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Upon Further Review - Oakland Raiders Special Teams

Tonight's the night for something Special.


This week’s opponent, the Oakland Raiders have the 27th ranked Special Teams Unit in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus as compared to the Denver Broncos, who reside at the #2 slot. Football Outsiders are of the opinion that Oakland should be ranked 30th and Denver at #10. I see a big disparity there.

Back in Week 3 when these two teams met, the rankings looked like this:

Football Outsiders rates the Raiders Special Teams 31st overall in the NFL. By the same token, they have the Broncos at 16th overall. Pro Football Focus says the Raiders have the 20th ranked ST’s Unit and the Broncos at 3rd.


Kicker Sebastian Janikowski has one of the strongest legs in the NFL with regards to placekickers. For the season, Janikowski is 24-for-26 (92.3%) on Field Goal Attempts with his longest of the young season being a 55-yarder. He has also made all 21 Extra Point attempts. Of his 58 Kickoffs, 32 have gone for touchbacks (55%) and 23 were returned for a 27.0 yard average.

Punter/Holder Shane Lechler is usually among the league’s leaders in many categories. He has punted 61 times so far this year, with a 47.7 average. Shane has placed 13 of those Inside the 20 yard line, 8 have gone for touchbacks, 8 have been Fair Caught and one has been blocked. His longest punt this season is a 68-yarder, the coverage unit has allowed a 10.4 return average on 38 of Lechler’s punts, driving his Net average down to 37.9.


Jon Condo is their Long Snapping Specialist. The 6-3, 245 lb., 6th round player out of Maryland is one of the higher paid Snapper in the league at $1,283,333. Jon was a Dallas Cowboy (2005) and a New England Patriot (2006) before joining the Raiders practice squad, Nov. 30, 2006. He has been Oakland's Long Snapper since the 2007 season, spanning 83 games. His stats include 32 Special Teams Tackles with a high of 10 in 2009. Condo has also Forced one Fumble and Recovered one. He has 4 Special Teams stops this season.


The top Coverage guys for the Raiders are #82 Tight End Richard Gordon (8 TKL), #22 Running Back Taiwan Jones (7 TKL), #34 Safety Michael Mitchell (7 TKL), #57 Linebacker Keenan Clayton (4 TKL) and #83 Tight End Brandon Myers (4 TKL).


Philip Adams has done the Punt Return duties for the Raiders this season. He has called for a Fair Catch 9 times in 32 dropbacks, returning 23 for an 6.0 yard average, including a career long of 47 yards.

The Kick Returners for Oakland so far this season have been Coye Francies (18 for a 23.8 yard average) and Mike Goodson (12 Returns for a 23.7 average and a long of 51).

Special Teams could be a huge factor in this week’s game. The Raiders have allowed a blocked Punt and a return Touchdown on a Kickoff. Broncos return man Trindon Holliday has an excellent chance for his 3rd return Touchdown tonight.

Go Broncos!

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