What in the world is going on with veteran punter Sam Koch this season?
Koch, the Ravens sixth-round draft pick in 2006, is certainly having a down year and the Cleveland game was just another example of “when it rains it pours” for a team that is struggling mightily.
Koch’s costly 25-yard shank in the fourth quarter allowed the Browns to start with decent field position – that ultimately resulted in a field goal – when pinning them deep could have been a game-changer for the Ravens.
“Sam will be the first to tell you that he’s just got to play more consistently in games with punts, especially in critical situations,” John Harbaugh stated on Monday. “Sam has punted really well in practice. He’s punted really well most of the time throughout the course of the season. But one or two not-so-good punts in a game, those are the things that cause you problems.”
Against Cleveland, Koch punted seven times averaging 42.6 yards per kick resulting with a net average of just 34.9 yards. Could it be that the Ravens punter is just tired? After all he has punted 50 times this season already after just eight weeks. With the Ravens offensive woes continuing, Koch is on pace to break his career high of 86 punts in a season (2006). For the season thus far, Koch is averaging a mere 44.8 yards per kick and a net average of 37.6 yards. To compare, in 2012 he averaged 47.1 yards per punt with a net of 40.8.
While it is unlikely – in my opinion – that the Ravens will bring in another punter to challenge Koch mid-way through the season, it does provide something to keep an eye on in the offseason.
Koch’s cap hit next season is $2.8 million and his production certainly doesn’t justify that amount by any means.
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