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Ravens special teams were good but not the best, like in 2015

Ravens ranked as the fifth-best special teams units, largely because of Justin Tucker.

The Ravens’ special teams unit has high standards under associate head coach and special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg. According to one widely respected ranking system, the Ravens remained one of the league’s best on special teams in 2016, but they weren’t nearly as good as they were in 2015.

Rick Gosselin, the veteran NFL writer for The Dallas Morning News, has developed a detailed ranking system for special teams play. Gosselin’s rankings are recognized league-wide.

His rankings, which came out this week, had the Ravens with the fifth-best special teams unit in 2016. The Philadelphia Eagles finished first, followed by the Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams.

It marked the fifth straight year Rosburg’s unit has finished in the top five. The Ravens finished second in 2012, fifth in 2013 and 2014, and first overall in 2015, with a composite of score 231.

This year, their composite ranking was 279.5 (the lower the score, the better). The Eagles finished first for the second time in three years.

Gosselin ranks every team’s special teams unit in 22 categories, including kickoff and punt return average, kick and punt return coverage, starting field position both for and against, various punting and field-goal categories and blocked kicks.

Kicker Justin Tucker was the clear stalwart on Ravens’ special teams. Tucker, who made the Pro Bowl for the second time, led the league in field goals made (38), field-goal percentage (97.4) and he also made all 27 of his extra-point tries.

Punter Sam Koch finished 15th in gross average (45.8) and 18th in net average (39.9) and tied for third in number of punts inside the 20 (37).

As a team, the Ravens finished 12th in kickoff return average (22.7), 21st in punt return average (7.7), 10th in kickoff return average against (20.7) and 29th in punt return average against (11.4).  

The Ravens also finished tied with the Miami Dolphins with a league-best four blocked kicks.

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