FanPost

The Punt Hunt

After reading the linked article on Sav Rocca's punting, i decided to take a look at his performance on my own, so I tracked all his punts to see what happened.

Note: I have marked as "FPI" (for Field Position Issues) any punt from the other team's side of the field, therefore, one where Rocca would not be aiming for maximum yardage. I've called any non-FPI punt of 35 yards or below a shank.

Week 1: 37 (FPI, landed inside 20), 37 (not FPI but close, from the Eagles 46), 49, 48 <-- you could call this a good game

Week 2: 34 (from the Eagles 9 - shank), 55, 49 (from Eagles 9), 61 (from Eagles 10), 26 (from Eagles 28 - shank) <-- clearly a bad game for him

Week 3: 53 (he got injured and Akers took over the punting)

Week 4: bye week

Week 5: 50, 56, 46, 45, 47 (a good game for him)

Week 6: 41, 49, 30 (FPI, inside 20), 35 (FPI - Touchback), 40 (FPI - landed inside the 20), 55, 45, 58 <-- another good game

Week 7: 30 (FPI), 27 (FPI), 38, 46, 23 (FPI - from the 41 to the 18. I would be tempted to call this one a shank as well), 25 (shank), 49, 36 (from Eagles 10) <-- another bad game,

Week 8: 57, 46, 39

Week 9: 41, 48, 44

Week 10: 30 (from Eagles 10 - shank), 40, 52, 38 <--- call this a bad game as well

Week 11: 45, 16 (no I did not make that up - shank, from Eagles 40 to Chicago 44), 38, 32 (shank - from Eagles 45 to Chicago 23), 38 <--- clearly a bad game

Week 12: 42, 36 (FPI), 52, 47, 40

Week 13: 42, 53, 40 (FPI - perfect, to the 1) <--- a good game

Week 14:  36, 51, 46, 34 (FPI)

Week 15: 44, 39, 45 (FPI - touchback), 33 (FPI)

Week 16: 40 (from Eagles 1 - not a shank but a disappointment because the 11 yard return and 5 yard penalty gave our opponents very good field position), 60, 49, 28 (shank), 40 (FPI - inside 20) <--- a bad game

Week 17: 51, 41, 47 (from Eagles 9), 61, 51, 53, 38 (FPI) <---  a good game

Wild Card game: 53, 50, 52, 41 (FPI - touchback), 39 (FPI) <--- another good game

His regular season average was 42.1, which put him towards the bottom but not quite there. He had 26 punts inside the 20, 10 inside the 10, and  3 touchbacks. NFC leader Andy Lee had 47.6, 30, 8, and 8 respectively. I think the FPI punts may have dragged down his average somewhat.

This might be irrelevant, but regarding his "strong leg" reputation, his longest punt was 61 yards - 17 punters had at least one longer than that.

Number of shanks: 7 or 8, depending on how you classify the 23-yard punt from the 41 to the 18 in week 7. His total number of punts: 77 (72 regular season, 5 in postseason). So that means that either 9.1% or 10.4% of his punts were shanks.

Number of punts 50 yards or longer: 20, 7 of which were in the last two Dallas games.(so 17 in the regular season) - which means 26% of his punts were 50 yards or longer.

His reputation for inconsistency seems to come from games like Week 2, where he had a 55 yarder and a 61-yarder (his season best), but also had two shanks, or Week 16, where he had a shank and a 60-yarder. As to his reputation for shanking from deep in Eagles territory, it is based on these punts:

the last one in Week 7 (36 yards from the Eagles 10) and the first one in week 16 (40 yards from the Eagles 1), plus two shanks from deep in Eagles territory, his first in Week 2 (34 yards from the 9) and his first in week 10 (30 yards from the 10).

Personally, I would rather have somebody that punts consistently between 40 and 45 yards, rather than somebody who is all over the place on punting yardage, even if the latter has a higher average. What do the rest of you think?

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