I'm confident we can down the special-teams debate inside the 20 -- particularly with so many good punters in the division.
My initial thoughts heading into Week 17 ...
LS: Brian Jennings, 49ers. One of the best anywhere.
PR: Danny Amendola, Rams. Ranks seventh in the league with an 11.0-yard average per return.
Pencil them in
K: Olindo Mare, Seahawks. Ranks third in the NFL with a 91.7 percent success rate on field goals. Ranks fourth among kickers in touchback percentage.
KR: LaRod Stephens-Howling, Cardinals. His 99-yard touchdown return against the Titans showed breakaway ability. Amendola has a slightly higher average per return, however.
Up for discussion
P: All four NFC West punters are enjoying strong seasons. The 49ers' Andy Lee was a worthy Pro Bowl choice. The Cardinals' Ben Graham could have gone, too. He's the first alternate in the NFC. Donnie Jones (Rams) and Jon Ryan (Seahawks) are also having strong seasons. Lee ranks third in net average, just ahead of Jones. Graham leads in punts downed inside the 20. Ryan ranks third in gross average (Lee is second). I want to research this one a little better. I've seen Graham have several punts downed inside the 10 and even inside the 5. Might be helpful to look at those stats, too.
General special-teamer: The Cardinals' Sean Morey is a first alternate to the Pro Bowl in this category. The 49ers' Michael Robinson is also an alternate. Stephens-Howling has sometimes stood out in coverage.
Who are we missing?