Evaluating the Special Teams Situation

K: Adam Vinatieri

P: Pat McAfee

LS: Matt Overton

The Colts own one of the best fourth-down armies in the league, if not the very best. Each player has been to at least one Pro Bowl, and both kickers have been on at least two All-Pro first teams.

If you don’t know Matt Overton’s name, that’s probably a good thing. Long snappers don’t want their names called out because that usually means they messed up. If Pat McAfee doesn’t complain about Overton’s snaps as the punter and field goal holder of the team, then fans have no reason to either.

Adam Vinatieri is one of the league’s most accurate and clutch kickers, who seems to get better with more experience. He has only missed 3 field goal attempts on 55 tries in the past two seasons even though he is the NFL’s oldest player. Vinatieri has looked amazing recently and looks to build upon his hall of fame résumé as he heads into his 21st season.

Off the field, Pat McAfee is known for making people laugh with his comedy shows and podcast. But on the field, it’s all business with the “Boom Stick,” a well-deserved nickname for having one of the biggest legs in the game. McAfee is arguably the best punter in the league and finished second last year in average distance and fifth in net distance. One downfall of his huge power is that he sometimes outkicks his coverage which causes his net distance to be lower than it should be. However, the Colts have no problem with his huge leg when he handles kickoff duties. McAfee might be the greatest kickoff specialist in NFL history. His booming kickoffs allowed a measley 156 return yards, which broke a 72-year old record by 69 yards for least return yards allowed by a team in a season. McAfee’s leg set another NFL kickoff record with an 87.01% touchback percentage. He only allowed 8 kickoffs to be returned, and at 19.5 yards per return, teams would have been better taking the touchback anyways. When teams gameplan for McAfee’s deep kickoffs, he can perfectly execute a one-man onsides kick

Even though the combination of his leg power and onside kicks leaves teams with plenty to respect, the thing returners might have to be worried about the most is the punch McAfee’s 6’1″ 233lbs body packs. Just ask Trindon Holliday.

The Colts only have three specialists on the roster at the moment, and they are Overton, Vinatieri, and McAfee. There is no need to change one of the best specialist units for the time-being, and not until Vinatieri hangs it up, at which point, maybe McAfee can take a shot at being the kicker. He holds the Guinness record for longest blind-folded field goal at 40 yards. Take that blindfold off and he can add 35 yards of range to his kick.

Seriously, what can’t this guy do?

 

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