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Rams midseason report card: Special teams

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Special Teams is not a third of the game.


The Rams special teams have been excellent in some areas, but downright dreadful in one area (punt returning). The later is starting to improve slowly, but the other areas of the Rams special teams have been performing well in 2013.

Johnny Hekker and Punt Coverage

Hekker is having himself a tremendous season. He has only allowed 40 punt return yards all season. Now that's not all on him. The punt coverage has also been awesome, but Hekker's accuracy on punts has been superb. He is averaging 45 yards per punt, and 43.1 net yards per punt. He is having a pro-bowl caliber year.

Bless you, Ginger God.

Grade: A+

Greg Zuerlein

The leg is silly. He is going to hit a kick from 70 yards in his career. He hasn't had the chance to show off his leg as much this season as he has only attempted one kick from beyond 50 yards that he missed. On the season he is 14/15. No complaints here.

Grade: A

Tavon Austin and Punt Returning

Tavon was supposed to finally be the solution to the Rams punt returning woes, but he is only averaging 3.9 yards per punt return. Now he did have some longer returns that were called back because of stupid penalties. Oh god, the penalties. For a while there, I was beginning to think there was something wrong when the Rams returned a punt without a flag. It was embarrassing to watch.

Grade: F

Benny Cunningham and Kick Returning

Cunningham is averaging a respectable 24.9 yards per return. He doesn't have the threat to break one long, as his farthest return is only 34 yards. But he will get the ball a little past the 20 when he returns it, which is all the Rams are really asking him to do.

Grade: C