Special Teams

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Madden players might not punt much, but when they do, it's we need to know what to do.  Your punt returner's job is to field the punt, but there's nothing special about mishandling a punt.  A muffed or fumbled punt is dangerous.  Not only is the kicking team likely to regain possession, but a fumbled punt gives the kicking team the ability to advance the ball while the return man is laying on his back.  It's enough to get a punt returner demoted to the bench, never to return another kick.  Fortunately, the fair catch rule allows a return man an opportunity to field the punt cleanly without getting hit. 

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Small decisions matter, especially on special teams.  On kickoffs it is sometimes better to take a knee than attempt to run it back.  In recent memory getting the ball to the 20-yard line was enough to justify the risk of poor field position, but the NFL changed the rule for kickoffs for the 2016 season.  Now, a touchback grants the receiving team possession at the 25-yard line instead of the 20. 

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Fourth down is decision time.  Often, Madden players make the wrong decision.  For reasons unknown to football traditionalists, some people simply refuse to punt.  There is a perception that punting indicates weakness and is indicative of offensive failure.  Perhaps.  But consider that punts flip the field position an average of 30+ yards virtually every time its called, punting is actually the most successful play in the history of football.

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Kickers are the highest scoring players in the history of the NFL.  Check it out.  The leagues scoring record holders are virtually all kickers. Madden scoring records, not so much.  Madden players don't use their kickers to get points even when they are well within range in fourth and long.  Daring, but not necessarily smart.  After all, they don't call it football for nothing. 

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