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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PatsFaninAZ, Sep 24, 2012.

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  1. PatsFaninAZ

    PatsFaninAZ In the Starting Line-Up

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    Still pretty early in the season, but Patriots are 30 out of 31 for net punting yardage. I'm not sure it would have mattered last night if the Ravens had to to 200 yards for a field goal -- against our gassed defense, they probably would have done it. Still, a punt a bit deeper into their territory would have been nice. I thought on a crucial punt against the Cardinals, the net was also pretty poor -- maybe like 20 yards.

    It seems like Mesko has been coached to avoid returnable punts. Of his 13, only 3 have been returned for little yardage. The rest are touchbacks, fair catches, balls out of bounds, or roll to stop.

    Very small sample size, obviously. But after watching the the three games so far this year, I had a suspicion that our punting was not very good, and was not surprised to see, when I looked it up just now, that it is second worst in the league in terms of net.
     
  2. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The ranking is because of the blocked punt
     
  3. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    I think you're fixating on one number out of context. Consider that the Patriots are also tied for 2nd for most punts inside the 20-yard line (7), with 2 touchbacks.

    That means 9 of our 13 punts (69%) have been in areas where Mesko has to consider the opposition's goal line instead of just booming it as far as he can. Combined with 4 fair catches and only 22 return yards given up and I'd say he's done a pretty solid job considering the circumstances.
     
  4. PatsFaninAZ

    PatsFaninAZ In the Starting Line-Up

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    I believe the stats I am looking at are exclusive of the blocked punt. Blocked punts are usually assessed against the team, not the punter. I believe the net yard number only counts the punts that crossed the line of scrimmage in the AZ game. I believe there were 5. I will check play by play later tonight and update my post if I am wrong.
     
  5. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    It's a pretty small sample size so might as well look at it. Figures below don't include the blocked punt.

    Tennessee
    1. 4th and 8 at TEN 46 Z.Mesko punts 28 yards to TEN 18
    2. 4th and 12 at NE 45 Z.Mesko punts 45 yards to TEN 10
    3. 4th and 11 at NE 49 Z.Mesko punts 51 yards to end zone, Touchback.
    4. 4th and 2 at TEN 40 Z.Mesko punts 30 yards to TEN 10

    Arizona
    1. 4th and 9 at NE 49 Z.Mesko punts 38 yards to ARZ 13
    2. 4th and 27 at NE 31 Z.Mesko punts 40 yards to ARZ 29
    3. 4th and 4 at ARI 47 Z.Mesko punts 21 yards to ARZ 26
    4. 4th and 15 at ARI 39 Z.Mesko punts 39 yards to end zone, Touchback.
    5. 4th and 5 at ARI 43 Z.Mesko punts 34 yards to ARZ 9

    Baltimore
    1. 4th and 23 at NE 19 Z.Mesko punts 56 yards to BLT 25
    2. 4th and 15 at NE 42 Z.Mesko punts 50 yards to BLT 8
    3. 4th and 14 at BAL 44 Z.Mesko punts 36 yards to BLT 8
    4. 4th and 16 at NE 49 Z.Mesko punts 30 yards to BLT 21

    6 of the 13 punts occurred on the opposition's side of half, with another 4 around midfield (Pats 45 or closer), so the majority of the punts are with the end zone in mind.

    There were only 3 punts where Mesko could rip it as far as he wanted (lets say 55 yards+ without worrying about the endzone), and those averaged over 48 yards. He's also only given up 22 yards returning, 19 of those on his first punt last night. Patrick Peterson only had one return for 3 yards.

    So yes, the net is low, as is the average. But it's more out of circumstance than anything else.
     
  6. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Lies, damn lies, and statistics.


    Looking at the outcome of the 13 punts above, there are really only two "bad" punts: #3 vs Arizona (21 yards to the 26 yard line) and #4 vs Baltimore (30 yards to the 21). If I recall correctly on one of those there was a fluke bounce backwards that lost about ten yards. If you want to be hyper-critical there are the two touchbacks also; again, I seem to recall a fluky roll on one of those that kept it from being downed. Without going back to review each of the punts it's impossible to pin 'blame' strictly on Mesko; the coverage team could be at least partially at fault too.


    I recall somebody on this site saying that Mesko had a bad game the day after the Tennessee game too. There's a lot more to the picture than the raw data and rankings. The punter is about the least of the Pats' problems right now.
     
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