Yes, the Pro Bowl is about fandom and fun and isn’t taken too seriously, but darn it, Sam Koch is the best punter in the NFL, and he certainly earned the right to be a Pro Bowl player in 2017.
But the NFL didn’t call his name on Tuesday night. Instead, they selected Brett Kern.
Brett Kern had a great season, that’s not a knock against the man, but Sam Koch puts on a clinic every game. Morgan Cox long snaps the ball, and Sam Koch puts the opposition well into their own territory, on many occasions.
I mentioned “many” occasions, but what I meant to say was 37. Thirty-seven times Sam Koch has stepped onto the field and put the ball inside the opponents 20 yard line, forcing them to drive 80+ yards for a touchdown.
It would have been 38, if the referees didn’t screw up the greatest punt in football.
Warning: Mildly NSFW language used
For perspective, Brett Kern posted only 22 punts inside the 20. His distance average is larger than Sam Koch’s though.
Brett Kern: 62 Punts | Longest: 74 yds. | Net Average: 51.6 yds. | IN20: 22
Sam Koch: 74 Punts | Longest: 67 yds. | Net Average: 45.4 yds. | IN20: 37
For perspective, Brett could punt his next 12 inside the 20 and still not have the same inside the 20 as Sam. I assume it would also knock his average down, as he’s pinning them inside the markers, rather than going for deeper yardage. When you’re posting 37 inside the lines, it’s going to shorten your average.
The Ravens have the best special teams trio in the NFL, and it’s a shame the fan voting doesn’t demonstrate this. Morgan Cox is a bonafide long-snapper. Sam Koch is the best punter in the NFL, and Justin Tucker is number one in field goal percentage in NFL History (90.0%). It’s a shame they all aren’t voted in as starters.