Twice since the start of the 2018 season has a member of the Green Bay Packers won the NFC’s Special Teams Player of the Week award. It has actually happened a surprising six times since 2013. But not since Tim Masthay in week two of the 2012 season — ten years and one week ago — has a Green Bay punter earned that title.
However, for his performance in week 3 of the 2022 season, Pat O’Donnell earned the first player of the week honor by a Packers punter in a decade, as the NFL announced its honorees on Wednesday morning. And unlike Masthay, he did it without throwing a touchdown pass.
O’Donnell punted seven times in the sweltering Tampa heat on Sunday, averaging 48.43 gross yards per punt in the game with a net average of 44.7. Those numbers are solid on their face, but most impressive is that he dropped five of those seven punts inside the 15-yard line. The last Packers punter who placed five punts inside the 20 in a single game was David Beverly, who did so in 1976.
Masthay received his award for a game against the Chicago Bears that featured a legendary fake field goal, which he threw to tight end Tom Crabtree for a touchdown. Masthay also punted five times in that game for an average of 47.6 yards per punt.
Mason Crosby has earned four special teams player of the week honors in the last decade, doing so in 2021 (week 3), 2018 (week 6), 2015 (week 11), and 2013 (week 5). Each of those games featured Crosby making at least three field goals and at least five kicks combined, with the two most recent honors also featuring game-winning field goals against the San Francisco 49ers with no time left.
The other three Packers to earn the honor since Masthay received it in 2012 were punt returners Trevor Davis in 2017 (week 14) and Micah Hyde in 2014 (week 17), plus cornerback Davon House, who won the award in week 8 of the the 2012 season for blocking a punt that was recovered for a touchdown.