Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
Ted Ginn Takes Off
Special Teams are one of the intangibles that determines a team's success. Some games this season have been won by kickers putting field goals together in games where their team made no touchdowns.
Runbacks for touchdowns during kickoffs were supposed to be eliminated by a new NFL rule that placed the kickoff spot up at the 35 yard line, to help reduce injuries during kickoffs. It has not worked out as planned. More runbacks for touchdowns have occurred during the first four games of the season than ever before.
The NFL is the victim of the unintended consequences of their decision. Moving the kickoff spot allowed the receiving team to better block the kickoff team’s players, resulting in more breakouts and long runbacks.
The 49ers helped this statistic when Ted Ginn took off and scored twice in 59 seconds, running a kickoff and a punt back for touchdowns.
That said, the fate of teams still often hangs on the punting team and the kickoff team, as well as the defenders for both.
The Buccaneers have hit 7 of 8 field goals and have an average of 87.5%.
The 49ers have hit 8 of 10 for an average of 80%.
Buccaneer punters have an average of 46.6 yards.
49er punters have an average of 52.2 yards.
The intangibles, like defending kickoff and punting yards, etc., fall in the 49ers favor.
Slight Advantage: San Francisco 49ers.