USFL - Special Teams Power Rankings Week 1 - Kickers, Punters, and Returners
Special teams have always held a special (haha) place in my heart and I am proud to present the first look at the Special Teams units throughout the USFL! Week 1 of the 2022 USFL season was completed this past Monday after the last matchup of the week was postponed due to weather. Here is a comprehensive breakdown of each special teams position;
Let's start by getting one thing out of the way, the kickers did not fare well across the board. During week 1, kickers attempted 13 field goals, completing only 5 of those attempts (38.5%). It is always difficult to provide a power ranking after the first week of the first season of a league, so bear with me as I explain my rankings below. Without further ado, here are my (un)Official Power Rankings for the Kickers of the 2022 USFL Season;
Working from top-down;
Ramiz Ahmed (PIT) will snag the top of the list as he is the only kicker who has hit 100% of his kicks. I think as a kicker, your most important job is to make your kicks. While this may not have been the fault of the kickers (Lookout for a new article regarding the Tracker placed in USFL Game Balls), but, it is still on them to perform when the moment comes.
Brandon Aubrey (BHAM) of the high scoring Birmingham Stallions will nag the 2nd spot on my list after completing 4 PAT attempts (These work out to be a 33-yard attempt)
Spots 3 and 4 are a toss-up and could go either way. Nick Rose (NJ) NO redeemed himself, after his two FG misses from 47 yards and then 22 yards when he made a second 47 yard attempt. While it may seem controversial, I do believe Rose will be kicking for the Generals moving into week 2.
The final two spots on this list go to Austin McGinnis (NO) and Michael Carrizosa (MICH) who both missed their only field goal attempts from 40 yards and 43 yards respectively.
The punters faired much better during week 1. The group of 8 punted 39 times for a grand total of 1,610 yards. This came out to an average of 41.3 yards per punt, which is really good considering the NFL punting average for the 2021 season was 45.6 yards per punt. Here is how each punter did;
Brandon Wright (TB) will take the number 1 spot after having what could possibly be the best game he's ever had in his punting career. 5 Punts for an average of 54.6 yards per punt is an insane stat, and even if you remove his monster 75 yard punt, he still averaged 49.5 yards per punt.
Brock Miller (NJ) will take the second spot after snagging a net average of 41.8 yards per punt. He placed the ball well, ensuring no one was able to return his kicks.
Positions 3 and 4 are really up in the air. Matt White (NO) and Matt Mengel (PHI) both played well, but White just had more punts to showcase his leg. He was able to put 80% of his punts within the 20 yard line. Mengel only punted 2 times but had a good average of 46.5 yards per punt. (If you count his 80 yard punt after the safety, he would have an average of 57.6 yards per punt but the USFL does not count this as a traditional punt, stat-wise)
The remaining 4 spots are all washes as well. I believe we just need to see more punts from these guys before we are able to truly tell how they play. The only notable stat is that Andrew Galitz (HOU) punted 2 of his 6 punts inside the opponents 10 yard line.
Returners with the responsibility of fielding kickoffs had a decent time. Here are their rankings for week 1;
Most punt returners did not play as well as their kickoff return counterparts. Here is how they played;
Other Notable Moments:
Brandon Aubrey (BHAM) Kicked off the USFL Season.
Nick Rose (NJ) makes the first PAT.
Brock Miller (NJ) kicks the first Punt (30 Yards).
Nick Rose (NJ) kicks the first Field Goal (47 yards).
Longest FG: 47 Yards - Nick Rose (NJ)
Longest Punt: 76 Yards - Brandon Wright (TB)
Longest KO Return: 42 Yards - Bolden Jr. (BHAM)
Longest Punt Return: 14 Yards - Turpin (NJ)
Thank you for making it this far in my article! Please let me know what you think about the article through the contact page! Have a good day everyone :)