Importance of Punters (and Kickers)

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A long snapper’s job is to snap accurately and consistently to punters in punt situations and to holders for field goals and extra points.  As such, the people they snap to are just as critical as the snaps.

In Week Fourteen, there were 10 missed field goals, including two each by the Rams, Vikings and Cardinals, and three missed extra points, that are typically automatic.  Week Fourteen also saw the Chargers lose a critical piece of their kicking puzzle when punter Mike Scifres broke his clavicle against the Patriots.

His loss caused the writers at The Wall Street Journal’s The Count to study whether losing a kicker or punter is worse.  The conclusion from examining statistics comparing the loss of a kicker to a punter since 2000 showed that the loss of a punter is more damaging to a team than a kicker.  On average, a replacement punter cost their team 1.19 points.

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