Last year the 49ers had one of the best Special Teams units in the NFL. Hands down. Really, this is the ultimate irony of the NFC Championship game. I know, I know. Let's not dwell on it. I don't want to either, but the one phase of the game that was always supposed to be a given - Special Teams - was the phase that really hurt us in the most direct and obvious ways.
Well I'm going to hazard a guess, here, and argue that we will see a regression next year from our Special Teams, and there are a couple of reasons why.
First off, while we have two of the best kickers in the game, there is no way that David Akers and Andy Lee are sure things year in and year out. Let's be perfectly honest, we are so spoiled. I mean, even before we had Mr. Akers, we had a pretty awesome dude by the name of Joe Nedney. Special teams has been a strong for use for a long time. As such, we should expect a little bit of fluctuation here and there. That's totally normal, and Akers, Lee, and the gang deserve a little wiggle room after a record breaking season - most notably on the part of Mr. Akers.
But the biggest reason for why I think the Special Teams unit might see a little regression this next year does not actually have to do with the Special Teams unit itself. In fact, it has everything to do with the Offense.
We have debated endlessly about the Offense, and the consensus, taken with early reports, is that it should be better this year than the last. That means less opportunities for Mr. Akers to kick amazing field goals and less opportunities to flip the field from our ten yard line (God bless Andy Lee). The Offense should be scoring more points than before and should be assisting more in the field position battle.