York Giants is a look at the special teams. The numbers are below.
2007 Jeff Feagles -- 71 punts, 40.4 yards per punt, 25 punts inside the 20, 36.0 yards net average
2011 Steve Weatherford -- 82 punts, 45.7 yards per punt, 25 punts inside the 20, 39.2 yards net average
2007 Lawrence Tynes -- 40-of-42, PATs, 23-of-27 field goals
2011 Lawrence tynes -- 43-of-32 PATs, 19-of-24 field goals
2007 Ahmad Bradshaw -- 38 returns, 24.2 yards per return, long of 68 yards
2007 Reuben Droughns -- 20 returns, 21.9 yards per return
2007 Domenik Hixon -- 8 returns, 27.6 yards per return, long of 74 yards
2011 Devin Thomas -- 25 returns, 24.3 yards per return, long of 40 yards
2011 Da'Rel Scott -- 14 returns, 24.4 yard per return
2011 Jarrel Jernigan -- 8 returns, 23.3 yards per return
When I look at these numbers it is obvious neither team could return punts. Of course, as long as you catch them and don't fumble I guess that is good enough. Not every team can have Devin Hester. Placekicking is a wash -- Lawrence Tynes was the kicker for both squads.
So, this really comes down to punting and kickoff returns. Love Jeff Feagles, but the numbers show that Steve Weatherford was far superior in 2011 to what Feagles brought to the table in 2011. In terms of kickoff return Ahmad Bradshaw of 2007 was better than anybody the Giants tried in 2011, but really not by that much.
For me, Weatherford makes the difference here.