The AFC South is seen by many NFL analyst as one of the weaker divisions in football. That can be a positive because it will take less improvement by the Jags to turn things around. The negative is a total lack of respect. Aside from the Colts, there is not much to be excited about right now in the AFC South, except for the impending NFL draft in which three of their teams will be picking in the top 11, and two in the top three. What I will be doing is ranking the AFC South at multiple positions. For now I will be going with the players who would be the presumed starters while attempting to take into consideration free agency and draft picks. We have completely ranked the offense (QB, RB, WR, TE & OL) & the defense (DE, DT, LBs, CB, & S). Now what is left is special teams. We’ll start with punters. Let’s start ranking.
- Houston Texans (Shane Lechler) / 88 punts, 47.6 avg, 34 inside 20, 40.0 net avg – He keeps going, and going, and going…The old man is still the best around. After being one of the best punters for 13 years at Oakland, Shane left for the Texans. He rewarded them with the best average and the most kicks within the 20 in the division. Because of Shane Lechler’s excellent season, the Houston Texans have the best punter in the AFC South.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (Bryan Anger) / 95 punts, 45.7 avg, 31 inside 20, 40.5 net avg – Aside from the tragic statistic that Anger had the most punts in the division, he also carried the highest net average. Has two very good years in the league help justify the third round pick the Jags used to take Anger two years ago? Nope…not even close. But that’s in the past and the team can be proud that the Jacksonville Jaguars have the 2nd best punter in the league.
- Indianapolis Colts (Pat McAfee) / 76 punts, 46.0 avg, 27 inside 20, 38.5 net avg – McAfee had a serviceable year and he is who he is. He just signed a very large contract for a punter (5 yrs for $14 million). That’s a lot of money for a just decent punter who only gained fame for making a fine-worthy tackle on a punt return last year. Because of his low net average, Indianapolis Colts have the 3rd best punter in the AFC South.
- Tennessee Titans (Brett Kern) / 78 punts, 43.4 avg, 32 inside 20, 39.7 net avg – In his 6th year, Kern took a step back in just about every career stat. He didn’t pay poorly so much, just not very good. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Titans look at taking a punter in the draft. The reason I think this is because the Tennessee Titans hav ethe worst punter in the league.
The distance between first and fourth isn’t insurmountable. Eventually, Lechler has to start playing his age and quit being the best at his position at 37 years old. What is funny is that i’m watching the NFL Network as I’m typing this and they are showing all time classic games. They are showing the 2001 playoff game between Oakland & New England, also known as the “Tuck Rule” game. Who is punting for the Raiders. Shane Lechler. Hell…Maybe he’s a VAMPIRE!!!
Please return for the final rating for kickers and my overall summary.
Thanking you for your continuing support…Michael McDonald.
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