Special teams are undoubtedly the least popular aspect of any NFL franchise, but they are incredibly important and oftentimes can be the difference between winning and losing a very close game. The St. Louis Rams head into the 2014 season with the most underrated placekicker in the game, Greg Zuerlein.
Zuerlein heads into his third season in the league as an integral part of the Rams’ potential success in 2014, particularly during the first half of the season. The Rams offense consists of mainly inexperienced receivers who have not had a ton of time with quarterback Sam Bradford, especially since he only played in the first seven games during the 2013 campaign due to a torn ACL.
The offense will need time to gel as a cohesive unit considering at the present moment only Jared Cook, Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt are guaranteed to be catching passes for St. Louis in 2014. This makes the field goal unit’s presence important early in the season, because the offense will undoubtedly have a fair amount of drives stalled outside the red zone, giving Zuerlein more opportunities to put points on the board.
Zuerlein was stellar in 2013. He converted on 26-of-28 chances including eight from 40-49 yards and one from 50-plus. Zuerlein finished the season with an impressive 92.9 conversion percentage which was fifth overall in the NFL. He also converted on all 34 extra point attempts. Zuerlein truly had an underrated season and deserved Pro Bowl honors despite being snubbed.
Zuerlein had the third least field goal attempts in the game in 2013, which will drastically change in 2014. He has a chance to gain national recognition as an All-Pro kicker this season.