- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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Select 49ers Special Teams Averages
Dan Skuta led the Bengals in special-teams tackles.
The 49ers suffered a drop in special-teams performance last season. The chart shows a few areas where the 2012 team slipped in relation to the 2011 season. It includes information on where drives started on average following kickoff returns.
Adding a linebacker known for special-teams abilities isn't going to reverse negative trends by itself, of course. Some variance from year to year could be entirely random. A dynamic return specialist can flip a team's averages in some cases.
Select Cardinals Special Teams Averages
The second chart shows a few areas where the Arizona Cardinals' averages slipped.
The Cardinals suffered from an unusual number of injuries last season, affecting depth on special teams. Punt returner Patrick Peterson wasn't nearly as effective in breaking long returns.
Select 49ers Special Teams Averages Season 2011 2012 FG pct. 84.6 69.0 KR avg. 27.2 24.8 Opp KR avg. 23.1 26.9 PR avg.