The San Diego Chargers struggled returning punts in 2014, so they attempted to improve the unit this offseason by signing return specialist Jacoby Jones.
To say their plan hasn’t worked would be a massive understatement.
As Pro Football Talk pointed out Monday, the Chargers ranked dead last in the NFL through Week 8 in punt return yardage. Their grand total on the season? One yard.
That’s right: One.
How is this possible, you ask? For starters, the 2-6 Chargers have returned just eight of the 34 punts they’ve received — the lowest total in the league — which is a testament to San Diego’s mediocre defense and Jones’ apparent love for fair catches.
The former Baltimore Raven has managed to lose yards on three of his returns and has a total of minus-4 return yards on five attempts. In fact, Keenan Allen is the only reason the Chargers aren’t in the red, as the wide receiver has returned three punts for five yards.
As you’d expect, San Diego’s futility is pretty historic. The team’s one punt return yard is the second-fewest total through eight games in NFL history, ahead of only the 1972 New England Patriots, who had negative-2 return yards after eight games.
According to PFT, the record for fewest punt return yards in a season is 27, set by the then-St. Louis Cardinals in 1965. The way things are going for San Diego at the moment, that record appears to be in serious jeopardy.
Thumbnail photo via Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports Images