Special teams is the middle child of the football world. No, that’s not right. It’s the red-headed step-child. No one shows special teams any respect, and yet when a game is on the line, it is often the kicker who is relied upon to come up with the game-winning field goal. It is often the punter who is put in a position to pin the opponent deep in their own territory, shifting the field position battle.
The good news is most of the story with special teams can be told with raw numbers. This is one time when the stats can tell the bulk of the story.
The Steelers were in the middle of the pack with 4.9 punt attempts per game. The downside is that they were 26th in the NFL with a pitiable 38.1 net yards per successful punt. That’s not great.
So, while they weren’t punting as often as Houston or Super Bowl Champion Baltimore, they were punting more often than Miami and Carolina.
And the only teams that had worse yardage per punt were Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Buffalo, ...