Ravens special teams vs. 49ers special teams

Punt and kickoff coverage has not been sharp in the playoffs, with punter <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PESPT0012657" title="Sam Koch" href="/topic/sports/football/sam-koch-PESPT0012657.topic">Sam Koch</a> struggling at times to put the ball where he's wanted and <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PESPT000301" title="Brendon Ayanbadejo" href="/topic/sports/football/brendon-ayanbadejo-PESPT000301.topic">Brendon Ayanbadejo</a> missing a couple of key tackles. However, this group has been a strength all season. <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="EVSPR000032" title="NFL Pro Bowl" href="/topic/sports/football/nfl-pro-bowl-EVSPR000032.topic">Pro Bowl</a> returner <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PESPT0012629" title="Jacoby Jones" href="/topic/sports/football/jacoby-jones-PESPT0012629.topic">Jacoby Jones</a> has been relatively quiet lately, but the <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="ORSPT000057" title="San Francisco 49ers" href="/topic/sports/football/san-francisco-49ers-ORSPT000057.topic">49ers</a> are well aware that he led the league with a 30.7 kickoff return average. Rookie kicker <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PESPT00016298" title="Justin Tucker" href="/topic/sports/football/justin-tucker-PESPT00016298.topic">Justin Tucker</a> (pictured) would love the opportunity to have the game riding on his right foot. After making 32 of 35 attempts this season, his confidence is well-earned.<br>
<br>
San Francisco coach <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PESPT002970" title="Jim Harbaugh" href="/topic/sports/football/jim-harbaugh-PESPT002970.topic">Jim Harbaugh</a> has stuck by veteran kicker <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PESPT000064" title="David Akers" href="/topic/sports/football/david-akers-PESPT000064.topic">David Akers</a> (pictured), but the 49ers must have some concern if the game comes down to a last-minute field-goal attempt. Akers has missed a league-high 14 field-goal attempts this season and his only attempt versus the <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="ORSPT000032" title="Atlanta Falcons" href="/topic/sports/football/atlanta-falcons-ORSPT000032.topic">Falcons</a> was no good from 38 yards. <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PESPT0013878" title="Andy Lee" href="/topic/sports/football/andy-lee-PESPT0013878.topic">Andy Lee</a> led the <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="ORSPT000007" title="NFL" href="/topic/sports/football/nfl-ORSPT000007.topic">NFL</a> with a 43.2 net punting average and he dropped 36 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line. Both of San Francisco's return men -- <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PESPT0013619" title="Ted Ginn" href="/topic/sports/football/ted-ginn-PESPT0013619.topic">Ted Ginn</a> and <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PESPT0014936" title="LaMichael James" href="/topic/sports/football/lamichael-james-PESPT0014936.topic">LaMichael James</a> -- have speed to burn.<br>
<br>
<b>EDGE</b>: <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="ORSPT000161" title="Baltimore Ravens" href="/topic/sports/football/baltimore-ravens-ORSPT000161.topic">Ravens</a>

( Baltimore Sun and Getty photos )

Punt and kickoff coverage has not been sharp in the playoffs, with punter Sam Koch struggling at times to put the ball where he's wanted and Brendon Ayanbadejo missing a couple of key tackles. However, this group has been a strength all season. Pro Bowl returner Jacoby Jones has been relatively quiet lately, but the 49ers are well aware that he led the league with a 30.7 kickoff return average. Rookie kicker Justin Tucker (pictured) would love the opportunity to have the game riding on his right foot. After making 32 of 35 attempts this season, his confidence is well-earned.

San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh has stuck by veteran kicker David Akers (pictured), but the 49ers must have some concern if the game comes down to a last-minute field-goal attempt. Akers has missed a league-high 14 field-goal attempts this season and his only attempt versus the Falcons was no good from 38 yards. Andy Lee led the NFL with a 43.2 net punting average and he dropped 36 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line. Both of San Francisco's return men -- Ted Ginn and LaMichael James -- have speed to burn.

EDGE: Ravens

  • Email E-mail
  • add to Twitter Twitter
  • add to Facebook Facebook
  • Home Delivery Home Delivery

PHOTO GALLERIES


ABOUT THE BLOGGERS


Jeff Zrebiec has been with The Sun since 2000 and covered the Orioles from 2005 through 2011. A New Jersey native, he was a 2001 graduate of Loyola University in Baltimore. He also has covered University of Maryland basketball and college lacrosse during his time with The Sun.

Aaron Wilson joined The Baltimore Sun in August 2012 after 11 years at the Carroll County Times. He's entering his 12th year on the Ravens' beat. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans. Wilson attended East Carolina University.

Mike Preston has been with The Baltimore Sun since 1983. Prior to becoming a columnist in 2000, he covered the Ravens for four years. Preston is a native of Essex and a graduate of Towson State University, where he played football.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Google Plus
  • RSS Feeds
  • Mobile Alerts and Apps

RAVENS & FOOTBALL VIDEOS