Special teams can become offensive force

Special teams can become offensive force
November 17, 2012, 3:45 pm
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The offense has certainly improved this season. However, the Ravens' offense also is getting a boost from the special teams, the kind of push that can help them win a game or two.

Last week's game against the Raiders is a good example, although it's not the kind of thing that happens every week. The Ravens got a 105-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from Jacoby Jones and a 7-yard touchdown run off a fake field goal by punter Sam Koch. That's 14 points, boys and girls.

Now, you won't be seeing fake field goals on a regular basis. They're just not done that way. But Jones really appears to be hitting his stride and getting good returns on a regular basis. On kickoffs, Jones already has given the Ravens two touchdowns this season.

There's other ways that special teams help the offense, although they don't show up too much in the box score. 

Koch's consistent punting and ability to pin teams deep can help the defense keep a team stuck in their own end. Then, they'd have to punt, which could give the Ravens the ball around midfield, settign up another scoring chance. It's something that good teams often can do, and Koch's ability to put the ball wherever he wants helps make that happen.

Justin Tucker's deep kickoffs do the exact same thing. He regularly puts the ball deep into the end zone, He's averaging 65.5 yards per kickoff, fifth in the NFL, and his 31 touchbacks are tied for fifth. 

The Ravens have been getting good punting, kicks and kickoffs so far this season. Being a former special teams coach, Ravens coach John Harbaugh very likely appreciates all of that, and they are skills which will give the offense some help from time to time -- and likely add to a few victories.