The San Francisco 49ers put on a show on offense and defense on Thursday Night Football against the Oakland Raiders, but it was special teams that took home a weekly award. The NFL announced players of the week for Week 9, and punter Bradley Pinion was named special teams player of the week. He had three punts against the Raiders, averaging a gross of 54.7 yards per punt and a net of 48. His long was 64 yards, which was downed at the Raiders 6 yard line.
Pinion has been a fairly quiet presence for the 49ers. He ranks 26th in gross average and 30th in net average. Football Outsiders ranks the 49ers 22nd in punting, which covers both Pinion’s work and that of his coverage unit. Pro Football Focus ranks him 17th in their punting grade.
The big question for the 49ers punt coverage unit heading into Week 10 and beyond is how the unit will operate without Raheem Mostert at one of the gunner positions. He has been arguably the team’s best special teams player the past two seasons. Last year, things went south for punt coverage after he got hurt, and so that will be a unit to keep an eye on the next seven games. The Giants punt returners have not been particularly good, with Quadree Henderson ranking 31st among any player who has returned a punt.