# Superior Punting Statistics

Submitted by EGD on August 14th, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Magnus mentioned this issue in profiling Matt Wile today in his TTB countdown and I seem to recall this issue coming up recently on a front-page post here as well: punting averages don't give you much meaningful information about a punter's performance because they are skewed by pooch kicks and other short-field situations.  So, I was wondering whether there might be a more sophisticated way of measuring punting performance.

I was originally just going to ask, “hey, can anybody suggest a better way of evaluating punting stats?” and see what suggestions arose.  But before doing that, I figured I might as well run a quick Google search and see if anything good came up.  Not surprisingly, I found something.  On a page called “Iggles Blog,” a guy came up with the following method:

 Yline= Line of scrimmage for the punting team.  Number 1-99 (theoretically) from the own goal line. Punt= Punt distance Return= Return distance Result= Yline + Punt - Return Optimal Result= "IF (Yline < 40 , Yline + 50 , 90)."  In English, if the line of scrimmage was between the 1 and 39 yard lines, I made the optimal result a 50-yard net punt.  If it was on the 40-yard line or beyond, I called the optimal result a change of possession on the 10-yard line.  There are opportunities for further refinement here, but… Difference = Actual result - Optimal result.

To calculate this statistic, you need to know (i) the yard line from which each punt was taken, (ii) the gross distance of the punt, and (iii) the distance of any return.  I am pretty sure items (ii) and (iii) are available, but I am not sure anyone keeps track of (i) (I did a quick Google search for that too, but came up empty).  But if the data necessary to calculate this statistic is (or becomes) available, this seems like a much more useful way of comparing punters--though perhaps not as useful as comparing the number of star systems under their control.

# Space Emperor of Space takes a little R&R

Submitted by Lionsfan on July 16th, 2012 at 12:17 AM

So Zoltan Mesko has decided to take a break from ruling everything in existence, and has decided to vacation in Jamaica for a little bit. With who you might ask?