Data Points: Long drives will become crucial

Yesterday we looked at some of the greatest return men in the history of the game. Devin Hester was at the top of the list in regards to overall return touchdowns, but there is some concern that his game could effectively be neutered with the rule changes regarding kickoffs.

This season, kickers will be booting the ball from the 35-yard line, five yards up from the previous spot. Considering the strength of some of the kickoff specialists these days, a lot of teams this season will be starting off from their own 20 -– at best.

With that in mind, the clubs that will have the most success are those that can sustain longer drives. Listed below is the number of 10-play drives every team was able to manufacture in 2010. Not surprisingly, the Colts led the NFL in this suddenly more relevant category.

— Elliot Harrison

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