No. 1: Where Will the 49ers Rank Overall on Special Teams?
So the 49ers weren’t particularly good in field position last year, but that’s not entirely special teams’ fault.
Remember, the Niners boasted one of the worst offenses in the NFL last year, which meant field position was already going to be bad.
To change things up a bit, let’s look over at what Football Outsiders had to say about this group’s efforts in 2016. Football Outsiders has a metric called DVOA, or defensive-adjusted value over average — explained here.
This metric takes into account field goals, punts and returns and assigns them to a percentage over league average.
Last year, the adjusted DVOA for San Francisco was plus-1.9 percent, which ranked 10th in the NFL.
More from Niner Noise
- 49ers 2023 NFL Draft tracker: Pick-by-pick news and analysis
- Predicting 49ers NFL Draft picks by looking at final mocks
- DraftKings NFL Draft Promo – Win $150 Guaranteed on Any $5 Bet
- 2023 NFL Draft: EDGE Byron Young could be impact player for 49ers
- 5 low-key NFL Draft options for 49ers who are flying under the radar
That’s not bad. But one has to consider the reliance the Niners had on both punts — Bradley Pinion led the league in punts, remember — as well as field goals in what was the league’s 27th best scoring offense.
If the 49ers can hang around this number this upcoming season, that will be about as good as one should expect.
Especially considering the defense should be better in 2017 and the Niners will be operating a much different offensive system that doesn’t sputter out in an uptempo style.
Don’t forget special teams, everyone. They’re important.