SF 49ers Special Teams
A few things to consider when looking at San Francisco’s special teams unit. Aside from former SF 49ers long-snapper Kyle Nelson’s disastrous Week 3 efforts against the NY Giants, which resulted in him being released, the battery to punter Mitch Wishnowsky and kicker Robbie Gould has been satisfactory.
Gould’s 91.7 field-goal percentage currently ranks 10th among qualifiers, and he’s only missed one field goal and one extra-point attempt this season. Wishnowsky’s punt-distance average has also increased up to an average of 47.9 yards this season, which is good for eighth best.
Again, nothing wrong with either stat line.
If there’s been an area to complain about, though, it’s the relative lack of explosiveness on kickoffs and punt returns, where the Niners’ average starting field position is on their own 27.4-yard line — 22nd best in the league. San Francisco has experimented with a different array of returners, including Richie James, Trent Taylor, Jerick McKinnon and the now-gone Dante Pettis with mixed results.
And those efforts have likely heavily influenced Football Outsiders’ ranking of the SF 49ers special teams group as No. 14 overall halfway through 2020.
Not bad, not great. But at least this unit hasn’t been a massive liability, so that’s a plus.