The Las Vegas Raiders have a special kicker in Daniel Carlson, and in 2022, the success of the team could hinge on his strong right leg.
Roughly a third of every football game features special teams, and for the Las Vegas Raiders, the kicking game, in particular, made a lot of the difference in 2021. Each game opens with special teams and although the NFL has made efforts to limit the violence that occurs between those white lines, the importance of special teams can’t be stated enough.
According to footballoutsiders.com, Las Vegas ranked 21st in team DVOA special teams ratings. Despite that ranking, the Raiders finished first in field goals made (40) thanks to Daniel Carlson largely. That number has to put a smile on the face of new special teams coordinator Tom McMahon, who inherited what appears to be better units on all fronts.
LV finished higher in every special team’s statistical category than McMahon-led special teams’ in Denver that finished 29th in team DVOA special teams ratings. Carlson has improved every year since he entered the NFL in 2018 according to his stats on raiders.com. Statistical breakdown:
- 2018 (Two GP): 1 FGM/ 4 FGA, 25 percent (with Vikings)
- 2018 (10 GP): 16 FGM/ 16 FGA, 94.1 percent
- 2019 (16 GP): 19 FGM/ 26 FGA, 73.1 percent
- 2020 (16 GP): 33 FGM/ 35 FGA, 94.3 percent
- 2021 (16 GP): 40 FGM/ 43 FGA, 93 percent
Carlson continues to shine as a placekicker and is a consistent bright spot for Las Vegas’s special team’s units. However, there is always room for improvement. We’ll take a look at each unit and see where if any, the Raiders can improve heading into the 2022 season.