Most underrated part of the Seahawks’ success in 2020? Special teams
The Seahawks are 5-0 for the first time in franchise history, thanks largely to an elite offense led by start quarterback Russell Wilson, who is in the MVP conversation, but there’s another aspect of Seattle’s game that has excelled this season, and that’s the play of the team’s special teams unit.
Seahawks insider Stacy Rost of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy discussed that part of Seattle’s play on Wednesday.
“The Seahawks have been solid on special teams this year. I’m going to point specifically to Michel Dickson, though they’ve been great in coverage as well,” she said.
Dickson, the third-year punter who already has earned All-Pro honors, has been exceptional flipping the field all throughout this season. For his role in the Seahawks’ Week 2 win over the Patriots, Dickson earned NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors for the second time in his career.
“Michael Dickson, right now (he is) averaging 49.6 yards per punt,” Rost said. “That’s fifth in the league, but it’s a bit misleading, because if you’re always punting for fewer yards behind a great offense – you might be punting closer to midfield – you don’t have to punt from like the 3-yard line because you couldn’t get moving.”
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) October 18, 2020
But the yardage per punt isn’t the only area where Dickson is having a fantastic year.
“Another thing to look at here is how many punts have been downed inside the 20-yard line,” Rost said. “In that category, Seattle is leading the rest of the league (with 14).”
In addition to averaging 49.6 yards per punt and downing 14 inside the 20-yard line, Dickson and the Seahawks’ coverage team are fourth with 45.1 net yards per punt. Dickson also has the third-longest punt this season at 67 yards and is fifth in total punt yards with 1,092. Additionally, Dickson has had only two of his 22 punts go into the end zone for touchbacks, and he and the coverage team have allowed only 51 punt return yards.
But punting isn’t the only area on special teams where the Seahawks have been great, as David Moore, the team’s punt returner this year, has the Seahawks fifth in the NFL in average punt return yards at 12.5 with his longest return going for 20 yards. Even the kickoff return team, led by Travis Homer, has been solid, with Seattle ranking 17th in yards per return at 21.4 with a long of 44 yards.
The good numbers don’t stop there, as kicker Jason Myers has nailed his two field goal attempts (yeah, that offense has been pretty good) and is also perfect on extra points at 21 of 21. Kickoffs have also been good for the Seahawks, with the team ranking 11th in touchbacks at 73.3% and fifth in yards per return with 17.6.
Another bright spot? No penalties for the Seahawks on special teams this year.
The defense may not be up to par yet, but the Seahawks have definitely excelled in two of the three phases of the game through five games.
Listen to the second hour of Wednesday’s Tom, Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.