Special teams may decide game
Updated: November 28, 2007, 2:35 PM ETBy Marwan Maalouf
The special teams matchup between Dallas and Green Bay starts with the rookie place kickers on both teams. Green Bay's Mason Crosby and Dallas' Nick Folk are having exceptional rookie seasons and are contributing positively to their respected clubs. Crosby and Folk are both accurate and proved they have strong legs by hitting field goals from 53 yards out. Folk is dangerous from the 40 to 49-yard range and is slightly more consistent from that area than Crosby. Plus, both are solid in the kickoffs, but Crosby has more power and better hang time to get more touchbacks.
The punters for both teams are also similar statistically and are having good years thus far. Dallas punter Mat McBriar has a powerful leg, good hang time and is having a repeat season that sent him to the Pro Bowl in 2006. Plus, he does a good job of directionally placing his punts and shows good touch within the 20-yard line on pooch punts. Green Bay punter Jon Ryan has a shown consistency, a quick get off and the ability to keep his shanks to a minimum. He has also been slightly better than McBriar at pinning opponents within the 20-yard line this season, but that may be because he's had a more opportunities to do so.
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