In today’s NFL, offense is paramount. Teams are on the constant lookout for the next innovative play-caller and quarterback who can make all of the throws asked of him.
But, as has long been the case in the league, the “third phase of the game” often goes overlooked. Even so, special teams can make or break a team’s season—just look at the Chicago Bears on Wild Card weekend.
Even though the Bengals struggled in certain facets of special teams this year, there were some very notable performances. Cast your vote sound off on your winner for the Bengals’ 2018 special teams MVP!
Alex Erickson: While he wasn’t a huge factor on offense, Erickson had a big impact on special teams. He didn’t score a touchdown, but was second in total kickoff return yards with 1,049.
Erickson also had 29 of his 40 total kickoff returns go for 20-plus yards, and seven returns of 40 or more yards—both were second in the NFL. He wasn’t as explosive on punts, netting just 212 yards, but did have a very respectable 10.6-yard per return average in the category.
Randy Bullock: The veteran kicker didn’t get many opportunities on field goal attempts, but did hit 83 percent of his kicks (19-of-23). He missed just one kick from 49 yards and under on 18 total attempts, while hitting the second-longest kick of his career from 51 yards. Bullock also hit the second-highest amount of extra points in his career with 39 on 41 attempts.
Kevin Huber: From a league-wide perspective, it was a middle-of-the-pack year from Huber. One of the better statistics from Huber came in a very important category though, as he was ninth in the NFL with 29 punts downed inside of the opponent’s 20-yard line. He also only had three touchbacks, which was tied for eighth-best in the league (from players with a significant amount of punts).
Clayton Fejedelem: The reserve defensive back was nominated as a captain for the special teams unit in 2018, and he didn’t disappoint. He was tied for eighth in the NFL with 12 special teams tackles, while also having a blocked punt and a run on a fake for a first down. He was voted as a first alternate as a special teams player to the Pro Bowl this year.
Clark Harris: As has been the case throughout his entire career, Harris’ name is rarely spoken during the game. For the position of long snapper, that is a sign of multiple quality performances. The former Pro Bowler had another solid season in 2018 without many miscues.
Brandon Wilson: The versatile defensive back was drafted for his special teams prowess and he has grown into the role after his second season. He finished second on the team with nine special teams tackles and was constantly present when the unit was downing punts deep in opponent’s territories.
Who gets your vote for the Bengals’ 2018 Special Teams
This poll is closed
KR/PR Alex Erickson
K Randy Bullock
P Kevin Huber
DB Clayton Fejedelem
LS Clark Harris
DB Brandon Wilson