Panthers finish 4th in Rick Gosselin’s 2022 NFL Special Teams Rankings

In his first year on the job, Carolina Panthers special teams coordinator Chris Tabor was up against it very early on this season. Not only was he without his kicker in Zane Gonzalez, being forced to sift through the bargain bin for a last-minute replacement, but he also lost his All-Pro returner in Andre Roberts after Week 1.

Nevertheless, Tabor showed exactly why he was brought to Carolina.

On Friday, Rick Gosselin released his annual rankings of the NFL’s special teams units. And in at No. 4 came Tabor’s Panthers.

Gosselin’s long-running series meshes every aspect of the special teams game into one—accounting for returns, coverage, starting points, kicking, punting, points, penalties, takeaways, giveaways and blocks . . . just to name a few measures.

Overall, Carolina earned 277.5 points—which put them behind only the Houston Texans, Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens for 2022.

A chunk of that success can be attributed to punter Johnny Hekker, who was also in his first year with the organization. He booted 39 punts inside the 20-yard line—which was not only the most in the league, but also a new franchise record.

Kicker Eddy Piñeiro, the replacement for Gonzalez, had himself a standout campaign as well. He connected on 33 of his 35 field goals, giving the Panthers an NFL-best 94.2-percent conversion rate.

Carolina, additionally, finished atop the league in blocks with five.

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Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire