You may barely remember this now, but Matt Bosher was once not a beloved player. Through the first seven weeks of his rookie season back in 2011, Bosher didn’t average over 40 yards per punt, and had several impossibly weak efforts. Many fans called for the team to get rid of him, but to their eternal credit, they stuck it out with the young punter, and he averaged close to 50 yards per punt the rest of the way that year.
Since then, Bosher has quietly been one of the better punters in the NFL, with a strong leg and a willingness to tackle players he has absolutely no business trying to tackle. That has made him a weapon on special teams for Keith Armstrong and the Falcons, and it has made him well-loved by the fanbase.
The last couple of weeks have been less than kind to Bosher, however. He had a 35 yarder from the Atlanta 28 last weekend that just sort of wobbled its way through the air, a 37 yarder from the Atlanta 19 that went out of bounds against Miami, and a 26 yarder from the Atlanta 25 against Miami that was worse than any of them. All three of those put the opposing team in favorable field position, something Atlanta has struggled with all year.
The last time we saw this kind of stretch from Bosher was at the end of the 2015 season, when he averaged 43 yards per punt in Week 15, and then had three short punts over the end of the season. But some of those punts were dictated by field position, and were not the kind of uncharacteristically weak punts we saw over the last couple of weeks.
So after considering all of that, we ask: Will Bosher get back on track this week? My guess is yes.
The reason I feel confident in that, assuming there’s not a hidden injury, has everything to do with how strong Bosher’s leg has looked on kickoffs. There hasn’t been a noticeable dropoff there, he’s mixed in a few good punts with his duds over the last couple of weeks, and he’s got a track record of excellence that suggests this is little more than a blip on the radar. If we learn about an injury or he really struggles against the Jets, maybe we need to have this conversation again, but for right now I’d chalk it up to teamwide malaise and say we probably won’t need to worry about Bosher the rest of the way.