Johnny Hekker Is The Punter Every Punter Wants To Be

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Johnny Hekker Is The Punter Every Punter Wants To Be

Příspěvekod wang1993 » 20 kvě 2017 02:53

The best thing about the Los Angeles Rams isn’t Aaron Donald and the defensive line, or laughing at Jeff Fisher NFL Jerseys Authentic and his endless quest to perfect mediocrity. Nope. The best thing about the Rams is their punter. The Rams are 4-8 and losers NFL Jerseys Authentic of seven of eight. They have the NFL’s lowest-ranked offensive DVOA. They somehow lost to the 49ers by four touchdowns, which ought not to be possible. But they have Johnny Hekker, and Johnny Hekker is having maybe the best season of any punter, ever. It was easy to chortle when Fisher declared the other day that the Rams are “on a record-setting pace with our punt team.” But he wasn’t wrong. Hekker, an undrafted free agent in 2012 and two-time All-Pro, really is that good. Hekker’s average of 47.5 yards per NFL Jerseys Cheap punt ranks seventh in the league, but that’s a meaningless stat: Punters are often charged with landing punts inside the 20 (touchbacks are bad for punters), kicking high enough to help their coverage, and angling the ball directionally, sometimes to keep it away from returners. The goal is to maximize field position; it isn’t always just to blast the ball out of the stadium. Though Hekker can damn well do that, too. Any way you look at, Hekker has been sensational this year. His net average, which takes returns and touchbacks into consideration, is 45.8 yards. How good is that? As Pro Football Talk noted the other day, the league record—set by Hekker in 2013—is a mere 44.2 yards. And that total is still the only time a punter has finished a season with a net average greater than 44 yards. Hekker also has 40 punts inside the 20-yard line, nine more than any other punter this season, and just six shy of the NFL record. Football Outsiders provided even more context by noting that Hekker has landed 56 percent of his punts inside the 20, and that Andy Lee of the Panthers is the only other punter above 50 percent. Not only that, but Hekker has just one touchback, and his touchback rate is a minuscule 1.4 percent. By way of comparison, the Colts’ Pat McAfee, the league leader in yards per punt at 50.0, has a touchback rate of 18.2 percent. Hekker can seemingly put the ball wherever he wants. “To have both distance punting and directional punting—some guys have one or the other, but it’s somewhat rare to see both on a very high level,” former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe told me. “He has the ability to hit that 50-, 55-yarder with 5.0 (second) hang time, which is key; that’s obviously a very handy skill to have. He’s also one of those guys in that he can directional punt while he’s doing it. In terms of being able to just put it over by the numbers, with hang time, that makes it easier for his coverage guys to get down there and get the ball.”

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