- Adam Teicher, ESPN Staff Writer
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- This won't come as a surprise to anyone who watched them play this season, but the Kansas City Chiefs had one of the best special teams groups in the NFL.
The Dallas Morning News annually ranks all of the 32 special teams based on various statistical categories. The Chiefs came in third behind only the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers. By the way, if you've ever wondered about the importance of the kicking game, please note that both the Patriots and 49ers will play in their respective conference championship games on Sunday.
The Chiefs led the league (and set an NFL record) in kickoff return average, punts downed inside the 20-yard line and special teams touchdowns.
The Chiefs were 23rd in this ranking in 2012. They added some key special teams players, new kickoff returners in Quintin Demps and Knile Davis and used Dexter McCluster more as the punt returner. But the real reason for the improvement on special teams was the addition of Dave Toub as special teams coordinator.
Toub's special teams won the ranking twice during his years with the Chicago Bears. So expect the Chiefs to excel on special teams as long as coach Andy Reid is able to keep Toub as a coordinator.