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SI's Punter Ratings
David Sabino
December 21, 2009
As the booming 55-yard punt that rolls into the end zone illustrates, raw numbers don't always tell the story of a punter's effectiveness. So to quantify a punter's value to his team, SI adapted the quarterback rating. For completions, we substituted fair catches, downed punts and punts out-of-bounds. Incompletions we replaced with returns and touchbacks. Instead of passing yards and touchdowns, we plugged in net yards and punts downed inside the 20. Assuming a 99-yarder with no return as the best outcome and one returned for 109 yards and a TD as the worst, we used a series of multipliers to arrive at a perfect punter rating of 100 and a lowest possible rating of -68.1. Like the quarterback rating, this isn't a perfect system—it doesn't take into account factors such as outkicking your coverage (see Shane Lechler, who leads the league with a 51.4 gross average)—but it shows who consistently combines the elements of effective punting. Here, then, are SI's inaugural punter ratings, for the 2009 NFL season through Dec. 7 (minimum 40 punts).
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December 21, 2009

Si's Punter Ratings

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Punter, Team Rating
MAT MCBRIAR (above), Cowboys 41.24
BEN GRAHAM, Cardinals 39.76
DUSTIN COLQUITT, Chiefs 39.22
MIKE SCIFRES, Chargers 38.90
DAVE ZASTUDIL, Browns 37.80
BRAD MAYNARD, Bears 36.98
DANIEL SEPULVEDA, Steelers 36.34
JEFF FEAGLES, Giants 36.15
DONNIE JONES, Rams 35.79
SAV ROCCA, Eagles 35.70
MICHAEL KOENEN, Falcons 35.19
BRANDON FIELDS, Dolphins 34.80
MATT TURK, Texans 34.52
SHANE LECHLER, Raiders 34.13
ANDY LEE, 49ers 34.02
JON RYAN, Seahawks 33.74
JASON BAKER, Panthers 33.55
PAT MCAFEE, Colts 33.43
SAM KOCH, Ravens 33.20
ADAM PODLESH, Jaguars 32.89
CHRIS KLUWE, Vikings 32.74
KEVIN HUBER, Bengals 32.55
NICK HARRIS, Lions 32.40
BRIAN MOORMAN, Bills 32.07
STEVEN WEATHERFORD, Jets 31.79
DIRK JOHNSON, Buccaneers 31.67
CHRIS HANSON, Patriots 31.60
THOMAS MORSTEAD, Saints 29.99
JEREMY KAPINOS, Packers 25.98

As the booming 55-yard punt that rolls into the end zone illustrates, raw numbers don't always tell the story of a punter's effectiveness. So to quantify a punter's value to his team, SI adapted the quarterback rating. For completions, we substituted fair catches, downed punts and punts out-of-bounds. Incompletions we replaced with returns and touchbacks. Instead of passing yards and touchdowns, we plugged in net yards and punts downed inside the 20. Assuming a 99-yarder with no return as the best outcome and one returned for 109 yards and a TD as the worst, we used a series of multipliers to arrive at a perfect punter rating of 100 and a lowest possible rating of -68.1. Like the quarterback rating, this isn't a perfect system—it doesn't take into account factors such as outkicking your coverage (see Shane Lechler, who leads the league with a 51.4 gross average)—but it shows who consistently combines the elements of effective punting. Here, then, are SI's inaugural punter ratings, for the 2009 NFL season through Dec. 7 (minimum 40 punts).

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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