The Importance of Punter Stats

When you read my punter profiles, you may become confused at times with the load of gibberish that I type in those stats. I mean what’s “LNG” mean? Is it important to have a high number in “IN 20?” Well, fear not, for I can answer these questions. Let’s go on a breakdown.

Punts: Punts mean punts. Obviously, the goal is not to have to punt very often, but this can help in judging consistency. If a guy has 100 punts and only gets 5 inside the 20 yard line, it’s time to find a new punter!

Yds: Yds is short for yards. This is the complete distance of all of a player’s punts. Obviously, this is a very high number. This is looked at often but NET Yds is more important.

NET Yds: This is short for net yards. This statistic does not just tell you the total number of yards. This subtracts yards for touch backs and possible returns. This gives a more complete picture of a punter’s abilities. NET Yds is a very important stat for punters.

LNG: LNG means how long a punt travels on someone’s farthest punt. This can be an exciting stat to look at. When you see these huge numbers, you think this must mean the guy’s good, but LNG can be a very inaccurate look at a punter’s ability. We’re talking about one punt out of 70-90 a guy does a year. That’s not a good representation of a guy’s abilities. LNG should be considered a statistic that accompanies the important statistics. Use the important statistics to see the importance of LNG.

AVG: AVG stands for average. Average is the average distance of your punts. It can be a good indicator of consistency in a punter’s season.

NET AVG: NET AVG stands for net average. Like net yards, net average takes the return yards and touch backs into consideration to get a realistic look at the punter’s power and ability.

BLK: BLK stands for blocks allowed. This is a no-no in the punting world. Although, blocks are typically the men protecting the punter’s fault, it could mean the punter is not getting the ball off his foot fast enough. It also can tell you if the special teams unit is lacking.

OOB: OOB stands for out of bounds. This can be a good stat if you are coffin corner punter. OOB can also be a bad thing. If you’re hitting them out of bounds all the time, but they aren’t going inside the 20, this can be a problem. I’m sure Tom Coughlin would’ve liked for Matt Dodge to punt the ball out of bounds a few years back.

Sorry Giants fans...  Image from zimbio.com

Sorry Giants fans…
Image from zimbio.com

DN: DN stands for downed punts. This is more a stat for the special teams unit. A good, hardworking special teams unit with the help of a punter can get lots of downed punts.

IN 20: This is the holy grail of punting stats. Where punters make it or break it. IN 20 stands for punts that land inside the 20 yard line. The more punts you have inside the 20, the more field position you aren’t giving away. You factor this stat in with the total number of punts to get a percentage of how many of your punts are landing in the perfect spot–inside the opponent’s 20 yard line.

TB: TB stands for touch backs allowed. This is something that can ruin a guy’s career. Punters don’t want or need touch backs. That’s like giving away field position. This is an absolute no-no for any punter. Touch backs can be hard to control, but they’ve got to find a way.

FC: FC stands for fair catches allowed. It’s kind of toss up. It can be good if it’s inside the 20, but it can be bad if it’s outside the 20.

RET: RET stands for returns allowed. As a punter you don’t want to give up many returns. You run the risk of the other team getting better field position or scoring.

RET Yds: RET Yds stands for return yards allowed. Giving up return yards makes you look like a bad special teams unit as a whole. The less return yards you give up, the worse the field position for the opponent.

TD: TD stands for touchdowns allowed. This is another no-no. You can’t give up touchdowns on punts. Just ask Matt Dodge and Tom Coughlin

Punters are people too! Image from crossingbroad.com

Punters are people too!
Image from crossingbroad.com

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