The San Diego Chargers need to improve on their special teams in 2012

The San Diego Chargers had weaknesses last season with their special teams.  When Nick Novak was not urinating on the sidelines, he only converted 79 percent of his field goal attempts, which was 24th in the NFL among kickers.  This is unacceptable considering that San Diego played 14 of their 16 games in close to ideal weather conditions.  The Chargers need Novak to be better this season because when a game is decided by three points or less, it is nice to know that your kicker will more than likely come up big.

San Diego also struggled in their punt return game because they were 22nd in punt return average.  Patrick Crayton was the primary punt return man in 2011, and he averaged 9.2 yards with no touchdowns.  The addition on Eddie Royal and Roscoe Parrish should help San Diego improve in this category. Royal averaged 16.2 yards per return last season with a touchdown, while Parrish led the NFL in yards per punt return in 2007 and 2008.  Parrish also averaged 11 yards per return in 2010 with the Buffalo Bills.

San Diego had a 1-2 record last season in games decided by three points or less.  Novak only converted 67 percent of his kicks in the losses, but converted 100 percent of his kicks in the win.  The Chargers need to be better with their field goal percentage because they were tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for 20th as a team in this category. San Diego should improve on this because they have made moves to improve on most of their weaknesses, and 12 of their 16 games should be in almost ideal weather conditions.  They should improve in their punt return game as well with the additions of Royal and Parrish.

 


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  • HassleFree

    Novak won’t be back next season. He was only a Charger because Kaeding went down on the opening kickoff of the season. Kaeding, the most accurate regular season kicker in the history of the game, will improve their FG kicks. I do agree with your assessment on punt returns.

    • Kenny Gardner

      Kaeding suffered ligament tears, but they were in his non-kicking leg, so he should be back to form or close to it. A healthy Kaeding is definitely an upgrade because his worst season was 80 percent and Novak’s best season was 80 percent