Punter Marquette King was Oakland’s best Special Teams player in 2015.
Oakland Raiders Season Review – Special Teams
Punter Marquette King should be in the Pro Bowl for the AFC. Instead, that Special Teams honor went to Baltimore Ravens Sam Koch, who was second in the NFL with a net average of 42.9 yards. King was 10th in the NFL at 40.7. Johnny Hekker of St Louis led the league with a 43.7 net average and is representing the NFC in the Pro Bowl.
But that one stat does not tell the entire story. Taking a more subjective approach and looking at a wider range of statistics reveals Marquette King was the best punter in the AFC. Koch is an excellent punter. He got voted in, and out of respect we’re not going to compare him to King for every statistic we mention. Rest assured, King outshined all AFC punters in 2015 when looking at the statistics in full rather than individually. There’s some pretty good punters in the AFC (Colquitt – KC, Berry-Pit, etc), so that’s saying quite a bit.
Marquette King runs onto the field.
The battle for field position is critical in the NFL. The best thing a punter can do is pin a team inside the 20, the deeper the better. King placed 48.2% of his punts inside the 20. That was second best in the NFL. Touchbacks are generally not welcomed unless you’re kicking from inside your 40. Only 4.8% of King’s punts were touchbacks, ranking him 9th in the NFL. Only 36.1% of his punts were returned, ranking him 4th.
Another way a punter impacts a game is preventing opposing teams from advancing the ball. Unless it’s a poor punt, there’s only upside for the punting team. The receiving team has no chance for a big play while downfield coverage can recover the ball off a muffed fair catch or unintended touching. 59% of King’s non-touchback punts were not returned. That’s 3rd best in the NFL. There are other areas we can look at, but in terms of impacting a game, none were better than Marquette King in 2015.
Oakland Raiders Sebastian Janikowski and Long Snapper Jon Condo (#59). Condo was injured and lost for the season while recovering a muffed punt in their Week 12 win over Denver.
Kicker Sebastian Janikowski had what many kickers would consider an average season. By his own standards, it was a subpar year. He attempted only 26 field goals as Head Coach Jack Del Rio favored field position over long field goals. He converted 80.8% of those attempts, including 4 of 5 from 50+, with a long of 56. He was 1 of 1 in overtime, which turned out to be the game winner against San Diego.
Amari Cooper, T.J. Carrie, and Jeremy Ross all had a shot at punt return duties for the Oakland Raiders. Ross was called upon at the end of the year and averaged 7.5 yards per return. The punt coverage team did a good job, holding opponents to an average of 6.7 yards. Taiwan Jones was the primary Kick Returner. He averaged 26.7 yards per carry with a long of 70. Outside of a few plays, including a TD by the Minnesota Vikings, the kickoff coverage team, led by Taiwan Jones, did a solid job. Opposing teams averaged 22.7 yards per return.
Here’s our review of the Offense.
OAKLAND RAIDERS REVIEW – OFFENSE
Our review of the Defense.
OAKLAND RAIDERS SEASON REVEIW – DEFENSE
And…the Coaching Staff.
OAKLAND RAIDERS SEASON REVEIW – COACHES