It's been a while since there was much to speak about with regard to the kicker and punter combination in Oakland. That's because they had the best duo in all of football. This year one half of that duo was gone - Shane Lechler. The All Pro punter left to play for his hometown Houston Texans. So, how did the Raiders fare without him? Here's how the Raiders currently stand at the kicker and punter:
K Sebastian Janikowski - 21 of 30 field goals, 70%
P Marquette King - 48.8 yards per punt, 41.1 net, 11 touchbacks, 26 inside 20 yd line
Sebastian Janikowski finished his 14th season as the Raiders kicker and he had arguably his worst season as a pro. He missed two field goals from inside 40 yards, five from inside 50 yards, and missed more than he made from outside 50 yards. It's possible he was struggling with having a new holder for the first time in 14 years as a pro. Either way, many of his nine missed field goals directly cost the Raiders chances to win games.
Marquette King was the holder in question. That isn't to say King was completely at fault for the misses. It's hard to say. He led the league in yards per punt, although his overall numbers were not great. This was his first season punting in the NFL so there was an adjustment period for him. In the early part of the season he struggled with punt placement and finished the season second in the league in touchbacks. The latter half of the season, he was fantastic both in gross and net yards per punt thanks in part to lowering his touchbacks, helping him finish strong.
Team need: Low
Janikowski just signed a four-year deal prior to the season so he will be back. I would expect after a full off-season with King holding for him, he should figure things out and return to form. King another year on his rookie deal and, with the progress he showed late in the season, I expect him to continue to improve on his directional punting and placement.