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  • Writer's pictureNoah Beausoleil

USFL - Special Teams Power Rankings Week 2 - Kickers, Punters, and Returners

Week 2 of the USFL season is in the books and with it, a new Special Teams Power Ranking is born!

 

Just before kickoff of the second week of the USFL Season, the Executive VP of Football Operations Daryl Johnston delivered an update regarding a huge problem that robbed us of quality special teams play in week 1 (Read about that here!).


In a twitter video, Johnson said this regarding the change:

We made a change to our policy this week, and we wanted to let fans know about this moving forward. Our specialists came to us with concerns regarding the sensor technology impacting the kicking balls that they were using.
So, starting this week, we will be going back to a more traditional "K" ball structure in the USFL. All of our specialists will be kicking their own (tracker free) balls when it comes to kickoffs, field goals, and punts.

I, for one, am very pleased (not to mention impressed) that the league listened to its audience and decided to implement the change quickly. With all that being said, there is now some serious pressure on said specialists to preform well. They wanted a new ball and they got it, but now you have no one to blame but yourself and everyone's eyes are on you.

 

Kickers

Through two weeks of USFL football, kickers have now attempted 26 field goals and have completed 15 of the attempts. This means that the league has improved from a mere 38% success rate to just over 57%! With that out of the way, I now present to you my un(Official Week 2 USFL Kicker Power Rankings;

Working top-down;

  1. Brandon Aubrey (BHAM) will take first place in our rankings after making both of his first field goal attempts this week. He is currently the only kicker in the league who is 100% for both field goals and extra-point attempts, which is funny because he was a pro soccer player and has only ever played 2 games of professional football.

  2. Special Teams Player of the Week, Nick Vogel (HOU), had a stellar game racking up a league record 10 points from 3 field goals and 1 PAT. Oh yea, Vogletron also set A NEW USFL RECORD for the longest field goal after kicking a 50 yarder to kick off the game on Saturday.

  3. Ahmed (PIT) will drop 2 spots this week, not because of poor play, but because of stellar competition. He is still one of only two kickers who we could see complete the season with 100% on field goal attempts.

  4. Positions 4-7 are still really difficult to determine without more data but I tried to rank the players objectively by using their statistics.

  5. The final player I will talk about today is Michigan Panther, Michael Carrizosa. He has had a rough beginning to his kicking career in the USFL and has yet to convert on any attempt he has made (Field Goal or PAT). If I were the Panthers, I would give Michael one more shot to get things right before bringing in another leg to take over kicking duties, while Carrizosa reverts to punting only.

 

Punters

The punting group continued to impress this week, bringing their league average up to 42 yards per punt over 78 punts league-wide. You will notice some changes to the statistics table this week, as I've begun tracking not only punts inside the 20 yard line, but also the percentage of punts inside the 20, and the number of punts inside the 10 yard line (which I find the most impressive.). Here are my (un)Official Punter Power Rankings;

Working top-down;

  1. Brandon Wright (TB) had another mind-boggling game this week, punting 5 times for a NET average of 49.2 yards per punt. He also managed to keep his average yardage per punt over 50 yards a punt, which is just impressive no matter which way you slice it. Brandon also leads the league in the new "inside the 20" percentage category, which just goes to show you how dominant he is.

  2. Matt White (NO) is quietly putting up really decent numbers through 9 punts. He is #3 in Net Average yards per punt and has been consistent at pinning the other team deep.

  3. Miller (NJ) and Wadman (BHAM) are also having great starts to their season. Both are holding steady at 41 yards per punt and have been able to pin their opponents deep over 30% of the time.

  4. Michael Carrizosa (MICH) is next, raising 2 spots and grabbing fifth in this week's rankings. If he could get his net average and % inside the 20 yard line higher, he would be in contention for the top 3. He is certainly having a better time punting the ball so far.

  5. Galitz (HOU) was one of the only punters to improve his numbers in week 2, punting 3 times for an average of 50 yards. He has also hit 33% of his punts inside the 10 yard line, which is very impressive.

  6. Mengel (PHI) and Duffy (PIT) are both falling behind but (in my opinion) for different reasons. Mengel has punted a league-low 7 times. Until we get more tape from him and the Stars, it is difficult to judge how good he is. He looked good in week one but fell short in week 2 after punting 5 times for net yardage of 35.3 yards per punt. Duffy is having the opposite problem. I believe he is a victim of circumstance due to this. I would like to see him hit longer punts going forward, as he has a long of only 50 yards (League low).

 

Returners

Here is another change, moving forward I will only be commenting on notable returns for each week of the season. Don't worry, I will still tally and present all cumulative return stats.


Kick Returners

  1. PHI Stars Kick Returner Darnell Holland returns opening kickoff for 62 yards - tackled by PIT Kicker R. Ahmed.

  2. PHI Stars Kick Returner Maurice Alexander returns kickoff for 66 yards - tackled by PIT Kicker R. Ahmed.

  3. BHAM Stallions Kick Returner Victor Bolden Jr. returns a kickoff for 41 yards - Tackled by NJ Kicker N. Vogel.

  4. NJ Generals Kick Returner Isaiah Zuber returns a kickoff for 41 yards - Tackled by BHAM Kicker B. Aubrey

Kickers were busy this week, making 4 tackles through the 4 games. Ahmed (PIT) saved two long return touchdowns, while soccer-player-turned-kicker Brandon Aubrey (BHAM) recorded his first tackle in his Professional Football career. Here is how everyone else has been doing;


 

Punt Returners

I did not see any notable punts this time. Here is how the returners have been doing;


 

New Heights

Welcome to this week's new inclusion; New Heights! This is the part of the article where I will congratulate players on new personal bests and league records! Here is this week's list of superstars;

  1. BHAM Kicker Brandon Aubrey kicks a 37 yard FG (Personal Best)

  2. HOU Kicker Nick Vogle kicks a 50 yard FG (League Record) (Personal Best)

  3. NO Kicker Austin MacGinnis kicks a 31 yard FG (Personal Best)

  4. BHAM Punter Colby Wadman punts 55 yards (Personal Best)

  5. HOU Punter Andrew Galitz punts 56 yards (Personal Best)

  6. MICH Michael Carrizosa punts 56 yards (Personal Best)

  7. PIT Punter Max Duffy punts 50 yards (Personal Best)

  8. PHI Punter Matt Mengel punts 53 yards (Personal Best)

 

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 :)

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