Our improved punting game
(From the Seahawks@Rams thread, to avoid derailing that thread with an offtopic post)
Originally Posted by laram0
Ah yes, Reggie "Dead-leg" Hodges, who can forget him :x
One of the improvements of the team this year that people often forget is at punter. Turk has been playing very well so far, and when you consider our punting the last couple of years it's a big and important improvement.
I looked at some stats to see just how important such an improvement could be. Looking at Matt Turk's previous 8 full seasons (I didn't count seasons where he didn't play all 16 games) he has punted an average of around 83 times each season (average of 42.9 yards). I was going to compare that with Hodges' stats, but it appears he is no longer playing in the NFL, gee what a surprise. But I think comparing Turk to a punter of Hodges level you can reasonably expect 6-8 yards extra per punt (Hodges frequently averaged 35 yards or so, as in the Seahawks game quoted above). Over a full season that adds up to 500-650 extra yards in our favor. I think we can agree that is a very significant improvement, and with the very close games we have been playing this year, improved punting just might decide a game or two in our favor. Good thing we finally fixed this issue, hopefully at least for a couple of seasons before Turk calls it a career or starts regressing physically.
(Of course how often you punt depends on how effective the team's offense is etc. And long punts don't do much good without hangtime because longer returns will make up for it, so your mileage may vary. But I think it's interesting to look at anyhow and the numbers should at least give you an idea of the range of yards we're looking at.)