BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There’s no real way to quantify which NFL team has the best special teams unit, but we’re making the case that the Ravens are on top this season. Despite Joe Flacco and Mike Wallace making some impressive touchdowns, it’s been the special teams that have won the games these past few weeks.
Let’s check out five reasons the Ravens’ special teams crew is one of the best:
It Starts With Coach Harbaugh
First hired in the NFL in 1998, Coach Harbaugh spent nine years as the Philadelphia Eagles’ special-teams coach. In 2008 he became the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens and it’s been a match made in heaven ever since. Harbaugh is the only head coach in NFL history to win a playoff game in each of his first five seasons. Although the 5-11 season last year is one we’d all like to forget, Harbaugh’s Ravens are coming back with a vengeance and are currently undefeated.
In Tucker We Trust
Justin Tucker was just named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month. The most accurate kicker in the league has been incredibly clinch for Baltimore’s first three games. Tucker has connected on all nine of his field-goal attempts this season, including a 53-yard game-winner in the final minutes against Jacksonville last week. That was the 12th game-winning kick of his career.
Picking C.J. Mosley
The Ravens have only played three games this season and C.J. Mosley has had a pick in two of them. But they weren’t just any picks, both of them were game-determining interceptions. The Baltimore inside linebacker ended the Ravens’ game against the Browns with an epic interception, and last Sunday, he pulled off a one-handed grab against the Jaguars that gave the Ravens new life to win the game.
The Block Down
The Ravens have blocked the most kicks, ten of them to be exact, in the NFL since 2014. Since 2014, there have been six Ravens to block kicks: Guy, Darian Stewart, Asa Jackson, Jeromy Miles, Brent Urban and Za’Darius Smith. During the game last Sunday, three defensive linemen made crucial plays in just five defensive snaps. Baltimore is averaging one blocked kick every 3.7 games.
The Realm of Rosburg
In the past four seasons, the Ravens’ special teams units have consistently been acknowledged as one of the league’s best. During his tenure in Baltimore, Rosburg and the Ravens have produced the NFL’s No. 1 kickoff return average (25.4) and second-most KOR-TDs (tied with two teams at 6) from 2008-15.