As we’re talking about midseason pace for the offense and defense, we might as well talk about special teams, too. Like both of the aforementioned units, special teams is scuffling a bit, especially when it matters most. An injury to Matt Bryant that might keep him out of Sunday’s game isn’t going to help with that, either.
Here’s the midseason pace for this Falcons special teams unit.
KR/PR Andre Roberts: 34 kick returns, 678 yards, 19.9 yards per return; 24 punt returns, 192 yards, 8.0 yards per return
K Matt Bryant: 30/36 field goal attempts, 34/34 extra point attempts
(34/37 field goal attempts, 56/57 extra point attempts)
P Matt Bosher: 52 punts, 2,332 yards, 44.8 yards per punt
(44 punts, 2,060 yards, 46.8 yards per punt)
You can a sense of how brutally bad this offense has been at scoring touchdowns when you notice that Bryant is on pace to attempt 23 fewer extra points. He’s also on pace to have a worse year in general than last year, and has been dealing with back and leg injuries.
Similarly, Matt Bosher had a few random ad punts this year, and is on pace to punt eight more times than he did all of last year despite the Falcons having fewer offensive possessions than most teams in the NFL. I’m sad now.
Finally, there’s Roberts, People were ready to throw Eric Weems overboard for his year last year, but Roberts has already repeated a bunch of the kinds of baffling mistakes Weems got crushed for, and he’s averaging over 3 yards less per kick return and 3 yards less per punt return. The called back touchdown doesn’t help in that regard, sure, but it sure looks like the Falcons actually downgraded at returner.
What has traditionally been a strength for Atlanta, then, is looking less like one this year. Bosher looks like he’ll be fine and hopefully Bryant will be able to stay healthy the rest of the way, but this isn’t going to be a year Keith Armstrong puts into his personal scrapbook.