After the season is over each year, Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News releases rankings of NFL special teams units. Gosselin's rankings take 22 different categories into consideration. To no surprise, the Eagles finished all the way up top at No. 1 in 2014. They were dominant that year. But how did they stack up in 2015?
Last year, I fully expected the Eagles to have a top 10 special teams unit. They exceeded my expectations by being the best overall in the NFL. It's hard to say the Eagles will be No. 1 overall again, but a top five performance is within the realm of possibility.
Football Outsiders thinks a little lower of the Eagles' special teams unit. They rank Philadelphia at No. 10, which is still good.
There's no question Chip Kelly has his weaknesses, but stressing the importance of special teams isn't one of them. He deserves some credit for how these units have performed. The Eagles' brilliance on special teams masked how bad and ineffective Kelly's offense was at times. Kelly might be gone now, but the good news for the Eagles is that they're expected to keep special teams coordinator Dave Fipp on Doug Pederson's new staff. It'll be interesting to see if they can continue to get good performances under Fipp's guidance.
To compile the rankings, Gosselin uses the following stats: Kickoff return, punt return, kickoff coverage, punt coverage, average starting field position after kickoff, opponent's average starting field position after kickoff, punting, net punting, inside-the-20 punts, opponent's punting, opponent's net punting, field goals, field goal percentage, opponent's field goal percentage, extra point percentage, points scored, points allowed, blocked kicks, blocked kicks allowed, takeaways, giveaways and penalties.