The Green Bay Packers had few impressive performances on Thursday in Baltimore, but for a second straight week one of them belonged to their punter. Second-year pro JK Scott had to work hard on angles and placement of his punts a week ago, but against the Ravens he showed off his big leg.
All told, Scott punted the football six times, with excellent averages of 52.8 yards gross and 44.3 yards net. With ugly field position for many of his kicks, he was forced to focus mainly on hang time and distance, only placing one punt inside the 20 despite those averages but hitting one into the end zone.
Well, Scott did just that. The yardage averages speak for themselves, but on my watch every punt that Scott hit spent 4.98 seconds or more in the air, with five of six being over five seconds. That’s a great job by him, and he was able to limit the returns to a point where he never had a net punt shorter than 39 yards. In fact, even Scott’s touchback was an encouraging kick, as he crushed it 59 yards in the air and placed it within a yard of the sideline before an unlucky bounce carried it across the goal line.
It’s another good performance to build on for the Packers’ second-year punter.
Here are Scott’s punts from Thursday’s game:
1. 4th and 9 at Packers’ 25
48-yard punt to BAL 27, 9-yard return. 5.04 seconds hang time
2. 4th and 5 at Packers’ 33
47-yard punt to BAL 20, fair catch. 4.98 seconds hang time
3. 4th and 12 at Packers’ 36
64-yard punt to end zone, touchback. 5.10 seconds hang time
Note: in this case, Scott landed the punt at the five-yard line within a yard of the sideline. The return man let it hit the ground and it took an unfortunate bounce straight down the field and into the end zone rather than towards the sideline. Another foot to the right and this would have been a magnificent kick.
4. 4th and 16 at Packers’ 19
52-yard punt to BAL 29, 12-yard return. 5.18 seconds hang time
5. 4th and 7 at Packers’ 32
50-yard punt to BAL 18, out of bounds. 5.11 seconds hang time
This punt was actually Scott’s shortest, hitting the turf at about the 25-yard line and caroming towards the sideline. That bounce carried it past the 20, however, making his only punt inside that yard-line in the game and his third straight of 50-plus.
6. 4th and 23 at Packers’ 7
56-yard punt to BAL 37, 10-yard return. 5.05 seconds hang time
On these six kicks, Scott averaged 5.08 seconds of hang time, a great number. All told, the combination of distance and hang time was very impressive for Scott, and his ability to minimize returns with that hang time continues to make him seem like he is on track for a very good season in 2019.