I thought I’d take a quick look at the stats for each punter through the first two preseason games. The sample sizes are small, but trends are beginning to emerge.
Dixon has the slight edge in distance, but Colquitt has nailed 5/6 inside the 20. As we’ll see later, Colquitt has had his average dragged down by several punts on the plus side of the field. Encourginly, both guys have only given up a combined negative 1 yards in returns, and there have been no touchbacks. The Broncos coverage team is doing a great job.
To go a step further, I thought I’d list every punt for both players.
- 4-5-DEN41 (10:17) (Punt formation) R.Dixon punts 46 yards to CHI 13, Center-C.Kreiter, downed by DEN-B.Ross. PENALTY on DEN-B.Ross, Illegal Touch Kick, 5 yards, enforced at CHI 13.
- 4-5-DEN44 (:16) (Punt formation) R.Dixon punts 41 yards to CHI 15, Center-C.Kreiter. D.Braverman to CHI 15 for no gain (H.Krieger Coble)
- 4-9-DEN34 (13:07) R.Dixon punts 34 yards to SF 32, Center-C.Kreiter, fair catch by B.Treggs. PENALTY on DEN-D.Watson, Ineligible Downfield Kick, 5 yards, enforced at SF 32.
- 4-15-DEN39 (10:13) R.Dixon punts 36 yards to SF 25, Center-C.Kreiter. D.White MUFFS catch, and recovers at SF 25. D.White to SF 26 for 1 yard (C.Kreiter). PENALTY on DEN-A.Glover, Player Out of Bounds on Punt, 5 yards, enforced at SF 26.
- 4-3-DEN30 (8:48) R.Dixon punts 51 yards to SF 19, Center-C.Kreiter. D.White to SF 17 for -2 yards (J.Thompson).
- 4-7-DEN31 (1:51) (Punt formation) B.Colquitt punts 51 yards to CHI 18, Center-C.Kreiter. M.Mariani to CHI 30 for 12 yards (A.Janovich). PENALTY on CHI-J.Rodgers, Offensive Holding, 9 yards, enforced at CHI 18.
- 4-8-DEN45 (11:14) (Punt formation) B.Colquitt punts 45 yards to CHI 10, Center-C.Kreiter. D.Braverman to CHI 10 for no gain (S.Sulleyman).
- 4-27-CHI45 (6:39) (Punt formation) B.Colquitt punts 37 yards to CHI 8, Center-C.Kreiter, out of bounds.
- 4-4-SF49 (4:58) B.Colquitt punts 40 yards to SF 9, Center-C.Kreiter, downed by DEN-K.Webster.
- 4-15-SF39 (13:55) B.Colquitt punts 28 yards to SF 11, Center-C.Kreiter, fair catch by D.White.
- 4-14-DEN20 (7:08) B.Colquitt punts 37 yards to SF 43, Center-C.Kreiter, downed by DEN-B.Lowery. PENALTY on DEN-B.Lowery, Illegal Touch Kick, 5 yards, enforced at SF 43.
Here are those results broken down into table format. I used numbers greater than 50 for the Broncos side of the field to make the math a little easier. I ignored penalties like illegal man downfield or illegal touching that I didn’t think reflected on the punter
|LOS||Punt Caught||LOS after Return||Gross||Net|
The two short punts in the middle of the field are troubling, but otherwise, looks pretty good. We only have a small sample size, but I definitely have concerns he may be inconsistent.
|LOS||Punt Caught||LOS After Return||Gross||Net|
|80||43||43||37||37|*12 yard Return wiped out after holding penalty.
Colquitt has had good or great punts on 5 of his 6 attempts, with the exception being his most recent 37 yarder. His average has been pulled down by 3 punts on the plus side of the field, but he pinned those punts at the 8, 9, and 11 yard lines. I’ll give the benefit of the doubt and assume the 12 yard return wouldn’t have happened if not for the holding penalty.
In the Chicago game, Dixon only held once, and it was on the 46 yard FG McManus missed (hit upright). Colquitt held for both XPs (both good), and 3 FGs (48 yarder blocked, 37 and 44 yarder makes)
In the 49ers game, Dixon took all holding duties. These included 3 XPs and a 40 yard FG (good)
The preseason has only provided a small sample size, but Colquitt appears to have a small but clear edge. Colquitt has been great on 5/6 punts, while Dixon has been great on 2 punts, average on 1, and poor on 2 others. I am a little surprised the narrative of fans has seemed to turn so much in Colquitt’s favor, as he seemed to never get the benefit of the doubt from fans before. As someone who’s spent a lot of time defending him, I’ll take it though. As we are only halfway through the preseason, this competition is still open. A strong performance from Dixon and a weak one from Colquitt could easily flip the switch.