Punts at an all-time low in the NFL

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NFL teams are punting less than ever before.

This season NFL teams are averaging just 3.46 punts per game. As noted by FootballPerspective.com, that’s by far the lowest in NFL history.

Only one team, Washington, is averaging more than five punts a game. Ten teams are averaging less than three punts a game (and the Packers are averaging less than two punts a game). Last year only one team, the Ravens, averaged less than three punts a game while three teams averaged more than five punts a game.

As we’ve previously noted, that’s in part because teams are getting more aggressive on fourth downs than ever before. This season teams are going for it 69 percent of the times that they face fourth-and-1, and converting 77 percent of those attempts. Most of the time, fourth-and-1 leads to a first down — more often than it leads to a punt, a field goal or a turnover on downs combined. That’s unprecedented in NFL history.

On Thursday night, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians decided to go for it on fourth-and-1 from his own 19-yard line. It worked, and it was barely remarked upon. It wasn’t that long ago that people would have been losing their minds if a coach had kept his offense on the field in such an obvious punting situation. Now it’s just accepted that punting is a bad outcome for an offense, and coaches should avoid it when they can.

17 responses to “Punts at an all-time low in the NFL

  1. That has a tendency to happen when defenses aren’t allowed to tackle, the refs throw flags every other play, and no one is allowed to touch the quarterback.

  2. progressiveshatethetruth2 says:
    October 10, 2020 at 12:01 pm
    That has a tendency to happen when defenses aren’t allowed to tackle, the refs throw flags every other play, and no one is allowed to touch the quarterback.
    ——————————————————-
    Spot on!

  3. Considering fourth down conversions are at an all-time high, I guess that would make sense

  4. It’s simpler than that.
    It’s the leagues policy of cutting down on holding penalties. They are only calling obvious and egregious holding violations.

    I’m all for it, too.

  5. “Last year only one team, the Ravens, averaged less than three points a game while three teams averaged more than five punts a game.”

  6. Terrible news for The Brand.

    I’ve always considered the punter to be the most important player on the defensive side of the ball. He is the one player who can move the field position 50 yards, and either set up his defense for a great stand, or shank it and be the villain.

  7. Wanna eliminate ties? Don’t allow either team to punt in overtime.
    We’ll never see a stupid, pointless tie ever again.

  8. As more young coaches unlike Mike McCarthy enter the game, the less punts you’ll see. Frequent punts are for teams playing “not to lose,” which was McCarthy’s mindset while in Green Bay.

  9. if you played Football and really had to work your way onto the field, the death of special teams play is an insult to your hard work. Special teams is where the average athletes prove their worth with special plays.

  10. Goodell cheating for offense and ratings. Holding way down as well by design as Goodell manipulates the rules and makes a mockery of the sport in the process.

  11. Punts and kickoffs are gradually fazed out of the NFL. The NFL is doing it subtly so that no one has a problem with it except punters and kickers. But be assured — the NFL wants to get rid of that part of the game.

  12. Might as well go for 4th and 25 when you can just have your far-from-the-play WR brush his face mask off the DB’s pinky nail. “Illegal hands to the face … 5 yard penalty. Automatic. First down!”

  13. stellarperformance says:
    October 10, 2020 at 2:04 pm
    As more young coaches unlike Mike McCarthy enter the game, the less punts you’ll see. Frequent punts are for teams playing “not to lose,” which was McCarthy’s mindset while in Green Bay
    _____
    Why do Packer fans feel the need to continually rip ex Packers once they leave green bay?

  14. It’s the leagues policy of cutting down on holding penalties. They are only calling obvious and egregious holding violations.

    ———
    Look im all for less penalties which have gone up every year for at least 2 decades. But if theres one penalty they should call more its holding by these big jumbo grabby olinemen, if they called holding anything like they used to you wouldnt see these giant lumbering olinemen who latch on to the dlinemen like sumo wrestlers.

  15. cheeseisfattening says:
    October 10, 2020 at 5:18 pm
    Why do Packer fans feel the need to continually rip ex Packers once they leave green bay?
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    I rip McCarthy for the same reason I rip you. I don’t like either one of you.

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